Travel

Top 5 romantic hotels

Lee Mylne gives her top five romantic hotel escapes around the world:

1. Eratap Beach Resort, Vanuatu

On its own small point of land, the honeymoon villa at Eratap is just steps from the beach and has views of Etlau lagoon. It is one of just 12 beachfront villas set on a small peninsula, fringed by three beaches, on the southern side of Efate, Vanuatu's main island.

Book the honeymoon villa for five nights or more and the resort will include dinner for two and a bottle of champagne.

Couples married within six months of arrival at the resort (until March 31, 2010) will be treated to a free massage treatment at the day spa. Weddings at the resort can be customised by a wedding co-ordinator, and you can book the full resort.

Rates range from AU$480 double in a one-bedroom villa to AU$630 double for the honeymoon villa.

Go to www.eratap.com

2. The Carlyle, New York

Tucked between glittering shop windows of Madison Avenue with its galleries, antique stores and designer boutiques, The Carlyle is one of the most famous and romantic hotels in New York.

It is much favoured by the rich and famous.

Woody Allen plays clarinet at Café Carlyle on Monday nights with Eddy Davis' New Orleans jazz band.

The hotel's Timeless Romance package includes overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, champagne on arrival, chocolate-covered strawberries and a continental breakfast for two served in your room.

Rates from US$450 per night (plus taxes) for Classic (standard) rooms.

Go to www.thecarlyle.com

3. Galle Fort Hotel, Sri Lanka

A romantic 17th century colonial villa has been transformed into a stunning luxury boutique hotel inside the walls of the Galle Fort UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Galle Fort Hotel has 13 intimate, stylish rooms and suites as well as a restaurant serving some of the best food in Sri Lanka. Located just minutes from the stunning Unawatuna Beach, on Sri Lanka's south-west coast, it is a perfect base for exploring the temples, beaches, spas, rainforests and history of this lovely area. Rates range from US$160 for a garden room to US$200-$250 for suites and US$500 for the two-bedroom Grand Apartment.

Go to www.galleforthotel.com

4. Indigo Pearl, Thailand

Perched on the edge of Nai Yang Beach on Phuket's north-west coast, this is a tribute to Phuket's history as a tin mining region. The resort is industrial chic meets Thai sanctuary.

Plantation villas have open-air courtyards with outdoor baths, sun lounges and dining tables. The seven “pearl shell” suites have private plunge pools in their courtyards, and ensuite private massage tables.

Indigo Pearl is currently offering a two-night Lovers Escapade' package, priced from 12,900 Baht (around $450) plus taxes, per room, including breakfast, return airport transfers, a bottle of sparkling wine, one 60-minute spa treatment, dinner at Rivet Grill with a glass of wine, and late check out.

Go to www.indigo-pearl.com

5. Athenaeum Hotel, London

This small, family-owned five-star hotel prides itself on its warm and homely atmosphere and friendly staff, but is the epitome of luxury. Suites are open-plan or with a separate lounge room, with views of Green Park or Mayfair, king-size four-poster beds and a walk-in double shower.

You're steps away from the heart of London - theatres, shopping, parks and nightlife. The hotel will even help you with the small touches - a kite to fly in the park, bicycles, or organising a rowboat for the Serpentine.

The Romantic London package is priced from 160 pounds (around $310) per room per night for a standard room, to 370 pounds (around $720) for suites.

Go to www.athenaeumhotel.com


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