Europe. It’s hard not to swoon over just how much it has to offer: stunning cities, vibrant nightlife, cultural hotspots galore. But look a little closer and you can unearth its quieter side, along with some truly fabulous adult-only hotels. Here’s our pick of some of Europe’s dreamiest destinations, all teamed with romantic refuges where you can put life on hold and recharge – together.
Like most places overlooking the Aegean Sea, Bodrum enjoys some pretty spectacular views. But The Marmara Bodrum gives you a panorama like no other. Take in the sweep of the bay from your private terrace before a dip in the rooftop Jacuzzi. Treat yourselves to a massage, then dine on fresh seafood in the gourmet restaurant. The hotel even offers guests a Party Animal Suite if you want to turn your room into your own private dancefloor.
Of course, Bodrum itself is ideal for a romantic escape with a buzz. The city comes to life as the sun sets, with outdoor bars serving chic cocktails against a backdrop of twinkling lights. Don’t miss the iconic 15th-century Bodrum Castle. And if you’ve got a soft spot for romance of a traditional kind, be sure to book your escape during the city’s international ballet festival.
With its heart-stopping views and air of vintage glamour, Italy’s Amalfi Coast seems to have been created solely with love in mind. For a truly majestic getaway, head to Casa Angelina. This award-winning hotel, carved into the jagged cliffs above the deep blue sea, offers a completely tranquil experience. Gaze out at the island of Capri from La Gavitella beach. Then channel your inner ’50s movie star and explore hidden coves on the hotel’s private boat, The Master Angelina.
Nearby Positano is quintessential Amalfi: steep cliffs, ice-cream coloured houses, glitzy yachts. But if you’d rather escape the crowds, head to more modest Praiano. Watch the golden facade of its San Gennaro church catch the light of the setting sun before finding a little bar just in time for aperivivo.
Tucked away amidst olive groves and lemon trees, Finca Serena captures an authentic way of Mediterranean life. Maybe it’s the rustic setting or the bright, airy rooms. It could also be the Unico Spa – complete with sauna and hammam – or the Jacaranda restaurant, which prides itself on using produce from its garden. Whichever your favourite part of the hotel, it’s the perfect place to press ‘reset.’
To up the pace a little, explore the island by bicycle, taking in a few charming villages along the way. Or make a day trip to Sóller and wander round the lively Plaza de la Constitución.
Clear blue waters. Rugged landscape. Bronze Age ruins. Even its own breed of miniature horses. For one island, Sardinia certainly packs quite a punch. And though you could spend a lot of your time exploring its 2,000km of bejewelled coastline, it’s also tempting to park up at one heavenly spot and stay put. Cue La Villa del Re – an adult-only bolthole fronted by its own private beach.
There’s also an infinity pool and two restaurants that showcase Sardinia’s flair for fresh pasta and just-caught seafood. For a more active spin on your stay, ask the friendly staff about quad-biking, kayaking or sailing.
A heady combination of sun, sea and ancient history makes Rhodes an alluring destination. And the beauty of Lindos Blu Hotel is that you have all three on your doorstep. Built in the shape of an amphitheatre, its terraced villas lead down to the soft sand of Vlicha Bay, with sea views at every turn. Tuck into Greek meze. Have a fresh juice brought to your sun lounger. And let the sea air work its magic.
Of course, if the hotel’s pool or luxury spa can’t keep you, the picturesque town of Lindos is ready to be explored. As are the ruins of Rhodes’ Acropolis, perched high on a cliff near the ancient city itself.