Plan Your Trip: Intimate Escapes

For the trips featured in Intimate Escapes, our contributing editors and photographers visited some of the world's most romantic islands and resorts. They experienced each trip with a significant other to evaluate the places for traveling couples. Here is further travel information for planning your own intimate escape. To learn more about all of the Intimate Escapes, click here.

Kapalua, Maui

Fly to Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) on a variety of flights, including direct from Los Angeles (LAX) on American Airlines.

Stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, which had a $180 million renovation of 463 rooms. It's in the Kapalua Resort area amid the scenery of northwest Maui.

Eat at the Banyan Tree restaurant, one of six exceptional dining choices at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, A Kapalua Resort shuttle takes you along the winding coastline to the recently opened Merriman's Kapalua, true to the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement of showcasing authentic local flavors of the islands.

Vatulele, Fiji

Fly first to Nadi International Airport (NAN) on Fiji with Air Pacific. Then you can take the daily, 25-minute flight by Pacific Island Air to Vatulele (VTF).;

Stay at the Vatulele Island Resort, which has 19 deluxe beach bures & two oversized villas, the Vale Viqi pink honey- moon bure and the Point, a two-story house. Aside from a handful of local villages, there's no other development on the island.

Try to make tapa cloth, one of the traditional arts in Polynesia. The cloth is actually pounded bark from the mulberry tree, and you can watch locals paint it with dye derived from various seeds and clay from the island. If you have a hankering to do it yourself, the resort will demonstrate the process and help you make bark cloth with your traveling companion so you can write tapa love letters to each other.


Fly to Dublin Airport (DUB) on multiple carriers, including direct flights from the U.S. on Aer Lingus, The Patton Flyer shuttle has a 35-minute trip to Dún Laoghaire and the Royal Marine Hotel.

Stay at the Royal Marine Hotel. The first hotel was built on the site in 1828 and has since undergone several updates including a major redevelopment that closed the hotel from 2004 to June 2007. Accommodations include sea-view rooms and presidential suites. Dining options range from Dún Bistro to two bars and a lounge perfect for afternoon tea.

Eat out in central Dublin at the Clarence Hotel. Owned by rock stars Bono and the Edge from the Irish band U2, the hotel offers fine dining in the Tea Room. On Executive Chef Mathieu Melin's ever-changing menu, try cannon of Irish lamb or pan-fried filet of Irish Hereford beef Rossini style with a selection of Tea Room potatoes — from hand-cut chips cooked in duck fat to roasted sweet potatoes. Finish it off with Guinness ice cream, then retire for the evening to the hotel's Octagon Bar with a Clarence Classic cocktail, a delectable mix of Midori, a sugar cube infused with cherries and champagne.

Royal Plantation Island, Bahamas

Fly from the U.S. to the Bahamas, including Spirit Airlines from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Nassau International Airport (NAS), Taxi to the executive airport for a 40-minute flight to Staniel Cay airstrip (TYM) in the Exuma islands with Dove Wings or several other charter services. The Royal Plantation boat picks you up at the airstrip.

Stay in one of the six rental houses on Royal Plantation Island at Fowl Cay. All have modern comforts such as fully stocked kitchens, air-conditioning and satellite TV, and each feels like the lone villa on this private island. The Birdcage House is the largest: two stories, two bedrooms and 360-degree views.

Eat at the Harbour Club Eating & Drinking House. Perched on the island's highest point and open to passing yachters as well as resort guests, this scenic restaurant has a patio, pool, bar, dining room and lounge. The menu changes often; entrees include island-rubbed grilled pork loin and lobster.

South Island, New Zealand

Fly on Air New Zealand, the flagship carrier here. Yes, it's a long flight from the U.S. — 13 hours from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL), and you lose a day crossing the International Dateline. But in business class, you can dine on poached Manuka prawns and New Zealand lamb while sipping some of the best Kiwi wines. Personal entertainment screens are loaded with movies and TV shows. For the ultimate in privacy on 747-400 planes, snag the coveted A-1 and K-1 seat combination. You'll be in the quiet nose of the plane facing one another. The connecting flight to Queenstown (ZQN) on the South Island is under two hours.

Stay in the Queenstown area, billed as "the adventure capital of the world." The Azur Lodge offers a taste of luxury in nine villas, which feature gas fireplaces, private decks and "rainforest shower heads."

See the scenery from Queenstown to Milford Sound on the Helicopter Line's ultimate sightseeing combination, the Fly Cruise Heli tour. Fly by plane to Milford Sound for a cruise up the fiord; the return helicopter flight includes an alpine landing.

Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines

Fly from Miami (MIA) to Barbados (BGI) on American Airlines, Take Grenadine Airways for the connecting flight to Union Island (UNI), The Petit St. Vincent boat ferries you to the resort.

Stay at Petit St. Vincent Resort, a 113-acre private island with 22 cottages. Guests can choose to take their meals in the dining room or through room service. As the resort claims, "The truly hermitic guest need never meet another visitor."

Cruise from Petit St. Vincent to the Tobago Cays aboard Jeff Stevens' completely handcrafted charter boat, the Jambalaya.

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Fly by Kenmore Air float plane from Seattle's Lake Union airport (LKE) to Ganges Harbor (YGG) on Salt Spring, Or take a ferry from Vancouver.

Stay at the Hastings House Country House Hotel, with 18 rooms and suites on 22 acres along Ganges Harbor.

Take the studio tour of working artists on the island, covering more than 30 stops.

[Note: LaSource announced it was closing in October 2012.](

Fly on American Airlines to Puerto Rico (SJU), then take a connecting flight to Grenada's Point Salines International Airport (GND), A LaSource limo picks you up for the quick ride to the resort.

Stay at the all-inclusive LaSource, featuring 100 guest rooms, four restaurants, three bars, three pools, the open sea and much more.

Learn more about this Grenada trip and all these escapes at