Love Takes a Holiday - Page 3

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Love for the Path Less Traveled:
Bohemia's Best-Kept Secret

Heart-shaped hot tubs will always have their place, and while we would never take anything away from the romantic allure of Western Europe, UNESCO-protected Ceský Krumlov is perhaps the Czech Republic's best-kept secret paradise. Tucked into a valley in southern Bohemia just over 100 miles from Prague's medieval splendor, the town is a maze of cobblestone streets, crooked buildings, and arched bridges. The Vtalva River weaves in and out of the town, creating a natural moat for the massive, 13th-century castle looming overhead, before snaking into the surrounding hillside. Days of distraction await—horseback riding on the castle grounds, river kayaking on the Vtalva, hiking through the surrounding forests, and, in the fall, superb mushroom hunting (a Czech pastime). But the real magic of the town is its quiet charm, the many secrets hidden around the corners of every winding road.

Unique Love Shacks
No one can argue with the simple, gluttonous beauty of an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in a four-star hotel. But if you and your lover want more than HBO and room service, why not head to Sweden and stay in the Jukkas Jarvi Hotel. Constructed entirely out of ice—a new design is carved out each year—this hotel on the bank of the Torne River offers an experience you won't forget, unless, of course, you spend too much time downing drinks at their famous Absolut Vodka Ice Bar. But if the idea of sleeping on ice sends shivers down your spine, head to the Sunshine State and submerge yourself—literally. Jules Undersea Lodge is the only underwater hotel in the world, and provides overnight accommodations for those with diving experience. But if you would rather stay dry—and warm—while on vacation, consider the Rogner-Bad Blamau Hotel nestled in the hills of eastern Styria, Germany. The playful exterior design is right out of Babes in Toyland, and the full-treatment thermal spa sessions, health and beauty courses, and the quiet surrounding countryside make this spot one of the most artistic places to rest your weary heads.

Wild Thing, I Think I Love You:
An African Safari

Your lover's loves lean toward the wild side? Don't fight that instinct—head to Africa on safari and find out where the wild things really are. Stay in a base camp and head out each day to witness animal wonders, or climb aboard an elephant and let the massive animal guide you through his native land—or opt for a less-exotic steed and explore the countryside on horseback. But if roughing it isn't part of your ideal romantic escape, go for a luxury safari, complete with experienced guides, five-star chefs, and air-conditioned 4x4 transportation from one watering hole to the next. Or if you're feeling wonderfully indulgent, take to the air in a balloon ride over the plains, toasting your good fortune with champagne as the wildlife below rekindles your animal passions.

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Best Hotels in Cesky Krumlov

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