Spice things up this Valentine's Day. Surprise your sweetie with a romantic European rendezvous far from from the typical Eurotrip tourist sites.
These châteaux tucked into medieval villages, Tuscan hideaways winding down hillsides, and former monasteries perched on thermal springs are oozing with romance. They'll give you and your sweetie the intimate Valentine's Day you've been searching for.
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco is tucked into the Tuscan hills overlooking Serchio Valley — Photo courtesy of Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa in Barga, Italy
Just the word "Tuscany" conjures romance, with its rolling hills, iconic rustling pines and rich wine country.
However, the secluded Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco makes the dream a reality. Set on 1,500 acres on a hill overlooking Serchio Valley, the Tuscan hideaway is about an hour away from civilization, making it perfect for a countryside escape.
Couples can indulge in a true taste of Italy here with a cooking class from a private chef. Under expert tutelage, you'll create a three-course dinner, then relax and have it served to you on a private veranda overlooking the valley.
Look out at sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea from a room at the Château de la Chèvre d'Or in Eze — Photo courtesy of Lane Nieset
Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze, France
It’s not hard to feel like you’re staying in a castle out of a Disney fairytale at Château de la Chèvre d’Or in the medieval village of Eze, perched 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean Sea between Nice and Monaco.
In fact, it was Walt Disney himself who recommended the founder buy up the village homes dotting the hilltop and convert them into a hotel. Now, 39 romantic rooms form the Relais & Châteaux spot and its two Michelin-starred panorama restaurant, La Chèvre d'Or.
Bask on your own private beach in Gozo at Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa — Photo courtesy of Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa
Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa in Gozo, Maltese Islands
From its perch on Gozo’s highest point, five-star Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa looks out over the cliffs to the nearby islands of Malta and Comino. The hotel’s 83 rooms blend into the natural landscape, forming a village around the flora and fauna for a very luxe version of communing with nature.
While the hilltop hotel has everything from two pools to a holistic spa with hydrotherapy bath (plus a steam room and sauna), couples who want a seaside escape can have the best of both worlds and head to the hotel’s private rocky beach and restaurant set just below.
Faro Capo Spartivento is housed in Sardinia's oldest lighthouse — Photo courtesy of Faro Capo Spartivento
Faro Capo Spartivento in Sardinia, Italy
Just driving out to Faro Capo Spartivento, you’ll notice you’re leaving the world behind you. Turn off the main road and drive up the dirt path winding up the cliffs to the oldest working lighthouse on the island of Sardinia.
Built in 1856, the lighthouse was converted just a few years ago into one of the island’s most luxurious guesthouses. Six rooms sit on Sardinia’s southernmost tip, which points toward Africa.
Outside, an infinity pool surrounded by gardens and crystal gazebos drips over the Mediterranean Sea. Inside, junior suites divided amongst the lighthouse’s two floors feel cozy and comfortable - more like staying in a friend’s private cottage than a hotel, except with a talented chef and maître ‘d constantly on hand providing you with delicious food.
The only way to reach the iconic Belmond Hotel Cipriani is by boat — Photo courtesy of Belmond
Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy
The 95-room Belmond Hotel Cipriani separates itself from the hustle and bustle of Venice’s Piazza San Marco by canal, with private boat service whisking couples from the heart of the city over to the tip of Giudecca Island in four minutes flat.
Stroll through the gardens and take a seat on the terrace for a candlelit dinner overlooking the lagoon at Michelin-starred Oro. Their wine list spans more than a thousand labels and is matched only by the exquisite menu of Venetian-style cuisine.
Dine in the gardens overlooking the old city at Villa Dubrovnik — Photo courtesy of The Leading Hotels of the World
Villa Dubrovnik in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The 56-room hotel sitting above the city is just far enough away to feel like you’re on your own island, but still close enough to walk over to Dubrovnik's Old City. (TV watchers may feel they're walking familiar ground - the Old City is broadly recognizable as a medieval city for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”)
Villa Dubrovnik, nestled in a sea of pine, orange and lemon trees, looks out over the Adriatic and island of Lokrum, with each room sporting seaview balconies. The rooftop Prosciutto & Wine Bar serves up some of the most stunning sunset views of the city.
Six Senses' new hotel overlooks the River Douro in Portugal — Photo courtesy of Six Senses Douro Valley
Six Senses Douro Valley in Samodães, Portugal
Combine Six Senses’ signature spa experience with a stay in Portugal’s wine country overlooking the River Douro, and you have a recipe for a super romantic European retreat.
The Six Senses Douro Valley opened last year in a renovated 19th-century manor house and boasts 50 rooms and seven villas overlooking vine-dotted rolling hills.
One of the main draws is the lavish 24,000-square-foot Six Senses Spa, offering locally inspired grape- and citrus-infused treatments.
Sleep amongst the vineyards at Castilla Thermal Monasterio de Valbuena in Spain — Photo courtesy of Castilla Thermal Monasterio de Valbuena
Castilla Thermal Monasterio de Valbuena in Valladolid, Spain
After a day of wine tasting in Spain’s Ribera del Duero region, post up in castle-style digs at the five-star Castilla Thermal Monasterio de Valbuena. This 79-room hotel is set within the walls of a former Cistercian monastery and dates back to the 12th century.
The Manantial de San Bernardo naturally bubbles up mineral water here. Once, medieval monks drew the water for their vineyards. Now the pure clear water fills the hotel’s thermal pool, hammam, sauna, and hot and cold plunges - perfect for soaking away cares and relaxing with your sweetheart.
Get a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower at the luxe La Réserve — Photo courtesy of La Réserve Paris
La Réserve Paris in Paris, France
"Secluded" is not the first word we'd use to describe anything in Paris, but despite its prime locale right off the Champs-Élysées, La Réserve is just that. The discreet 19th-century mansion is quintessential Paris refinement - from the Haussmannian-style rooms to the Beauty and the Beast-inspired library and smoking lounge.
While the hotel exudes romance from top to bottom, the Valentine’s Day package wraps it up in a nice little bow: you'll enjoy a VIP welcome, dinner and Champagne for two, monogrammed dressing gowns, and 50-minute massages at the super-exclusive Nescens-Swiss spa below.
Take a dip al fresco in L'Apogée Courchevel's penthouse Jacuzzi — Photo courtesy of L'Apogée Courchevel
L’Apogée Courchevel in Courchevel, France
Valentine’s Day just so happens to fall at the peak of ski season. Coincidence? We think not.
Active couples can join the jet-set crowd at one of the most glamorous ski resorts in France - L’Apogée Courchevel - the gateway to Three Valleys. The hotel has its own ski in, ski out facility for easy slopes access.
For couples who prefer indoor luxury, try the spa - it's designed to bring elements of the surrounding Alpine slopes indoors.