50 of the most romantic places to stay: Europe
Live like an 18th-century lord at this lavish country house in County Laois. The intimate 20-room hotel opened in 2011 after a nine-year restoration, revitalising its gilded salons and rooms for discerning travellers seeking the tranquillity of the past with all the conveniences of today. Take a picnic hamper with you as you roam the expansive grounds.
11. Villa TreVille
Franco Zeffirelli’s Positano escape retains much of the flair of the acclaimed Italian film and opera director, spilling down bougainvillea-adorned terraces to a private seaside terrace. The 15 suites are spread across four villas, each named for an opera or illustrious guest.
12 Belmond’s Grand Tour
Venice, Amalfi, Florence, Portofino, Sicily, Mallorca
The Grand Tour journey allows you to stay at two or more of Belmond’s hotels in Italy and Mallorca across seven nights, from Venice’s Hotel Cipriani down to Sicily’s Taormina duo, Villa Sant’Andrea and Grand Hotel Timeo.
13. JK Places
Rome, Capri, Florence
Take a tour of Italy staying in boutique style in Ori Kafri’s trio of curated guesthouses. Start in Rome, with jewel tones and mid-century style. Discover refined neoclassicism in the original Florentine townhouse, and return to the glamour of Capri in a villa resplendent in white, navy and gold.
14. Villa d’Este
This 16th-century residence is the most famous hotel in the Italian Lakes, an icon of grandeur with antiques, marble floors and silk brocade. Glittering Lake Como is complemented by the 10-hectare park and gardens, Beauty Centre and the ‘floating’ pool on the lake. villadeste.com
This is Italy as you’ve imagined it: a centuries-old manse watches over a sprawling estate of nearly 1700 hectares, encompassing olive groves, vineyards and gardens. The 41-suite hotel at the heart of estate features refined interiors.
16. Borgo Santo Pietro
This 80-hectare estate is the picture of Tuscan peace. Choose from rooms within the 13th-century villa or suites nestled among the five hectares of richly scented gardens. Head out with a gourmet picnic then savour a private grotto dining experience.
17. Hotel Villa Honegg
Embrace the majesty of the mountains from this Swiss boutique hotel villa’s fabulously Instagrammable spa pool, offering views over Lake Lucerne and the Alps in the comfort of water heated to 34 degrees Celsius. Panoramic views across the meadows can also be enjoyed from the 23 rooms and suites, a perfect blend of historic and contemporary, while gourmands will relish the opportunity to lunch on the scenic terrace.
18. Badrutt’s Palace
Lovers of winter will relish a stay in this historic hotel, a place the well-heeled have flocked to experience Switzerland’s winter wonder since 1896. Badrutt’s remains an epicentre of St Moritz life, from the extensive Palace Wellness centre (be sure to book a Spa Suite) to the extraordinary array of restaurants. Step out for an evening of glamour at Le Restaurant.
19. Katikies Hotel
Perched above the Caldera, this chic bolthole mimics the labyrinthine, whitewashed whimsy of the town of Oia. Amid the bridges, curving stairs and sundrenched terraces, you’ll find restaurants with extraordinary views, a holistic spa, and three infinity pools to while away the day. Opt for an indulgent stay in the Master Suite, with a private plunge pool and open-air dining area.
The Aegean is the perfect backdrop to romance at this shining 129-room resort on the Bodrum Peninsula, rippling down a hill towards superyacht-dotted Paradise Bay. Wellness-lovers will find an ideal haven in the 190-square-metre Orchid Spa Suite on the top floor of The Spa. Be enthralled by the views from your terrace, indulge in a dip in your indoor whirlpool and take advantage of private spa facilities to have treatments for two.
This article appeared in volume 27 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style. Click here to subscribe