Agoda.com, a leading Asia-based hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline.com, is ramping up the romance this Valentine’s Day with an array of seductive room rates for couples wanting to plan something extra-special this February 14. Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, presenting the perfect opportunity for lovers to take a romantic weekend break.
Valentine’s Day gained popularity in the late 18th century when courting couples would write sonnets and love notes to each other. In the west, the tradition continues in the form of Valentine’s Day cards, roses and candle-lit dinners. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently. On February 14, women are expected to give chocolates to all the important men in their life, including colleagues and friends – the best chocolates given to the men they love most. Their special guy will – hopefully – reciprocate the act a month later on White Day, March 14, with gifts of marshmallows, white chocolate, and jewelry. In South Korea, a similar exchange of gifts occurs, followed up on April 14 by Black Day, when singles who received nothing from the previous events congregate to eat black noodles and mourn the state of their love life.
With more than 103,000 hotels listed worldwide, Agoda is offering special rates for couples and singles alike, announcing its Top Five Romantic Getaways and Top Five Hot Spots for Singles this Valentine’s Day.
AGODA’S TOP FIVE ROMANTIC GETAWAYS
Royal Pita Maha Hotel, Ubud, Bali – Rates as low as US$319 per night
Nestled in the Ubud Valley, these luxurious Balinese villas help put romance into overdrive. The resort offers a full range of activities, including spa treatments, fruit carving, and dance classes for guests who can tear themselves away from their super-sized, linen-draped canopy bed.
Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE – Rates from US$488 per night, including breakfast
This fort-like structure in the Liwa Desert is the best place to enjoy a few romantic Arabian nights. Couples can stay ensconced in their luxury villa or embark upon twilight camel rides through the dunes. After a Bedouin-influenced dinner, lovers can retreat to their private terraces to survey the stars.
Sofitel Palais Jamai Fes Hotel, Fez, Morocco – One night for as little as US$198
There’s something about Moorish architecture that fires off the brain’s romance receptors, and this 19th century former palace, with its intricate mosaics and meticulously-restored interiors, is no exception. Soirees on the roof terrace with views of Fez’s medina are particularly enchanting.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives – Super Special Offer: 70 percent discount on Pool Villas and Water Villas at US$480 per night
This lavish property has all the ingredients for romance: luxury, privacy, and a heavenly setting off the Adu Atoll. Guests can choose from stilted bungalows over the water, private pool villas, and intimate tree houses – all with oversized tubs and far-reaching views over the Andaman Sea.
Romanico Palace Hotel, Rome – Stay 3 nights for 10 percent discount, from US$220 per night
Wall frescoes and period furniture give this city center hotel a touch of la dolce vita – “the sweet life.” A rooftop terrace provides city-wide vistas and on-street level visitors are a short walk from the famous Via Veneto.
AGODA’S HOT SPOTS FOR SINGLES
Palms Casino and Resort, Las Vegas, USA – Hot rates from US$125 per night
While Vegas might specialize in shotgun weddings, the city is also the perfect place for the unattached to paint the town red. “Palms” delivers the ultimate Vegas fantasy with themed party suites, a massive nightclub, Turkish baths, and 95,000 square feet of gaming.
Eurostars BCN Design, Barcelona, Spain – Rates from US$550 per night
Barcelona simply doesn’t tolerate sullen travelers – to fully appreciate the city, visitors must immerse themselves in the passionate Catalan culture. The Eurostars BCN Design is a few minutes’ walk from the buzz of Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas, the vibrant heart of Barcelona.
Fresh Hotel, Athens, Greece – Rate from US$180 per night, breakfast included
The beauty of Athens and its culture is a constant draw for romantics from around the world. The city sets a fast pace and the Greek’s Olympian approach to partying is best witnessed from the hip suburb of Kifissia, where this hotel and many clubs and lounge cafés are situated.
The b Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan – Rates from as low as US$168
A short cab ride from Roppongi – Tokyo’s premier party district – this affordable hotel is nestled in a prime spot for single travelers. Mega malls, nightclubs, karaoke bars, and restaurants draw a lively international set, many of whom have no intention of going home before sunrise.
Art Series The Cullen Hotel, Melbourne, Australia – 10 percent discount, rates from US$235
This boutique hotel in Melbourne’s ultra-fashionable South Yarra/Prahran area is surrounded by hip bars, swanky restaurants, and cool shops where visitors can rub shoulders with celebrities and meet like-minded trendsetters.
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