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The Best Romantic Retreats For 2023

A shiny new year is here, and with it comes the opportunity for exciting adventures across the globe, from postcard-perfect beaches to magnificent mountains and beyond.

If you’re wondering where on earth to begin, don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you, with a regular series that showcases the most incredible destinations in the world for 2023.

It may have been a while since your last big adventure, but with luxury travel experts Carrier, you know you’ll be in safe hands for curated experiences in over 70 destinations worldwide. Known for their attentive and bespoke service, you’ll have access to a portfolio of noteworthy hotels, plus a desire to take guests beyond their immediate surroundings and help them connect with communities, individuals and each other for exceptional experiences.

Our second feature showcases the best romantic retreats, for loved-up couples whether newlywed or celebrating a milestone anniversary. Your journey starts here…

In partnership with Carrier

 

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Silversands, Grenada

A relative newcomer on the honeymoon scene, Silversands Grenada is the Caribbean at its best. The hotel takes luxury to new heights with a minimalist interior design incorporating natural materials such as limestone, marble and walnut – the 43 rooms are super spacious and offer the utmost privacy. You’ll also enjoy direct access to Grenada’s most beautiful stretch of beach, Grand Anse, and have the chance to try snorkelling and diving, thanks to the island’s extensive unspoiled natural reefs, fantastic visibility and the world’s first underwater sculpture park.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

No detail has been overlooked at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira in one of Dubai’s most sought-after neighbourhoods, where you and your partner will be handed fresh coconuts to drink as you unwind by the impressive swimming pool or on the hotel’s private stretch of sand. Dinner at Sublimotion is a theatrical masterpiece, with revolving imagery, virtual reality glasses and delicious courses of food punctuated by groups of dancers. Rooms offer incredible views, either of the city skyline or glittering oceans, from your very own balcony, while Club Rooms offer upgraded amenities and exclusive access to the Club Lounge.

Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu

Occupying a building once owned by the Onassis family, the adults-only Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort in Corfu, is a romantic haven of the highest order and one of the island’s few luxury resorts offering a direct private beachfront location. Expect panoramic sea views combined with elegant interior design, plus award-winning Greek cuisine at the two fabulous restaurants and a menu of soothing treatments at the serene spa. Guests can book the resort’s very own speedboat for a private journey along the coastline, perhaps at sunset with a glass of champagne in hand for the ultimate couple’s cruise.

The Nautilus, Maldives

Upon arrival at The Nautilus in the Maldives, just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé, you’ll be greeted by softly swaying palm trees, powdery soft white sands and a charming team of personal butlers ready to help with your every request. The 26 palatial overwater and beachside villas all have vast bedrooms plus separate living areas and a private pool; the design is beach-luxe with high ceilings, plaited coconut thatch roofs, and huge chandeliers made of wooden beads. Spend your days paddling out on the clear waters in see-through kayaks to glimpse the incredible wildlife of the house reef or arrange for a picnic on an uninhabited sandbank and fulfil your castaway fantasies.

St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas, Crete

Set out like a traditional Greek village, St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas is a couples’ favourite and it’s easy to see why. You’ll find it on Crete’s peaceful eastern side, so you won’t encounter any crowds of tourists, but really there is no need to leave the resort as it comes complete with its own church and café, three swimming pools including an Olympic-sized one and even an art gallery. The best rooms to opt for are the 30 spacious suites with shower stalls big enough for two and private saltwater infinity pools, some with terraces or courtyards surrounded by high stone walls and planted with fragrant citrus trees.

Royal River, Tenerife

Regarded as one of the best hotels in Spain, Royal River is a luxury escape like no other, boasting 50 majestic villas set in lush vegetation around a lagoon. Rustic-chic interiors follow a palette of white, beige and gold and are decorated with bespoke furnishings and stone-paved patios. There are four restaurants where you can sample a range of cuisines, from Asian to French, while the spa is the perfect spot to unwind à deux, offering massages and beauty treatments alongside a state-of-the-art gym, steam room, waterbeds and a Romanesque thalassotherapy pool.

One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius

Head to Mauritius, the land of of sun-kissed beaches and sparkling waters, and check in to the iconic One&Only Le Saint Géran. The spa is more blissful than ever, and newlyweds can enjoy Espa products in the 13 treatment-rooms surrounding the palm-fringed infinity pool or opt to undertake a ‘wellness journey’ such as ‘Chakra Balancing’, which releases tension using local mint, citronella essence and volcanic hot stones. There’s also the option to explore the coast onboard a vintage boat, complete with private skipper, butler and spa therapist. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious dinner of pan Asian flavours at Tapasake, with incredible lagoon views at every turn.

The Sandpiper, Barbados

The Sandpiper has all the hallmarks of honeymoon heaven – a white sand beach, inviting turquoise waters and a decidedly laidback vibe. The boutique-style property is perched on the upmarket west coast of Barbados and attracts savvy couples looking for a totally tropical escape. All rooms offer a private terrace or balcony, perfect for evenings watching the sun go down with a cocktail or two, and interiors get a pop of classic Bajan colour and pattern with bright prints and soft furnishings. Go all out and upgrade to a Tree Top Suite for a vast balcony with sweeping ocean views and a large living area with your own media centre.

Baja Peninsula Discovery, Mexico

For the most adventurous couples, Carrier’s Baja Peninsula Discovery itinerary is not to be missed. The 14-night trip allows you to discover the Mexican hotspot’s treasure trove of activities on both land and ocean; see sea lions basking in the sun at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Isla Espíritu Santo, try surfing lessons, a temazcal ceremony led by a Shaman, or go horseback riding along the beach. The icing on the cake? A seven-night cruise aboard a fully-crewed yacht to sail the stunning bays surrounding La Paz and beyond.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi

Emerging from the red sand dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter like a mirage, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a dreamy oasis where couples can leave all the cares of the world behind them. The desert location is impressive enough and when you factor in palm trees, twinkling water features at every turn and warm lamplight at night the atmosphere is nothing short of magical. There are some 205 guest rooms that take their design cues from the area’s centuries-old nomadic culture, with cushions and carpets inspired by traditional textiles. For maximum seclusion opt for one of the pool villas that feel like miniature forts.

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