Planning a romantic getaway as part of your Valentine’s celebration this year? At Travaasa® we know that there’s more to creating the perfect love retreat than simply picking a place, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Below, you’ll find some tips from our Travaasa experts.

We start with planning. We recommend that you give some thought to your desires and expectations for a stay, a day or a dinner. At Travaasa, our reservations expert, Julie MacLeod, can help you create the best plan for a stay. “First, it is important for us to find out if there’s a special occasion that you’re celebrating — a birthday, anniversary or engagement, for instance — so that we can plan around that. At Travaasa, we have all kinds of different treats that can be waiting in the room. We can have a bucket of chilled champagne with chocolate covered strawberries, flowers or a cake, if you wish,” says Julie.

And if you’re going to propose on Valentine’s Day or any other day, our team at Travaasa has designed our Proposal Package where we decorate our beautiful Austin Solidago Garden or breathtaking Hana Sea Ranch Studio with candles, flower petals, champagne and chocolate for you and your sweetheart to “discover” during a romantic walk in the moonlight.

To help our guests create the perfect stay, “I always try to find out what each person is interested in and make suggestions accordingly,” continues Julie. “Sometimes they want to do some things together and some things apart. Maybe he wants to golf while she’s getting a facial or is taking a Pilates class, but then they want to hike, do the Challenge Course, a Couples’ Massage or Couples’ Connection Experience together.  We need to find the best balance for each couple.”

Julie gives us more advice. “A romantic vacation — even if it is just a day — is about rediscovering the magic of each other. It’s all about waking up in each other’s arms without the alarm clock, enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise, or a glass of wine while the sun sets and savoring a delicious meal without any other distractions. You can create a tradition and commitment to come back year after year, to celebrate and reconnect.”

Then there are the activities that you can share. Joshua Krilov leads Travaasa’s Couples’ Connection Experience and the High Ropes Course at our Austin property. Josh believes that a new, shared experience that stretches the comfort zone can strengthen and renew relationships. “Our exercises have you intentionally focus on your partner as you both complete various challenges,” says Josh. “We try to take away the typical patterns of day-to-day automatic responses and bring people back to where they began to help them rekindle that first exciting energy they experienced early in the relationship.”

The Couples’ Connection exercises also give couples a chance to take the time to consider what might need to be explored in their relationship. “I remember a couple that was here a few weeks ago. They hadn’t had a chance to discuss their relationship for a very long time because they were so busy in their lives. The disconnection had caused some tension in their relationship. You could feel it when they walked into the room. But they ended up feeling like this was a safe place to have time to talk. It was great feeling the tension between them disappear. This, and our High Ropes Course or other shared activities, give couples a chance to support each other in new ways. It is a memory of a lifetime for many of our guests.”

Travaasa’s Partner Yoga class presents a very physical and emotional method of sharing experiences. “We always end up laughing, not so much at each other, but with each other,” says Susan Anderson, one of our yoga instructors, “There’s touching, supporting, holding and a closeness that is so different from what people usually do.” Susan says that it is a great way for an experienced yoga enthusiast to share their expertise with his or her loved one, who may be totally new to yoga. “Our atmosphere is totally laid back. We do some poses on our own; some together, where one person assists the other in stretches or leaning on each other for balance. It’s really fun.”

And, for those who want a less physical challenge, there’s always food.  Both Travaasa chefs recommend enticing menus with aphrodisiac touches to help celebrate Valentine’s Day. To that end, we’ve designed the menu to feed all of the senses and to enhance the libido. “Some aphrodisiacs have claimed their reputation purely by their outward appearance,” says Ben Baker, executive chef at Travaasa Austin. The open fig, for example, or the avocado have been used suggestively in all kinds of cultures. Others rise to the top of the paradigm by their ability to increase blood flow and warmth in the body. The items we’ve put on this menu are considered aphrodisiacs, and the menu is built to incorporate enough of these ingredients that any combination will inspire love.”

So, if you’re looking for a place to celebrate love, join us at Travaasa for our programs that strengthen connections to lovers and friends and family by playing together, savoring good food, exploring new ways to communicate and spending time relaxing together. Come join us to help rekindle the magic of romance.