5 romantic places to warm up with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day
Ready to heat up your romance with a visit to a warm weather destination? The Caribbean and Mexico offer destinations as different as the shells that dot their beaches but they all have one thing in common: each destination is home to numerous romantic locations where couples aren’t just welcomed but worshipped.
- US VIRGIN ISLANDS. Just check out the license plate of the US Virgin Islands and you’ll know you’ve picked a great destination. “America’s Paradise” lives up to that license logo, offering easy travel (no passport for US citizens) against a paradisiacal backdrop.
Three main islands offer lovers three very different romantic getaways. St. Thomas is the busiest of the islands. St. Thomas’s Charlotte Amalie (pronounced a-mal-yah) is known as one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean and bustles with travelers; it also offers natural beauty at Magens Bay, with its picture-postcard perfect beach, and St. Peter Mountain, offering a breathtaking view of St. Thomas as well as the surrounding islands.
The smallest of the three main Virgin Islands may be the most romantic. Tiny St. John, a short ferry ride from St. Thomas (St. John has no airport) is known for its natural beauty with two-thirds of the island preserved as a national park. Couples can select accommodations that range from luxurious resorts all the way to eco-conscious campgrounds.
- TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. Sun, sand and surf team up with crazy carnival fun in the nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Few places on earth know how to throw a party like Trinidad, home of the Caribbean’s largest Carnival, second in the world only to Rio’s in terms of size. This pre-Lenten celebration runs for weeks but reaches a peak on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The fun kicks off on J’Ouvert with the Mud Parade where, like the name suggests, residents and visitors alike parade through the streets of Port of Spain, Trinidad and have mud smeared on them…all at 4 am! After the Mud Parade, the serious fun of Carnival kicks into gear with hour after hour of Carnival music and bands in the streets, all wearing festive Carnival gear.
- CANCUN, MEXICO. Selected by a computer as an ideal resort destination, Cancun has proven that computer correct time and time again. This resort city on the Caribbean offers waters as clear as tequila, a history that dates all the way back to the ancient Mayas, and an atmosphere that’s hot, hot, hot.
This five-star city is home to an ever-growing list of romantic resorts which pamper couples in modern spas that recall the region’s roots by incorporating Mayan herbs and treatments in their spa treatments. Many of these spa resorts are located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone along the elegant Kukulcan Boulevard, a 12-mile drive that spans the length of the island. Along with romantic resorts, this stretch is dotted with elegant shops and pulsating nightlife.
- OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA. Jamaica’s the land of “no problem” and that holds true when it comes to romance, too. Nowhere is that more evident than in the island’s numerous all-inclusive resorts, properties where one price pays for everything from drinks and dining to watersports and airport transfers.
Jamaica was the birthplace of the all-inclusive, a concept that began at what today is Couples Tower Isle, an all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios. Like the other three Couples resorts on the island, this property is specially geared to couples with everything from couples’ massages to romantic dining to vow renewals on the beach.
- PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO. Decades after they filmed The Night of the Iguana in this coastal city, the names Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton still mean romance in Puerto Vallarta. This romantic city snuggled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the beautiful Bay of Banderas served as a love nest for the Hollywood giants decades ago. Today couples can stay at Casa Kimberly, a hacienda first rented by Richard Burton and later purchased for Elizabeth Taylor as a 32nd birthday present. Sprawling over 22,900 square feet, the home is now a bed and breakfast and a museum honoring the couple’s romance, filled with their furnishings. The couple’s bedroom, today filled with happy photos, is requested by many honeymooners.