Let’s be honest – when it comes to holidaying as a couple, sometimes you both want different things. There are times for laying on the beach under a palm tree together, but there are also those moments where you each need some of your own kind of excitement.
Here are our top three holiday suggestions where couples can get the best of both worlds, so you both come back, refreshed, rejuvenated and still happily together.
1. Couple clash: Fitness
Active versus passive
With fitness retreats becoming increasingly popular due to the health and wellness boom, couples are now after different ways of spending time together in new and scenic locations, while still keeping fit in their own ways. Thankfully, this has led to the establishment of numerous well-being retreats – particularly around Asia. The perks? You don’t have to waste precious time travelling to the other side of the globe, and you tend to see completely new and remote locations, essentially on your doorstep! Not to mention, these Asia-based retreats are typically more affordable and luxurious than their European or American counterparts.
When you start narrowing in on locations, consider the following gems:
Closer to home: Genting Highlands, Malaysia
- About: Close to Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm and among the Genting highlands, this part of Malaysia is isolated enough that you are away from the crowds, but still provides enough activity to suit those wanting to stay active on their getaway.
- Getting there: Take a quick flight to Kuala Lumpur and a bus further up to the highlands for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Where to stay: Awana Hotel, in a room overlooking the mountain range for a pleasant view.
- For the adventurer: The isolated and ample greenery makes it a top spot for golfing. In fact, the property boasts an 18-hole course as well as archery facilities.
- For the relaxer: Look no further than the property’s spa facilities, or for something a little more active, beeline for the outdoor tennis courts.
A little farther out: Ubud, Bali
- About: The ultimate zen escape for those looking for the complete and luxurious health and well-being getaway.
- Getting there: Take a flight by one of the many budget or regional airline carriers, and in as little as 2 hours and 40 minutes, you will be immersed in a wellness paradise.
- Where to stay: COMO Shambhala Estate, a 5-star resort within the vicinity of Gaya Art Space and Botanic Garden Ubud, offering tailored packages for those seeking weight loss, fitness, detoxing, stress management, or rejuvenation.
- For the adventurer: Everything is possible at COMO Shambhala – whether you’re after river rafting, guided walking/biking/trekking, rock climbing or canyoning – staying active and having fun while you’re at it, is all possible.
- For the relaxer: Try something at a slightly slower pace, with the resort’s aqua therapy, Pranayama (breathing techniques), Pilates or yoga classes.
2. Couple clash: Weather
Hot versus cold
There's always someone in every relationship that either prefers hot or cooler weather, and this can make things a little tricky when booking holidays abroad. Often getaways are at the expense of your other half’s preference, and you take it in turns to pick the location, rather than decide together.
While we can’t click our heels together three times and wish for instantly warmer or cooler weather at any given destination, we can share our top escape picks that seems to provide the perfect compromise.
Closer to home: Osaka, Japan
- About: While it rarely snows in Osaka, it does get quite chilly in the winter months, which is ideal for those after cooler temperatures, but a little unpleasant for warmer weather lovers. However, the destination becomes a match made in climate-preference-heaven with the perfect balance of crisp outside air, steaming onsens and cosy ramen houses.
- Getting there: At a little over a 6 hour flight, travellers who don’t want to waste any time, can arrive in Osaka by morning via an overnight flight.
- Where to stay: If you’re going to do Japan properly, you need to stay at a Japanese hotel and the Dormy Inn Umeda Higashi is the perfect place. Not only will you have access to one of three hotel-owned onsen tubs, you’ll also be located in the thick of the city - minutes from Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Arcade and close to Osaka Science Museum.
- For the warmth-seeker: A trip to Hanamaruken Ramen is a must for one of the best bowls of Tonkatsu with slow braised pork rib. Open 24 hours, warmth and taste-bud joy is always a possibility. For those who want to immerse themselves in warmth, make a dash for the well-known Spa World which boasts European and Japanese hot spring baths.
- For the cool-lover: The best way to soak up Osaka over the cooler months is to take a stroll in the evening to see the elegantly lit buildings, but if you’re after adventure and even cooler weather, skiing is your best bet. Dynaland is a 3-hour drive from Osaka, and slopes open as early as 5am, making day trips possible…if you can get your warm-weather-loving other half on board!
A little farther out: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- About: Cutting edge, lively, culturally diverse and HOT are all things Dubai is known for. The scorching beaches and balmy air make it a paradise for warm-weather-lovers and thankfully, now our cooler-blooded other halves can also find joy and comfort in the unique paradise.
- Getting there: At about 8-hours by flight from Singapore, Dubai is a little farther from our local shores, but daily flights and regular promotions make it a possible getaway even if you only have a few days to spare.
- Where to stay: Atlantis The Palm is not for the budget conscious but definitely a must when visiting Dubai, for its dream-like opulence and its location which is amongst the key attractions and malls.
- For the warmth-seeker: Aside from the hotel’s own sprawling private beach, sun seekers can get their dose of vitamin D at the complimentary water park, Aquaventure, which is packed with world-first and record-breaking rides and slides.
- For the cool-lover: Sure you can cool off in the ocean or pool, but for a much needed dose of frost, make a beeline for the Mall of the Emirates which boasts a 3000 square meter snow park. You’ll forget you’re in the Middle East with its tobogganing hills, bobsled rides, ski slopes and regular snow falls!
3. Couple clash: Scenery
Country versus coast
Are you a coastal fan while your other half is all about the country? Often that means a trip to Europe where you can get rolling hills and lush greenery at the expense of a pebbly, freezing beach. If you’re already shuddering at this thought, fear not! We’ve come up with the top picks for couples who can’t agree when it comes to scenic sights.
Closer to home: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- About: When you think of scenery, Hong Kong isn’t the first place that springs to mind, but it’s certainly one that should be. Its surrounding hills, peaks and parks give the impression you’re far away from any city, while its coastal location means couples can also get their dose of beach.
- Getting there: At just under 4 hours from Singapore, Hong Kong is a quick escape which can be booked at a moment’s notice.
- Where to stay: J Plus Hotel by yoo is a quirky guesthouse centrally located near Time Square in Causeway Bay, placing you in a great location for exploring the coast or going further inland.
- For the coastal gypsy: Repulse Bay is a must for all coastal lovers in need of some sand and sea. The crescent-shaped beach has a resort-like feel and close to shops, restaurants and perfect for sunset watching.
- For the country wanderer: Venture a little further inland and go on a guided walk in the Sai Kung East Country Park where you’ll be able to see a magnificent hexagonal volcanic column rock formation. You’ll also trek through lush greenery on a path that was previously used by villagers many years ago.
A little farther out: Margaret River, Perth
- About: Southwest of Perth in Western Australia, Margaret River is a little slice of country-come-beach-come-wine paradise for couples who want the best of both worlds.
- Getting there: Following a 4 and a half hour flight from Singapore to Perth, rent a car and drive another 3 hours down the scenic coast.
- Where to stay: The Pullman Bunker Bay Resort Margaret River is a little slice of luxurious paradise which is what you’ll look forward to after the journey. Conveniently located near Cape Naturalist Light House, the hotel is also near Country Life Farm and Ngilgi Cave.
- For the coastal gypsy: Look no further than Gnarabup Beach – one of the most popular Margaret River beaches. Think white grainy sand and turquoise water. Bliss!
- For the country wanderer: Embrace a different kind of country vibe by spending it in winery surroundings. Make a trip to the family-run and internationally renowned Leeuwin Estate Winery which is set amongst lush green wine vines and boasts an award-winning restaurant.