Ca Maria Adele, Venice
Housed in an historic 16th-century palazzo, the Ca Maria Adele’s interior is a sumptuous mix of old-world damask fabrics and baroque furnishings. The 12 bedrooms (some themed – but in a good way) range from elegant Moroccan splendour to velvet palazzo-style opulence, and are some of the sexiest in the city.
Hospes Palacio del Bailio, Cordoba
Tucked away in the cobbled streets of Cordoba’s old quarter, the Hospes Palacio del Bailio is a mix of contemporary cool and 16th-century elegance. A beautifully converted mansion house with stables, coach house and granary, it’s a tranquil space decorated in a chic palette of white and metallics: think atmospheric patios, exposed brick arches, Moorish carved doors and painted ceilings – mirroring Cordoba’s own mix of Arabic, Jewish and Christian cultures.
The Boat Shed, Ardanaiseig Hotel, Argyll
Ardanaiseig is situated at the end of a winding single-track lane, deep in the wilderness. A remote country estate built on the shores of Loch Awe (the third-largest freshwater loch in Scotland, and famed for its trout fishing), it's an aptly named and wonderfully atmospheric spot. The Boat Shed is a lovers’ heaven – totally secluded and entirely glass-fronted, so from your mezzanine-level, king-size bed, you can watch the mist drifting across the Loch.
Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany
After lying derelict for years, this 13th-century villa, an hour from Florence, has been lovingly transformed into one of Tuscany's most luxurious places to stay. The first room (there are two rooms and eight suites) has extravagant drapes, period furniture and a romantic claw-foot bath. You could be tempted to hole up here all weekend, but the formal grounds, fragrant with the scent of herbs and roses, and soothed by the soft burble of fountains, are much too beautiful to miss.
The Bath Arms, Wiltshire
This ivy-clad pub is right on the edge of the Longleat Estate (where the bohemian Marquis of Bath, he of the wifelets, holds court) and so close, we’re told, that on certain nights you can hear the lions roar. After the grandeur of Longleat, the welcome is friendly and informal. There’s no reception, you just walk into the bar and someone will show you up the creaky, warren-like staircase to one of the 15 rooms, some cosily floral, others vampy (Karma Sutra suite, anyone?), furnished with mostly Indian pieces from the owner’s travels.
Haven't found quite what you were after from our pick of romantic places to stay in Europe? See ELLE escapes' full collection of places to stay.