Forget flowers, chocolates and candlelit dinners. For the ultimate way to win over your loved one’s heart this Valentine’s Day give the gift of travel. And not just any travel. Here are three suggestions from boutique luxury travel specialist Sanctuary Retreats’ guaranteed to send even the hardest heart a flutter!
Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge.
First up, is South Africa’s Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge. Treat someone special in your life to an unforgettable experience – falling asleep surrounded only by flickering lanterns while listening to a lullaby of roaring lions, crying jackals and laughing hyenas. The rustic double-storey structure is tucked away in a secluded part of Makanyane Safari Lodge’s private grounds overlooking a waterhole with spectacular views across the Madikwe Game Reserve, making it the perfect retreat for romantics with a sense of adventure at heart.
Luxury Suites priced from $US410 per person per night twin share for 1 – 2 night stays.
Sanctuary Ananda, Myanmar
Or you could woo them with a cruise down Myanmar’s iconic Ayeryarwady River aboard the luxurious Sanctuary Ananda. Custom-built using traditional materials and arranged over four decks, this floating palace combines all the comforts of 5-star contemporary luxury with the refined elegance of authentic Burmese design. The only all-balcony, all-suite ship on the River, the Sanctuary Ananda features just 21 beautifully appointed suites. For those wishing to really say, “I love you”, book the exclusive Owner’s Suite. The largest suite on the entire river boasts a luxurious king-size bed, separate dressing and living areas, plus a big veranda with sun loungers as well as table and chairs. The spacious bathroom will spoil you with a freestanding tub as well as a monsoon shower and his-and-hers sinks. The suite also comes with a private guide, butler service, and intimate dining experiences for two.
And for a truly romantic touch, book in for your own idyllic Sandbank Dinner under a blanket of stars on the riverbank. As the night sky glistens overhead and pagodas shine in the skyline, treat yourself to delicious Burmese delicacies surrounded by lanterns and traditional parasols.
Priced from US$919 per person for 3 nights twin share.
Itineraries available are 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries on the Upper Ayeyarwady River, 11 nights on the Upper and Lower Ayeyarwady River and 10 nights on the Chindwin River.
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, Botswana
But if you really want to pull out all the stops, check into Sanctuary Chief’s Camp. Sanctuary Retreats’ new flagship property, has been re-built to create a new, luxurious contemporary safari camp in one of the best locations in Africa. With 10 brand new stylish pavilions, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp has well and truly raised the standards of the luxury safari experience to new heights.
Consistently rated as one of the top safari camps in Africa renowned for exceptional levels of service and customer experience, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp is located on Chief’s Island in the famous Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, itself recognised as the ‘predator capital of Africa’ and known for its outstanding game viewing, making it the ultimate safari destination.
The spacious new pavilions have incredible views over the surrounding Okavango Delta, which can be enjoyed from each pavilion’s private pool or from the tranquil outdoor seating area. Bathrooms – which come complete with floor to ceiling windows and folding glass doors – also have a spacious outdoor shower and an indulgent, large bath tub – perfect for soaking in after a day’s game viewing.
For the epitome of luxury, the 620m² Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite, named after the eponymous safari pioneer, can accommodate from two to six guests. The suite is ideal for honeymooners looking for the ultimate retreat or groups of friends in search of the utmost privacy and comfort, with two pavilions, a private kitchen, indoor lounge, private boma with fire pit, and secluded deck area. It is fully staffed – with a dedicated chef, personal waiter and housekeeper as well as a private vehicle with its own guide.
Priced from US$1,180 per person per night twin share for 1 – 2 night stays.