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29 romantic places to stay
 
Whether your idea of what constitutes a romantic break dictates a stately castle with four-poster bed or a stunning design hotel decked out in plush fabrics, one thing is for sure – each of the gorgeous, grown-up hotels in our list is bursting with romance appeal.
On a quiet canal, gazing onto the rear entrance of Venice’s opera house, La Fenice, this boutique gem resides at the city’s beating heart yet feels off-track tranquil. Decked out in vibrant silks and velvets, with canopied beds, sumptuous throws and cushions, and neo-Baroque furniture, it’s a design jewel with...
Set around a lake adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Summer Palace, this intimate resort offers insights into ancient Chinese culture. Several of the pavilions were once reserved for guests visiting the Empress Dowager, and Aman has sensitively restored and embellished them with chic modern styling. Superb...
Occupying the slopes above the renowned Pigeon Valley, this sublimely sited new hotel has the best views in Cappadocia. It’s also exceptionally good-looking, with lots of wood and glass to complement Cappadocia’s statutory bare stone interiors. Prolific decks, patios and courtyards make this as much a place for protracted...
Charming, authentic, classy. This secluded, 17th-century chateau in Èze (between Monaco and Cap Ferrat) is fit for a prince – literally. For years it was the summer residence of Prince William of Sweden. Enjoying breathtaking views 400m over the fabled coast, rooms and especially suites are honeymoon perfect, with private...
There's something delightfully surprising – and just a little bit naughty – about the Church Street Townhouse. Behind the pristine white interior lies an elegant boutique hotel, with twelve bedrooms richly furnished with lush velvet drapes, claw-footed baths and sexy chaise longues that just demand to be reclined on. Steeped...
For sheer luxury and romance, this design hotel is a cut above the many ‘honeymoon resorts’ on Santorini. Brilliant white rooms with modern designer fittings spill down the sheer cliff, with private verandas and plunge pools perfectly placed for watching the sun set over the flooded volcanic caldera. With an...
The Petit Moulin is perhaps the most romantic hotel in Paris: two ancient buildings – including a bakery once frequented by Victor Hugo that now serves as the reception – have been brilliantly transformed by designer Christian Lacroix into an exclusive small hotel right in the heart of the Marais...
This small, romantic boutique hotel occupies an enchanting 18th-century mansion in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The interior preserves its stone arches, wooden beams and carved doors, which provide a striking contrast with bold contemporary artworks. In the rooms and suites, modern furnishings are offset with rich velvet cushions...
Housed in a 16th-century palazzo, this hotel enjoys some of Rome's most spectacular views, directly onto the Colosseum and the parasol pines of the Colle Oppio. Its 16 splendid rooms and suites (including one for families) preserve the palace’s original marbles, while on the roof it boasts one of the...
The most luxurious boutique hotel in Arles occupies an elegant, central townhouse dating to 1824. The rooms are pure romance, a fusion of tradition and design, and the walled garden and pool are irresistible on a hot summer’s day. There’s a spa and good room service menu, making it a...
This outstanding and hugely romantic boutique hotel occupies a series of terraces tumbling down verdant slopes to the Mediterranean. There are no TVs but magnificent sea views to gawp at, and pure white interiors stamped with owner Ipek’s impeccable uncluttered style. With its private seafront, beach club and wonderful waterside...
This imaginative all-suite hotel, cleverly created from the former marine police headquarters, is located above a touristy plaza stuffed with designer label boutiques. Each of the ten individual, uncluttered suites is designed to reflect a distinct period of Hong Kong's history and features a private terrace and spectacular views across...
Kilindi is pure romance. On a secluded beach in northern Zanzibar, its Persian-influenced white-washed pavilions are unlike anything else on the island. With butler service, two plunge pools and views over the sparkling Indian Ocean, there’s no need to ever leave your suite or bump into anyone or anything. Perfect...
Set in Korčula’s beautiful medieval walled old town, the LD Palace spreads across the 18th-century former Bishop’s Palace and several adjoining stone cottages. These were renovated to form this supremely glamorous aparthotel made up of just five individual apartments (sleeping two to six), each with sophisticated interior design and modern...
For anyone looking for a front row experience of Uluru, this is it. This elegant ecolodge – designed to complement its stunning Red Centre location, consists of just 15 luxury air-conditioned 'tents' positioned in the dunes outside Yulara, each with unrivalled, uninterrupted views of the Rock. The property offers stylish...
Surrounded by gardens under the otherworldly crags of the Alpilles, this exquisite hotel and restaurant in a former farmhouse, more than any other, put Provence on the map for discerning travellers right after World War II. It still casts a spell, no matter how often you’ve been. Add a gorgeous...
With seven rather extravagant and delightfully different room schemes to choose from, a charming multilingual butler, and a central location, it’s no wonder Manna Bay is often booked ahead. This intimate, romantic guesthouse, set in an upscale residential suburb, feels like a home-from-home. With discreet and personal service, clever attention...
A wisp of an island barely long enough for a small runway, Medjumbe’s 13 beachfront chalets offer Robinson Crusoe-style luxury. Roll out of bed and into the sea, or take a dip in your private plunge pool if you’re feeling lazy. But don’t be: you can walk around the island...
Plum in the middle of the exclusive Ixelles district, Odette en Ville is a truly special boutique hotel, with just eight rooms oozing Hollywood elegance and romance. The all-black interior is adorned with freshly cut roses and flickering candles, and log fires burn night and day during the winter months....
In 1835, a French general built this manor house for his Punjabi princess; today it’s the sleekest, most seductive Zen-cool place to stay in the heart of St Tropez. With its white walls, dark polished woodwork, and Asian antiques, the lounge and library still feel as welcoming and informal as...
This sumptuous, newly revamped hotel – set in a 250-year-old mansion, once home to a Greek aristocrat – majors on flamboyant interiors suggestive of an improbably romantic history. There’s something wonderfully theatrical about the medieval kitsch vibe, and the themed rooms with names like Deep Forest and Harem – think...
Experience a truly imperial lifestyle in the former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte (Napoleon’s great nephew) which has been beautifully converted, retaining a raft of historic features while being transformed into a cocoon of 21st-century comfort. Many of the 101 suites and bedrooms are done out in Empire style, with...
Each year since 1991, the small hamlet of Kemi has built a ‘Snow Castle’ complex – complete with 21-room hotel, restaurant, and chapel – from frozen seawater. Although the design and appearance vary from year to year (depending on the architects’ whim), one remarkable fact never changes; everything – from...
Sitting on the sheltered, white sand Le Morne beach on the exclusive, tranquil Le Morne peninsula, with its iconic mountain as a backdrop, this colonial-style hotel is Mauritius' newest, hottest address. Built in the style of a sugar baron's plantation house, complete with Victorian colonnades over expansive terraces, wooden-panelled 1904...
This Georgian-style property with preppy appeal does its own thing on art deco-centric Ocean Drive. But a stay at the beautiful Betsy, fully renovated in 2009, remains a quintessential South Beach experience. You’re right across from the ocean and close to the party action, too. But the four-poster beds and...
From the row of bright-green apples beside beds to the dapper black suits worn by staff, everything at The Dylan is designed with utmost precision. Contemporary furnishings and striking colour (and lack of colour) schemes in public areas and bedrooms contrast yet combine well with the 17th-century canalside buildings. Vinkeles,...
Striking a balance of historical and cultural importance, this opulent five-star hotel is understated, yet glamorous, discreet, and centrally located. Boasting a restaurant with two Michelin stars, a beautiful spa, outdoor terrace, manicured garden area, two funky bars – and an excellent kids' programme – you can’t ask for much...
Built into a cliff overlooking the azure Adriatic and the island of Lokrum, this ultra-slick hotel is a peaceful 15-minute walk along the coast from the old town and offers minimalist design and sublime sea views. It’s ideal for sophisticated couples who want to explore Dubrovnik’s medieval historic centre, while...
If you’re bored of stark, contemporary hotels, check into James Thomson’s flamboyant 16th-century restaurant with rooms. Thomson is a legendary Edinburgh restaurateur and hotelier, and the Witchery, which he opened in 1979, is still the most romantic place to stay in town. The eight decadent Witchery suites, in a higgledy-piggledy...