A new year, a new series of First Dates Hotel, the Channel 4 show where an assorted bunch of lonely hearts meet up for a first date, says Natalie Paris in The Daily Telegraph. Roll the cameras and cue the hilarity, with the “added frisson of knowing that couples can choose not to wave their date off home at the end of the night”. The venue for this oh-so-romantic set-up is none other than Aquapetra Resort & Spa, situated in the heart of Italy’s Campania region.
Couples meet for the first time in La Locanda del Borgo, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, “a large, duskily lit stone space” that serves exemplary food in an intimate setting. “The sunsets, the calming perfume of the olive groves… Our hotel is not just romantic, it’s magical,” Francesca, the restaurant manager, enthuses.
A weekend getaway for two from €700 – see AquaPetra.com for details.
A great place to cuddle up in Britain
The Tavistock House Hotel in Devon has been declared Britain’s most romantic hotel by TripAdvisor. “Built by the Duke of Bedford in 1820, the hotel has little touches such as 500 thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding, and rainfall showers in every room,” says Rosie Gizauskas in The Sun. And there are “40-inch TVs in every room – all with Netflix, if you fancy cuddling up with a romantic film”. Dartmoor National Park is close by for “long romantic walks” and there is a “cosy” pub along the way.
Rooms cost from £89 for a double – see TavistockHouseHotel.co.uk.
The most romantic hotel in the US
The most romantic hotel in America as rated by users of TripAdvisor was a surprising choice. It is the Belamere Suites in Perrysburg, Ohio, a small city of about 20,000 residents located in northern Ohio, says Brittany Nims in The Huffington Post. The boutique hotel opened in 2003 as a romantic retreat. Its Royal Swimming Pool Suite features a private in-room pool, sauna, fireplace and chandeliers over two storeys.
However, the most romantic hotel in the world must surely be in Paris. The Maison Souquet boasts “exquisite Parisian décor with Arabian style – from plush velvet seating, climbing greenery, brocade carpets and lavish paintings” reminiscent of the era of Napoleon III – and includes butler service and a spa, says Nims. When it comes to the art of seduction, the French have still got it.
The Belamare costs from around $199 a night – see BelamereSuites.com.
Maison Souquet costs from €375 a night – see Maisonsouquet.com/en.
The ultimate in seduction
But the winner of the 2018 Mr & Mrs Smith World’s Sexiest Bedroom award went to Soneva Jani in the Maldives. Each suite comes with a pool, access to the lagoon, and a retractable roof. As Olivia von Halle says on the travel club’s website, “one button [is all that]… stands between you and post-coital stargazing. Did I mention you’re lying on a bed in the middle of the ocean? If that’s not sexy I don’t know what is.”
From £2,350 per night – see Soneva.com/soneva-jani for details.
An igloo for two in Switzerland
Iglu-Dorf offers some of the coolest accommodation around, says Josh Saunders in the Daily Mirror. The “impressive” village in the picturesque mountains of Stansstad, Switzerland, is built from scratch every winter, out of ice and snow.
This year’s ice sculptures decorating the village have been crafted around the theme of Norse mythology. As part of the experience, couples can construct their very own love nest that they will then be able to sleep in, starting from CHF379 per person per night. A small igloo big enough for two to sleep in takes a couple a day to build, says the chief executive of the village, Aldo Balatti. “It is very romantic to build a house of your own,” he says. “Even if it is out of snow.”