Tuesday 15 January 2013

Mr & Mrs Smith's Top 10 Valentine's Day Escapes

Romance re-invigorated

The roses are red... but wilted. The chocolates have melted and the racy negligee that left you pink- cheeked at the department store counter doesn't actually fit. With one month left until Valentine's Day, let Mr & Mrs Smith help you amp it up for the most romantic day of the year.

Experts in stylish stays for two, Mr & Mrs Smith's spies have roamed the globe to bring you a hand-picked collection of the world's most seductive hotels. From inner-city hideouts to rural retreats, from beach-in-reach to mountain high, not a pillow has been left unturned. Here are our top 10 Smith tips for 14 February trysts:

1. Qualia, Great Barrier Reef

Style High-end luxury

Setting Tropical Hamilton Island idyll

Qualia is one of Queensland's most serene and beautiful escapes. Built by Australian billionaires, this idyllic Whitsundays resort has a no-expense-spared feel, and all 30 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds exude class. For adult-oriented V Day frolicking, book a Windward Pavilion with its own private plunge pool. Complete the romantic equation by reserving a table under the stars at Mod Oz restaurant the Long Pavilion. Swimming, sailing and beach-hopping beckon.

2. Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island

Style Unspoilt nature, unadulterated luxury

Setting High above Hanson Bay

Luxe Southern Ocean Lodge is an exquisite designer haven. Solitude, serenity and natural wonders are a given, with calming, contemporary interiors embracing the outdoors. Want to impress your date? Book the Remarkable Suite with its freestanding wooden tub and outdoor terrace with private spa - of course, every inch of this stunning retreat has jaw-dropping ocean views. Relax in the spa or enjoy Kangas & Kanap├ęs at sunset with a glass of bubbly.

3. QT Sydney, Sydney

Style Theatrical temptress

Setting Sydney's happening heart

Sexy, sassy and stylish, QT Sydney is perfect for the couple who love to party. This super-central design diva is carved out of the historic State Theatre and Gowings department store buildings, blending Gothic, art deco and Italianate architecture with quirky-but-cool interiors. Door gals dressed in saucy uniforms, buzzy drinking and dining, and a hip day spa? You'll be smitten.

4. MONA Pavilions, Hobart

Style Arty avant-garde architecture

Setting Banks of the Derwent River

Prove your culture-vulture credentials by staying in one of these ultra-contemporary pavilions, complete with uber-cool art and design-savvy finishes. You're only a 15-minute drive, or dreamy boat ride, from Hobart, but there's a chance you'll never see the city since you'll be kept busy exploring the extraordinary collection at MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art), sampling the cuisine at The Source (considered one of Tassie's best restaurants) and sipping on either Moorilla Estate wines or Moo Brew beer, all made on site.

5. Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef
Style Cool castaway camping
Setting Tiny sandy cay

With just six luxury tents set beside the sea on a tiny tropical islet, Wilson Island may just be the most romantic campsite on Earth. Perfect for a castaway experience without compromising on comfort, the tiny resort is a back-to-basics paradise for nature-lovers, reef divers, and chilled-out beach layabouts alike.

6. Le Royal Monceau, Paris
Style Where the art is
Setting Upscale Avenue Hoche

Decadent Starck-designed Le Royal Monceau hotel knows a thing or two about seduction. Romantics can book the two-bedroom Ray Charles Suite for views of the Eiffel Tower from their bed. Better yet, bag a spa treatment at the sumptuous all-white spa (the city's biggest), which has a hammam, laconium room and sauna. There's nothing quite like spending Valentine's Day in the city of love.

7. Naladhu, Maldives

Style Romantic beach retreat
Setting Reef-fringed Veligandu Huraa

Elegant island escape Naladhu in the Maldives offers intimate beach houses set between a lagoon and the sea. Luxurious living spaces spill over into the outdoors, with each room boasting its own pool. Dive, snorkel or swim in pristine turquoise waters or up the romance by dining on a private island hideaway or in a coconut grove. Candles and fire torches add to the wow factor at dusk.

8. Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany
Style Classic-luxe Tuscan villa
Setting Enchanting formal gardens

This boutique hotel in Tuscany captures all that is alluring about the Italian way of life: refined furnishings in a restored 13th-century period property; gorgeous grounds punctuated by cypress trees and stone fountains; fabulous food and wine; and a freeform freshwater infinity pool blending with the graceful contours of the landscape. If that's not enough, grab your Mr or Mrs Smith for a Borgo cocktail on the manicured grass and watch the sunset.

9. Singita Lebombo, Kruger National Park
Style Modernist naturalist

Setting Clifftop Kruger

Set on a clifftop overlooking the N'wanetsi river, the Singita Lebombo offers comfort and luxury in the midst of the South African wilderness, ideal for safari seduction. From the sweeping wooden decks, you can ogle the panoramic wilderness (or better yet soak up the views from the lap pool). Keep your eyes peeled for one of the big five, including lions and elephants, who just might wander past. For extra romance, sleep out under the stars on your private terrace bed.

10. The James New York, New York
Style Skyscraping scenester

Setting Southwest SoHo

The James New York, a towering city hotel, turns heads in one of Manhattan's most stylish neighbourhoods and it's not just because it's the tallest building on the block. Romantics looking for an urban escape are lured by art-covered walls at Jimmy, the rooftop bar. All the rooms are pretty sexy, but floor-to-ceiling windows in the penthouse are perfect for admiring the NY skyline while basking in the massive egg-shaped stone bath.

To book your romantic stay at a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel, visit or phone the expert Travel Team on 1300 896 627.

Mr & Mrs Smith's hotel collection features a hand-picked selection of more than 900 stylish stays around the world, whether you're looking for a romantic boutique hideaway, a luxurious spa retreat or a cosy country inn. Each property is carefully chosen for its mix of individuality, atmosphere, style and service, is independently reviewed, and backed up by insider guides to the hottest destinations.

Book a hotel through the 24-hour Smith Travel Team by calling 1300 896 627 or visiting - best rates are guaranteed and we don't charge booking fees.
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