As you all know, I love family travel. I’m a firm believer that you can, and should, take your kids everywhere. That said, I also believe that sometimes you need time without the kids. It could be one night away, it could be a weekend. If you’re lucky enough to find someone to look after your children, you may even manage a week without your entourage.
The Best Romantic Breaks for Parents
It could be a trip to mark a birthday or to celebrate an anniversary or simply because you’re children are driving you crazy! Whatever the occasion and whatever time length, sometimes you just need time alone with your other half. Time where you’re not worrying about getting your toddler to eat or your teen to do their homework. Time when you and your partner have the space to talk about things other than who’s turn it is to do the the school run. And, let’s face it, time to lie in. Sometimes you need to time away from the kids just so you can sleep!
So, in honour of Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our favourite family travel bloggers where they would go for a romantic getaway without the kids.
Best Romantic Escapes in Asia
Chosen by: Katja, globetotting
We only managed one child-free getaway during our three years in India but I console myself with the fact that we went somewhere really, really nice. For our romantic weekend we traveled to the Blue City of Jodhpur in Rajasthan and stayed in what is one of my favourite hotels, RAAS. This boutique hotel sits below the majestic 15th century Mehrangarh Fort in the heart of the labyrinthine old city. It is a chic, modern conversion of an 18th century haveli (royal mansion) and the four original wings (comprising the original family residence, stables, the guard houses, family temple and various pavilions) now offer stylish accommodation, an excellent restaurant and the city’s sexiest rooftop bar. Kids are also welcome here and there are various dedicated activities but if you want my advice, I’d say leave them behind!
The Oberoi Amarvilas, India
Chosen by: Victoria
During the five years we lived in India, my husband and I were only able to go on two kid-free trips together. One was to attend a wedding in Goa where my husband came down with a high fever as soon as we arrived. Turned out he had dengue so needless to say it wasn’t quite the weekend we had mind (although I had fun!). The other time was a one-night break at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, a weekend which has been hard to top ever since. Every room has a view of the Taj Mahal, the 17th century white marble mausoleum that emperor Shah Jahan dedicated to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. As romantic gestures go, this is all very impressive, but we say don’t wait until your partner dies to verify your love. Surprise them with a a weekend away instead! Amarvilas also excels at being a luxury hotel that welcomes children, as Katja found out when she stayed here with her family.
The Datai, Langkawi, Malaysia
Chosen by: Marianne Rogerson, Mum on the Move
Embedded in the jungle where the rainforest meets the ocean, the Datai in Langkawi, Malaysia is the ultimate destination for those looking for a peaceful retreat away from the kids. While the Datai does welcome families, the main pool is adults-only, meaning you can lounge and read your book in peace. Keep a look out for monkeys wandering past as you sunbathe, and giant hornbills resting on the deck of the open-air spa as you enjoy a massage.
Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, Thailand
Chosen by: Keri Hedrick, Our Globetrotters
What can be more romantic and secluded than a resort that can only be reached by boat? Nestled in the lush north-eastern side of Phi Phi Don, the beautifully finished 5-star cabana style rooms are sure to impress and give you privacy for your romantic escape. Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort organises day trips to the surrounding islands and offers water sports a plenty for the more adventurous. Or you may choose to simply relax by the pool all day before catching the glorious sunset at Loh Lana Bay.
The Siripana Villa Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chosen by: Julie Henning, Road Trips for Families
With a full service spa and private Lanna-style guest rooms, suites, and villas Sirapana Villa Resort & Spa balances luxury and serenity near Chiang Mai’s historic districts and vibrant marketplaces. A highlight of the stay is the unique pool, which mimics the Ping River, circling an island of trees and lounge chairs.
Club Paradise, Coron, The Philippines
Chosen by: Philippa Langrish, Philippines Contributor, globetotting
Club Paradise is located on its own private island with powdery white sands, an incredible marine sanctuary and dreamy villas looking overlooking the Ocean. The resort is run by the Discover group who pride themselves on their trademark local flavours and warm Filipino welcome. We visited as a family but I would love an excuse to go back with my husband for an anniversary weekend, or simply any weekend!
Best Romantic Escapes in Australia
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Nr Adelaide
Chosen by: Tara Cannon, Pint Size Pilot
I dream of returning to Kangaroo Island, South Australia for a romantic getaway at the Southern Ocean Lodge. This remote luxury retreat is perched atop a cliff with nothing but wide open ocean in front of you. The secluded location is ideal for exploring miles of deserted beaches, wildlife viewing (kangaroos, koalas, echidnas and more), or simply curling up in front of a cozy fireplace, sipping one of South Australia’s fine vintages.
Best Romantic Escapes in Europe
Kakslauttanen, Finland (Lapland)
Chosen by: Katja
At the absolute top of my travel wish list is the chance to spend the night sleeping under the artic sky. But in luxury surroundings of course. That’s why I’m longing to visit the enchanting Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finnish Lapland. Positioned just four hours from the Arctic Ocean, this family-run hotel is famed for its iconic Glass Igloos, where you can lie in bed and watch the magical Northern Lights dance above you. Tell me that’s not romantic! This area is one of the best places in the world to see this amazing natural phenomenon, with the season running from late August until late April. It’s also extremely beautiful, home to some of the cleanest nature in the world. Other arctic adventures include reindeer and husky adventures and the chance to meet Santa (should you decide to bring the kids).
Hotel Al Ponte Antico, Venice, Italy
Chosen by: Eric Stoen, Travel Babbo
We’ve stayed at Hotel Al Ponte Antico in Venice three times the past few years, both with and without kids, and it’s where we would choose to wake up on Valentine’s Day. The hotel is on the Grand Canal, next to the Rialto Bridge, and our stays there are always magical, from cappuccini on the patio in the morning to long conversations with Matteo and Oliver to Proseccos in the evening. Of course Venice is about exploring, but we love relaxing at the hotel as well, watching the gondolas and water taxis passing by.
BrookLodge & Macreddin Village, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Chosen by: Marta Correale, Learning Escapes
Whenever we feel like a romantic gateway there is one hotel we turn to – Brooklodge & Macreddin Village, Ireland. Nestled in the beautiful Wicklow mountains, the hotel is the ideal escape not just from busy family life but from the fast pace of the city, which dissolves in the pure air of this hilltop retreat. The hotel has award-winning restaurants and a gorgeous spa, and with candle-lit dinners and heavenly treatments (the facial is out of this world!) it is sure to make your kid-free getaway one to remember!
Le Royal Monceau, Paris, France
Chosen by: Nichola, Globalmouse
Le Royal Monceau in Paris is a beautiful hotel from every angle. Part of the prestigious Raffles group it sits on a chestnut tree lined street and from the front door you can see the Arc de Triomph at the top of the road. The bedrooms are sumptuous and even come with a guitar – perfect to be serenaded! With huge baths and luxury products, a Michelin starred restaurant and gorgeous spa downstairs it’s the perfect place to feel pampered and relaxed.
Tree Top Hut, Nr Lillehammer, Norway
Chosen by: Nell Heshram, Pigeon Pair and me
Tree Top Hut are luxury treehouses set 25 feet above the ground in a secluded forest not far from Lillehammer, north of Oslo, Norway. Guests are only told where their treehouse is when they book, so the location is kept top-secret. It sounds perfect for couples who want to gaze at the stars at night, or take husky rides, without having their romantic trip interrupted.
Best Romantic Escapes in North (& Central) America
Rio Perdido, Costa Rica
Chosen by: Andrea Fellman, Wanderlust Living
Last year for our wedding anniversary my husband and I were able to escape for a wild weekend in the rainforest! Rio Perdido is the perfect couples retreat, with private bungalows surrounded by lush green jungle you’ll feel like you’re in your own romantic treehouse! Swing from your hammock and listen to the rushing river that sits below, then take a wander down to soak in the natural hot springs that the thermal river provides. Rio Perdido also takes care of your thirst for adventure, with river rafting, zip lining, and plenty of hiking and biking trails, making it a perfect kid-free weekend escape!
Fairmont Southampton Hotel, Bermuda
Chosen by: Brianne Manz, Stroller in the City
Last year, my husband and headed to the Southampton Fairmont in Bermuda sans kids. Bermuda was a quick flight from NY, but we had no idea just how close it was! Our 8am flight touched down less than 2 hours, and by 11am we were already checking in at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. Sometimes, it takes longer than that to get out to the Hamptons! We rented scooters, something we would never do if our kiddies were in tow. We scooted all over the island discovering new beaches and felt like we were teenagers again!
Coqui Coqui Coba, Mexico
Chosen by: Katja
Many visitors head straight to the beach when they visit Mexico, and for good reason, the coastlines are beautiful. But one of my favourite boutique boltholes doesn’t sit on a strip of perfect white-sand and is not cooled by sea breezes. Instead it’s located near the ancient Mayan ruins of Coba in Mexico’s Yucatan province. The five-bedroom Coqui Coqui Coba looks more like a Mayan castle (it was fashioned to mimic the nearby ruins) than a luxury hotel but the safari chic interiors and sublime service (not to mention unique location) make this a very special place to stay. The hotel is part of the Coqui Coqui group, four luxury hotels positioned around the Yucatan. Each property is unique and blends a boutique hotel with a boutique store, and a perfumery. In fact, each hotel has its own individual scent – this Coba property is orange-and-vanilla-scented.
El Otro Lado, Panama
Chosen by: Victoria
As I live in Panama I have thought long and heard about where I would most like to go to on a kid-free break if the opportunity ever arose. Located on the Caribbean coast overlooking the sleepy bay of Portobelo El Otro Lado ticks all the boxes. This little boutique hotel, known for its colourful Congo artwork, is tucked into the secluded side of Portobelo bay. Surrounded by pristine rainforest and aqua blue waters, it is within easy reach of numerous hidden inlets and sandy shores that are fun to escape to with a cool box and book. What’s more it is only an hour and half by car from Panama City, making it a popular weekend break for city residents in need of some serious R&R.
The Parker Palm Springs, California, USA
Chosen by: Claudia Laroye, The Travelling Mom
For a perfect, sun-soaked, adult-only getaway, the Parker Palm Springs fits the bill in top-drawer fashion. This historic hotel property is a retro-cool oasis of generously sized rooms, complete with fire-pit seating areas, an adult-only pool, and its own petanque field. The property is close to canyon hiking trails, museums, and an excellent selection of restaurants in downtown Palm Springs. An al fresco weekend brunch at its delightful Norma’s restaurant is a local tradition.
Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod, USA
Chosen by: Robin Hutson, Luxe Recess
My husband and I do not travel enough together, but without the kids. We cherish every single second on our few getaways. I would love to return to the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod on a romantic getaway. The spa is top-notch, the food was excellent, and the fireplaces and porches were so inviting, but our family visit was full of hide and seek, shell collecting, and watching seals on a boat tour. Although it was an excellent family holiday, I would love to enjoy their more formal restaurant and to walk on the beach and return to one of their spa suites that offers a sauna and massive bath. Most of all, I would love to sleep in. But if I do, I miss the greatest sunrises on the East Coast.
The Allison Inn and Spa, Oregon, USA
Chosen by: Amy Whitley, Pit Stops for Kids
The Allison Inn & Spa is located in the heart of Oregon wine country. But don’t let the relaxed vibe of the Willamette Valley fool you: this is a five-star destination ready-made for R&R, with an award-winning spa, restaurant, and architecture. Spend the day wine tasting and hiking with your loved one, and the evenings by the fireplace in your room.
Best Romantic Escapes in South America
Explora Patagonia, Chile
Chosen by: Victoria
Who says you need a partner to have a romantic weekend away? And no, I’m not suggesting you find yourself a bit on the side. I’m talking about taking yourself on holiday! Ever heard of the expression ‘self-love’? Well, I’ve decided to embrace it. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go riding and trekking in Patagonia. As logistically it is too complicated for us to all go as a family, I shall I be going solo. And, I’m going in style! When my husband (foolishly) sent me a link to the hotel, Explora Patagonia it was love at first sight. Come April, I shall be standing at the foot of those peaks and I can’t wait! In addition to practising some ‘self-care’ (have I mentioned their heated indoor pool, open-air jacuzzis and that all meals are accompanied by a superb Chilean wine?) I fully expect to fall in head over heels in love with this wild and rugged corner of the world as well. Stay tuned …
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