The Most Romantic Hotels in Europe

When you’re in the mood for love, skip the tropical beaches and head straight for Europe, where the hotels charm with everything from dreamy settings and elegant interiors to indulgent restaurants and luxurious spas. Whether your idea of romance is a Provencal manor surrounded by flowering gardens, a Tuscan castle with a heated outdoor pool, or a Santorini favorite with sunset views, you’re sure to find passion at one of these properties.

Kenmare, Co. Kerry, V93 X3XY, Ireland
If a hotel has a swank spa that administers treatments using ultra-expensive (and effective) Sisley products, it’s probably something special. And if those treatments come in a Victorian manse overlooking the placid waters of Kenmare Bay in Southwestern Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, it’s yet more likely to engage even the jaded traveler’s predilections for plush resorts. Kenmare Manor, a turn-of-the-19th-century stone building backed by patchwork hills and forests, looks like something out of a storybook. But it’s more than attractive: At SÁMAS spa, the treatments, which are indeed high-caliber, come with views of the misty woods (from the pool) and the bay and mountains (from the relaxation room). Staff are attentive to even tiny details, like buttery Irish shortbread at turndown. Breakfasts of smoked salmon and eggs and flaky scones are served by smartly dressed waiters rather than set out at a buffet. The hotel’s restaurant is known as one of the best in the country for wild-mushroom risotto and Kerry lamb loin with eucalyptus-flavored peas.
R. Jau 54, 1300-314 Lisboa, Portugal
Just a short ride from the historic Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Cultural Center, Pestana Palace Lisboa is itself a designated national landmark. The 194-room hotel occupies a carefully restored 19th-century manor that once belonged to the cocoa baron Marquis of Valle-Flôr, and now caters to queens of pop like Madonna (she reportedly stayed in a Royal Suite).

“Lavish” is the key adjective here: The manor is set within an immaculately manicured private park filled with palms, subtropical plants, sculptures, a former pond-turned-swimming pool, and a spa with an indoor pool and Turkish baths. Palace interiors give the air of a gilded cocoon—all ornate ceiling frescoes, soaring stained-glass windows, and magnificent oil canvases—while the main restaurant, Valle Flôr, has Regency airs and Portuguese fare. Guests may linger on Saturdays for a “chic-nic” lunch on the lawn by the pool.
10 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France
Steeped in history, this Parisian landmark was commissioned by King Louis XV in 1758, though it didn’t open as a hotel until 1909. Since then, it’s seen such notable guests as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, Madonna, and more pass through its doors on Place de la Concorde. Designed in the grand, neoclassical style, it reopened in 2017 as the Hôtel de Crillon after a significant four-year renovation, which revamped most of the public spaces in the luxurious 124-room building. The new lobby feels airier—thanks to higher ceilings—yet more intimate, made possible by converting the formerly open space into a series of sitting rooms. Also new to the hotel is the 28-seat fine-dining restaurant L’Ecrin, a Sense spa with treatments inspired by centuries-old French remedies, and a jewel-like, glass-ceilinged pool. Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld even designed the two most luxurious suites, the fourth-floor Les Grands Appartements, adding bespoke furniture, his own artwork, and over-the-top bathrooms and dressing rooms.
5 Avenue du Pigonnet, 13090 Aix-en-Provence, France
Tucked away in a quiet pocket of Aix-en-Provence, Hôtel Le Pigonnet seems too good to be true, from its four acres of flowering gardens and statue-lined swimming pool to its outdoor restaurant under the chestnut trees and cozy bar with live music. In fact, the hotel, which is housed in a former 18th-century Provençal manor, is so lovely that Cézanne used to wander the grounds, painting the distant Ste-Victoire mountain from various angles. Currently owned by French actor Christophe Lambert, Le Pigonnet is a deserving member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, with 45 romantic rooms and service that accounts for every detail. Stay here for just one night and you’ll understand why it’s attracted the likes of Princess Caroline and Clint Eastwood.
Gotthardstrasse 4, 6490 Andermatt, Switzerland
Opened in 2013, The Chedi Andermatt enjoys a unique location in the charming village of Andermatt in the Ursern Valley. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, the luxurious hotel draws on both Alpine and Asian influences, spanning traditional styles and materials (oakwood paneling, local stone, murals inspired by 17th-century European artist Rubens) as well as contemporary elements like soft leather chairs. Rooms are full of light thanks to panoramic windows (which also afford views of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt Village, and Furkapass, where the James Bond film Goldfinger was set), but also cozy at night with fireplaces. In the plush bathrooms, guests will also find large tubs, heated stone floors, and rain showers. The hotel has all the perks you could dream of, from an indoor lap pool and relaxation lounge with several fireplaces to four dining outlets, The Wine and Cheese Cellar, and a walk-in cigar humidor. This is one of those places that’s almost impossible to leave.
Castello di Poggio alle Mura
For nearly three centuries, workers serving the nobility at Castello Banfi in Tuscany lived in a small hamlet within the castle grounds. In 2007, however, the stone houses within their tiny village were completely renovated under the direction of Italian interior designer Federico Forquet, catapulting Castello Banfi into a new era of grandeur. Today, the property welcomes guests from November through March in two guest rooms and 12 suites, each with wood-beamed ceilings, countryside views, and bathrooms stocked with “vinotherapy” products made from the estate’s Sangiovese Brunello. A central garden with a pergola, a heated outdoor pool, secluded lounging spaces, and alfresco massage tents offer plenty of ways to take in the surrounding vineyards. If you’re feeling more active, take a cooking class with the chef (held a short drive away at the estate farmhouse), tour the Banfi winery, or venture out to nearby historic towns like Montalcino and Siena.
Via Mauro Comite, 9, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
Built into rocky cliffs that tumble down to the sea, Hotel Santa Caterina is the embodiment of Amalfi Coast dreams. Bougainvillea blooms adorn corners of the 19th-century mansion, while lush terraced gardens teem with citrus trees and vine-covered pergolas. Public spaces are decorated in an elegant Mediterranean style, peppered with antique pieces and sweet details such as hand-painted majolica tiles, while light-filled guest rooms and suites feature Bulgari toiletries and balconies with sea views. Elevators are on hand to whisk guests down to the beach and a saltwater pool, where chic loungers and parasols line a stone sundeck and uninterrupted vistas lurk around every corner. You’ll find classic Italian fare and fresh seafood on the menu at the beachside bar as well as two restaurants, both of which spill out onto terraces. Even the spa offers a dose of local flavor with a signature Amalfi gold lemon massage. The Gambardella family has owned the property for generations, which may account for the consistently charming service and the loyalty of guests, who return year after year.
Nik. Nomikou (Main Street), Oía 847 02, Greece
Nothing says Santorini like an aqua-blue infinity pool, and Katikies has three of them—all the better to take in westward-facing sunset views. Carved out of the cliff side 300 feet above the Aegean, the hotel’s public spaces are connected by a series of bridges and Escher-esque stairways as they descend from the town of Oia above it. Cube-shaped rooms and suites are minimalist but inviting, nearly every surface painted or clothed in calming white; all have verandas, while a few large suites have outdoor plunge pools or Jacuzzi tubs and alfresco seating areas. Upon check-in, guests are given cell phones to summon 24/7 service from anywhere on the property. They use them to order light snacks at the poolside bar and restaurant or make reservations for some of the best sushi on the island at the champagne bar, but the candlelit rooftop restaurant—serving Greek and Anatolian cuisine—is about as romantic as it gets.
14 Ulica Frana Supila
Built in the 1930s as a private villa, this boutique hotel was renovated in 2012, but still makes guests feel as if they’re staying in someone’s home. Perched on a steep hillside across the bay from the Old Town, it features stone terraces, vine-covered pergolas, and colorful gardens, all of which offer breathtaking vistas of the Adriatic and Dubrovnik’s signature tiled roofs. The 13 rooms—all but one with sea views—have high ceilings and arched windows lined with white shutters to soften the afternoon sun, while modern bathrooms come stocked with plush bathrobes and decadent Bulgari amenities. When not enjoying their daily delivery of fresh fruit or cookies, guests can head to the bathing platform at the bottom of the stone stairs, the outdoor pool at the neighboring Grand Villa Argentina, or the spa at the Hotel Excelsior.
Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 5-6, 1051 Hungary
It’s hard to say what’s most appealing about the ultraluxurious Four Seasons Gresham Palace, a stately Art Nouveau hotel on the banks of the Danube. Perhaps it’s the central location, on the Pest side of the iconic Chain Bridge, or the swank accommodations, which range from lovely river-racing rooms with marble bathrooms and deep soaking tubs to sumptuous suites, the largest of which measures 1,464 square feet and features a dining room with crystal stemware and private butler service. With its top-floor infinity pool and picture windows overlooking the city, the spa alone makes a stay worthwhile—a coup in a city known for its thermal bath complexes—but for many travelers, it’s the hearty dishes served at Kollázs Brasserie & Bar (rotisserie lamb shoulder with eggplant and olives; octopus and scallops with potato paprikash) that seal the deal.
Prinsengracht 315, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
One could argue that the Pulitzer Amsterdam isn’t actually one hotel. Before 1960, each of its 25 buildings was an individual, 17th- or 18th-century merchant canal house. Painstaking renovations over the years have guaranteed that each room feels distinct, maintaining original architectural details from each house, such as arched windows, exposed beams, and friezes. And, from the outside, each house still looks separate, so that the glamorous, art-filled hotel blends right into its surroundings, seeming to be just another of the neighborhood’s picturesque historic buildings.

The recently restored hotel has entrances on and views over two of the city’s main canals—Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht—with a tranquil garden in the middle. The 225 guest rooms blend traditional and modern Dutch craftsmanship and service, while the authentic restaurant and bar showcase local flavors. Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic city center, the hotel is within easy reach of the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. It’s also a quick walk, bike, or boat ride to the fashionable Nine Streets, the quaint shops of Jordaan, the flower market, and the Royal Palace.
Paseo, República Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Inaugurated in 1912 by its namesake, the Spanish regent Maria Cristina, this belle epoque landmark has welcomed international elite to its gilded halls from day one. Designed by the same architect behind the Ritz in Paris, the hotel has long been a favorite of celebrities during the San Sebastián Film Festival (Bette Davis was, notably, a fan). A $25 million renovation in 2012 only cemented its status as the city’s most luxurious hotel. With three of the city’s most elegant eateries (including a favorite see-and-be-seen bar), panoramic views of iconic belle epoque buildings and the Urumea River from the many terraces, and signature Luxury Collection concierge service, the Maria Cristina still feels fit for the aristocracy who frequented it in the city’s beach-destination heyday. Spacious and decadent rooms with an updated belle epoque style, as well as a central location within walking distance of many of San Sebastián’s Michelin-starred restaurants, only sweeten the deal.
Kongens Nytorv 34, 1050 Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s grandest hotel, and one of its oldest, the d’Angleterre originally opened in 1755 as a restaurant, the brainchild of Jean Marchal and Maria Coppy, who met and fell in love while working at the royal court. The current building, on Kongens Nytorv, across from the Royal Danish Theatre, was renovated and reopened in the 1870s and has hosted royalty, foreign dignitaries, luminaries, and celebrities throughout the years. The hotel reopened in 2013 after extensive renovations, restored to its original glory and luxury, with each room decked out in elegant Danish design intended to give the feeling of a stately private residence worthy of royalty. Antiques and historic works of art like a portrait of Queen Victoria by Winterhalter demonstrate the hotel’s dedication to its heritage, while modern touches like a Warhol portrait of Queen Margrethe II and the latest modern technology in all rooms keep it contemporary and accessible.

The insistence on luxury is also apparent in the eateries: a Michelin-starred restaurant and a champagne bar are both as popular with locals as with guests
Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Vienna
Originally built as a residence for Prince Philip of Württemberg in 1863, this grand structure was opened as the Hotel Imperial in 1873. It indeed still resembles a palace, with Greek statues, chandeliers, and high, intricately designed stucco ceilings. The rooms bring imperial Vienna back to life, particularly in the suites. Visitors here feel like royalty, and sometimes they are. Guests have included a who’s who of celebrities and dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, Indira Gandhi, and Michael Jackson.

It’s rumored that an apprentice chef at the hotel invented the well-known Imperial Torte in honor of Emperor Franz Josef I, a must-have for any sweet tooth. For some sweet sounds, be sure to check for Bösendorfer piano concerts in the 1873 HalleNSalon.
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