1. Hotel Gritti Palace, Italy
Why We Love It: Ernest Hemingway once called it “the best hotel in a city of great hotels,” Greta Garbo made it her Venetian home away from home, and Conde Nast Traveler named it to its 2005 Gold List -- we certainly wouldn’t argue with them. Reigning on the Grand Canal, with spectacular water views, the Hotel Gritti Palace was built in 1525 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti. Today it attracts the elite and luminaries like the British Royal family and many a Hollywood star, with its luxurious rooms and amenities, and mouth-watering cuisine.
Why You’ll Love It: You’ll take pleasure in feeling like the aristocrat you are in your large, luxurious room, and enthrall in being spoiled with palatial service (you deserve it!). Small details like fresh flowers, fine antiques, grand appointments, and old-fashion service make the Gritti a palace to remember.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: May through October, enjoy private round-trip boat service to Venice Lido, where the hotel’s sister hotels, The Westin Excelsior and The Hotel Des Bains, await with private beach facilities, swimming pools, tennis, and golf.
2. Hotel Cipriani, Italy
Why We Love It: The Cip, as devotees refer to it, has been voted the number one hotel in all of Europe and has attracted celebrities and royalty alike. Located at the tip of Giudecca Island, just a short, magnificent boat ride from St. Marks Square (the center of Venice), the Cip is steeped in tradition, not trend, and its Terrace Restaurant is one where elegant dress (suits and ties, dresses for the ladies) and etiquette are revered and expected.
Why You’ll Love It: Seventy-five of the 88 guestrooms have balconies, terraces or patios that open onto the gardens or have views of the majestic boat-filled lagoon. The hotel makes its own wine from the grapes found at the adjacent vineyard, and the Cip is only accessible by boat, ensuring the utmost in privacy for its fortunate guests.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: The Casanova Spa boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool (the only one in the city) and a space age treatment room, where pampering is the focus. Red clay tennis courts and docking facilities give the property a resort atmosphere.
3. Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Greece
Why We Love It: Located on a small olive and palm tree-dotted cliff, the Blue Palace is distinctly stylish yet incredibly relaxing. It’s been named “one of the 100 best spas” by Harpers & Queen and its seaside surroundings, sun, and pools keep visitors feeling like they’re Greek gods and goddesses.
Why You’ll Love It: All bungalows feature breathtaking views of the gulf, marbled-swathed bathrooms (this is Greece after all), and your own veranda or terrace overlooking the sea. Some bungalows come with your very own private infinity pool, and villas have their own private heated swimming pools. The Romance in Paradise Package for honeymooners features champagne, flowers, and fresh fruit upon arrival, a honeymoon cake specially prepared by the resident pastry chef, nightly honeymoon turndown service, complimentary use of the sauna, fitness center, and Jacuzzis at the spa, plus either a nine-course candlelit dinner and one 50-minute couples massage, or a one-hour sunrise trip around Spinalonga Isle with champagne and canapés.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: The Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy is a three-level sanctuary for the mind, body, and spirit, featuring a heated indoor pool, steam baths and more -- a fab spot for you and your newlywed to kick back and unwind. The resort also boasts five restaurants for your noshing needs. Active couples can indulge their more physical sides by kayaking in the surf, golfing, kneeboarding, and windsurfing in the waves.
4. Le Mas Candille, France
Why We Love It: Nestled in an expansive private park in the medieval village of Mougins, just a few miles from Cannes and along the French Riviera, Le Mas Candille is a sublimely luxurious country-chic hotel, expertly mixing the old with the new.
Why You’ll Love It: From your own terrace or balcony, take in the morning sunrise or sunset with the old village of Mougins or the Pre-Alpes mountains as your backdrop. Gastronomes will revel in the culinary masterpieces created by the famous chef Serge Gouloumes.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: Nab your newlywed for a peaceful afternoon retreat at the Shiseido Spa, the first Shiseido spa in continental Europe. The Japanese-styled sanctuary is set among landscaped gardens, and offers a variety of luxe treatments that highlight the balance between body and mind.
5. Brenner's Park Hotel & Spa, England
Why We Love It: Set in a private park on the northern foothills of the Black Forest, the 100-room stately and luxurious hotel is sumptuously appointed and boasts the best spa in the area. Brenners’ weaves beauty, fitness, health, and culinary delights gracefully into one charming package.
Why You’ll Love It: The split-level honeymoon suite features your own private terrace, overlooking the Black Forest. The word “no” doesn’t exist in the staff’s vocabulary – whatever you want, they will go to great lengths to make it happen. You can even order a foot massage in your own suite.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: Daredevil couples will enthrall in the myriad activities, from rock climbing and wind surfing to paragliding and even skydiving. There’s also golf, hunting, tennis, cycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, boating, and skiing (in the winter). There’s a casino, concert hall, and theater near by as well for culture-minded couples.
6. Hotel de Russie, Italy
Why We Love It: Rome has as many grand hotels as Detroit has potholes, but we’re keen on the Hotel de Russie’s decidedly modern take on traditional Roman style.
Why You’ll Love It: Modern yet cozy rooms boast marble bathrooms and city and/or garden views. The location is ideal, between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, within walking distance of many major attractions, yet complete on its own, with a spacious spa, fitness center, and gardens carved into the Pincio hillside, offering sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday Rome.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: Famous for its terraced gardens, which provide a peaceful haven after a day of touring Rome, you’ll also love the spa’s hydropool, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam baths, beauty treatments, and gym.
7. The Westin Turnberry Resort, Scotland
Why We Love It: Resting on 800 acres of one of the most beautiful corners of Scotland, with the Atlantic at its coastline and gently rolling Scottish hills at its back, the internationally renowned Turnberry is luxurious and welcoming at once.
Why You’ll Love It: The staff. They’ve perfected the art of service and hospitality, catering to your every whim without making you feel uncomfortable. Opulent Edwardian-style digs with ocean-view rooms are a highlight, as is the hotel’s helipad (don’t we all have our own private helicopters?).
Why You Might Leave Your Room: The award-winning spa features an expansive swimming pool with breathtaking views across the sea, as well as saunas, a Jacuzzi, steam rooms, and hydrotherapy suites. Horseback riding, tennis, golf, fishing, shooting, archery, and mountain biking will get the pulses of adventure-minded couples racing.
8. Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Italy
Why We Love It: Originally a 15th century convent, the Four Seasons Hotel Milan offers 118 fabulously fashionable guestrooms and suites amidst a serene landscaped courtyard. The idyllic location puts you just steps from Milan’s couture fashion houses and the city’s financial district.
Why You’ll Love It: Newlyweds can indulge in an in-room champagne breakfast or candle-lit dinner for two, as well as in-room massages, manis and pedis (or drag yourself out of your room and head to the hotel’s spa). Those footsies have got to look fabulous in your new Italian shoes after all.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: A quick jaunt will have action-oriented couples at one of several great golf courses. Or explore many of the city’s fab attractions, including the Castello Sforzesco, a plethora of galleries, or the world-famous Duomo.
9. Baur au Lac, Switzerland
Why We Love It: Owned and operated by the same family since its opening in 1844, the three-story stone hotel is surrounded by a private park, at the end of Bahnhofstrasse and right next to the Schanzengraben Canal.
Why You’ll Love It: Luxury and comfort coexist at Baur au Lac, treating guests to the best Switzerland has to offer. Each of the 70 light and airy rooms has been recently redesigned personally by the owners. Wine lovers will enjoy the wine cellar that houses an astonishing 800,000 bottles.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: If you must leave your posh digs, take up a game of golf or tennis, go for a swim, or set sail with your lover on the lake.
10. Villa San Michelle, Italy
Why We Love It: The former 15th century monastery has been completely transformed into one of Europe’s most charming villa hotels. Only a few minutes from the hustle, excitement, and cultural oasis of Florence, scheduled buses will take you from the hotel to museums, but you can just as easily bike or horseback ride through the famed Tuscan countryside, too. Variety is the spice…
Why You’ll Love It: The 45 rooms, including 24 suites and junior suites nestled amid the lovely gardens with blooming red geraniums, enjoy spectacular views, each with its own unique style and antique appointments. Detailed touches like daily fresh flowers, air conditioning in every room, and deluxe bathrobes and slippers make the Villa San Michelle feel like your own private villa.
Why You Might Leave Your Room: Chill by the panoramic pool, sizzle with your one and only during a class at the cooking school, or hit the local championship links. Tennis is also available for a little love-love action.
See More: Honeymoons