Historic palaces fit for royalty?
Stately riverside mansions?
Lovely hideaway hotels away from the hustle and bustle?
As professional travel writers, we’ve set our suitcases down in some pretty fabulous hotels around the world (including beautiful villa resorts with private pools around the globe).
We’ve also stayed at many romantic hotels in Europe.
And we’re often asked for recommendations about which hotels to book.
Romantic hotels in Venice, Italy? Beautiful hotels in Germany? Gorgeous luxury hotels in Rome to celebrate an anniversary?
Well, we’ve got you covered.
Most romantic hotels in Europe
For the cultural continent across the pond from North America, here are some of our favorite romantic luxury Europe hotels.
Contents: 13 Romantic European hotels
1) Hotel Belle Epoque – Baden-Baden (Germany)
2) St. Regis Rome – Italy
3) Hotel Atlantic Kempinski – Hamburg (Germany)
4) One Aldwych – London (UK)
5) Louis C. Jacob – Hamburg (Germany)
More best hotels in Europe for couples
- Casa Dell’Arte – Bodrum (Turkey)
- Ikies Traditional Houses – Santorini (Greece)
- Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel – Lisbon (Portugal)
- Hostal de la Gavina – Costa Brava (Spain)
- Hotel Havnekontoret – Bergen (Norway)
- Argos in Cappadocia – Cappadocia (Turkey)
- The Diplomat Hotel – Stockholm (Sweden)
- Grace Hotel – Santorini (Greece)
1) Hotel Belle Epoque, Baden-Baden (Germany)
During Baden-Baden’s golden age as “the summer capital of Europe,” the continent’s rich and famous gathered there each summer to socialize and gamble in its glamorous casino.
In 1874, a duke built the neo-renaissance villa that’s now the exquisite Hotel Belle Epoque.
The hotel is located in the center of beautiful Baden-Baden, now a fashionable spa town – just a short walk from the opulent Friedrichsbad baths (where men and women bathe nude together and where we had to throw away our modesty).
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hotel Belle Epoque has two buildings, and its 22 rooms and suites are individually decorated.
We prefer the more atmospheric older building, where rooms are themed Louis XV, Victorian and so on.
If possible, look inside before you choose.
Our luxurious Louis IV suite had high ornamental ceilings, oak floors, burgundy silk lampshades, an enormous ornate gilt-framed picture of Louis IV over the carved king-bed headboard, and a little sitting room.
The bathroom had some quirks – we had to shower sitting down in the Jacuzzi tub.
But we had modern essentials like air-conditioning and complimentary in-room Internet.
The Belle Epoque is easily one of the most romantic hotels in Europe.
And its charm far outweighs the minor quirks!
What we especially like about Hotel Belle Epoque:
As well as a full buffet breakfast, rates at Hotel Belle Epoque include complimentary afternoon tea, which we enjoyed one afternoon on the hotel’s outdoor stone terrace.
Young gents in pinstriped pants and tails served us cappuccinos and tea, as we bit into fresh cakes from Royal Doulton china. Just as we imagine the duke did, years ago…
2) St. Regis Rome (Italy)
Imposing senators. Heroic gladiators. Victorious armies.
Rome captures the imagination with its past imperial grandeur, doesn’t it?
Whether you’re visiting Italy for the first time or the 10th, you’ll probably want to luxuriate in a Rome hotel that matches its grand past – one that oozes elegance and romance. The St. Regis Rome fits the bill.
Cesar Ritz opened the deluxe hotel (called the Grand Hotel) in 1894 to great acclaim throughout Europe.
The lobby featured cascading chandeliers and astonishing glass or trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye) ceilings.
A world first, it offered “private bathrooms and two electric lights in every room” as well as Rome’s first ballroom. Over the years, it hosted heads of state and celebrities galore.
Fast forward to 2019. After an extensive three-year $45+ million renovation, the St. Regis Rome unveiled a stunning new look.
Occupying a signature 19th century building, its 138 rooms and 23 suites reflect a palette of understated creams and powder blues.
Sketches evoke classical art and Murano glass chandeliers hang down from overheight ceilings.
There’s also the hotel’s butler service (of course!), as well as an Asian-themed spa, and a see-and-be-seen bar in the showstopping lobby, which serves up divine Bellinis.
What we especially like about the St. Regis Rome:
The St. Regis Rome is within easy walking distance to many of Rome’s best-loved attractions – the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. And shopping too – the Via Veneto and Via Condotti are also nearby.
Now where’s that credit card?
3) Hotel Atlantic Kempinski, Hamburg (Germany)
The sumptuous Hotel Atlantic Kempinski is another one of those grand romantic hotels in Europe with a storied past.
For over a century, it’s been the digs of choice for royalty and celebrities visiting Hamburg.
Prince Charles, the late Shah of Iran, Michael Jackson, Madonna and the Rolling Stones have all bedded down here.
The hotel was even featured in the 1997 Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies (where Pierce Brosnan climbs from the plush Atlantic suite to the globe on the roof after killing his movie nemesis).
Today, after a total renovation from the ground up in 2012, its ornate white exterior and green roof is as fresh as it was back in 1909 – when the hotel opened as a stopover for first-class passengers sailing to America in luxury ocean liners.
The hotel has 221 completely redesigned rooms and suites.
Standard rooms are spacious (averaging 430 sq. ft.).
There are many room styles, but most are decorated with Murano glass chandeliers, polished wood headboards and plush drapes. Some have gas fireplaces; others have oak floors.
We stayed in a serene high-ceilinged junior suite, which came with a little sitting room with leather furniture.
All rooms, however, feature the latest technology – flat screen satellite TVs, individual air-conditioning and Nespresso coffee machines.
As for amenities, the hotel has several restaurants and bars, an indoor pool and even a private cinema where you can have an exclusive movie screening with dinner and drinks.
And, sure, you might spot the occasional dignitary.
But most guests today are couples on a romantic holiday. It’s also a popular venue for weddings.
What we especially like about the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski:
Its Atlantic restaurant is classic. With its black gold-trimmed columns and huge arched windows overlooking the Outer Alster lake, you’ll feel like you’re on the set of a romantic vintage movie.
We tried a couple of excellent, dry, first-growth Rieslings from the hotel’s vineyard to go with our dinner – great choice!
The Hotel Atlantic Kempinski is also very close to where barges depart for sightseeing cruises up the Alster River’s narrow canals, which are fringed by weeping willows and beautiful white mansions.
4) One Aldwych, London (UK)
When in London, you want to stay smack-dab in its exciting heart.
But because you also want some place romantic, you want a quiet retreat to enjoy some respite from the hubbub outside.
Enter the elegant One Aldwych.
Superbly located in Covent Garden, this classy boutique hotel is within walking distance of many iconic London landmarks (like the British Museum), theaters, shops, art galleries and the nightlife of happening Soho.
Housed within a 1907 wedge-shaped granite building, it pares back on superfluous luxury and concentrates on modern-day comfort.
The 105 soundproof rooms and suites are decorated in oh-so-romantic hues of pale coral, celadon green and lavender.
And they’re kitted out with myriad deluxe features – tall windows that open, original contemporary art, Frette linens, goose down duvets, and fresh flowers and fruit changed daily.
We like that One Aldwych has made serious efforts to be “green.”
Its natural REN bath products are chemical-free, and vacuum-oriented loos use 80% less water than normal.
A stunning blue-tiled swimming pool, which pipes in classical music underwater, is also chlorine-free.
In the evenings, the hotel’s capacious Lobby Bar is abuzz with hipsters, bankers, party-goers and couples having drinks after going to the theater.
The Indigo restaurant overlooks the lively scene, while the Axis restaurant is more formal.
One Aldwych consistently ranks among London’s best hotels – and we can see why.
What we especially like about One Aldwych:
Service is exceptional and highly professional at One Aldwych – no snootiness in sight.
5) Louis C. Jacob Hotel, Hamburg (Germany)
An early stomping ground of the Beatles, wealthy Hamburg is renowned for its shipbuilding prowess and sailor-friendly “Reeperbahn” red-light district.
It also entices with some fine hotel establishments like the gracious, mansion-like Louis C. Jacob (affectionately known as “the Jacob”).
Located in a secluded residential district on the Elbe river, this romantic luxury hotel in Hamburg offers 64 deluxe rooms and 21 suites.
All are unique, with oak floors, modern stone bathrooms, and special little touches – ours came with fresh flowers and a crystal decanter with help-yourself cream sherry.
Rooms are housed in two buildings: an artfully restored main building, dating to 1791, and a modern addition across the street, reached by an underground passage.
The hotel’s public areas are filled with original art – more than 500 paintings and other artworks (the largest private collection open to the public in northern Germany).
The main building of hotel overlooks a charming terrace.
Studded with ancient lime trees, it invites you, on warm days, to linger over coffee or tea and watch the ships go by on the wide Elbe river.
For foodies, the Jacob offers haute cuisine in its Michelin-starred restaurant.
And well over 100 “Jacobines” (staff) give you a genuine taste of Hanseatic hospitality.
What we especially like about the Jacob:
The hotel’s cozy little wine bar across the street from the Louis C. Jacob, with wood tables and wood-beam ceilings, exudes warmth.
It’s a popular spot for both locals and guests to rendezvous for delicious flammkuchen (a fresh take on thin crust wood-oven pizza) and platters of truffle salami with thick bread and pesto.
More romantic Europe hotels
Well, we can’t stop now!
We’ve also stayed at honeymoon hotels in Greece. Romantic boutique hotels in Turkey. Canoodle-worthy Spain and Norway hotels.
So keep scrolling for more romantic hotels in Europe!
Best Hotels in Europe for Couples
Click on the “Continue Reading” links below to read our reviews of the following romantic and beautiful hotels in Europe we’ve enjoyed.
We slept in a huge boat-shaped bed, and our bathroom ceiling was lit by twinkling lights at night. There’s nothing ordinary about this seaside adults-only hotel with 12 suites!What we especially like about Casa Dell’Arte:
The hotel is also an art gallery, filled with precious paintings by Turkish artists. It has an artist-in-residence program too.
Location: Bodrum, Turkey
Some of the most romantic hotels in Santorini are in the white-washed village of Oia. Ikies Traditional Houses is one of them. Only 11 rooms and suites. Private breakfasts. In-room massages. Okay, you get the idea...What we especially like about Ikies Traditional Houses:
The views! With spectacular views of Santorini’s caldera and the sparkling Aegean Sea, we were content just soaking up the sun and sipping Santorini wine on our spacious terrace.
Location: Santorini, Greece
Antiques and old-world décor? Spacious rooms and suites with marble bathrooms? Top-notch service? Say hello to the honeymoon-worthy Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel!
Tucked away in Lisbon’s quiet leafy embassy district, this is one of the most romantic hotels in Lisbon – and one of the most beautiful hotels in Europe.
What we especially like about the Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel:
After a day of traipsing around Lisbon, nothing beats relaxing by the hotel’s large outdoor swimming pool, set amid beautiful flower gardens.
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Loved by celebs and world leaders, this antique-filled hotel in the Costa Brava is also a favorite vacation spot for couples seeking a luxury romantic getaway.What we especially like about Hostal de la Gavina:
The epic coastal trail, Camino de Ronda, passes right by the hotel. It’s a beautiful 30-minute walk past villas and olive trees to the hidden gem of Sa Conca beach. Back at the hotel, cool off with a dip in the enormous swimming pool, which looks out over the sea.
Location: Costa Brava, Spain
Hotel Havnekontoret offers a romantic setting, right on Bergen’s historic waterfront. Our room had a beautiful bay window with lead-paned windows, inset with a cushioned settee where we could curl up with a drink and look out over the water.
What we especially like about Hotel Havnekontoret:
The whimsical jewel colors! Splashes of purple are found throughout – in the silk drapes, velvet chairs in the lobby and elsewhere.
Location: Bergen, Norway
Named one of the best honeymoon hotels in the world by Gayot, Argos in Cappadocia oozes romance with its huge stone-walled cave rooms, antique rugs and fireplaces. Many rooms have private pools.
What we especially like about Argos in Cappadocia:
The hotel nails the atmosphere of its ancient underground city surroundings.
Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
Boasting a prestigious location on Stockholm’s Strandvagen waterfront, the Diplomat Hotel has serene rooms with hardwood floors and vases of fresh flowers. The most romantic rooms have Juliet balconies overlooking the waterfront.
What we especially like about the Diplomat Hotel:
Its T-bar restaurant is one of the hippest (and best) in the city – a great place for couples to enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or a sophisticated bistro-style dinner.
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
For adults-only, the Grace Hotel is a favorite honeymoon hotel in Santorini. The 21 cave-style rooms are all white-on-white with the most heavenly king-size beds – most have private plunge pools or hot tubs too.
What we especially like about the Grace Hotel:
You’ll swoon over its infinity pool! The sea views from this Santorini perch are endless.
Location: Santorini, Greece
That’s our list of romantic European hotels!
Do any of these hotels make you want to grab your honey and say, “We’ve got to stay there!”?
Have you stayed at any really romantic hotels in Europe? Let us know in the Comments below!
Discover more romantic places to stay in Europe!
Rhodes (Greece) | Check out the best and most beautiful boutique hotels in Rhodes, ranging from Old Town hotels to beach escapes in Lindos village.
Mallorca (Spain) | From a farm finca to a fabulous seaside estate, you’ll love these enchanting places to stay in Mallorca.
Mykonos (Greece) | You’re in Mykonos! Of course you want to stay in one of the chic beach hotels in Mykonos.
Our top travel tips and resources
Here are our favorite travel resources:
Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)
Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).
Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out GetYourGuide and Viator.
Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.
Travel insurance: World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities, as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
Vaccines and meds: We follow CDC travel guidelines to see what medications and vaccines are needed for trips. You can get vaccines at your pharmacy, travel medical clinic or doctor’s office.
Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)
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Photo credits: 5, 22 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 1 Diplomat Hotel | Remaining photos courtesy the respective hotels
We stayed as media guests of these beautiful hotels in Europe for various travel magazine articles and our blog. But we’re always free to write what we want without influence (and we point out flaws and annoyances when we encounter them).
About the authors
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.
Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!
Wednesday 11th of March 2015
I wish I would have found this before Valentine's Day as we were in Europe and were a bit clueless on where to go and where to stay, though we stumbled into a bit of luxury ourselves in Brugges. The Jacob would have been perfect too as we were in Northern Europe and I have always wanted to learn more about Hamburg. Thanks for sharing and there is always next year, right?
Janice and George
Friday 13th of March 2015
Indeed! There is always another trip one can plan :-). And stay tuned, as we are always writing about the lovely hotels we come across in our travels...
Thursday 7th of August 2014
How lucky to have stayed in hotels like these, places like this can really make a trip :-)
Friday 1st of August 2014
Give me hotels oozing with historic character and charm, over modern luxury anytime, although I have to say the swimming pool at One Aldwych looks very inviting! Looks like the perfect combination.
Janice and George
Friday 1st of August 2014
We too usually prefer old, historic places with loads of ambience - but are sometimes surprised by how some very modern hotels or villa resorts can be really appealing too.
Wednesday 30th of July 2014
What a great round up!! I'm a Londoner and can't tell you how many times I've walked past One Aldwych but had no idea it had a bar or pool that looked like that - I guess I know where to go next time I'm looking for a great evening out! Lovely post!
Sunday 13th of July 2014
The St. Regis in Rome looks fantastic! Of course all your recommendations look incredible, but that one in particular. What lucky travelers! Cheers, Priscilla
Janice and George
Sunday 13th of July 2014
Yes, we do count ourselves as very fortunate to be able to stay in some gorgeous places around the world :-).