Love is...

31 Dec 2009 by intern22

With endless leisure possibilities, every day can be Valentine’s Day. Julian Tan suggests ways for you and your Significant Other to plan that intimate escape

…about going off-the-beaten-track

Blue Mountains

Revisit Sydney and beyond with a seven-night package by Orient-Express. The itinerary features a three-night stay in Observatory Hotel in the Rocks district (89-113 Kent Street, Sydney, tel 61 2 9256 2222) and two nights at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa (Echo Point, Katoomba, tel 61 2 4780 1200), with views over the Jamison Valley and Three Sisters rock formation. The getaway at Lilianfels includes a private tour by the gardener, breakfast with kangaroos, and a 4WD to Hunter Valley. Guests will be spending the last two nights – one at Tower Lodge (Halls Road, Pokolbin) with a guided winery tour and tasting, and the other at either Lilianfels or back in Sydney at Observatory Hotel. Until March 31, the cost for two persons starts from A$6,300 (US$5,750).

CONTACT: www.orient-express.com

…about island hopping

The Minor Affair

Island hopping is ideal for exploring Phuket’s nearby islands. The Minor Affair, Anantara Phuket’s 60ft Sunseeker Manhattan, can be chartered privately for day trips to Phang Nga Bay, Racha island or Krabi for diving and snorkelling. Other options include the Similan Islands for shark spotting with an overnight stay. The itinerary allows flexibility and prices range from THB205,000 (US$6,095) for daily charter to THB700,000 (US$20,813) for four nights, inclusive of full catering and the services of a captain, engineer and hostess. The luxury yacht is equipped with air conditioning, DVD and iPod players and flatscreen television, and can accommodate up to eight people – that is, if you’d like to have company.

CONTACT: 888 Moo 3 ,Tumbon Mai Khao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket, tel 66 76 336 100

…a retreat to the mountains

Fairmont Chateau WhistlerCosy up in the alpine resort of The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, nestled at the base of world-class Blackcomb and Whistler ski mountains in the British Columbia, Canada. Adventure seekers can take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola to Whistler Mountain directly from the resort. The 505-room resort is hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games from February 12 to 28. A “Ski for Free” package from C$229 (US$216) per night is available for those arriving by April 18, and includes accommodation and lift passes to Whistler Blackcomb mountain.

CONTACT: 4599 Chateau Boulevard, Whistler, British Columbia, tel 1 604 938 8000

…about spa and safari

Banyan Tree Al Wadi Overview

Looking for some sizzling encounters? Banyan Tree Al Wadi recently opened in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and is a 45-minute drive from Dubai. Exclusivity is guaranteed as the resort is set on 100ha of private nature reserve, with backdrops of the Arabian Gulf and Al Hajjar Mountains. An introductory package from US$580 per night is offered until February 28, comprising accommodation in any of its 101 pool villas, breakfast and welcome cocktails. Enjoy a complimentary night with a minimum stay of two paid nights, or indulge in a free 90-minute spa treatment with three paid nights.

CONTACT: PO Box 35288 Al Mazraa, Ras Al Khaimah, tel 971 7 206 7777

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