Valentine’s Day’s round the corner and we know you’re all plotting to ditch the house, the office, even the kids, and run off to rekindle the passion. There’s no better way to really focus on your partner than to occasionally leave the washing up and the unpaid bills behind and travel together, whether it’s to embark on a journey of discovery or just crawl into a hotel with a view and room service and shut out the rest of the world. Romance is in the air and the clock is ticking, why don’t you fly on down to India and let us show you how we do love?
The Old Faithfuls
There are certain little pockets in this passion-fuelled country that have cornered the market on romance-hospitality. The weather dances to their tune, flowers blossom on every street corner, resorts and spas abound. Here’s the spots we think have perfected that fine art, for those soulmates that have perfected their love.
Lush and welcoming, Coorg enfolds you into its leafy bosom, drawing you in with the heady scent of coffee and keeping you rooted with its disarmingly warm culture. Trek through the jungles and stock up on big lungfuls of fresh air to keep you going through the evenings of spa sessions and candle-lit dinners that most of the resorts offer, that are definitely going to leave you a little light-headed with satisfaction. Go coffee tasting or bird watching or just slip down a shaded by-lane, hands entwined, for a little journey of your own.
Houseboats, the answer to every Indian honeymoon. Stow away into the peaceful lights of the backwaters at Allapuzha (Allepey) and weigh anchor in the middle of nowhere, an island unto yourselves. Nap on the cushions on the prow in the sunny afternoons and let the gentle waves rock you to sleep in the arms of your beloved each night. Hop on to the shore each morning for steaming appams and spicy chettinad food in the afternoon. End the day with an array of cultural performances from Kathakali to Kalaripayyatu.
Sun, sand, sea and more and more sea. A quick ferry ride from port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it’s as comfortable as the capital, but less crowded. Laze around in hammocks and wide-brimmed hats or flaunt your bikini bod in the waves, either way, you’re going home with a wicked tan and a stronger, deeper love. Chic bars along the beach will be happy to light up your table with a candle and a smile as you toast to the years to come.
The Blossoming Romance
For those relationships not quite fresh off the boat, but that know they have so much more to learn, we have the up-and-coming love market. Little towns and villages that are slowly awakening to the joys of romantic love, and the rewards of nurturing it. Each of these destinations is rich with its own culture, so there’s lots more to discover while you discover yourselves.
Holding the Guinness World Record for the wettest place on earth, it’s beautifully cool and forested year round. Walk on bridges woven from hanging roots or and picnic on grassy moors festooned with moss-covered rocks. Also going by the name of Mawsynram, it’s another great stop for trekkers that think they can take on its endless hills. Worry not about exhaustion from all the climbing and loving, the locals will keep you well fuelled on their delicious Pork Rice and Sohra Pulao.
A rocky ride up from the station. Mt. Abu is a delight from start to finish. Stay in one of several ancient and beautiful homestays that overlook the city’s main lake. Take long walks between the boulder strewn mountains. Sneak into one of the gorgeous school campuses. Take a hot air balloon ride. Go boating. Gorge on Dal Bati Churma and lassi. Then as the sun dips below the horizon and a little nip gathers in the air, run back home with your SO and snuggle up under a colourful Rajasthani razai for the night.
Barely a couple of hours away from the tourist saturated Ooty, Kodaikanal is a sweet haven of charming colonial aesthetic, laburnum trees and quiet homeliness in the Nilgiris. Find a homestay or guesthouse tucked away in the cool heights of Kodaikanal and spend your days learning to make jam or exploring Tea Museums. Go out onto the lake or up to the waterfalls, or even to the Solar Observatory for some real learning. Stock up on homemade chocolates and cheap sweaters or just sit back and soak in the delicious eucalyptus scented air.
The Blushing Young Hopefuls
Just like our optimistic young lovers, these destinations have had long and complex histories, but are only just opening up to ardour.
A beach haven in a nondescript corner of the Kerala coast, it never truly changed to embrace the wave of British and Australian surfers that now throng its beaches. That means while you can shack up at kitschy surfer’s hostels with pizza nights and décor straight out of Pinterest, you can still eat deliciously local meals hosted in the very kitchens of lcals, and toss away any worries about being ripped off by tourist-targeting touts. Enjoy a soothing Ayurvedic massage after a day’s hard surf and then drive off to a quiet beach populated entirely by fisherfolk for fresh fish and a miraculous sunset. Mind though, this duality means that the adorable shorts that your dormmate cooed over in the morning will not go down as well with the mostly religious tourists from other parts of India that come to visit the temple on the main shore. Be respectful and let the city love you back.
Probably the biggest city in this list, Nashik is a bustling little hub whose main tourist attraction has always been its temples. Not exactly promising, until you factor in the country’s premier wine producing unit, the Sula Vineyards. Drowning in awards for its innovative recipes and locally sourced grapes, they’re open to tours and most excitingly, tasting sessions that make for a good base for a 2-3 day trip. Get tipsy with your partner on an informative and aesthetically rewarding evening and who knows where it can go from there?
Quiet, sleepy, beachy. Shack up in a villa or a thatched bamboo hut on the seafront and settle down to a laidback weekend of beer and surf. The area is chock full of exquisite temples for those able to drag themselves away from the entrancing waves for a bit of exploring, although they probably won’t grant entry to non-Hindus. Typically amazing seaside food and chai stalls tie it all together into a holiday of carefree loving.
So go ahead and pick a spot, then give us a call, and we’d be happy to set up the perfect weekend for you!