Isn’t it romantic? Here are the love locales where celebs feel the passion

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Tribune
February 3, 2013

There’s no specific quality that makes one destination more romantic than others. While some travelers want access to luxuries and fine dining, others search for a beautiful sunset in a rustic environment. The important thing is being with the right person. As Mark Twain said, “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

With that in mind, we asked some of our favorite celebrities what romantic destinations hold special places in their hearts when they want to get away with their Valentines, whose day is approaching.

Samantha Brown, travel personality: “I love the island of Bali in Indonesia. It’s a destination where the ubiquitous khaki short is shunned and the sensual sarong is embraced by both men and women. Bali’s exotic landscape, temples and sea lull you into a state of deep relaxation and appreciation for living a slower life. And when it comes to romantic resorts, Bali has some of the most dreamy I’ve stayed at with individual bungalows that are big on privacy. All you hear is the wind flowing thru bamboo forests and the sound of water escaping your own personal infinity pool.”

Engelbert Humperdinck, singer: “Aside from the obvious and commercial romance that is Paris, there is a certain je ne sais quoi that can only be explained by personal experience. Here’s a little story that sums it up for me. I was sitting with some dear friends in Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysees, when three violinists strolled over to our table. They began to play ‘I Wish You Love’ [which is the English version of ‘Que reste-t-il de nos amours?’]. That Paris magic got a hold of me and I sang as if I was doing an encore on stage. The music could not only be heard by those walking along outside, but it floated into the other room where the songwriter, Charles Trenet, was dining. The whole restaurant applauded when Charles came over to thank me for singing his song. I got goosebumps as I soaked up the reality. This was actually my life!”

Meghan Markle, actress (“Suits”): “The Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. It’s from the 1950s or so and is the spot where I got married. It’s just old school Hollywood and is so romantic. Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller used to have romantic jaunts there. It’s the only place I’ve ever cried when I had to leave. We just took over the whole place. It’s tiny, but really special. I think there are tons of things you can do around the area but, for me, it’s just nice to go and lay around and eat awesome food and spend time in the ocean. I’m all for cultural experiences, but when you need a little rest and relaxation, this is 100 percent the place that I want to go to.”

Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur“The Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles is the perfect romantic getaway. It’s an oasis almost in the middle of the city. It has great food and an amazing Mediterranean feel. I especially love the cozy bar with the fireplace. The restaurant serves fantastic grilled fish. I most enjoy the whole branzino for two with a roasted tomato fondue, olive oil and basil. And not to be missed is the chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert. It’s sure to stir up romantic cravings in anyone.”

Natalie Coughlin, Olympic swimmer: “The most romantic vacation was probably the Kona Village on the Big Island of Hawaii. If the goal of the vacation is to unplug and relax, the Kona Village is the perfect place. You stay in beach huts without phones, TV’s or even a lock on the door. Food is included and delicious. The resort is situated on a private beach that’s filled with turtles and other sea life. My husband and I went here for our honeymoon. We started every morning with a stand up paddleboard to check out the sea life and work up an appetite for all the yummy food that the KV provides. It’s beautiful, simple and so relaxing.”

Josh Duhamel, actor (“Transformers”):“My wife [Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie] and I love Mexico. It’s a nice, romantic getaway that’s so easy to get to from L.A. I also think there’s something really romantic about Cinque Terre in Italy. It’s just gorgeous. I don’t think I saw a bad view the entire time there. It’s one of those places where you look around and you’re just in awe. It’s really an amazing place.”

Fergie, Black Eyed Peas singer, who also has a wine line called Ferguson Crest:”The One and Only in the Maldives is above and beyond the most romantic place that I have ever been. [My husband] Josh [Duhamel] and I spent our honeymoon there. The breathtaking scenery was complimented by phenomenal service and design. I remember dining over the clear blue water with my husband and feeling like I finally knew what the word ‘paradise’ means. I also remember us sitting at the edge of the infinity pool that overlooks the Indian Ocean, sipping a glass of wine and wishing that this trip would never end.”

Henry Winkler, actor and author of the “Hank Zipzer” children’s books: “It’s a toss up between Montana and Bora Bora. Montana is breathtaking, quiet and reflective. At 9:00 at night, when a blanket of stars covers you as you walk along a dirt road, it forces you to hold your significant other in a close embrace. Bora Bora invites you to wear the least amount of clothing possible, while its warm, balmy breeze acts as a substitute for a shirt. Sitting on the balcony of wherever you’re staying and staring out at the blue-green water–which never seems to end–is like a sensual lullaby. Watching the sun set as it dips below the edge of the world leaves you alone with nothing to do, but love your significant other.”

Dionne Warwick, singer: “I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to some of the most exotic, as well as romantic, places over the past 50 years. If I had to choose just a couple, the first would be a place called Buzios in Brazil. It’s a resort area where I spent time with someone very special for an entire week of rest and relaxation. The other would be the Cote d’Azur in Monte Carlo, again with someone very special and with my family. I’d suggest either of these places for anyone planning a romantic time, and do it with someone very special.”

Piper Perabo, actress (“Covert Affairs”): “Oia, a small community, in the Cyclades [Greece]. Its sunsets are rumored to be the most beautiful in the world. Every evening, we’d run out to the cliffs to watch.”

Karolina Kurkova, supermodel coach on Oxygen’s new series, “The Face”:The most romantic places I have traveled to are Paris, Prague and Santorini. These places are magical. The history, charm and beauty of each makes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.”

Katie Barberi, actress (“Grachi,” “Corazon Valiente”): “When I was in my early twenties, I remember walking around the beautiful streets of Victoria, B.C., which seemed very romantic to me. I was with friends and had a great time, but I secretly hoped one day my prince would take a stroll with me right there. My boyfriend and I will have to go!”

Alana de la Garza, actress (“Do No Harm”): “I really enjoyed Savannah. We stayed at this sweet B&B that had two fireplaces and a tub the size of a pool in our room. My husband swam around like a naked Merman!”

Billy Campbell, actor (“Killing Lincoln”): “My one and only answer is Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. We found a paradise populated by some of the most hospitable people on earth, where the sweetest breezes come soughing down-valley, carrying the scent of banyan, pine, of grapefruit and guava, as well as the cheery sound of islanders singing.”

Richard Marx, singer-songwriter: “The most romantic spot on earth for [me and my wife, Cynthia] is our own master bedroom. When we moved back to the Chicago area in 1994, we began a long renovation of our current home, and found a way to build the entire master suite from scratch. It’s very spacious with beautiful views of Lake Michigan, but it’s the way Cynthia designed the interior that makes it perfect for us. It’s warm and cozy with a huge fireplace and loads of candles standing by at all times. There are many times I wake up in that room knowing I have to leave town that day to play shows, and I can’t help wonder why in the world anyone would ever leave it.”

Seth Rogen, actor (“The Guilt Trip”): “You’re making me feel really unromantic asking me about this because I’ve never gone anywhere really romantic. We usually cook dinner at home on Valentine’s Day. But we’d love to go to Italy. I think that would be about as romantic as you could get.”


Jae-Ha Kim writes about celebrity travel for Tribune Media Services.

Comments (2)

  1. Natasha says:

    Read them all just now. Great answers..yet have to say I agree the most with Fergie..that resort looks fantastic from everything I have ever seen and read. //PS Rome and Paris are both so I also agree with those that gave that for an answer.

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