Sure, enjoying a candlelight dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant with your significant other or gifting them with chic items or a bouquet of flowers are romantic gestures during Valentine’s Day. It is the season of making the person you’re with feel like a precious gem, anyway. However, if you want to amp up your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/husband/wife cred, here’s a tip from us – surprise them with a vacation away from Singapore on Valentine’s Day.

While jetting off to the City of Love and having a romantic dinner in a restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower sounds like the obvious choice, a million other people are also thinking the same. Besides, it’s like turning your Valentine’s date into a Hollywood cliche – except the cameras never really show the other loved-up couples (and not to mention, tourists) all around you.

There are other underrated cities in the world just as romantic – and probably feels more authentic. From Marrakech to Hawaii, these places are thriving with culture, beautiful architecture and romantic history. You’ll be falling head over heels in love with the cities – maybe even more so than with the person you’re with.

Just don’t tell them we said that.

(Main image credit: Royal Mansour Marrakech)

1
Marrakech, Morocco

In this city thriving with art and diverse culture, romance is in the air. Explore makeshift markets, admire some of the biggest and most splendid palace complexes in Morocco, or just laze together on a roof terrace with a glass of wine in hand. 

What’s Valentine’s Day without treating yourself like kings and queens? Pamper yourself by staying at Royal Mansour Marrakech. The luxury hotel is situated in almost four hectares of fragrant Moorish gardens – and has a grand architecture adorned with the finest zellij (geometric mosaic), carved cedar wood, stained glass, dripping stucco work, beaten bronze and inlaid marquetry. 

The Spa Royal Mansour has a Valentines Day promotion – a 60-minute facial or hair treatment and a Bastien Gonzalez manicure for her, or a 30-minute back massage, barber treatment and Bastien Gonzalez pedicure – both at S$283 each. The offer is valid from the 1st to 28th February 2017, with complimentary Spa Suite upon availability.

Royal Mansour Marrakech, Rue Abou Abbas el sebti، Marrakesh 40000, Morocco

(Image credit: Royal Mansour Marrakech)

2
Cape Town, South Africa

Often coined as “the most beautiful city in the world,” this coastal city in South Africa offers everything you need for a romantic vacation. From wine tasting and cellar tours to horse riding on Noordhoek Beach and helicopter rides above the Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, there’s no better place to go than Cape Town.

Stay at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, where you can escape for an indulgent break – with luxury accommodation, complimentary sparkling wine, chocolates and strawberries in room on arrival, and a 60-minute Swedish Massage.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

(Image credit: Cape Town Tourism)

3
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch capital makes the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway – with an abundance of luxury hotels, romantic restaurants and scenic spots for a romantic walk. You can stroll around the canals at night, get on a private boat tour, or watch a romantic movie at an Art Deco cinema.

Stay at Amsterdam’s grand luxury lifestyle palace, Conservatorium. Besides their Valentine’s spa package, the hotel also introduces its ‘The Big Five’ Package in honour of its fifth year anniversary. You get to enjoy a three-night stay in the I ♥ Amsterdam Suite – a beautiful 155m2  triplex with a wonderful 360-degree view over the rooftops of Amsterdam.

Conservatorium, Van Baerlestraat 27, 1071 AN Amsterdam, Netherlands

(Image credit: Conservatorium)  

4
Verona, Italy

Verona is the setting of one of the most famous love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet. Albeit, with a tragic ending. Check out Juliet’s balcony, catch an opera at the 2,000-year-old Roman Arena, or discover one of Italy’s most romantic Renaissance gardens.

Each year during Valentine’s Day, the city organises a series of romantic events called Verona in Love. Besides going on guided tours following in the footsteps of the star-crossed lovers, there are restaurants offering candle-lit dinners, art exhibitions and poetry readings – plus a series of free early evening concerts of all genres.

(Image credit: Italy Magazine

5
Honolulu, Hawaii

For a romantic setting by the beach, look to the land of Aloha. Take your significant other diving or snorkelling to see the colourful marine life, visit the Iolani Palace, have a leisurely picnic at Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, or watch live performances at the Diamond Head Theatre.

For selected guided holidays to Hawaii, Paris, Italy, Vienna and India, Trafalgar is offering a 12% discount for purchases between 10-14 February. If you can’t travel during the Valentine’s Day period, the offer is valid throughout 2017. With Trafalgar, you get to experience all of Hawaii’s beautiful islands after exploring Honolulu.

(Image credit: Edmund Garmand)

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.