A Guide to the Ultimate Winter Escapes

Whether it’s a rural escape in the Scottish Highlands, a luxurious spa day in the Hertfordshire countryside, a weekend of peace and quiet in the Cotswolds or a night in the City as you’ve never seen it before, The Mango Agency have rounded up our favourite ways to use up 2020’s abundance of annual leave.

City Breaks


We all fell even more in love with our pooches during lockdown, which is why the stylish One Aldwych in Covent Garden has opened its elegant doors to four-legged guests for the first time.  Partnering with its neighbour, Bow Wow London, the first and only dog boutique in Central London, One Aldwych guarantees a warm welcome to its canine visitors.  Spend the day exploring Covent Garden, on the doorstep, or enjoy a brisk walk along the tree lined River Thames with man’s best friend in tow, before settling down in the glamorous Lobby Bar, cocktail in hand.

Canine guests can choose an overnight stay, sharing their accommodation with their humans at no extra charge. They will be provided with a Bow Wow bed and bowl, whilst in residence, and treats from Bow Wow London to take home. If pooches are feeling a little “ruff”, they can book in for a post lockdown top-to-tail pampering at Bow Wow London’s grooming salon – just a bone’s throw away. Lizzie and Spencer, One Aldwych’s famous papier maché dogs (in the picture) are on duty, welcoming their furry four legged friends to their hotel.


Bankside hotel is the perfect base to explore the capital’s creative offerings this autumn.  Sharing its patch with some of London’s most iconic cultural institutions on the South Bank of the Thames, Bankside is the perfect base for discovering the capital’s creative offering. Whether it is appreciating pop art at the Tate Modern’s new Andy Warhol exhibition or taking in the sights on the Southbank Centre and the Hayward Gallery, there’s something to intrigue and entertain the culturally curious.

For its reopening this season Bankside has created a ‘Culture Curious’ initiative, to encourage guests to delve into the culturally vibrant neighbourhood. By booking tickets at local galleries, shows, and museums, guests can claim up to 30% off their room rate, along with late checkout allowing for more time to explore, as well as supporting the businesses within the area following the pandemic. It’s the perfect way to use up that un-used annual leave.

Proving its dedication to the area’s creativity, the ‘Culture Curious’ initiative does not discriminate between paid and free events, the only requirement is that guests must have a ticket to be shown at, or before, check-out.


Combining the clean lines of the station’s contemporary architecture and the grande dame grandeur of a Grade II listed building, Great Northern Hotel is right next to King’s Cross station, and a short stroll to the hustle and bustle and style of Islington’s chic Upper Street. The newly renovated area of Coal Drops Yard is just a short walk away, where shoppers and foodies can explore the range of boutique stores, eateries and services on offer – even including local workshops and classes which visitors can take part in.

On arrival, check in to one of 88 rooms, all elegantly and thoughtfully designed with deeply comfortable Hypnos beds and wood panelling. On each floor there is a 24-hour Pantry with Nespresso machines, cakes and pastries, for guests to use throughout their stay. When hunger strikes, choose to dine at Plum & Spilt Milk (which takes its name from the dining livery of the Flying Scotsman) with views over the sloping roof of Kings Cross station and an Art Deco influence, serving a modern British menu – or sit with a cocktail at GNH Bar and watch the world go by.

Country Escapes


The Fife Arms, deep in the Highlands at the heart of the village of Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park embraces its majestic location and, since re-opening in September, guests are positively encouraged to roam and ramble freely, with the help of hotel’s new Self-Guided Directory.  The guide features walking and cycling itineraries and has been curated to suit all levels of ambitions. Whether it’s for lone rangers, family outings or a romantic stroll, the new guide reveals the best locations for wildlife spotting, for foraging and to see local sights. Scavenger hunts, nature trails and activity sheets are also available for the younger guests to take with them on their adventure into the big outdoors.

To accompany guests’ excursions, The Fife Arms’ chefs have created a glorious Highland Picnic, which can be ordered up the day before. The picnics come in a Fife Arms hamper backpack with homemade pies and hearty sandwiches with meats and smoked salmon sourced locally, sweet treats made fresh by the pastry team and flasks of tea and coffee to help guests warm up on a frosty day.


In the picturesque village of Painswick, surrounded by rolling hills and ancient woodland, The Painswick is a wonderful base for exploring the best of the classic Cotswolds country.  Togged up with wellies and walking maps and even a delicious picnic, guests can head out to enjoy hundreds of miles of public footpaths – and adorable, picturesque villages just waiting to be discovered.

Following an active day full of fresh country air, the obvious next steps are (1) an indulgent soak in a glorious roll-top bathtub, (2) an aperitif in front of a cosy fireplace and (3) a hearty dinner.  With just 16 rooms, each one an oasis of comfort, The Painswick is a truly relaxing spot.


Just a short 20-minute train from central London, Sopwell House hotel in Hertfordshire is the ultimate luxurious post lockdown destination for couples, friends and families, focusing on indulgence and seclusion.

Guests of The Club at Cottonmill, the hotel’s new state-of-the-art spa, are spoilt for choice with an indoor/ outdoor hydrotherapy pool leading out into the spa garden, private hot tubs, fire pit, two Relaxation Rooms, Whisper Room and Garden Room, featuring warming fire places and day beds to curl up on. The Club area is accessible to members and a limited number of guests or residents on Club packages.

Signature treatments draw upon the soothing and healing powers of sand and water, including an Amber & Quartz Crystal Bed, the first of its kind in a UK spa. A perfect stress reliever, the bed immerses the body in hot sand, easing tension and stimulating cells. For those needing to unwind, Vichy Shower treatments gently let hydrotherapy bring the body back to balance, hydrating the skin in the process.


Escape to the Cornish coastline this Autumn with a seaside spa break at St Michaels Resort, Falmouth. The resort underwent a multi-million-pound transformation in 2018, which included St. Michaels Spa It now offers the South West’s largest hydrothermal pool with 21 massage stations, herbal Finnish sauna, experience showers, heated relaxation beds and the world’s only Cornish sea-salt steam room. Beyond the pool, guests will find the hotels peaceful south-facing Spa Gardens complete with red cedar hot tub and Finnish barrel sauna.

There are a variety of spa breaks to choose from – so guests can experience bed and breakfast, health-focused spa lunches, delicious 3-course dinners and a choice of luxury spa treatments.

In sickness and in health – how hospitality is embracing the ‘new normal’

As the hospitality industry begins to emerge from lockdown, hotels and restaurants across the world are looking at how they can begin to safely operate again. For an industry that prides itself on the personal touch, hoteliers and restaurateurs are now having to remove touch all together – rethinking their business model in the process.

This presents many challenges, least of all how best to communicate these changes to consumers. Do consumers want to know what brands are doing to keep them safe, or does this remove some of the magic? Does the use of 1% sodium hypochlorite disinfectant really constitute a PR story?

The short answer is yes, but only as part of a bigger story which focuses more on the macro than the micro. We have certainly seen increased demand in recent weeks from journalists looking for more detail on what the future of hospitality looks like, but the focus is less on the nitty gritty of how often touch points are cleaned and more about how the experience will look and feel different upon reopening. Whatever strategy you subscribe to, we believe hospitality venues need to be transparent about their systems and processes in response to the pandemic and they also need to have information readily prepared and digestible for both consumers and press.

Many brands feel like they have always put hygiene first, albeit discreetly, but times have changed, and the safety of guests and staff has taken on a new significance. Hospitality brands are not just selling an experience anymore, they are now in the business of selling safety and sanitation.  

But how best to reassure and encourage guests to return? India’s ITC hotels is using accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) to demonstrate its enhanced cleaning protocols.

In the UK, a COVID-19 ‘quality mark’ championed by Visit Britain is currently being considered by ministers. As reported by The Telegraph, this certificate will be awarded to all UK hospitality businesses that meet certain social distancing and hygiene standards, providing consumers with reassurance that it’s safe to stay.

Many hotel brands have enlisted scientific advice to help formulate their reopening plans. Spanish hotel group Barcelo has created the ‘We Care About You’ programme, a comprehensive set of measures to protect guests, employees and suppliers. Using expert guidance about viral infection, the programme focuses on enhanced cleaning and adaptations, including a grab and go F&B concept.

Another client, aparthotel brand Native is confident that its self-contained apartments, complete with kitchen and washing facilities will prove particularly appealing for guests in this post COVID-19 climate. Guests will be greeted by an unbroken ‘clean seal of approval’ on their door, showing that the room has been deep cleaned using environmentally friendly powerful enzyme cleaning products. Mid stay cleans have been abolished and apartments have been decluttered, with pillows, throws and even equipment manuals removed in the name of safety.

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel

At the ultra-luxury end of the market, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer has worked hard to preserve the overall guest experience. Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Axel Hoppenot, explains: “We’re adapting our establishments across the portfolio. From hotels to restaurants and spas, we will be controlling capacity, guiding traffic flow and using stringent sanitation. Restaurant menus will be downloadable via a secure code to diners’ phones, while occupancy will be limited to one person for every four- square metres. Instead of brunch buffets at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel, the brunch will be served at the table. We will also propose a new service: floating breakfast trays beside the lagoon and sunbed dinners”.

Boutique hotel group, The Calcot Collection believes the pandemic has encouraged some positive changes. For example, Calcot & Spa has introduced a new outdoor gym to aid social distancing. An extra floor has been added to its play barn by decommissioning offices and the events space has been transformed into a beautiful yoga studio with countryside views ready for reopening. Set amidst 220 acres, Calcot has been able to tap into consumers’ new-found appreciation for nature and has shown how businesses can innovate quickly to thrive. The Painswick will also be available for exclusive lets – ideal for family reunions after months of lockdown.

Cornish hotel, St Michaels Resort in Falmouth has introduced a new one-way system throughout the property to ensure easy social distancing and pushed kids club activities outdoors. Guests may also be allocated arrival time slots and the reception area has been reconfigured to provide more space. In the hotel restaurant, dishes will be presented under a cloche, with staff trained to minimise contact. Room service will be available without charge for breakfast and dinner and all employee temperatures will be checked on arrival for each shift.

So, it seems there is plenty to talk about when it comes to health and hygiene in a post pandemic world. Yet we believe that the really intriguing story is actually about how hospitality businesses are innovating in response to this pandemic. Certainly, there is a trade-off to be had in terms of experience, but the examples above prove just how resilient and inventive the sector can be. These measures will undoubtedly change the way people stay for years to come, but we hope that they will future proof an industry that employs over 120 million globally whilst also still encouraging cultural connectivity and joy in the process.   

An ode to travel: How the industry is still making its voice heard

The travel industry has come to a virtual standstill as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe. As a result, many traditional marketing and communication activities have temporarily been put on hold. Yet despite the challenges the travel industry faces, the world is still turning on its axis, people are still dreaming and most importantly for us; the press are still writing and telling stories, and it comes as no surprise that media consumption is up.

We’ve all just had to think differently in order to satisfy wanderlust in this brave new world.

Armchair travel – inspire and transport  

Our voracious appetite for escapism in these times of lockdown mean stories require a fast-moving response to an ever-changing news agenda. Many of the editors that we’ve spoken with, from luxury long lead glossies to national newspapers, all remain hopeful and have shifted their content to reflect the insightful and inspirational. Think life-changing holidays for 2021, recipes to transport you and bucket lists galore.

As one national travel editor recently put it: “We only travel for about four weeks of the year and spend 48 weeks dreaming about travel, so what pieces can we share to keep people dreaming.”

With children off school there has also been a big call out for child-friendly entertainment and other educational ideas. Eco safari brand, andBeyond have managed to meet both these challenges with their live stream safari drives as featured by The Telegraph. They have collaborated with wildlife broadcasting experts, WildEarth, to stream (in real time) twice-daily, three-hour long game drives from andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve and Djuma Private Game Reserve


Feed the nation

By now we are all clued up to the wondrous store cupboard creations on offer and the nation has become an army of banana bread bakers. As a result, journalists are still looking for kitchen inspiration and recipe ideas for their readers just like Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer’s roast chicken recipe as seen in the Vanity Fair weekly newsletter.  

In a broader sense, others are sharing their culinary know-how by helping to feed their local community. Calcot Hotel & Spa, part of the Calcot Collection, a group of luxury hotels in the Cotswolds and Northumberland,  has launched a community food project in response to the Covid-19 crisis. With the support of their owners, the Stone family and led by Executive Head Chef Richard Davies, the Calcot team is working with local councils and volunteers to safely prepare and deliver delicious home-cooked meals to 600 vulnerable people in the local area.

The face of travel

Many writers in the industry have been quick to point out how broad a footprint travel has, employing one in ten people across the globe. Their rallying cry to hear from and interview interesting people about their jobs, their local communities and their work has been keenly felt. Architects, designers, gardeners, hoteliers, chefs, restaurateurs, safari guides with stories to tell are all in demand.

Feel good

Feel good stories are still dominating headlines as it’s cheering to hear how communities around the world are responding. Examples include India’s ITC hotel company who have set up  a coronavirus fund to help authorities support district health and rural healthcare systems that reach out to the weakest sections of society. ITC’s hotels are also providing 1,000 daily meals along with quarantine and isolation for medical officers and stranded foreigners.

On a larger level, it seems there is a new swell of support and community building alongside the crisis and consumers are realising the love and need for travel, connection and exploration more than ever. As the world’s governments grapple with how best to balance their response to the crisis, it’s our job to continue to inspire, connect and ultimately champion a continued sense of wanderlust.

The Ultimate Trips to Start Planning for 2021

The old saying “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” has never rung so true as it does now. Even if we don’t actually get around to booking that trip, just knowing we could (time and money permitting) is a wonderful thing. 

So while we may not be able to hop on a train or a plane in the next few weeks or months – we can dream – and we can plan for the good times. Here are some suggestions to keep your armchair travelling firmly forwards – from Chile to Myanmar, to Rwanda to the British Virgin Islands…

Swim with Manta rays in the Maldives…

Committed to protecting the environment that surrounds the resort, InterContinental® Maldives Maamunagau Resort has recently launched two integrated partnerships with the Manta Trust and Ocean Group.

The Manta Trust Partnership has been created to conserve a large area in the Raa Atoll, a previously unmonitored area and now a UNESCO protected biosphere. With a record number of manta sightings recorded in the Maamunagau Lagoon, including many juvenile manta rays, the area has become one of the most important nursery sites in the country. As well as engaging daily snorkel excursions where guests have the chance to swim with the mantas, the Manta Trust-led programme, “Adopt a Manta” allows guests of InterContinental Maldives to name new mantas and track them as they migrate around the Maldives. 100% of the funds generated by the “Adopt a Manta” programme go directly to the Manta Trust, which funds a holistic approach to protecting manta rays.

Every one of the 81 villas and residences have uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and come complete with a terrace overlooking the ocean or lagoon with a private pool and butler. There will be six restaurants and bars, including an interactive Teppanyaki experience and wood-fired pizzas at the Italian all day deli.

Explore the world on the ocean – and under the ocean…

Cruise line Seabourn adds Seabourn Venture to its fleet in June 2021, a sleek and luxurious – expedition ship, built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ship’s global deployment and capabilities. With just 132 luxurious suites, Seabourn Venture ship will take adventurous travellers to a range of remote destinations around the globe – from the Amazon to Antarctica. 

A new and exciting offering will be two custom-built submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. Each battery-powered sub will carry six guests and a pilot, who will guide the journey up to 300 metres beneath the surface to explore sunken wrecks, reefs – and view marine wildlife in its natural habitat.

Sip vintage wine in one of the world’s most famous wine cellars on the French Riviera

Enjoy a glass of vintage wine in the very spot Winston Churchill toasted the reopening of Hôtel de Paris wine cellar in 1945 after World War II with a bottle of rum from 1811.  Carved out of the rock in 1874, the Hôtel de Paris wine cellar is one of the most private spots in Monte-Carlo, set beneath the flower gardens storing 350,000 bottles of wine. Guests can enjoy a bespoke wine tasting led by Gennaro Iorio, who has been the Wine Cellar Master since 1993. Notable bottles include a Petrus (1945) and a Chateaux d’Yquem, dating back to 1890.  

Following the tasting, guests can spend the night as royals by checking into the fabulous Princess Grace II suite at Hôtel de Paris. Indulge in everything that epitomises Monte-Carlo with helicopter transfers and a suite with two terraces, two sitting rooms, a kitchen and a study. Hôtel de Paris offers an enchanting ambiance from the moment guests step into the palatial lobby. The hotel has long been a favourite for royals, politicians and celebrities, and the secrecy surrounding its famous guests have become part of Hotel de Paris’ legacy.

Explore India’s Golden Triangle in style

The Golden Triangle has a firm spot on many people’s bucket lists and ITC Hotels, offering authentically Indian hotels in some of the country’s most exciting and dynamic cities, has the perfect itinerary for guests to tick it off in five-star luxury.

New Delhi with ITC Maurya – Begin this once in a lifetime trip at ITC Maurya, in the diplomatic enclave of Delhi.  Exemplary service and warm hospitality is woven into Indian traditions, and The expert concierge team provides guests with insider advice on how to navigate the hustle and bustle of India’s capital.   A firm favourite is the Food Sherpa Trail with the hotel’s chef – dive deep into the Walled City of Old Delhi or Connaught Place in Lutyen’s Delhi. For a flavour of the bustling markets of cosmopolitan Delhi, choose the South Delhi Food Trail or the Street Food Trail.

Agra with ITC Mughal – Set in 23 incredibly private acres of luxurious gardens and designed as a tribute to the great Mughal builders of India’s history, ITC Mughal is the perfect base from which to visit the Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. ITC Mughal is the only Indian hotel to have won the Aga Khan Award for Architectural Excellence.  and expresses the luxury of a royal refuge. After a day of exploring the Taj Mahal, unwind in the hotel’s exceptional Kaya Kalp spa, offering Ayurvedic treatments bespoke to each guest.

Jaipur with ITC Rajputana – Discover the famed chaupars, or town squares, in the walled city of Jaipur, which last year was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Designed to be a commercial capital, the city today maintains local artisanal traditions. ITC Rajputana is located just half a kilometre from the city centre, and the hotel’s regal-influenced design and gardens echo the city’s history.

Dive with whale sharks off a remote archipelago

Wa Ale is a privately-owned eco-tourism project on the 5,000-acre island of Wa Ale, in the Lampi Marine National Park in the Myeik Archipelago, Myanmar. This intimate and luxurious retreat, offering only 14 rooms (beach villas and treetop villas) sits in a beautiful protected cove overlooking a pristine beach and majestic rock formations.

Wa Ale’s remote location means the archipelago is a truly private playground for its guests – hosting only 28 guests at one time. The island is the ideal escape, naturally tailored for the adventure travellers with a love of exploring unchartered aquatic and jungle habitats. From diving with whale sharks, trekking through tropical rainforests, diving spectacular reefs including Black Rock (the newest dive area which guests can now access from the resort in 2020), kayaking through the mangroves and century old forests – the opportunities are limitless.

The Lampi Marine National Park offers a diverse range of wildlife including 20 mammal species, 200 bird species and more. Wa Ale is the home to a multitude of indigenous land animals including monitor lizards, smooth coated otters, pythons, civet cats, gibbons, mouse deer, macaques and the near extinct pangolin. Often, guests sitting and having breakfast at the Pavilion can spot otters playing in the river, just metres away! In the air, guests can spot hornbills, unique to the archipelago, white-bellied sea eagles, white kites, kingfishers, eastern reef herons and emerald doves – to name a few. In the water, the marine life is of incredible variety including whale sharks, dolphins (often hundreds in a pod at a time!), eagle and manta rays, ribbon eels and of course the turtles which nest on Wa Ale every year.

Soak up the history of the Spice Islands

Combining cosmopolitan flair with rustic character, the Zanzibar archipelago, off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean, is often referred to the “Spice Islands.” Today, whilst the words “Spice Island” conjure up exotic images of sun-soaked beaches, kaleidoscopic sunsets and turquoise waters and some of the best diving in the world, Zanzibar will also surprise and delight guests with its unique multicultural experience.

Stay at The Residence Zanzibar and visit to a local spice plantation – a wonderful way to learn more about and sample its legendary spices. Meanwhile, nature lovers can explore the Jozani Forest Reserve, which is home to a number of rare creatures including the Red Colobus Monkey. Once you return to The Residence Zanzibar, the culinary excursion continues with a meal at The Dining Room, with a menu offering Omani and African flavours infused with local Zanzibar spices.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

With the recent opening of One & Only Nyungwe House in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda is in the spotlight as one of the top places to visit next year. As such, The Luxury Holiday Company has paired this new opening with Virunga Lodge, to offer travellers the rare opportunity to come face to face with Rwanda’s mountain gorillas.  Seeing gorillas in their natural habitat is an uplifting, even spiritual experience, and after trekking through the jungle, guests will spend an unforgettable hour with these magnificent creatures.  A host of additional once-in-a-lifetime experiences are also included along the way, from tracking chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park to sipping sundowners on the shores of Lake Kivu. It’s all brought together with private transfers, expert-led tours, delicious meals and stays in some of Rwanda’s most luxurious hotels and lodges.

Discover the Amazon in ultimate luxury

From spotting the legendary pink river dolphins to sipping sundowners on the observation deck while the sun sets on the Amazon River – Aqua Nera brings guests closer than ever to one of the most remote regions in the world, all from the comfort of a five-star floating hotel. The vessel will operate on three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to ensure complete flexibility and the ability to adapt to guests’ travel plans. Aqua Nera’s itineraries will depart from the Peruvian port of Iquitos before meandering through the various rivers of the Peruvian Amazon, visiting remote Amazonian towns and villages along the way. Expert naturalist guides will be on board to offer bespoke experiences such as intimate wildlife encounters in the world’s most biodiverse rainforest.

With a guest to staff ratio of 1:1, these expeditions ensure maximum intimacy and privacy, as well as the opportunity to access unexplored tributaries. The award-winning Peruvian Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will continue his role as consulting chef on Aqua Nera. Known for using local Amazonian ingredients in his innovative Peruvian cuisine, Chef Schiaffino’s menu will be a wonderful addition to his already highly acclaimed Aria Amazon menu. Whether it be foodie enthusiasts, wildlife aficionados or those in search of their latest adventure, a voyage on the Aqua Nera is set to be a once in a lifetime experience.  

Celebrate the artistry of Rome

No visit to Rome is complete without discovering the artistic beauty and legacy of renowned artists that can be found in every corner of the “Eternal City”. With the new “Facelifting Caravaggio” experience at Rome Cavalieri, guests visit an artistic laboratory, where they will learn the various techniques that are used to restore beautiful works of art to their former glory. Uncover a painting by Caravaggio, considered the father of the 17th-century Naturalism movement and, supervised by an expert restorer, learn the secrets of how to give life, light and colour to his masterpieces once again.

Rome Cavalieri is a luxury hotel set within 15 acres of beautiful private parkland with world-class design, art and dining, alongside arguably one of the best panoramic vistas of Rome from its position at the top of Monte Mario. The hotel is home to a museum-worthy collection of artwork including paintings, rare tapestries, French period furniture and sculptures. Highlights include three original Giambattista Tiepolo paintings, Andy Warhol dollar signs in the Penthouse Suite and Robert Indiana’s ‘Jack, Juke, Eat and the American Dream’ on permanent show in the Planetarium Suite. Rome Cavalieri is also home to La Pergola, Rome’s first and still only three Michelin-Star restaurant by acclaimed Chef Heinz Beck, offering creative Mediterranean cuisine with breathtaking views from the top floor of the hotel.

Thrilling escape to Chile staying on an organic farm…

In the heart of dramatic Araucanía, Chile’s gorgeous Lake District and the gateway to Patagonia, lies andBeyond Vira Vira.  Araucania is the homeland of the Mapuche people, where glacial lakes mirror the frosted tips of volcanoes and lush flora abounds in the surrounding national parks where monkey puzzle trees grow.

Immersed in a spectacular, forested 22-hectare estate, lies andBeyond Vira Via, a magnificent 5-bedroom Hacienda and lodge with 6 suites and 12 villas. From here, guests have sensational views of the Villarrica Volcano framed by enormous windows. The estate is also home to a modern working farm, organic vegetable garden and state-of-the-art cheese factory. Freshly grown produce is sourced from the farm and used to create Chilean-inspired farm-to-table menus. Guests are very welcome to pick fresh produce along with the chef before he cooks them – or just relax in two outdoor hot tubs.  

This is a thrilling adventure haven. There are myriad adventures on the doorstep, hosted by knowledgeable and engaging guides: from trekking in the national parks; horseback riding in the cordilleras; scenic helicopter flights over the Villarrica Volcano; skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or snowmobiling in winter. The list is seemingly endless with fly fishing, mountain biking, and a variety of water sports. All excursions are specifically tailored according to guests’ interests and fitness levels.

Desert Island Bliss

The British Virgin Islands is an archipelago of 60 picture perfect islands just east of Puerto Rico. Fifteen of the islands are inhabited, with the main islands consisting of Tortola with the capital Road Town, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. With consistent trade winds making the BVI some of the finest sailing grounds in the Caribbean.

This year, the British Virgin Islands have seen a number of highly anticipated hotel and villa openings as well as transformations to many of the islands. With an environmental focus as a key factor in these reopenings and renovations, the BVI and its people continue to prioritise sustainability and nurturing the beautiful environment.  Necker Island has installed wind turbines that have enabled the island to run on up to 90 percent renewable energy and Bitter End Yacht Club will continue sustainability efforts by opening a new marina this summer, made from upcycled materials. Others, such as Guana Island and Anegada Beach Club focus on sustainable culinary efforts, creating organic gardens on their islands, which produce food for the restaurants.  

Valentine’s Day 3 Ways: Scenic, City & Saucy Escapes to Fall in Love With…

It’s that heart-shaped time of year again and whether you’re single, coupled up, somewhere in between, or just looking for a fun V-Day activity with your friends, we’re here to help make it one to remember!

The good news is that this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday – which makes it the perfect time to escape the hum-drum of daily life and go somewhere truly extraordinary. Whether it’s a sumptuous city break, lavish country retreat or charming chateaux, we’ve rounded up our favourite places to fall in love all over again come February 14th.

Fall in love with… fanciful florals: Barnsley House

One for the old romantics: with tumbling wisteria, honey-coloured stone and mullion windows, Barnsley House is a fairytale setting for a Valentine’s weekend away. Come February 14th, couples can steal away to the Cotswolds countryside for a two-night stay in the Davina Suite – complete with roll-top bath tub and cosy furnishings made for cuddling up. By day, guests can take a private tour of Rosemary Verey’s famous gardens, strolling hand-in-hand through the golden archway of the Laburnum Walk and when evening comes, head to The Potager for a candle-lit dinner with dishes inspired by produce picked straight from the hotel’s Garden Kitchen. No romantic retreat at Barnsley would be complete without a trip to the hotel’s pink-leather-clad private screening room or sumptuous spa, where guests can indulge in a couple’s massage while looking out over the gardens.

A two-night stay over Valentine’s Day is available from £434, including breakfast. The Davina Suite is available from £502 (barnsleyhouse.com)

Fall in love with… the Highlands: The Fife Arms

The Fife Arms invites guests to find their hearts in the Highlands and celebrate Valentine’s Day with their special somebody this February in the most romantic part of Scotland. The Fife Arms is dedicating the whole month of February to this love-filled festivity as the hotel’s Valentine’s Day offer is available to book from 1st-29th February.

Along with champagne on arrival, pre-dinner cocktails in Elsa’s bar and a romantic dinner for two in the atmospheric Clunie Dining Room, guests will be able to take in the breath-taking setting of The Fife Arms in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. After hiking up hills or pottering around the idyllic town, The Fife Arms offers the most romantic haven to escape to this Valentine’s day.

The package starts from £290 for a double room. For further information, please visit: https://thefifearms.com/ or call 01339 720200

Fall in love with…bucolic bliss: Le Barn

Escape the city this Valentine’s Day and experience the transformative power of trees when you reconnect with nature at Le Barn. Only 45 minutes from Paris, these renovated barns, set in 200 hectares of farmland and forest, welcome guests to relax and rejuvenate this Valentine’s Day, to ensure that they leave Le Barn with love in their hearts and air in their lungs.

Arriving at leisure on Friday evening, guests will be welcomed with an aperitif and canapés by the fire as they drop their bags and feel an instance sense of calm wash over them. Dinner will be served in the hotel’s restaurant, illuminated by candles and lanterns. The night will end with a screening of the iconic French film “La Dernière Séance”, before sinking into a peaceful sleep with only the sound of birds to wake them. The simplicity of Le Barn allows guests to go at their own rhythm and re-centre themselves. The next day, guests will be guided on an eco-therapy session through the Rambouillet Forest, leaving guests reconnected with themselves and their loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Doubles start from £145.00 For further information, please visit: https://lebarnhotel.com/

Fall in love with… the starry night sky: The Lord Crewe Arms

The Lord Crewe Arms invites couples to get starry-eyed in the wilds of the North Pennines this Valentine’s Day. Guests are kitted out with stargazing supplies before heading out to enjoy Northumberland’s best light show, hot toddy in hand and with thick blankets to keep cosy. The North Pennines are blanketed by some of the darkest skies in England and clear views of the milk way and Orion’s belt are visible in the winter months. Later, couples can tuck into a fireside supper (£30pp contribution towards food) – leaving room for their full Northumbrian breakfast in the morning.  

A historic hotel with a legacy dating back to 1165, The Lord Crewe Arms began its life as a guesthouse to Blanchland Abbey. Today, it maintains much of its medieval magic with original stone walls, ogee-arched windows and roaring fires lit in stone chimneypieces to snuggle up in front of on a cold winter’s night. The hotel’s rooms, labelled ‘cosy’, ‘canny’ and ‘champion,’ feature tartan blankets and roll-top bathtubs while the suites are made even more inviting by warming log fires.

A mid-week stay at The Lord Crewe Arms with dinner, bed and breakfast with two hot toddies and stargazing supplies costs £249 (lordcrewearms.co.uk)

Fall in love with… a fairytale château: Relais de Chambord

Relais de Chambord invites couples to spend Valentine’s weekend in this spellbinding setting overlooking the breath-taking château– it is like waking up inside a fairy-tale. Relais de Chambord is the only hotel on the Château de Chambord’s extensive 5,440-hectare estate making it the perfect place to show somebody you love them this Valentine’s day.

Couples will be greeted with a glass of champagne from Maison Bernardaud and they are invited to indulge in a candle-lit dinner for two in the hotel’s renowned restaurant, as well as a 15% discount on massage treatments. Guests have exclusive access to the Château’s grounds from dawn until dusk, away from the rush of thee crowds. The hotel is in prime position for watching the sunrise over its romantic towers and chimneys.  In the evening there will be plenty of time to admire the Renaissance architecture long after the last visitors have left – perhaps with a glass of local Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé.

The Valentine’s package at Relais de Chambord starts from 245 euros per night, based on two sharing a double room. Valid from Friday 14 February – Sunday 16 February 2020.

For further information, please visit:  http://relaisdechambord.com/ or call +33 (0)2 54 81 01 01

Fall in love with… sand between your toes: St Michaels Resort

Escape to the Cornish coastline this Valentine’s Day with St Michaels Resort. Couples can take a romantic stroll along the beach and explore the quaint seaside villages nearby or whole up in the spa for a weekend of wellness. The recently renovated health club is the perfect place to warm up after a brisk winter walk and features a Cornish sea salt infused steam room (using salt from the Lizard Peninsula), an outdoor barrel sauna and rainforest steam room. Guests can also dip into the Swedish hot tub to take in the sea views or luxuriate in the largest hydrotherapy pool in the South West – with 21 massage stations to try out, this is truly an exercise in self-love.

Throughout the month of February, St Michaels is offering a 2-night romance packing including accommodation in the nautically-themed Beach House, a four-course Cornish tasting menu for two, a brunch in the Garden Kitchen and a Cornish Breakfast Buffet. Guests will also enjoy complimentary access to the health club and swimming pool throughout their stay and a 3-hour hydrotherapy session at a time of their choosing.

St Michaels’ Valentines Weekend Package (13-15th Feb) starts from £265pp – inclusions as listed above

Fall in love with… an artistic passion: Bankside

Art Yard Bar & Kitchen at Bankside Hotel is doing Valentine’s Day in their typical creative fashion. Realising that London Fashion Week starts on 14th Feb they put their heads together with partners Contemporary Collective – the result: Love à la mode.

Between 7pm and 9pm, backstage London Fashion Week photographer and artist Bridget Davies who describes her approach as  “colour and the ink dancing on the paper” will be sketching all the young and old lovers eating and drinking in the restaurant that night. Bridget will then hand over the sketch to said lovers for free, so giving each couple a tangible memory of their evening. Beats a selfie on Instagram any day. There are also two ‘Love à la mode’ cocktails on offer that pay homage to the human form.

It comes as no surprise that there’s art going on, as the restaurant has a passion for it. The table and chair you eat it at and on have been especially designed, the tiles on the wall they depicting their neighbourhood – the culturally rich South Bank, have been hand-painted especially for them.

Perfect for spicing up this year’s Valentine’s Day, the hotel’s digital vending machines have both alcohol – half bottles of champagne, wine and small bottles of name-brand spirits – as well as other more miscellaneous items such as sparkly pants, and even an adjustable diamond engagement ring in case the moment strikes!

Rates at Bankside start from £279 for a Modest Double Guest Room based on two sharing.

Fall in love with… romantic movie magic: One Aldwych

This Valentine’s Day, couples can settle into One Aldwych’s exclusive 30-seat cinema with popcorn and a glass of champagne in hand and unwind while watching cult classic romantic comedy, Pretty Woman. With movie-star-main dishes and dazzling deserts to choose from at one of the hotel’s two restaurants, Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar and the recently refurbished Indigo – Film & Fizz is the hottest ticket in town this Valentine’s Day and makes for the perfect date night.

Couples looking to make a night of it can see out their evening in style with a stay in one of One Aldwych’s elegant suites. Pastel-hued interiors and soft, stylish furnishings are coupled with British-made flourishes – blankets hand-spun on the Isle of Skye and Mitchell & Peach bath products to name just a few. The result is an ever-so-appealing pied à terre right in the heart of Covent Garden’s theatreland.

Valentine’s Day Screening priced from £60 per person. All tickets include popcorn, a glass of Champagne and dinner at Indigo or Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar. Suites from £830 per night (onealdwych.com)

Fall in love with… chocolate-covered bliss: Rome Cavalieri

Oozing seductive glamour with opulent interiors, lush grounds and an enviable fine art collection, Rome Cavalieri is a fitting backdrop for any amorous retreat and this Valentine’s Day, guests can indulge in a sumptuous liaison with one or more of the hotel’s brand new ‘Love Experiences’. Couples are invited to tantalise their taste buds ‘dans le noir’ with a blind-folded chocolate-tasting led by Executive Pastry Chef, Dario Nuti, designed to help them savour every delicious morsel.

Couples can continue their oh-so-sweet Valentine’s Day experience with a full body chocolate massage at the Grand Spa Club, where therapists will use soothing cocoa butter to boost their skin’s elasticity. The caffeine in the all-chocolate body cream also improves circulation as it tones and firms the skin. After an afternoon of pampering, guests staying in the Planetarium or Penthouse Suites can dip into their outdoor hot tub to while away their romantic evening under the stars.

Rome Cavalieri’s (romecavalieri.com) ‘Taste of Love’ chocolate-tasting experience costs £130 per couple, the ‘Chocolove’ chocolate massage is £215 per couple. Room start from £230 including buffet breakfast at Uliveto Restaurant.

Fall in love with… bubbles and bath butlers: Regent Porto Montenegro

Regent Porto Montenegro’s brand new Romance at Regent package gives guests the chance to spoil that special someone and experience the best of Montenegro – from land, sea and even sky. The package is filled with indulgent surprises, including a private helicopter tour for two over Boka Bay, a couples spa treatment in the award-winning Regent Spa and a fascinating private guided tour of Kotor Old Town, with a photographer to capture the day. Couples will also have their own dedicated bath butler to attend to their every scent, salt and steamy desire.

Known as the gem of the Adriatic, Montenegro is packed full of charm and history and for two nights and three days, couples will be based in a Junior Suite Sea View Room at Regent Porto Montenegro. Set in the heart of the glamorous nautical village, it is the perfect place to escape together for a long weekend of love.

The Romance at Regent package is available from 1st January – 29th February 2020 and starts from 1,999 Euros + 10% service charge for a 2-night stay for two in a Junior Suite Sea View room on a B&B basis, including treatments and experiences listed above. For more details, please visit www.regenthotels.com/regent-portomontenegro