Travelling together is always great for quality couple time – but the transit bit? Maybe not so much. There will hardly be a couple in the world who have not argued over lost boarding passes, misplaced passports, and arriving at the airport too late (again). Eliminate all that fighting even before the trip begins this Valentine’s, and up the quality time quotient, by picking these lovely places right in your city.
Old world, charming, and utterly romantic, the over 100 year old Haveli Dharampura in Delhi’s old city is the ideal setting for the greatest of romances. Dating to 1887 AD, the haveli reflects an amalgam of late Mughal and early 20th century architectural styles with jharokas, arched gateways, balconies and intricate carvings. Indulge in charming activities like ‘kabootarbaazi’ or ‘patangbaazi’ together or go on a heritage walk down the historical bylanes of Delhi 6. The Jama Masjid is just a few minutes on foot and the old bazaars are full of history and nostalgia of old-world romance. Eat at the excellent Indian restaurant Lakhori to celebrate your togetherness and you can see the twinkling lights of Old Delhi from the rooftop restaurant Baradari.
Just an hour away from the centre of the city is this beautiful haven in Manesar, offering an escape from the city without having to go too far. A green quiet space, ITC Grand Bharat is attached to an 18-hole golf course, which means wherever your eyes rest you see miles and miles of greenery everywhere. If that itself is not calming enough, then check into the spa for a couple’s treatment and bliss out together under the care of some of the best therapists in the country. Wellness is the resort’s USP and you could spend a few hours at the spa, meditating together and doing yoga apart from the massage. Dine at the opulent The India Room for classic recipes from Europe or by the romantic poolside restaurant Apas, serving local delicacies. The suites come with their own pools and more green views and you can eat a brunch at the club house restaurant attached to the golf course before bidding this gem of a resort farewell.
The only way to make the chaotic hustle bustle of old Bombay charming is to have a comfortable luxurious escape right in the middle of it. Abode is a cool stay option in Colaba that combines Bombay’s flamboyancy with subtle and minimal luxury. It will please the aesthete in you and provide a beautiful backdrop to your romantic break. For people who don’t live in Town, this is an ideal choice to explore the many bylanes of Colaba as you will have the whole day to discover little known gems together. The 20 rooms feature vintage furniture and original artworks and the café has freshly baked bread and filter kapi that can be sent up to your room any time. The other thing you can have in your room is spa service – between art, food, spa and each other, you will struggle to find time to get out at all.
About two hours from the city, Lonavala has become an overcrowded tourist hub that most sensible people like to stay away from. However, when you have only a day to take a break together and don’t want to waste time getting to the destination, The Machan’s wilderness setting offers an escape from the crowds and a rare chance to enjoy Lonavala’s beauty today. The tree houses at this eco-resort are located at a height of 30-45 ft, offering a brilliant view of the greenery all around. It’s like you are living above a sea of trees and all human noise and clutter is away and forgotten. If that’s not romantic enough for you, wait till night falls, the temperature drops and a bonfire is lit up – that should send the romance quotient skyrocketing through the tree house roof.
An infinity pool that looks out at the Ulsoor Lake sets the ambience for romance at the Conrad hotel, the tallest hotel in town, offering the most spectacular views of the Garden City. Check in to a lake view room for the night and enjoy the scenic vistas from the floor-to-ceiling windows, as you laze for a day in the busy city catching up with each other. The latter is done best at their Mediterranean restaurant, Tiamo, literally meaning ‘I love you’. How fitting is that!
When it comes to old-world charm, there are few other spaces in town that do it better than the grand old Windsor hotel on Sankey Road. The beautiful building is designed in the early 19th-century British Regency architectural style with a white stucco façade and high columns. Opt for a room that overlooks the Bangalore Golf Course and enjoy the old fashioned luxury and service of the Manor Rooms furnished with period furniture but state-of-the-art facilities. Eat at the glass-covered Raj Pavilion, inspired by Lalbagh gardens, go for a couple’s treatment at the Kaya Kalp spa and enjoy a nightcap at Dublin, the pub. Located in the heart of green Bangalore, it gives you a chance to rediscover love, not just for each other but also for the city.
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