From the museums of Paris to the ancient ruins of Greece, Europe is steeped in history, art, and architecture. These hotels each offer a glimpse at what the continent is known for, while still providing the higher comforts you look for in a honeymoon resort, with unique pools, world-class spas, and stunning views. There's no better way to relax after the stresses of planning your wedding than with Michelin-starred meals on the Amalfi Coast, or award-winning wines in the heart of Spain.
Best Countryside: Heckfield Place, Hampshire, England
Quaint yet expansive, charming and chic, this English countryside estate one hour from London is a favorite of royals, stars and regular folk who wish to get away in a totally idyllic setting. It makes an especially flawless honeymoon destination for couples with an appreciation for farm-to-table cuisine since the hundreds of acres around this restored 1800s Georgian manor house are organic farms, orchards and gardens feeding famed chef Skye Gyngell’s two restaurants, Marle and Hearth.
A cozy atmosphere pervades, whether wild swimming, hiking, picnicking, sipping wine or snuggling up in the cinema for a flick. There are yoga, Pilates and even ballet classes with partner Bodyism, plus a divine spa using proprietary natural products. You’ll want to spend time in your modernized yet unique guest room, of course, but also drawing attention is The Assembly, a full program of cultural offerings from concerts to seminars and garden tours.
Best Coastal: Le Sirenuse, Portofino, Italy
Coastal Italy can cure anything. It doesn’t get better in the iconic honeymoon destination of Positano than Le Sirenuse, still family-run and perched dramatically 400 feet above the cerulean sea.
The Amalfi Coast is legendary, and for good reason—you’ll never tire at the views from your vibrantly tiled, atmospheric room or suite (there are 58 of them), many terraces and the bar, and it’s perfectly acceptable to drink Prosecco at any time of day.
There’s plenty of sightseeing to do here, but also pure relaxation, like at the pool surrounded by lemon trees and plush lounge chairs, or in the comprehensive spa, complete with sauna, steam bath and ice room, plus synchronized couples’ treatments. The Michelin-starred La Sponda is a treat worthy of the most romantic trip of your lives.
Best Wine Estate: Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain
If stargazing in a historic abbey sounds appealing, or hot air ballooning over vineyards, or listening to a private concert piano with a side of wine, or tasting Spanish tapas under a 100-year-old oak tree sound appealing, there’s one place to do it all.
This hotel-cum-winery and -spa has serious history: it’s set in a 12th-century abbey where you can almost still hear the monks chanting. There’s a biodynamic garden, wine tasting among the barrels, bike and horseback riding and even falconry, plus a Michelin-star restaurant, Refectorio.
All this is less than one hour by high-speed train from Madrid, on rolling hills, seen from all the guest rooms (serviced by a 24-hour butler!). Chill out even further in the super-luxe couple’s spa suite at Santuario, where you’ll release every ounce of tension ever held.
Best History: San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice, Venice, Italy
Talk about the best of both worlds: this luxury hotel is on a private island in the Venetian lagoon, yet it’s only 10 minutes from Piazza San Marco, so you can have seclusion and intimacy whenever you want it.
On 15 acres, it’s amid ancient gardens and 900-year-old monastery buildings with soaring ceilings, Instagram-worthy staircases, and silk-wrapped walls. This decadence carries into 190 guest rooms, which combine classic design with modern conveniences.
A stunningly large heated swimming pool is a showpiece of the resort and makes for a beautiful place to lounge with a spritz—when not jogging, playing tennis or practicing yoga on the grounds. Spoil yourselves at the spa before indulging in a multi-course fantasy of Venetian and Italian specialties at Acquerello Restaurant, one of six dining and drinking venues.
Best Splurge: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, France
If you’re seeking a classic European honeymoon, Paris is the place. And the George “sank,” or cinque is the hotel in the City of Light. It’s hands-down one of the best hotels in Europe, made up of 244 timeless rooms and suites, decadent and outfitted with the signature Four Seasons bed. There are Eiffel Tower views and it’s steps from the Champs-Elysées, but you’ll have to pass through famed floral artist Jeff Leatham’s ever-rotating installations to get there.
The hotel’s three restaurants claim a total of five Michelin stars and 50,000 bottles in the wine cellar, so you know you’re dining and drinking well. Foodies can even jet off with chef Zanoni in a hybrid sports car to Versailles to pick seasonal produce from the garden then enjoy a cooking class back at the hotel. Don’t miss the elegant swimming pool or new spa, where cutting-edge technology is harnessed to produce a sublime sense of calm.
Best Design: Il Sereno, Lake Como, Venice, Italy
As George Clooney knows, Lake Como is an icon of Italy. And though the heritage hotels on its banks are out of this world, too, this relative newcomer has stolen hearts with Patricia Urquiola’s modernist, environmentally aware take on elegance. All 30 suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces facing the water. It’s hard to imagine a 60-foot freshwater infinity pool more beautifully placed as if floating atop the picturesque lake.
There’s a private beach and dock for arrivals and transportive cruises via custom-built wooden Riva boat. Nestled underneath centuries-old arches is the spa, an ideal place to while away an afternoon with your spouse. Make sure to bring your appetite, since Milan-based chef Andrea Berton leads the Michelin-starred indoor-outdoor restaurant known for pristinely plated prix fixe meals—even plant-based if you wish!
Best Castle: Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland
When it comes to fairytale weddings and fairytale honeymoons, there’s nowhere as magical as this 13th-century castle hotel set on 350 acres on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong.
This setting has it all: woodlands, lake, river, and mountains, plus 83 guest accommodations that you’ll never want to leave—especially if you’re booked in the super-private Hideaway Cottage. But there’s plenty to do: equestrian pursuits, fly fishing, Ireland’s inaugural school of falconry, and even a nine-hole golf course.
There’s a honeymooner package with rose petal turndown service, bubbly and candlelit five-course table d’hote menu in the sophisticated George V Dining Room. The cherry on top is a couples’ treatment in the newly renovated state-of-the-art spa.
Best Mountains: Schloss Elmau, Germany
It may be a bit unexpected, but the spectacular Bavarian Alps are home to one of the world’s most luxurious spa resorts, some 60 miles south of Munich. There are crystalline lakes, babbling brooks, impressive peaks, authentic villages, fairytale castles and famed museums within reach of this 115-room retreat with a vast bookstore and concert hall.
The eight restaurants range from a seductive Italian salon to a mountain lodge you’ll want to cozy up to your sweetheart inside. The six separate spas are where couples are treated to therapies involving ancient Chinese medicine and current technology, plus everything in between, and several pools, including some reserved for adults only—one clothing optional.
When not trying yoga or Taiji sessions, hiking or e-biking, there are private instructors for ski lessons on the nearby slopes.
Best Value: Grand Hotel Minerva, Florence, Italy
If your idea of a honeymoon involves Florence, Italy, you should consider the views before booking your bolthole. And this almost-150-year-old hotel on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella—which recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation—has them. There are original marble floors, restored original furniture and an impressive art collection along the halls, plus two Frescoed Suites with original ceiling frescoes from the 1800s. The vistas from bed are pretty fantastic, but the rooftop terrace, heated pool (the only hotel in Florence’s city center to have one!) and sky lounge give guests glorious 360-degree panoramas over the entire city.
If you can tear yourself away from cocktails up there while admiring the Duomo, stroll to the adjacent piazza for locally sourced Italian dinners, or book a private starlit dinner above the pool for ultimate romantic vibes.
Best Island: Amanzoe, Peloponnese, Greece
It’s hard to imagine a more exotic and romantic honeymoon destination than a Greek island, and Amanzoe on a hilltop on Peloponnese’s east coast takes that vision to exclusive new heights.
Take a helicopter from Athens and land in a place with a private Beach Club in a postcard-perfect bay where everything just feels tailor-made to you. Speedboats wait to zip couples to nearby islands of Hydra and Spetses, or to secret coves for alone time (you can also take a canoe).
The bright white resort has just 38 minimalist pavilions, beach cabanas and villas, each with private terraces and pools looking out over the blue Aegean. Luxury here translates to many things, from the quiet serenity of time spent lazing on the creamy sand or by a massive pale blue swimming pool, to the hospitable staff who learn each guest’s name.
There’s a gym, expansive spa for dreamy treatments using supernatural Aman Skincare, and restaurants serving cuisines from Greek to Japanese.