Loved up and away: the best hotels for Valentine’s Day


Loved up and away: the best hotels for Valentine’s Day

Cupid's got his eye on these hotel cuties…

Kate Weir

BY Kate Weir16 January 2024

Whether you’re app-cruising through cuffing season, taking those tentative steps into serious relationshipping, put a ring on them long ago, or some other sort of situationship, we could all do with a dose of the ‘warm and fuzzies’. So, let us give you the feels, with our pick of Valentine’s Day hotels for 2024.

We’ve selected the most romantic hotels in 10 heart-quickening destinations around the world that are by turns adults-only, historic sweethearts, have knock-out signature suites, and are just plain lovable – be prepared to fall hard for them…


‘Goings-on’ take place behind exceedingly grand doors come Valentine’s Day in London. Staycationers and love-birds flown in from afar alike can pretend they’ve hit the property jackpot by booking into historic homes with a very intimate feel. Take newcomer to the scene At Sloane, a collaboration between French hotelier Jean-Louis Costes and the esteemed Cadogan Estates, parcelled in a 19th-century red-brick. This has a softly lit speakeasy-style bar, interiors inspired by William Morris and Whistler, portraiture of couples displayed in each room, and a private dining room with just one table for extra-special date-night meals (that’s already seen its first proposal). For the après, raid your minibar to play with the Pillow Talk cards provided.

Soho House outpost Kettner’s is clubby, cool and very central, with a lingering air of Gallic swagger and some naughtiness from its time as London’s first ever French restaurant, where King Edward VII and actress Lillie Langtry carried on an affair in the cabinets particuliers upstairs. Now, it has bedrooms with Georgian-inspired decor of touch-me velvets and fringing, some with freestanding bath tubs steps from the bed, and the Jacobean Suite with its own hush-hush private entrance for kingly discretion.


A hotel in Paris for Valentine’s Day? How original, we hear you scoff. OK, so maybe we’re not quite thinking outside the boîte, but there’s always something new to seduce lovers in the city of l’amour. Namely, L’Eldorado hotel in the gaining-traction-on-trendiness 17th arrondissement. It might be named after the fabled city of gold, but its treasures are more green, with a secret interior garden and rooms dressed in more fleurs than the largest bouquet you could gift your sweetheart with (some covering the ceilings too). Here, pâtisseries are served by candlelight, botanical cocktails on rose-scented terraces, plates are made to share, and the Moulin Rouge is a short walk away for champagne, Can-Cans and belting out Come What May.

And, our second pick comes in hot with a name like La Fantaisie, also plays with flamboyant florals, courtesy of big-deal designer Martin Brudnizki, and has a lush secret garden at the heart of the 9th arrondissement. The Golden Poppy restaurant has imaginative Californian dishes by decorated chef Dominique Crenn, who has also conceived cocktails laced with cognac, aged tequilas, flavoured rums… best enjoyed while looking at the sparkling cityscape from the leafy roof terrace.


Fair warning: Balearic palace-turned-crashpad Nobis Hotel Palma goes heavy on historic romance. Arched galleries over palm-graced courtyards call for long imploring looks, a plunge pool shaded by fluttering white veils is built for flirtatious frolicking, and rooms with antique stone and beams have seen plenty a bodice heave in their time, we’ll wager. Thank heavens the Swedes have brought the cool in with them, albeit in the form of architect Gert Wingårdh’s eloquent modernism, low Audo lighting and shapely custom Carl Hansen beds – wait, we’re getting all hot under the collar again – we would abscond to the subterranean spa (once an escape tunnel), but the sauna and hammam only make things steamier…


Florence – being Italy’s honeymoon-hotel hotspot – also lends its charms rather well to Valentine’s Day, with its balconies overlooking the illuminated Duomo, Arno-side dining, and the Ponte Vecchio lined with jewellery shops (hint, hint). You needn’t to go through Dante-hearts-Beatrice dramatics to prove your ardour, but do look to the gods – or rather goddess of love Venus, the inspiration for the name of Stella d’Italia, a stay that picks and mixes various design influences and shakes them up in chic style. Pre-Raphaelite motifs and 16th-century frescoes meet contemporary colourways and Cinecittà refs – especially in room 26, where star-crossed cinema lovers can admire vintage posters, dance under a disco ball and soak in a silver freestanding bath tub.

Alternatively, look to Italy’s toe and beyond for swoonsome stays; say to-die-for Naples nest Artemisia Domus Giardino, one of the first to host gadabouts completing their Grand Tour of Europe – silver-tongued Romantic poet John Keats, also checked in at one point, although more for convalescing than courting. Aside from a glorious interior garden, it’s also an idyll for wellness-seeking couples, with a spa that can be booked privately and several rooms with jet-enhanced bath tubs. And, on picturesque-speck-of-an-island Ischia, a hop from Naples’ coast, you can snooze in the truly spectacular setting of a restored century-old lighthouse atop a soaring cliff, now four-key hideaway Faro Punta Imperatore.


Marrakech caters to both more classic romance for traditional couples and less frilly forays for modern-minded twosomes. Those in the former camp should check in at L’Hôtel Marrakech, Jasper Conran’s dreamily dressed den, where swooshy net curtains skirt carved four-poster beds and can be drawn across to add privacy to your terrace; there are secluded, there are flowery nooks where you can share mint tea and pastries (included as your Smith Extra, FYI); and a haven of a courtyard, lush with palms and graced with a pool.

Whereas Maison Brummell Majorelle whispers a quieter luxury, with soft palettes, sculptural forms (we like the topsy-turvy arches) and organic materials, plus a small yet effective spa with hammam. But, with the tropical dazzle of the Majorelle Gardens on its doorstep, it doesn’t need to speak any louder. Whichever Marrakech stay you choose, be sure to journey out into the desert wilds of the Atlas Mountains to tack on a stay at Olinto Atlas Mountain Retreat. Fabulously named Italian Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa has carefully created this beautiful adults-only hotel (for over-16s) with cocooning, garden-wrapped pavilions, glorious scenery and maybe even the odd musical recital.


Pairs of naturalists – that’s naturalists – should journey to Sri Lanka’s Jetwing Vil Uyana deep in the emerald hinterland, for a Valentine’s Day hotel with a difference – notably resident (friendly) crocs, rare slow lorises, ambling elephants… With all this wild action going on, sustainability is a major consideration (so you can be a deservedly smug twosome too), and the 28-acre estate has been cultivated to support five different habitats, from marshland to forest. This not only means tucked-away thatched cabins (most with open-air showers – which langur monkeys may sometimes swing into), with a variety of views (note that the ‘wetter’ landscapes have the slightly less postcard views, but more animal sightings), but also a wide range of settings for romantic private dinners, whether you want a birdsong-soundtracked treehouse or a candlelit picnic on pouffes in paddy fields.


Mood-setting doesn’t get more magical than at Mathis Lodge Amed, which rests in a tree-furred curve of the lesser-discovered Léan Valley, rising 400 metres above the glittering Lombok Strait and a black-sand volcanic beach (and with the noble Seraya Volcano rising up in the background). Amid all this natural splendour are suites designed with a local Indonesian aesthetic in mind (thatched roofs, wooden decks, covetable handicrafts), all of which don’t really need a ‘do not disturb’ sign; however, those with either a private Jacuzzi or pool are the ones to say ‘I do’ to (or even just ‘I do, until check-out’). Start your day by having breakfast floated over to you on a tray, continue it with Balinese massages or village-hopping, scuba-diving and hiking; and move into the evening on a platform for two overlooking the water with flavourful Indonesian feasting, perhaps ending on a deep-fried banana or two (no euphemism intended).


Excuse us, but, when it comes to Valentine’s Day happenings, length is a consideration… We’re talking 82 kilometres of miraculous man-made canal along which you can glide on a private boat tour. It ain’t quite Venice, but here you can stop for sloth-spotting jungle treks, kayaking expeditions and to spy rare tropical birds. And if industrial-scale hubris isn’t enough to get you going, Amarla Boutique Hotel Casco Viejo amps up the romance by quite a hefty amount. It’s leafier than a rainforest indoors, has double-decker suites kitted out with Moroccan lanterns and silky kimonos, a roof terrace with discrete levels, and a restaurant that swaps candlelight for the flicker of the grill’s flame. And, in Panama you get a double whammy of festivities, with Valentine’s fêting and the colour and celebrations of Carnival from 9 to 14 February.


‘Aman Junkies’, prepare to have your heart rubber-band forth from your chest like an enamoured cartoon character – much like your partner, their long-awaited Aman New York outpost has many wonderful traits: Japanese minimalist design (rice-paper screens, kakejiku-style murals); washoku dining with omakase menus; and an enormous multi-floor spa covering cryotherapy, traditional Chinese medicine, vitamin infusions and more, including various treatments for two. And New York’s urbanity is infused throughout (well, it can’t help but be, with a location at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street), with a Twenties-style jazz club, buzzy terraces and curated experiences from street photography to market-stockpiling.

And now, we head south, to a stay that pays homage to a tumultuous literary love – that of Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda Dearest is a bed and breakfast set across three restored historic homes in the artsy Downtown district of Asheville in North Carolina, and there’s Gatsby-esque glamour in the rooms’ deco-style throwback features, a bold personality in its vivid hues and patterns, and a pinch of party atmosphere in the chandelier-strung bar.


If you want a stay that cares for each of you as much as you do one another, then wellness retreat the Aerial BVI should be your choice romantic hotel for Valentine’s Day. This whole private island is basically a spa, with decks facing both sunrise and -set, creative writing and arts classes, bracing ice baths, a beach gym, and treatment rooms for CBD-infused rubdowns. Plus, there’s Redemption Ranch, where healing is provided by therapy animals that include horses, ponies, zebras and tortoises. Uniquely styled rooms are all named after different intentions, of which Love seems the most appropriate (rather than, say, Strength) – and it’s a sweetheart, with its high ceilings and sea views. But, we also like turret-set Dream for its circular bed, stargazing deck and freestanding bath tub.

And, to continue the affair, check out the full list of Valentine’s Day hotels; or – if things go very well – our collection of honeymoon hotels.