Valentine’s can be a difficult period. When romance blossoms, clichés bloom in equal measure – Paris, London, Rome and the like are all tried and tested destinations to spend a romantic trip, but ironically, tried and tested is not in the least bit romantic. With Valentine’s Day following immediately after Chinese New Year (11th-13th February), why not head over to the Far East to celebrate the Lunar New Year in style, and spend a loving holiday with your significant other in China?
If you have already been to China, then you know of the uniquely mystic romantic nature of the country, capable of being awe-inspiring and exasperating in equal measure, but always keeping you curious to find out more. If you haven’t yet, then this mysterious nation may just be the trip to light up an old (or new) flame…
‘The grand dame of Hong Kong’, ‘The finest hotel east of the Suez’: The Peninsula has many nicknames, including the affectionate ‘The Pen’, as it is known to many residents. Opened in 1928, the hotel and the Peninsula Group have long maintained a tradition of legendary service. With a modern tower addition that blends well with its original art deco structure, the hotel has everything from classic interiors to modern day amenities to a million dollar view. With a slew of world famous restaurants, including the regal Gaddi’s (if you’re going to propose, that’s the time to do it!), your dining options are also catered for in style. But to truly charm your loved one, pick the Peninsula Suite (one of the world’s most expensive) – exceptional views come with an exceptional price.
Occupying the 79th to 93rd floors of the world’s fourth tallest building, the Park Hyatt, housed in the Shanghai World Financial Centre in Pudong, ensures one thing: a dizzying view to take your romance to dizzy new heights! Contemporary minimalist décor may not elicit those memories of old, but if the view can’t help take your relationship to the next level, then nothing can! If it’s too late to book the Park Hyatt, try the alternative Hyatt on the Bund, which looks out onto the Shanghai World Financial Centre and the rising Pudong skyline from across the river.
If it’s old memories you’re looking to rekindle, look no further than Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing. The Summer Palace was once the guest quarters of Empress Dowager Cixi, but today provides a throwback to the Ming dynasty. With acclaimed boutique resort group Aman in charge of hospitality, a romantic retreat is sure to be featured heavily on the menu. If the prices don’t impress your significant other, then the spa treatments are sure to.
Man-made wonders wow, but natural miracles astound. Set high on a plateau in Southern China, the Banyan Tree Lijiang lets you drift off to an ethereal state. With sweeping views of the deep-cut valleys of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, with its peaks covered in glaciered snow, and its base in a picturesque supple green, the resort is unique in both its altitude and its architecture, replete with pagodas and villas shrouded with a traditional Chinese roof. Take a deep breath and let the thin, crisp air make you giddy with love again.
If your idea of romance is akin to Hollywood movies, then the Four Seasons at West Lake may be the perfect sentimental getaway. Set amid the exotic suburbs of Hangzhou, the calm lake is a sight to be hold in the morning as the sun’s rays gently warm the city and break the mist that shrouds the lake, piercing the still water. If ever there were an occasion when you wouldn’t be mad for being woken up early, witnessing this spectacle would be it!