You don't have to go far for Valentine's Day with these great escapes

Spending Valentine's Day away can be a memorable adventure, and you don't have to go far

Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, so what better excuse is there to whisk away your loved one for a romantic weekend getaway?

With two weeks to go, it is not too late to book a quick adventure.

SundayLife! rounds up some of the best romance and Valentine's Day packages in the region - all within a four-hour plane ride - so that you can maximise your time with your loved one.

vlydia@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The Sunday Times on Feb 2, 2014


Nature couples

What: Naturally Langkawi

Where: Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia

Details: This two-night package is great for nature lovers. It includes a three-hour boat tour of the mangroves and eagle's natural habitat in Kilim Karst Geoforest Park led by a trained naturalist.

Accommodation is in one of the resort's Melaleuca Pavilion rooms (normally valued at RM2,950 or S$1,126 a night). Included in the price is a three-course set dinner for two at the resort's waterfront Ikan-Ikan Malay restaurant (valued at $190) and daily breakfast at the resort's beachfront Serai restaurant.

This offer is valid only for Singapore and Malaysian residents. Singapore residents will also enjoy a 7pm late check-out.

Price: RM4,200 a room for a two-night stay. Not inclusive of a 10 per cent service charge.

Romance factor: ***, for its breathtaking and tranquil scenery and the thrill of a jungle safari adventure.

Booking details: Go to www.fourseasons.com/langkawi/offers/naturally_langkawi/


Old-world charm

What: Valentine's Day Romantic Retreat

Where: The Pavilions, Phuket, Thailand

Details: Get pampered at The Pavilions, a five-star boutique hotel perched on a terraced Phuket hillside above Bang Tao Bay, on a site that was once a colonial rubber plantation.

The adults-only hotel has maintained its old-world colonial charm, and its three-night Valentine's package includes a stay in one of the 18 Spa & Pool Pavilions which feature a personal infinity pool, spa, steam room and courtyard, spread over 275 sq m. The pavilion is accessible via a cable- driven funicular which will take you up the hillside.

A welcome foot massage and fruit and sweet platter, a two-hour couple's chocolate indulgence spa treatment, a candlelit champagne dinner at one of the hotel's two restaurants, a surprise Valentine's gift, daily champagne breakfast at The Plantation restaurant, daily afternoon tea and the hotel's signature love potion cocktails for two at its 360° Bar & Grill. The package also includes airport pick-up and drop-off, and a five-minute shuttle to Layan beach where The Pavilions has a private beachfront.

Price: Starts at 57,780 baht (S$2,235) for three nights in a Spa & Pool Pavilion. There are options to stay in an Ocean View Pool Villa at 69,780 baht, or the Spa & Pool Penthouse at 71,280 baht.

Romance factor: *****, because with the gorgeous hillside villas, champagne breakfast and dinner, and the funicular ride, it is a recipe for romantic bliss.

Booking details: Go to thepavilionsresorts.com. The package is available only this month.


Arrive or leave by helicopter

What: Come Fly Me West to Alila Villas Soori

Where: Alila Villas Soori, Bali, Indonesia

Details: With its frangipani-scented breezes and golden sunsets, there is good reason why Bali is a popular destination for proposals, weddings and honeymoons.

Alila Villas Soori ups the ante by flying you and your loved one by helicopter to its resort, or to the airport. Your luggage will go by car while you enjoy a bird's-eye view of the island.

The package, which requires a minimum consecutive four-night stay, also includes a couple's 90-minute Spa Alila treatment, a 30-minute Segway ride per couple, and breakfast at the Villa's Cotta Restaurant or in the privacy of your own villa.

Four different villas are available in the package, one of which is a three-bedroom villa for five people for a Valentine's group getaway.

The one-way helicopter transfer is to or from the airport, and is available for departure or arrival only from 9am to 5pm.

Price: Mountain Pool Villa US$580 (S$738) a night; Beach Pool Villa US$680 a night; Ocean Pool Villa US$780 a night; Three-Bedroom Residence from US$1,250 a night for five persons.

Romance factor: ****, for its beautiful surroundings and the helicopter ride.

Booking details: Go to www.alilahotels.com/soori/rates. The package is available until March 31.


Villa life in Bali

What: Ubud Valentine Package

Where: Kamandalu Resort and Spa, Ubud, Bali

Details: Bali is famed for its seaside resorts and villas, but there is magic to be found in the island's mountains, too.

An hour's drive north of Bali's Denpasar airport, Ubud's surrounding hills, ravines and terraced rice patties are often enveloped in mist, particularly early in the morning, which lends the landscape a romantic serenity. It is a picturesque backdrop to what is not just a getaway but also a romantic escape from the city.

The Ubud Valentine Package includes two nights' accommodation in a Pool or Deluxe Pool Villa, daily breakfast in the villa, a candle-lit dinner in the villa as well as a welcome basket of strawberries, chocolate and a bottle of sparkling wine.

You will also get a 25 per cent discount on spa treatments and 10 per cent off food at the resort's Petulu Restaurant and Cempaka lounge.

There is a daily shuttle service to and from Ubud town centre, where you can explore the artistic side of Bali and visit the famed Monkey Forest.

Price: Pool Villa US$775 (S$989) or Deluxe Pool Villa US$1,075. Prices are subject to 21 per cent government tax and service charges.

Romance factor: ****, for the resort's luxurious accommodation and amenities, but mostly for Ubud's bucolic atmosphere.

Booking details: Go to www.kamandaluresort.com/valentine-package.html or call +62-361-975-825. The package is available until Feb 28.


Soak in honey and milk

What: Romance in Koh Samui

Where: Banyan Tree Samui, Koh Samui, Thailand

Details: Banyan Tree Samui is a resort built on a terraced hillside overlooking the turquoise waters of Lamai Bay on the south-eastern coast of Koh Samui.

Its romance package features two nights' stay in one of the resort's Deluxe Pool Villas, a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, Valentine's dinner for two, and a 60-minute couple's Rainforest Hydrotherapy treatment, which includes a salt scrub, full-body mud mask, sauna and massage.

There is also a one-time Honey & Milk Soak set up in the privacy of your villa's bath and an in-villa sunrise breakfast for two, in addition to a breakfast at the resort's hillside restaurant.

Price: 55,555 baht (S$2,150).

Romance factor: ****, for its comprehensive package, with extras such as the private sunrise breakfast.

Booking details: E-mail reservations-samui@banyantree.com or call +66-7791-5333. Package is valid from Feb 10 to 20.


Activity-packed holiday

What: Romance In Phuket

Where: Angsana Laguna, Phuket, Thailand

Details: The Angsana Laguna is a five-star, 409-room beachfront resort with all the amenities you could want, including a 323m free-form pool, introductory scuba diving, sailing, lagoon kayaking, yoga, pilates and aerobics classes, and even a resident baby elephant that makes two daily appearances on the beach.

The resort is located in Bang Tao Bay, a convenient 20 minutes away from both the airport and fantastic shopping in Phuket town. It is the perfect getaway for people who do not want to sit by the pool all day.

For a minimum stay of two nights, guests enjoy a welcome bottle of wine or champagne, daily breakfast for two in bed or at the restaurant, a three-course romantic dinner for two at a resort restaurant of choice, and a 60-minute couple's massage.

Airport pick-up and drop-off are also included.

Price: The package starts at 18,518 baht (S$718) for two nights in the Laguna Grand Room, but you can also request to stay in the Angsana One-Bedroom Loft for 15,431 baht a night.

Romance factor: ***. You run the risk of being surrounded by children at this family-friendly resort.

Booking details: E-mail reservations- lagunaphuket@angsana.com, or call +66-7632-4101. The offer is available until March 31.


Love and lanterns

What: Romantic Indulgence

Where: InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsular Resort, Danang, Vietnam

Details: The resort is nestled in a secluded private bay on the Son Tra Peninsula, also known as Mythical Monkey Mountain.

The romance package includes welcome rose petals in your room, a 60-minute couple's massage and 20 per cent off any other spa services, a three-course set dinner for two at the resort's restaurant Citron, in-room or buffet breakfast for two and airport transfers.

It might all sound a bit basic compared to other Valentine's Day packages, but it is worth highlighting because of its proximity to Hoi An. The resort provides free daily shuttles there. A 45-minute drive away, Hoi An is an ancient lantern-lit harbour town with beautiful French, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture, picturesque vistas and great restaurants. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, it is incredibly romantic, especially at night when the town's many lanterns light up its river.

The package requires a minimum stay of two consecutive nights.

Price: US$345 (S$440) a night in a standard room.

Romance factor: ***, as the package is a bit basic but nearby Hoi An is beautiful.

Booking details: Go to danang.intercontinental.com/packages. The offer is valid for all types of rooms at the InterContinental. Call +84-511-393-8888 or e-mail reservations@icdanang.com. The offer lasts till Feb 28.


Get professional photo shoot

What: Be My Valentine At Capella Singapore

Details: You don't have to worry about taking selfies of you and your loved one during your stay at the hotel. Capella's Valentine's Day package includes a one-hour photo shoot by Lightedpixels photography studio on the sprawling grounds of the resort.

After all that posing, unwind with an in-villa spa treatment by therapists from the award-winning Auriga spa. The package also includes a two-night stay in a One Bedroom Garden Villa, a champagne breakfast for two in your room as well as breakfast for two at The Knolls restaurant, and a Valentine's Day dinner at The Knolls Restaurant.

You may upgrade your package for an extra $388 to enjoy your dinner by the hotel's cascading pools. Called Be My Valentine: Moon Light Sonata, this upgraded package is limited to seven couples.

Prices: S$3,500 for a two-night stay in a One Bedroom Garden Villa.

Romance factor: ***, as the photoshoot element is unique and adds a romantic keepsake.

Booking details: Go to www.capellahotels.com/singapore/specials-en. This offer is available from Feb 13 to 16.


Swim and spa

What: Valentine's Day Special

Where: Equarius Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa

Details: Fancy swimming with dolphins?

The hotel's dolphin adventure package includes two nights in the hotel's deluxe room and an afternoon swimming with the resort's Indo- Pacific bottlenose dolphins, followed by dinner at Osia Restaurant , which serves contemporary Australian cuisine with Asian influences.

For something more laidback, the hotel also has a Valentine's Day package that includes two nights in a deluxe room and an afternoon of spa treatments at Espa.

The 10,000 sq m spa features a Turkish Hammam and rock saunas, ice fountain, crystal steam room, and vitality and forest onsen-style pools. Treatments are followed by dinner for two at the spa's restaurant Tangerine, which specialises in healthy and fresh contemporary cuisine courtesy of local celebrity chef Sam Leong.

Price: Dolphin Adventure And Osia package is priced at $1,308 a couple. Espa And Tangerine package is priced at $1,128 a couple.

Romance factor: ***, for the spa's serenity and the unique thrill of a dolphin swim.

Booking details: Go to www.rws.com. Both offers are available from Feb 14 to 16. Spa treatments are subject to availability and should be reserved in advance.


Mix it up with other couples

What: Aqua Voyage Valentine's Cruise

Where: Montigo Resorts, Nongsa, Batam, Indonesia

Details: Who says that Valentine's Day should be a private affair? Why not share a romantic getaway with your other couple friends instead?

Singapore-based luxury yacht company Aqua Voyage has put together a group-couples 2D/2N cruise package with Montigo Resorts in Nongsa, Batam. It caters to three couples. On Feb 14, they will be picked up in a private Sunseeker Manhattan 64 yacht and, after a short cruise to view the Singapore skyline, the boat will whisk them away to the resort - a 30- to 40-minute ride away - for a romantic dinner. Each couple will spend the night in their own pool villa.

The next morning, they will enjoy breakfast on the boat en route to Nikoi Island, an eco island with white-sand beaches and crystal clear water about an hour's ride away, where a picnic lunch will be served.

In the evening, enjoy some island shopping or sightseeing on Batam.

On the final day, the couples will have an in-villa breakfast followed by a 90-minute couple's massage before cruising back to Singapore.

Price: $12,000 for three couples.

Romance factor: *****, for the luxury of the package and the additional fun of friendship.

Booking details: For reservations or more information, call 6505-9373 or e-mail info@aquavoyage.com