Flowers and chocolates are all very well, but when it comes to romance it’s hard to beat a stylish mini break. Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith round up three heart-shaped havens within easy reach, perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day (it falls on a Thursday this year, so why not make it a four-day family escape?) Prefer to leave the kids with mum? Then this tempting trio are even more seductive à deux…
Sri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand
Style Tropical villas with views
Setting Forest coasts of Phuket
Dotted amid the jungle with glorious vistas of the Andaman Sea, Phuket boutique hotel Sri Panwa is a magical mix of romance and family-friendly fun. Each of the 52 airy glass-boxed bedrooms overlooks seductive swathes of ocean or tropical gardens, with a private, deck-fringed pool just a few steps from your bed.
Sleeping The contemporary Two-Bedroom Pool Villas and Two-Bedroom Family Suites are perfect for families, although there may be a tussle over who bags the bed by the pool. Three- to five-bed Residences suit bigger broods. Under-12s stay for free; extra beds for older children cost around THB4,000 a night.
Activities Adults will love Cool Spa, the go-to spot for Thai and Swedish couples massages, facials, yoga and therapy baths. Or pack the kids off to the tennis courts while you wallow in the luxe infinity pool in your room, which sports massage jets for bubbly bliss. Children will adore the huge main pool, surrounded by Baba Pool Club, and the hotel’s private, tree-fringed beach. There are also bike trails and boats for active types or cooking classes for budding gourmets.
Feasting Enjoy home-style Thai sharing plates at Baba Soul Food, a breezy ocean-view eatery. Main, hilltop restaurant Baba tempts with fresh seafood and Thai cuisine; it’s also home to the lounge bar, where chill-out tunes rule.
Sassy savings Stay two nights or more in select rooms with the Family Vacation offer and you’ll enjoy return transfers, daily breakfast, one five-course family set dinner, 15 per cent off à la carte massage sessions at Cool Spa, 10 per cent off the food menu at Baba Pool Club and a half-day local trip. Smith members also get a cocktail for two.
Kayumanis Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia
Style Thatched villa sanctuary
Setting South Bali coconut groves
Kayumanis Jimbaran boutique hotel in Bali is set back from a traditional fishermen’s beach under coconut palms, with just 19 thatched villas embracing the outdoors. Sliding glass doors open up to balmy sea breezes, with huge private pools for easy dips.
Sleeping The One-bedroom Private Estates are generously-sized sanctuaries, with a master bedroom, open-plan living/dining areas, kitchen and separate room which can be set up as a second bedroom. For more space, opt for the Two-bedroom version.Baby cots can be supplied, and villas come stocked with children’s bathrobes, slippers and toiletries. Babysitting is available on request.
Activities Wander the long, golden beach to check out the vibrant fishing boats; it’s handy for swimming, but for a full-on sun-lounger experience, the hotel’s sister Beach Club is a 20-minute drive away. Jimbaran’s beach is also home to informal fish restaurants right on the shore, ideal for a Valentine’s night meal under the stars. You can also sign up for local market tours and cooking classes. The whole family can hit the hotel’s day-spa, which even offers kid-focussed treatments.
Feasting There’s a children’s menu at rated Tapis Restaurant, an open-air Indonesian eaterie serving authentic local and western dishes, including seafood and a rijstaffel banquet. Just call the 24-hour butler if you need room service. For Valentine’s, you can’t beat romantic private dining on a floating pontoon on your pool.
Sassy savings Stay two nights in a One-bedroom Private Estate on Smith’s
Family Getaway offer and enjoy special benefits for two adults and two children under 12. You and your Valentine can chill out with a two-hour Relaxing Massage or Relaxing Ritual, while the kids get a Junior Cooking Class. A full-day car charter, 30-minute back and shoulder massage and daily high tea add to the pampering.
Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Style Med beach resort
Setting Rural outskirts of town
Where better to combine romance and adventure than the buzzy Cambodian town famous as the home of Angkor Wat? For a relaxed take on temple-hopping, bed down in stylish Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, which offers 18 white, bright contemporary boudoirs on the sleepy rural outskirts.
Sleeping The hotel’s tranquil, out-of-town setting works well for kids; baby cots are free and extra beds for older children cost US$30 each a night. Entry-level Explorer Rooms come with double or twin beds, with some interconnecting options. Grand Tour Rooms are bigger, but the space doesn’t work as well for an extra child’s bed. Bathrooms are suitably seductive.
Activities Choose between the fresh – or salt-water pools at Navutu, set in verdant gardens for intimate chilling. Spend at least a day touring the famous temples (older kids will love tree-entangled Ta Prohm and the many-headed Bayon). The hotel also provides you with a free tuk-tuk for 12 consecutive hours each day, ideal for whizzing into town to check out the Angkor Night Market, galleries and shops. Family-friendly activities range from biking to trips to Tonlé Sap Lake’s overwater dwellings. Then again, you could just book a tropical-inspired treatment at the Honey Comb Spa (luckily, babysitting is just US$5 an hour).
Feasting Given its Italian restaurateur owners, it’s no surprise that the gourmet offering at Navutu is very tasty, with an appealing choice of Mediterranean and local Khmer dishes. The open-sided circular dining space is set poolside for a mellow vibe. There’s a smart wine list and cocktails are served from the adjacent bar.
Sassy savings Bag the Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa hotel offer to get 15 per cent off room rates. Book through Smith to receive an extra gift of a bottle of Italian prosecco.
Want other romantic family breaks? Simply visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 236. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at 1,000 hotels and holiday houses around the world.