Call me a cynic but I’ve never really celebrated Valentine’s Day. Sure, when I was younger I’d go to school hopeful for an anonymous rose from the boy I was secretly pining over that year, but as an adult—and a serial monogamist—I find the day sweet, but unnecessary to acknowledge.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a hopeless romantic. I love reading newspaper notes of people reaching out to “the pretty girl with the blonde hair who catches my bus” or tales of couples who have been together for 80 odd years and pass within a few days of each other. I watch rom coms whenever I get the chance and weep in wedding ceremonies no matter how far removed I am from those tying the knot. I love the idea of Valentine’s Day. I love the courage it gives secret admirers but I don’t feel the need to buy roses at a ridiculously inflated price or wrap chocolates in a bow for the sake of telling someone that I love them.
I mean, firstly, if you truly love someone it should be acknowledged more than 1 out of 365 days of the year. And secondly—since I like to think of myself as a pragmatic, modern woman—I recognise that the day is a moneymaking con. However, when it comes to Valentine’s Day—and expressing one’s love—there is something I can get on board with: a romantic holiday.
In my opinion, there’s nothing quite like getting away from your everyday routine and spending quality “alone time” with your significant other to get the sparks flying. And because I wanted it to come up in my search history so my boyfriend would get the hint, I’ve been trawling through Airbnb to find the most romantic locations for a Valentine’s Day retreat.
Scroll through for the best places to hang your hat on the door all over the world.
The Atlanta Treehouse
Picture this: you’re nestled under a canopy of beautiful foliage, stars peering through the trees and you’re falling asleep to the sound of nature. It’s the image of serenity, and you can find it here, in this treehouse hideaway. Just minutes from downtown Atlanta, this urban retreat will make you feel like you’re in the jungle with all the benefits of the city nearby.
The Paris Apartment
The city of love may seem like a cliche choice but when it comes to romantic getaways, nothing quite compares. This chic Parisian apartment is located in the heart of Paris, within close proximity to all the major attractions. Enjoy the beautiful architecture by day and the plethora of culinary delights by night. With amazing reviews, it seems there’s only one problem: The apartment is so inviting that you’ll never want to leave.
The California Dream
You know how you come across those places on Airbnb that you wish were your actual home? Well, this is one of them. It’s a 1949 hacienda located 10 minutes from the west entrance of Joshua Tree National Park, CA. Described as “a place for dreamers to reset, reflect, and create,” the host’s have just got it right.
“Designed with a ‘slow’ pace in mind, our hope is that you enjoy every part of your stay; from making local coffee by drip in the morning, choosing the perfect record to put on as the sun sets, or by relaxing in the hot tub surrounded by over 100 Joshua Trees and a starry night sky.” If that doesn’t make you want to book, we don’t know what will.
The Iceland Oasis
I thought places like this Icelandic retreat only existed on Grand Designs. Located in Akureyri, the Northern capital of Iceland, it’s an oasis unlike any other. Spend your days exploring the nearby surrounds including the Eyjafjordur Fjord, the magnificent waterfalls, and the Grand Canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur or simply sit back and relax in the jacuzzi, taking in 360-degree views of snow-capped mountains.
The French Alps Yurt
It’ll be easy to switch off and reconnect with your partner in this tranquil yurt. Situated in the French Alps, it’s perfect all year round. Expect trekking, mountain biking, climbing and skiing, lots of cheese and copious amounts of wine. It even comes with a sled for the months of snowfall.
The Bali Villa
Roughing it on holiday never brings out the best in people so why not except decadence and stay here? Located on the northern tip of Bali, Indonesia, this villa is a sanctuary that speaks for itself. The open concept design flows onto an infinity pool overlooking the beautiful mountains and sea below. It’s luxury without the price tag.
The Hawaii Hideout
Nestled in the trees on the idyllic island of Hawai’i, is this secluded bamboo retreat. It’s a tropical treehouse perched 15′ up in the canopy, immersed in local flora and tradition. Hide out here or spend your days exploring the Volcano National Park which is only 10 miles away.
Carved into the unique caldera cliff for more than 250 years, this “cave house” was originally used as a wine cellar before becoming a family home. Full of character and charm, it’s the perfect place to watch the day go by. If it’s sea air and sun you’re after, look no further.
The Amsterdam Houseboat
From the street, this humble home looks like a simple tug boat but buried below the surface is an urban retreat. Situated in the historical centre of Amsterdam, you can enjoy the vibrant city by foot or bike and wander back to this oasis when you’re done. It’s a unique experience unlike any other.
The Australia Lighthouse
While this sleeps a few more than two, if it’s isolation you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. Perched on the headland at Seal Rocks, this beautiful, restored cottage will have you falling in love all over again. The beach is on your doorstep and the bush is your backyard.