Valentine's Day gets people stirring with amorous thoughts, and nothing is more romantic than travel to an exotic location, with a stay at a luxury resort and some fantasy adventures thrown in for good measure.
Hideaways International's "Most Romantic Escapes for 2013" work for a honeymoon, special anniversary, vow renewal, or any occasion when you want to reignite that spark of enchantment.
When you're looking for romantic escapes, nothing compares to a hideaway hand-picked by the experts at www.Hideaways.com.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire - Flowers fade. Chocolates disappear. Baubles tarnish. But romantic experiences-say, sharing a castaway picnic on a deserted beach-are the kind of pleasures with true staying power.
"Our 'Top 10 Romantic Hideaways Experiences' are ultra-romantic-and mostly unconventional-amorous adventures that can be enjoyed any time of the year," says Mike Thiel, Founder and President of Hideaways International™ Inc. "From Bali to the BVI, and from sultry hikes to breezy hot-air balloon rides, these are romantic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that couples will remember for years to come."
And here's a little insight into why each hideaway and experience made the list.
1. The Oberoi Bali, IndonesiaSerenity is the seduction here. The Romantic Experience-Full-Moon Celebration: Bathed in moonlight and dressed in sarongs and sashes, the two of you will be offered prosperity, happiness, health, and a harmonious life by a Hindu priest in a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony; after the joyous event, you'll indulge in an al fresco dinner on the beach.
2. Sea Cloud Cruises, WorldwideEmbrace your romantic side on one of this line's gloriously authentic sailing ships or its elegant river yacht. The Romantic Experience-Private Blue Lagoon Dinner: As candlelight flickers in the gentle sea breezes, you two will celebrate your honeymoon, wedding anniversary, or other special occasion with private and complimentary dinner-for-two in a most intimate setting on deck at the fantail, under tall masts and crisp white sails.
3. Guana Island, BVIIt's just you, 29 or so other guests, and an 850-acre private island nature reserve at this laid-back-yet-sybaritic resort. The Romantic Experience-Castaway Picnic: You'll be dropped off on an exquisite deserted beach and supplied with a gourmet picnic lunch and wine, as well as a VHF radio which you'll use (quite regrettably) later in the day when you call to be retrieved.
4. Taj Lake Palace, IndiaPrepare to be treated like royalty at this "floating" hotel with its traditional Rajasthani splendor. The Romantic Experience-Gangaur Cruise: Under a canopy of twinkling stars, you'll glide across mystical Lake Pichola in a ceremonial imperial barge, while sipping your favorite libation, indulging in delicacies from the on-board grill, and enjoying live instrumental music.
5. The Sarojin, ThailandThis Asian oasis of restoration and harmony absolutely oozes romance. The Romantic Experience-An Elephant Ride is just the beginning: Start the day with a morning of elephant trekking, followed by a long-tail boat ride through coastal backwaters and past fishing villages that ends with a visit to a shore-side park, where an elegant gourmet lunch served with chilled wine on fine china and crystal awaits you.
6. The Resort at Paws Up, MontanaLittle is sweeter than "glamping" (that's "glamorous camping") in Big Sky Country. The Romantic Experience-Table for Three: It's just you, your significant other, and Mother Nature sharing a "table for three" during an enchanting riverside candlelit dinner with gourmet fare, world-class wine, and the sweet serenade of the bubbling Blackfoot River.
7. Palace Bonvecchiati, VeniceThis is a palace in Venice-need we say more? The Romantic Experience-Ahhh, Venice: Your night of enchantment starts with a starlit gondola ride, then a candlelit dinner followed by exclusive use of the Jacuzzi®, with champagne and strawberries and, if you have the stamina, an evening taxi-walk along the Grand canal and a private tour of the island.
8. Blue Palace Resort & Spa, CreteThis hedonistic hideaway offers the royal treatment on Crete's rocky northern coast. The Romantic Experience-Ultimate Romantic Day Trip: Blue Palace's traditional caique (Greek wooden fishing boat) will sail you through crystal-clear waters as you work up an appetite for your chef-prepared gourmet picnic by swimming, sunbathing, and unlocking hidden treasures (and pleasures!) at whatever remote beaches look most inviting to you.
9. Blancaneaux Lodge, BelizeThis secluded, one-of-a-kind retreat with an amazing array of creature comforts is tucked right into the middle of some of the most remarkable tropical forests north of the Amazon. The Romantic Experience-Hike to Big Rock Falls: Here, where brightly colored orchids line the trail, even a hike can be an exercise in romance. As you make your way to Big Rock Falls, follow a trail overlooking spectacular scenery. When the heat gets to you-or you're just feeling frisky-strip down to your bathing suit (or less) and take a dip in the cool mountain creek.
10. Le Chateau de Bagnols, FranceIt doesn't get much more romantic than a stay at a 13th-century French chateau, complete with authentic drawbridge and moat and set in the bucolic Beaujalois wine region. The Romantic Experience-Hot-Air Balloon Ride: Ooh la love. The two of you will enjoy a love-bird's-eye view of the exquisite surroundings with a hot-air balloon ride over the chateau and vineyards, followed by a traditional sip (or more) of champagne to toast your return to earth.
"We travel for all kinds of reasons, but perhaps the most pleasurable is to share romantic experiences that would make even Cupid blush," says Thiel.
For more information, visit www.hideaways.com