The number one place for a romantic getaway, the dream honeymoon destination, the primo anniversary escape?
It’s got to be the Bali, Indonesia. Beach lovers can’t resist the lure of this spiritual island, where tropical luxury is at its best (and lovers can’t resist each other).
More specifically, it’s got to be Seminyak, where wining and dining is effortless and hideaways like The Layar are beyond kitted out for high-end leisure.
THE LAYAR DESIGNER VILLAS & SPA
Get comfortable with cool spacious interiors, zillion thread count sheets and an open living area next to a private swimming pool and manicured tropical garden. A dramatic slanted ceiling overhead makes your very private villa like a personal theatre where you can display your affection. O Romeo!
THE LAYAR – PRIVATE LUXURY VILLA
If only Shakespeare’s famed duo had dashed off to Bali, theirs would be a very different play with all the passion and none of the tragedy. It’s a romantic’s Heaven on Earth thanks to the natural beauty and wealth of things to do. For the couple’s getaway of a lifetime, forget R+J and take your cues for romance from this script instead.
THE LAYAR – ROOM SERVICE
Act I. Scene I. Luxury one-bedroom villa. A warm welcome note and chilled champagne on the table.
Borrowing a page from The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, surprise is an easy road to romance. Being in a new place for the first time serves up a bit of wonder, but a love of travel doesn’t necessarily bring people together. It’s the thoughtful surprises (and bold moves, says Greene) planned by one person for the other that bring back flutters of new love.
A simple request when booking is all it takes to set the scene for arrival however you’d like. Arrange special occasions and activities in advance – leave the legwork to your hosts while you go barefoot and enjoy your holiday worry free.
Act II. Scene II. The beach. Golden sand surrounds. Palm trees sway in the pleasant sea breeze.
Roses, chocolates and sweet surprises are strong symbols in the book of love, but the best romances have more to the plot. Love psychologist Barbara Frederickson agrees that feelings of awe and excitement make love blossom. She finds that attraction grows when people experience any strong positive emotions together, especially thrills.
Would surfing together make your hearts race? Seminyak beaches like Double Six are ideal for beginner surf lessons. Start by gearing up and learning the basics on the sand, and then give it a go in the ocean. Enter Excitement, stage right. Intermediate surfers can catch the bigger swell just ten minutes north in Canggu, and serious surfers can brave world-class waves in Uluwatu.
SEMINYAK BEACH, BALI
Or riding horses into the sunset? Bali Equestrian Centre offers guided tours along the beach or through Bali’s picturesque rice paddies. And the evening sky here is what dreams are made of – orange, pink and purple.
How about a ride in a love boat? Sailing, yachting and snorkelling are easy day trips to arrange, whichever your siren happens to be.
Now onto scene three. Taking the place of O happy dagger, the climax of your epic romance in Seminyak will likely be a night out on the town. It begins with a “rustic refined” (actually very refined and delicious) Italian dinner at The Layar’s own Settimo Cielo, one of the most romantic restaurants in Seminyak.
Then you contently stroll hand in hand (or make use of The Layar’s complimentary buggy service) to one of the other great venues nearby. Try Dragon’s Den, the swanky bar and lounge at Happy Chappy or go dancing at long time favourite La Favela night club.
IMAGE CREDIT: HAPPY CHAPPY CHINESE
If your date night revelry ends at Red Carpet Champagne Bar they’ll give you a memorable lift back to your villa – memorable and hilariously fun because their chariot is a vintage Vespa motorbike with a sidecar that looks like a giant bottle of Moet & Chandon.
Act III. Scene I. The Layar Designer Villas & Spa. Daybreak. A Balinese woman places colourful flower offerings in the private lane. Two little boys pass by on one big bicycle.
The final act takes place back at the villa, transformed into a tranquil spa, where well-earned Balinese massages and scrubs feel oh so satisfying and leave skin extra soft. A mini escape from your escape (you’re not ignoring the one you’re with, you’re sharing yet another holiday indulgence) each in-villa spa treatment provides a necessary pause for peace and quiet reflection.
THE LAYAR – IN-VILLA SPA INDULGENCE
Sublime relaxation, a cushy villa, a tropical beach, nightlife at your doorstep, everything you desire just steps away – you’re far far away from “stranded on a desert island” but something about this exotic land makes you feel like the only two people in the world.
Giving devout attention to your partner should come easily. Turn off your ringtones, beeps and buzzes (you wouldn’t want to interrupt your play). If you can’t disconnect for your entire holiday, set aside uninterrupted time to connect with each other – that’s what a romantic holiday is all about.