Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, celebrating a special anniversary or simply wishing for some quality time together, finding the perfect luxury vacation spot isn’t always easy.
From sunkissed Caribbean islands and gloriously Greek favorites, to the snowy scenery of a ski getaway in Europe, it’s often hard to pin down a destination for romance.
So, if you’re already planning your next getaway for two, we have the ultimate guide to luxury vacation spots for couples.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Thatched overwater villas, swaying palm trees and crystal-clear water as far as the eye can see; it’s unsurprising Bora Bora is one of the world’s most popular luxury vacation spots. Secluded from the stresses of everyday life, this breathtaking beach location is also undeniably romantic.
Always beginning with a sensational sunrise, your days together in Bora Bora can be as laid-back or action-packed as you desire. The list of things to do in Bora Bora broadly ranges from hiking to the panoramic heights of Mount Pahia, to snorkelling in the warm lagoon with friendly reef sharks. There’s also plenty of time for relaxation, whether it’s on your villa’s private terrace, or along the beachfront with the sand between your toes and a cocktail in your hand.
Whether you’re on honeymoon or simply a romantic getaway, it’s worth booking at least one fine dining experience on your holiday to French Polynesia — and there’s plenty to choose from. Set in a hidden courtyard, La Villa Mahana is arguably the most special setting on the island, with a seat for only six couples and a fresh seasonal menu, whilst Arii Moana at Four Seasons Bora Bora serves some of Bora Bora’s best seafood overlooking the lagoon. Of course, you can’t leave without visiting the island institution, Bloody Mary’s. Set in the village of Vaitape, this lively beach bar is the perfect place to savor a Hinano beer or two to round off your evening.
Where to stay: Aldea Canzul Tulum
Perched on the coastline of the Caribbean, Tulum is one of the hottest destinations for couples craving sunshine, sand and spicy margaritas! With only a short distance between Tulum Town and Tulum Beach, it’s the perfect place for couples seeking an easy-going escape, with bicycles proving one of the most popular ways to travel.
Tulum’s beach scene is blessed with fine white sands and bright blue water, as far as the eye can see. Not far from central Tulum, Akumal Beach is one of the most popular stretches in the area; think families frolicking, relaxed beachside lunches and snorkeling with turtles. Alternatively, Secret Beach — as suggested by its name — provides couples with a more secluded experience. Set in the UNESCO-listed Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, this isolated spot is completely unspoilt, with iguanas still often spotted scurrying across the sand.
In recent years, Tulum has also become a hotspot for some of Mexico’s best nightlife. From old-school full moon parties to world-renowned DJs performing at newly built nightclubs, if you’re a couple who loves dancing until dawn, Tulum has lots to offer. Thursday night is typically the beginning of the weekend in Tulum, and you’ll see tourists and locals alike heading to Gitano. With an intimate, jungle-inspired setting and lots of local cocktails to sample, this popular party is an excellent introduction to Tulum’s nighttime scene.
Where to stay: The Surfrider Malibu
One of Highway One’s hottest beach destinations, Malibu is a dreamy luxury vacation spot for couples who can’t decide between a cosmopolitan city and beachfront living. Giving you the best of both worlds, Malibu is known as California’s hotspot for designer shopping, farmers markets, and stylish restaurants – what more could you ask for?
Malibu is a destination for the young, and the young at heart. While your mornings may start with coffee and croissants at trendy Italian-inspired cafés, they’ll almost always end up in one of the city’s chic bars and restaurants. Malibu Farm is a go-to in California, serving farm-to-table fare with a twist, whilst the Little Beach House provides a more minimalist experience, with small plates and signature woodfired pizzas often the most popular picks on the menu. Of course, for couples who prefer something a little more private, packing a picnic for the beach with a bottle of rosé is totally acceptable too!
While Malibu may seem modern, a deep history runs through the veins of this city. Couples can satisfy their culture craving with a visit to the Getty Villa – showcasing a Greek and Roman art collection – or explore old world Southern California at Adamson House, accented with subtle Spanish influences. For couples who are more tempted by a tipple, venture out of the city center to the vineyards of the family-owned Rocky Oaks Estate; known for its perfectly-aged wines and 360-degree views of Santa Monica’s mountains, it’s a truly unforgettable location.
Where to stay: L’Alpaga
The mountains of Megève have long been one of France’s most glamorous winter destinations, but somehow, it’s also still one of the French Alp’s best-kept skiing secrets. With fine dining, boutique shopping and plenty of cozy fireplaces to cuddle up in front of, it’s the perfect luxury winter vacation spot.
Couples who love winter sports will be in their element amongst Megève’s magnificent slopes. In addition to over 170 ski runs, there’s also an open-air ice skating rink, husky-led sleigh rides and snowshoeing tours to get stuck into — or, if you’re looking for something ultra-luxurious, head for the heights with a heli-skiing tour and Champagne picnic in nearby Italy. If you’re visiting in January, you may also be in time for the Megève Polo Masters; a spectacle to see as you watch the horseback game played in the snow.
The resort of Megève itself will treat couples to car-free cobbled streets, lined with boutiques, bars and cozy restaurants. With Mont Blanc as its backdrop, this traditional village still welcomes a weekly Friday market, juxtaposing the countless designer shops, whilst couples can also travel the historic streets by horse-drawn carriage. The après ski scene is one not to miss; sample some of Megève’s best restaurants, including the two-Michelin-starred Flocons de Sel, and party the night away at long standing hotspots like The Lodge Bar.
Where to stay: Canaves Oia Santorini
There’s few luxury island retreats that compare to Santorini. Best known for its landscape of rugged cliffs and iconic blue rooftops, this sunkissed spot welcomes over two million visitors every year, including plenty of couples in search of a romantic luxury vacation.
Activities in Santorini are all about capturing the moment, soaking up the scenery and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Offshore, catamaran and boat tours are a popular way to admire the caldera — choose from small vessels that will take you in amongst the cliffs and allow time for swimming in the therapeutic waters of the volcano’s hot springs, or remain onboard for a more luxurious sailing accompanied by Greek food and delicious wine. As evening draws in, sunset in Oia proves one of Santorini’s most magical experiences. Although you’ll often find viewpoints extremely busy around this hour, it’s worth sticking around for.
The island’s tiny capital of Fira – a town of narrow streets and picturesque architecture – is well worth spending a day or two exploring. Couples can stroll hand-in-hand through several of Fira’s beautiful churches and chapels, or visit the prehistoric museum to see the famous frescoes. Shopping in Fira is also a special experience, especially on Ypapantis street – better known as “gold street”. Lined with craft shops, jewelry makers and designer boutiques, it’s a fantastic spot in Santorini for couples craving retail therapy.
Where to stay: AYANA Resort and Spa
Not many luxury destinations rival the raw, untouched natural beauty of Bali in Indonesia. Think breathtaking beaches, captivating culture, rich history and stunning scenery, and you will have arrived at the envious tropical paradise of Bali; the perfect place for a luxury couples holiday.
Now, life can be a beach in Bali for couples, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re more of an adventure seeker. Take an exhilarating private volcano helicopter ride, or discover the UNESCO-listed rice terraces of Ubud, the sacred temple of Lempuyang Temple and the extremely Instagramable ‘jungle swing’. If one, or both of you, are animal lovers, ensure the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is on your to-do list. However, keep your eye out when wandering around, as the inhabiting long-tailed Balinese macaques love to steal tourists’ food and belongings!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, treating your partner to a romantic meal couldn’t be easier with Bali’s exciting culinary scene. Whether you step inside a classic warung (food stall) where freshly prepared dishes lie in wait or discover authentic and simply outstanding seafood on a Jimbaran seafood tour, offering a plethora of market-to-table Balinese seafood. One cuisine you shouldn’t miss out on is the most famous food in Bali; Babi Guling, or suckling pig. Where best to try this sumptuous dish we hear you ask? None other than the highly popular Oka in Ubud.
St Barths, Caribbean
Where to stay: Eden Rock St Barth
The French-speaking Caribbean island of St Barths continuously attracts celebrities, jet setters and the world’s wealthiest clientele with its white sand beaches and azure blue waters. From the superyacht-filled harbor to the iconic beachfront bars, every corner of this luxury vacation spot oozes glamor and sophistication.
This playground for the rich and famous will leave you spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out. Iconic island restaurant Maya’s has been serving returning guests since 1984, with a menu of hearty fare and freshly-caught fish, whilst L’Isola is much more romantic, dishing up incredible Italian dishes by candlelight. Unsurprisingly, beach clubs in St Barths are also incredibly stylish; Shellona is a popular pick for couples, thanks to its upbeat music and perfectly placed beachfront position. Of course, well-known concept Nikki Beach also sits on the sands of St Barths; so if you’re a couple who prefer lying side by side on plush sunbeds with cocktails on tap, this could be the spot for you!
By night, St Barths truly comes to life — from live music venues to mysterious cocktail bars, there’s something for every personality. If it’s a live DJ and ‘super mojitos’ you’re looking for, head to Gustavia to party the night away at Bagatelle. Alternatively, explore the more quaint drinking venues; Rhum Room has over 600 rums to tantalize your taste buds, whilst Baz Bar provides the perfect harbourside setting for drinks and live music late into the evening.