As a travel blogger and avid traveler I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels…. most are nice, but not particularly memorable. But every once in a while, I stay in a hotel with major WOW factor. It could be the decor, the surroundings, the friendly staff or the overall atmosphere. Sometimes it’s that je ne sais quoi, to borrow from the French.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day here are my pick of the world’s most romantic hotels:
In no particular order:
1) Colosseum Imperali, Rome, Italy
While not a hotel it is a holiday rental available through HouseTrip, a revolutionary holiday booking site. The apartment is a huge 220sqm with four bedrooms, making it a great getaway when traveling with other couples, friends or family. The living area is spacious and decorated with tasteful artwork throughout. The highlight though is the incredible views of the Rome Coliseum – simply amazing! Definite WOW factor and very romantic at night! Book directly through HouseTrip.
2) Umlilo Lodge, St. Lucia, South Africa
I walked into Umlilo Lodge and felt like I was walking into a jungle. It’s the most serene and peaceful guest house that I’ve ever stayed in. I fell asleep to the sounds of the waterfall right outside my window – soothing and romantic. I woke up to the friendly owners serving up a great breakfast. St. Lucia is a small village, but it’s home to some wild residents – hippos are known to hang out across the street from the Umlilo Lodge. Perhaps looking for a way in? Read my full review of Umlilo Lodge or book directly through Umlilo Lodge.
3) Sa Vista, Cadaqués, Catalonia, Spain
Sa Vista is without a doubt the most luxurious place I have ever stayed! Much more exclusive than a hotel, it is a private holiday rental available through Charming Villas. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a celebrity, this is the place to stay! SaVista offers incredible views over a bay, infinity pool, huge terrace, is located close to a natural park, and surrounded by olive trees. Inside, you will find sleek contemporary designer furnishings, natural slate stone, a chef’s dream kitchen, and a whopping eight bedrooms. Sa Vista would be a great place to go with other couple friends and there’s lots to do in the area, including visiting the Salvador Dali House Museum – only a 5 minute walk from Sa Vista. It’s the ultimate luxurious romantic getaway! Sa Vista can be booked directly through Charming Villas.
4) Quai des Pontis, Cognac, France
I loved my stay at Quai des Pontis. The vastly different choice in accommodation really appealed to me. Guests choose from the more rustic lodge, over the top decorated caravans or a lake-front cabin, which I stayed in. I felt like I was staying in my very own cabin in the middle of nowhere, not on hotel grounds conveniently located near the heart of Cognac. Choose your own accommodation style when you stay at Quai des Pontis. I highly recommend the lake-front cabin if you’re looking for romance.
5) Sibane Hotel, Sibane, Swaziland
It’s not very often that you walk into a hotel room and say WOW, but that’s exactly what I did when I first walked into my room at Sibane Hotel. Each of the 30 chalets, is decorated in a unique, moody, style that sets the mood for romance. There’s also a terrace off the bar area which is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the sunset. I felt miles away from everything, even though Sibane Hotel is conveniently located near the Mantegna Cultural Village which is not to be missed. Read more of my review of Sibane Hotel or book directly through Sibane Hotel’s website.
6) Falkensteiner Hotel and Spa Carinzia, Austria
This is the place you want to come when you want to 1)either get away from it all and relax in the wellness area or 2) play hard on the ski hill during the winter, or take a ride on the summer rodelbahn, or test your balance in the climbing forest and then relax. Whatever you choose you will want to check out the indoor/outdoor pool and enjoy the incredible mountain views with your sweetie. This was the highlight of my stay! Also keep your eye out for Flo: a seven year hotel guest who as never paid . Book your stay directly through Falkensteiner Hotel and Spa Carinzia.
7) Hotel Arts, Calgary, Canada
Named as one of the Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in Canada by TripAdvisor.ca, Hotels Arts is a boutique hotel located in downtown Calgary. Its contemporary, unexpected design and chic luxury interior transports you into another world (a romantic one) the minute you step into the lobby. I didn’t want to leave! You can book your stay directly through Hotel Arts.
8) Romantik Parkhotel Wasserburg, Anholt, Isselburg, Germany
My princess dreams finally came true when I stayed at Romantik Parkhotel Wasserburg Anholt, a castle hotel in Germany. And it’s not just any castle, it’s one of the largest water palaces in the entire Münster region AND it’s a moated castle! Naturally with its own castle gardens, wild animal park, golf course and museum. Does it get any more romantic than staying in a castle hotel? Not if you’re with Prince Charming! You can book your royal stay at Romantik Hotels and Restaurants.
9) Hotel Rural Can Vila, Montseny Natural Park, SpainThere are more horses than guests at Hotel Rural Can Vila, which perhaps is fitting considering that the hotel is a restored farmhouse from the early 1800s. The restoration work is exceptional with many of the original building materials used – stone, wood and iron. Situated in beautiful Montseny Natural Park, Hotel Rural Can Vila is a great place to come and get away from it all, slow down and make time for romance. Also be sure to check out the nearby Castell de Monsoriu, the greatest Gothic castle in Catalonia. You can book your stay directly at Hotel Can Vila.
10) Tembe Elephant Park, South AfricaTembe Elephant Park was my top destination of 2012 and part of that experience included the luxurious accommodation that is perfect for wilderness purists as Tembe calls them. Our canvas tent was in the middle of the African wilderness (surrounded by a fence to keep the elephants out) which we accessed via a private path. I’m not big on camping, but this was nothing even close to camping. It was luxurious. The jungle sounds were incredibly romantic. There is also an outdoor shower (with hot water) to really put you in touch with nature. My only regret is staying for just one night. Book your wilderness package at Tembe Elephant Park.