By Chris Dwyer
Feb 10, 2021
BLING EMPIRE’S CHRISTINE CHIU MAY HAVE seriously raised the bar for extravagant spending, but here in Asia we’re not exactly short on ways to splash the cash when it comes to travel—especially when love is in the air. In time for Valentine’s Day, we present eight over-the-top trysts—ranked in ascending order of nightly room rate per couple. If running your card on these flash sweetheart deals won’t sweep your beloved off their feet, then nothing will!
8. Next-level bubble baths
Perched on the edge of Lake Chezenji and looking towards Mount Nantai, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko, boasts one of the most picturesque spots in a crazy-picturesque country. Might we tempt you out of your 277-square-meter Ritz-Carlton suite into the warm embrace… of the hotel’s Yumoto onsen? Soaking in their indoor and outdoor hot spring baths is therapeutic for mind and body, as are—in our humble opinion—Champagne, which piles on the bubbles party in your ‘Luxury Escape’ package, an intimate kaiseki dinner, and stargazing on a shamelessly romantic moonlit lake cruise. A tour of the adjacent UNESCO World Heritage-listed shrines and temples of Nikko, and a Shugendo religious experience that helps channel the mountain’s spiritual energy complete this most magical of Valentine’s Days.
US$10,500 for four-night Luxury Escape, for two. ritzcarlton.com
7. One of Asia’s most romantic towns
Four Seasons Resort
Hoi An, Vietnam
The charming Vietnamese coastal town of Hoi An has rightly become a romantic draw year-round thanks to its lantern-lit car-free roads lined with temples and street markets and crisscrossed by waterways filled with wee wooden boats. So when it comes to celebrating the feast of Saint Valentine, you’re in the right place. The Four Seasons Resort Hoi An is just a short drive away, but secluded enough to give you total privacy, especially in their enormous five-bedroom beachfront pool villa. The resort’s “You & Me” package includes a barbecue dinner on the beach, private cocktail classes and a fruity sounding ‘Bath Time at the Villa’ with champagne, chocolate and strawberries.
US$8,100 for three-night You & Me package from Feb 12 through 14, for two (but up to 10 guests). fourseasons.com/hoian
6. Secluded seduction at the World’s Best Hotel
What do jungly Ubud, uber-luxe Capella hotels, and attention-to-all-the-details architect Bill Bensley have in common? They’re really great at conjuring romance. Descend from the paddy fields towards the river with birdsong as your soundtrack in the otherworldly Capella Ubud, which T+L readers named their No. 1 favorite hotel in the world in 2020. All the tents in this super-green, luxury camp come with pools, original art, and unique curios such at antler-topped toilets. The plushest accommodation is The Lodge that boasts antiques from around Asia and is home to your ‘Confined to Quarters’ retreat. The idea is for couples to disconnect entirely from modern life and instead practice morning yoga, receive a Balinese blessing, and relax with two-hour massages and private dinners cooked on your terrace. Sounds like a schedule we could get used to.
From US$18,150 for two-night Confined to Quarters program, for two. capellahotels.com
5. Sail off into the sunset
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
If you’re looking for the ultimate Aquaman or #mermaidlife experience, it doesn’t get much better than time aboard The Rascal, a beautiful 30-meter-long teak yacht that plies the extraordinary ocean around Komodo in Indonesia. A truly sustainable journey (in partnership with Conservation International) and ultra-relaxed luxury make for the perfect castaway romance. This watery world is your oyster, and you can choose to lie on deck and admire the sunset or stars, tour the National Park to visit Komodo dragons, snorkel some of the world’s most untouched marine habitats or kick back with perfectly crafted plates and cocktails. Then wake up and do it all again.
US$38,800 for four-night private buy-out including meal and activities, for two (but up to 10 guests). rascalvoyages.com
4. When surf and turf means ‘yacht and penthouse’
How about two blinged-out Valentine’s stays for the price of one? Become a ‘Splurge Couple’ at Rosewood Hong Kong and move into a vast and stunning Manor Suite for two nights, and snag arguably the finest views of Victoria Harbour. Indulge in a 90-minute beauty treatment, make good use of that Vispring, known as the “Rolls-Royce of beds,” then freshen up for your private gastronomy experience from Chef Nate Green at Henry Grill. Your next stop is just as high-flying: come back for a separate one-night stay at the three-bedroom duplex Salisbury Penthouse suite at Rosewood Residences that comes with an evening on a Ferretti yacht to catch a romantic sunset. Smooth.
From US$30,000 for three-night package (two nights in the Manor Suite and, at a later date, one night in the Salisbury Penthouse including yacht trip), for two. rosewoodhotels.com
3. Tomb Raider romance
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Picture the insane cinematography: you and your beloved step aboard your private helicopter for a dramatic flight to the remote Preah Vihear jungle temple before you next get dropped off for a dinner at Prasat Kravan Temple, lit by 1,000 candles. If that’s not romantic, we don’t know what is. This truly spectacular way to discover the exquisite beauty, and fascinating culture and history of northwest Cambodia’s Angkorian Empire comes with a two-night stay in a luxurious pool suite at Amansara, three hours in the chopper, and an evening of traditional Cambodian arts. Even better than IMAX.
From US$34,000 for two-night package, for two. Book through Lightfoot Travel at lightfoottravel.com
2. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Caroline Astor famously loved diamonds so much that they became a design motif at St. Regis when her son, John Jacob Astor, founded the brand. Fittingly, the ‘Ultra-Luxe’ package in the 1,500-square-meter private estate in the Maldives named after him will cost you per night the same as a decent-quality two-carat rock. This beachfront manse can sleep 10, but you’ll doubtless want it to yourself. Christen your stay with a St. Regis signature private Champagne sabering, and ease on into your Champagne-and-caviar sunset cruise. The included daily spa treatments and bespoke gastronomy experiences should send you truly head over heels.
From US$25,000 per night for Ultra-Luxe package with minimum stay of four nights, for two (but up to 10 guests). marriott.com
1. The ultimate glamping snugglefest
Mandala Nomadic Ger
Nothing’s more romantic than leaving the whole world behind. An all-inclusive luxury journey in Mongolia’s winter provides the perfect chance to snuggle up with your better half—as if any were needed. You’d be hard pressed to get more away from it all, too, deep in the definition of wilderness but with every comfort on hand. Your bespoke Mandala ger is en-suite, while there’s a separate sauna ger to make things even steamier. Handmade traditional Mongolian clothes are yours to keep as you take part in eagle hunting, dog sledding, private concerts, massages and even watch a private festival of winter sports.
From US$79,000 for three nights, for two. mandalamongolia.com