There’s nothing like a weekend away from home to inspire romance, even if you’re lucky enough to live in a penthouse apartment or beautiful Kensington townhouse. Preparing a Champagne supper or a candlelit bubble bath for a loved one is a great way to show them you care but even if the place is spotless, there’ll always be those little distractions (or, if you’re a parent, big distractions) that keep you from fully enjoying the moment. That’s why a weekend, or even just a night in a romantic hotel is a stellar idea, whether for a special occasion such as a minimoon, an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, or just because it’s a lovely thing to do once in a while.
Whatever your idea of relaxation and indulgence is – whether it’s soaking in a Jacuzzi at a fancy spa hotel, horse riding in the grounds of a grand country house hotel, or just holing up in your room at one of London’s best luxury hotels – we assure you that some time away from household chores and life admin will work wonders for your relationship.
As romance is subjective, we’ve done our best to include a variety of different dwellings that we think come under the category of ‘romantic hotels’. With hundreds of highly-rated romantic hotels in London alone, it wasn’t easy to distil them down to a mere 12, but hopefully you’ll agree that each one has something very special to offer. All of our picks, both in London and further afield, are decadently furnished and offer excellent food and drink, including a number of Michelin Star restaurants. Each of our UK choices also benefits from stunning surroundings, so if you’re craving fresh air and lush scenery, you definitely need to check them out. None are cheap, but we’re sure you’ll agree that you can’t put a price on love.
Romantic hotels in London
London is home to some of the best hotels in the world, many of which started life as lavish private homes. We’ve picked six of our favourites based on their romance credentials, which include wow-factor rooms and suites, magnificent dining rooms and spotless service.
Why we love it: Theatrical excess blends seamlessly with warm hospitality at this romantic boutique hotel in South Kensington. Favoured by artists and celebrities, Blakes is the kind of hotel where time stops and all that matters is how luxurious the soft bedding atop the beautiful, four-poster bed is. By contrast, Blakes restaurant and bar is bold – the place to see and be seen – so once you’ve maxed out on the tranquillity of your room, you and your special someone can sip organic wine at the sleek bar.
Where: 33 Roland Gardens, South Kensington, SW7
Rooms from: £263/night
Why we love it: Boasting sultry decor, organic mattresses and rainfall showers, each of the decadent rooms at The Mandrake feels like a luxurious cocoon that’s as far from the hustle and bustle of the capital as one can imagine. The location makes it an ideal base from which to explore the city, but once you discover the hotel’s South American restaurant, award-winning Waeska bar and private Jurema terrace, we have a feeling you won’t want to venture far.
Where: 20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T
Rooms from: £387/night
Why we love it: Once the 18th-Century home of the last Viscount Lanesborough, this stunning hotel possesses everything couples could want for a romantic getaway. Breath-taking rooms and suites are furnished luxuriously and guests are free to visit the exclusive Club & Spa during their stay. Meals can be taken in the hotel’s Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, though if you’d prefer to order room service, this can be easily arranged too. In fact, The Lanesborough is the only hotel in London to offer a round-the-clock, dedicated butler service, meaning you can leave all the unromantic, practical stuff to someone else during your stay.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia, SW1X
Rooms from: £605/night
Why we love it: Synonymous with opulence and glamour, world-renowned The Ritz remains one of London’s most luxurious hotels and a classic choice for a night of romance. The rooms themselves are decorated with plenty of chintz so if you’re looking to treat a loved one like royalty for a night, the scene will be set perfectly for you. Breakfast in bed might be the height of romance, but guests ought not to miss the spectacular spread that’s laid out in the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant for hotel guests.
Where: 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1J
Rooms from: £445/night
Why we love it: Stepping into this gorgeous boutique hotel just off Soho Square is like stepping back in time. Beautiful antique furniture, fine portraits and rich fabrics in bold colours abound throughout the hotel, while the beds – either 17th-Century carved oak or a Georgian four-poster, depending on which room you choose – exude romance. An excellent place to hole up for a weekend, Hazlitt’s has it all – magnificent surroundings, old-fashioned hospitality and a plum location from which to explore London and its multitude of romantic restaurants.
Where: 6 Frith Street, Soho, W1D
Rooms from: £239/night
The Bulgari Hotel
Why we love it: The epitome of luxury, The Bulgari Hotel London is one of the most exclusive hotels in the capital. Everything from the marble surfaces to the staff is highly polished and guests can expect VIP treatment from the moment the besuited butler opens the door. If your idea of a romantic hotel includes sleek, spacious rooms, access to one of London’s best spas, top-quality drinking and dining, and impeccable service, this blow-out option might be worth splashing out on.
Where: 171 Knightsbridge, SW7
Rooms from: £714/night
Best romantic hotels in the UK
With centuries of history, it’s no wonder that the UK boasts hundreds of stunning country mansions, halls, castles and townhouses that have been converted into luxury hotels that are well worth a visit. There are many more romantic hotels across the UK than our six below (which all happen to be in England), but we think they’re a great place to start.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
Why we love it: If we had to dream up an achingly-beautiful, quintessentially English manor house, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons would be the result. The term ‘breath-taking’ is used a lot when describing romantic hotels in the UK, but this striking country house really does elicit sighs of wonder from guests upon arrival. Surrounded by lawns and orchards, the setting is postcard-perfect, and the rooms are no different. No matter which one you pick, you’ll find modern comforts combined with imaginative décor, resulting in a romantic hideaway you’ll never want to leave. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant by Raymond Blanc makes dine and stay packages an easy choice.
Where: Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford, OX44 7PD
Rooms from: £531/night
Amberley Castle, West Sussex
Why we love it: Steeped in over 900 years of history, this extraordinary hotel has a reputation for luxury and romance that few other UK hotels can boast of. Each of the 19 bedrooms at Amberley Castle is unique in design, though all are handsomely furnished with antiques and fine fabrics while sumptuous bedding guarantees comfort, whatever you get up to between the sheets. A walk at sunset in the castle gardens followed by dinner in one of the hotel’s two magnificent dining rooms is a must for couples looking for the ultimate romantic getaway.
Where: Near Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LT
Rooms from: £288/night
Eastwell Manor, Kent
Why we love it: Set in the tranquil Kent countryside among 3,000 acres of landscaped gardens, Eastwell Manor is a destination on many a couple’s bucket list. Not only is the hotel gorgeous inside and out, but it’s also home to a Champneys Spa, an all-weather tennis court, croquet lawn and nine-hole golf course, offering a multitude of ways to unwind. Overnight spa and dinner packages are widely available, making romantic weekends away a breeze to organise.
Where: Eastwell Court, Boughton Lees, Ashford, TN25 4HR
Packages from: £450/couple for dinner, spa and overnight packages
Lucknam Park, Cotswolds
Why we love it: Tucked away down a magnificent mile-long avenue of four hundred lime and beech trees and set within 500 acres of parkland, the sense of anticipation that builds as you approach this luxury country house hotel is wonderful. Easily one of the most romantic hotels in the UK, Lucknam Park boasts a multitude of refined rooms and suites designed with every comfort in mind, plus a beautiful spa, stables and the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones. For luxurious getaways that positively scream romance, Lucknam Park is a top choice.
Where: Colerne, Thickwood, Chippenham, SN14 8AZ
Rooms from: £275/night
Lympstone Manor, Devon
Why we love it: An overnight stay in a historic grade II-listed Georgian manor house is a pretty romantic prospect in itself, but once you factor in an eight-course tasting menu at Michael Caines' Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor restaurant, you’ve got yourself the perfect romantic getaway. Spectacular views of the South Devon coast, luxurious bedrooms and suites, and top-quality food all come together to provide an unforgettable experience that’s perfect for a special occasion.
Where: Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, EX8 3NZ
Packages from: £655/couple for a dine and stay package
Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa, Lake District
Why we love it: Set in the secluded splendour of 400 acres of deer park and woodland and bordered by the serene waters of Bassenthwaite Lake and the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain, this luxurious Lake District hotel is as romantic as the magnificent countryside in which it resides. There are plenty of activities for two at Armathwaite Hall, including spa treatments, alpaca walking, bike hire and a lemur experience. Majestic rooms and suites are equipped with everything you could want for a romantic night in, and the Lake View Restaurant ensures you won’t go hungry.
Where: Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbia, CA12 4RE
Rooms from: £207/night
If you’d prefer a cosy pub for your romantic getaway, check out our guide to the best pubs with rooms in the UK.