Why book into a sprawling hotel when you can curl up together in a unique property?
The cosy country cottage, Wales
Be warned; your visit to this secluded bolt-hole might cost a fortune. Because if you're anything like us, you'll be going online in no time to order the gorgeous soft furnishings (mostly from Laura Ashley) that are expertly crammed into this beautifully styled cottage.
From the moment you set foot inside this elegantly designed space, through the boot room and into the seriously comfy sitting room, you might start to feel like your own home is a little bit shabby by comparison. There's the smell of the wood burner (and isn't there something fab about helping yourself to free logs chopped from the woods whenever you want them?), the pull of the enormous wrap-around sofa, the perfectly-thought-out lighting and a kitchen so well equipped you could probably knock up a Michelin-starred dinner for two if you wanted. Almost immediately, you'll be ready to abandon your 'why did we bother to pack those?' heels for a pair of Hunters.
The Cottage is one of six one- and two-bedroom properties to rent, all positioned around a private courtyard and overlooking acres of lawn, woods and parkland. They are all comfortably close enough to the owners Peter and Alexandra's impressive Gothic Manor (the grounds of which have their own private entrance to the pretty local church, should you decide to marry there as well) to be sure help is close at hand - but not so close that you feel watched or overlooked.
Alexandra has also provided a bulging contacts book in each property, with all the ideas you need to keep you occupied. Explore nearby Hay-on-Wye, famous for its annual literary festival that attracts big-name authors, and don't miss Richard Booth's Bookshop with its three floors of secondhand, antique and new novels, casual little café (where you can get a mean Welsh rarebit for a fiver) and cinema.
Up the road is Hay Wholefoods & Deli where you'll find plenty of local cheeses and cider, while closer to The Cottage there's the Welsh Venison Centre for the tastiest venison burgers you've tried.
And no visit to this area would be complete without a trek up the Brecon Beacons. Start at the National Park Visitor Centre in Libanus before taking the one-and-a-half-hour walk to the nearest peak and back, dodging sheep as you go, for the kind of smug-inducing natural high only these kind of panoramic views can bring. Rest your weary legs later on that sumptuous sofa back at The Cottage.
A three-night stay costs from £435 for up to five people; sugarandloaf.com
The five-star villa: Marrakech, Morocco
Forget pondering over the benefits of your own villa versus the luxurious amenities and service only a five-star hotel can offer - the Mosaic Palais Aziza says that you can have both. Situated in the exclusive Palmeraie area of Marrakech (the city's Mayfair), this Moroccan-palace-styled hotel offers a choice of four private garden villas (all with pools) tucked within the rosy grounds of the property.
Furnished with mod cons that would put even the best bachelor pads to shame - Bose sound systems, Illy coffee machines and plasma screens - each room is also replenished daily with flowers, and spreads of patisseries and fruit, with a fire lit at night, so romance is ever present.
But the magic behind your stay lies undoubtedly with the staff, who'll cater to your every whim. Need more ice for your gin and tonic? A one-button dial will have a waiter at your door in minutes. No request is too big or small, and everything is done with such genuine pleasure.
The other unbeatable benefit of being within the hotel grounds is the available first-class facilities. Try a traditional Hammam (steam and massage) at the Essentia spa and keep your fitness routine in place at the fully equipped gym complete with personal trainer on request and yoga classes. If you prefer a slower approach, there's the choice of two excellent pools - although if a swim isn't on the cards simply head to the Citrus Pool Bar and indulge in those crucial activities of cocktail sipping and people watching.
Just a short stroll away there are two restaurants (offering Maroliano cuisine, a mix of Italian and Moroccan) and two bars. On your return, you'll find that your curtains have been drawn, evening nibbles have been served and petals are strewn over your turned-down bed. Bliss!
A two-bedroom villa costs from £1,226 a night, B&B; mosaicpalaisaziza.com
The island escape: Antipaxos, Greece
If you're looking for that private piece of paradise for just the two of you, Iremia on Antipaxos ticks all the boxes. Fly to Corfu and take a hydrofoil across to the island of Paxos where you will be met by owner (and local fisherman) Iannis, who'll take you to dreamy Antipaxos in his speedboat.
Once at the tiny port, take a 4x4 (yours for the length of your stay) up to the villa, with its own pool overlooking the bay and breathtaking views of the sea. Iremia ('repose' in Greek - exactly the state you'll be in), is a laid-back hideaway. A stone-built Greek cottage, recently restored and surrounded by its own vineyards and fruit orchards, it's one of just a few houses on the island and is completely secluded.
You'll have your own boat to transport you to the popular tavernas on the nearby sandy beach, or if you prefer not to venture out, The Thinking Traveller will arrange for your groceries to be delivered from Paxos so you can cook and eat overlooking the azure Ionian Sea. The beaches and coves on Antipaxos are among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean and your boat will give you the flexibility to discover them at your leisure. Iremia is totally romantic and peaceful, especially in the evenings when you have only the stars and moon for company… perfect to get away from it all.
Iremia costs from £1,922 a week for up to four people (includes weekly clean and linen change), and is available for rent exclusively through The Thinking Traveller; thethinkingtraveller.com
The super-cool apartment: Paris, France
Nothing is more awesome than your own Parisian address. In the chic residential 16th arrondissement, just a few paces from Trocadéro métro, is 10 Place du Trocadéro, a super-sized, three-bedroom apartment with all the aesthetics of a Hollywood bachelor pad. As you walk in, the sound of smooth French house sings out from the Bang & Olufsen and you're struck by the fact that, for the next few nights at least, you will be living the dream.
Visiting VIPs and celebrities have called this apartment maison; just a quick glance at the 1,000sq ft open-plan living area (pictured) and it's easy to imagine Team Beckham kicking back here. Featuring oversized art work, giant sofas and tech everywhere, it also has two private gardens; one accessible from the dining room, the other from your ground-floor suite (a rarity in any city, let alone Paris). Owned by La Réserve - a collection of 10 contemporary apartments that belie their classic exterior - the idea is that guests feel as though they are home (if only), with the added benefits of a five-star hotel. Each flat has its own staff; just specify a time and a housekeeper will arrive to create your breakfast. And did we mention the view? That's the Eiffel Tower, all of five minutes' walk away.
The La Réserve staff can service every request, from a night tour of the city to spa treatments. But if you want to shut out the world, walk to the market on Ave du President Wilson to stock up on freshly rolled pasta and delicious chocolate chouquettes, then whip up an ultimate dinner for two. Served al fresco, of course.
Apartments cost from £1,160 a night, B&B; lareserve-paris.com. A return ticket with Eurostar, which runs 18 services to Paris Gare Du Nord a day, starts at £69; eurostar.com
The secluded suite: Bordeaux, France
You don't need to jet off somewhere exotic to enjoy your own private island. Les Sources de Caudalie may be just 10 minutes from bustling Bordeaux but here, among the acres of vineyards on the Château Smith Haut Lafitte estate, you'll feel miles away from anything. The hotel's showcase is the Ile aux Oiseaux suite, or 'bird island', a stilt-mounted cabin resting over a picturesque lake.
Created by designer Maxime Simoëns (who dressed Beyoncé for the cover of deluxe album 4), the interior is all bold graphic wallpaper, light installations and granite surfaces - there's even a nod to the suite's name in the taxidermy doves set above sprawling white sofas. Conceptual it may be but this suite for two is also super relaxing - there's a huge luxe sitting room and private outdoor terrace where staff will serve you pasties, champagne and fruit each morning (be wary though - the hotel's swans are usually around, waiting for stray crumbs). During your stay it's essential to visit the famous Vinothérapie spa (Vanessa Paradis returns year on year, after all). The treatments - using must-have Caudalie products - include muscle-melting merlot wraps and a decadent couple's massage.
Feeling lighter and brighter? Dinner calls. Nicolas Masse's Michelin-starred La Grand Vigne offers exceptional dining - try the wild roasted sea bass with celeriac and truffle mash, and the mandarin and white chocolate donut. Don't worry if you're uncertain on the wine front - with 15,000 bottles in the cellar (and vineyard tours on offer) there's plenty to sample...
The Ile aux Oiseaux Suite costs from £703 a night, while a couple's massage starts a £243 for two people, including full use of the Vinothérapie spa; sources-caudalie.com. A return flight to Bordeaux from London Gatwick costs from £76.59; ba.com
The made-for-two spa: Lake District, UK
Spa treatments for two are nothing new, but few can rival the Jetty Spa Trail - a made-for-two spa experience at the Gilpin Lake House in the Lake District - a totally unique 'journey', with an 'is there anyone else within a mile of here?!' approach.
The Lake House is a six-suite property - and little sister to the larger 21-room Gilpin Hotel just a 15-minute drive away - and the ideal choice for a couple looking to escape everything. Book the Harriet suite, an interior-designed cocoon of soft greys and blues.
The floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the house's private four-acre lake and make for a stunning, back-to-nature view each morning. Binoculars are even provided for some impromptu wildlife spotting - from deer to ducks, foxes and even a giant Galápagos tortoise…
The Jetty Spa Trail begins with an aroma consultation in your fluffy robes in the Lake House's lounge, next to the open fire. Presented with a tea chest of more than 20 divine aromatherapy scents, choose your favourites, and your therapist will create a bespoke aroma blend that she'll then use during your treatment. (Bonus: your aroma blend will be made into products for you to take away at the end of the session.)
Next stop is the private indoor pool, which is reserved exclusively for just the two of you. Spend an hour feeling as though you own the place - while the attentive yet discreet in-house staff serve iced slushies - before jumping into the two-person salt snug (sauna), followed by a salt scrub shower (invigorating doesn't even begin to cover it!).
What size wellies do you take? Because the fourth part of your experience is al fresco - yes, even if it's raining! Hunters on, your therapist will arrive to lead you through the woodland trail en route to the Swedish-style spa, nestled into a tree canopy overlooking the lake. From your heavenly position, share a 30-minute massage side by side (he'll fall asleep and snore, guaranteed); your unwind button will be well and truly hit. And just when you thought that things couldn't get any more calming, you'll be led back through the woods to the boathouse, which has been converted into a summer house. Sip your choice of herbal tea and nibble petit fours, while a pre-loaded iPod plays curl-up-and-cuddle tunes. And for the final part of your journey... the Japanese Ofuro tub. Yes, this is the Lake District (so yes, the outdoors can be chilly) but the heady combination of a hot tub, your man and champagne should soon convince you to step outside - and jump in. An idyllic end to a blissful trip, the Jetty Spa Trail is great for a pre-wedding love-in, post-wedding wind-down - or just because.
A suite costs from £485 a night, including breakfast, dinner and transfers to and from The Gilpin Hotel, while the Jetty Spa trail starts at £300; thegilpin.co.uk