Four dreamy destinations for romantic getaways

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Belgium’s Zannier hotels has a monopoly on high romance, from its Namibian camps to the lush elegance of Phum Baitang, its estate outside Siem Reap in Cambodia.

The Hoa Sen spa has seven treatment rooms as well as hammams, saunas and relaxation areas
The Hoa Sen spa has seven treatment rooms as well as hammams, saunas and relaxation areas © Frederik Wissink
The private pool at the three-bedroom Grand Bay Pool villa at Bãi San Hô
The private pool at the three-bedroom Grand Bay Pool villa at Bãi San Hô © Frederik Wissink

Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô, an all-villa resort in Vietnam, opened at the end of 2020 and ticks all the dreamy boxes: a beach setting in Phú Yên, a less frequented bit of the coastline; huge accommodations with interiors that channel a bit of Axel Vervoordt style; privacy, privacy, privacy – and, as of February, a Green Globe Certification for setting sustainability bars in the country. zannierhotels.com, from £295


Not new, but still flying under the radar, Relais Sant’Elena is one of Italy’s unsung charmers – a farm restored with bottomless love and an eagle eye by owner Moira Rossi Ciampolini, who likes a rampant rose garden, organic food, friendly dogs and telling her guests about the best local haunts.

A bathroom decorated in the terracotta colour scheme at Relais Sant’Elena
A bathroom decorated in the terracotta colour scheme at Relais Sant’Elena
Antique furnishings and stone arches recall the building’s history
Antique furnishings and stone arches recall the building’s history

The 16 rooms have terracotta-tile floors, chestnut-beamed ceilings and pretty toiles on the beds. Breakfast is epic; the pool, surrounded by tented loungers, is a delight; you’re in one of Italy’s great wine regions; and the sea is a 15-minute drive. tenutagardini.it, from €340


In France’s Cognac, the very names – Hennessy, Rémy Martin – carry old-world glamour. On the outskirts of the town on the banks of the Charente river, La Nauve is a former distillery that’s been converted into a 12-suite hotel.

The grand staircase in the main building at La Nauve
The grand staircase in the main building at La Nauve
There are four more suites in the gardens which lead down to a river
There are four more suites in the gardens which lead down to a river

It will open in June with eight bedrooms in the main building, along with a restaurant, bar and small library (with a wide selection of the local tipple). La Nauve has four further suites scattered in the rambling gardens that lead down to the riverbank. lanauve.com, from €350


Zambia is next-level safari country – its vistas wider, its wildlife wilder. The Bushcamp Company has just launched KuKaya, a six-villa camp with a winning romance formula: do what you want, when you want. Your rate includes a private villa, a private safari guide and a host to see to your needs; you plan your schedule each day.

KuKaya lodge has six thatched chalets with outdoor en suite bathrooms
KuKaya lodge has six thatched chalets with outdoor en suite bathrooms
There is a plunge pool looking out over the bush; also a firepit, pizza oven and barbeque area
There is a plunge pool looking out over the bush; also a firepit, pizza oven and barbeque area

Go megafauna-chasing when you like; dine in or opt for a meal at the KuKaya “deli”, where waffles, wood-fired pizzas, three-course meals and everything in between are on offer. Best of all: you’re inside South Luangwa National Park, right next to some of its most popular permanent watering holes, which means the big animals might just come to you. bushcampcompany.com, from $425pp

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