What makes a hotel romantic? It's not always obvious.
We can point to the bedrooms, overall décor, location and service. However, the most romantic hotels also have an extra-special, indescribable something. It's a feeling rather than a feature - and it elevates your stay from 'enjoyable' to a holiday you'll remember for the rest of your lives.
To help you choose your next getaway as a couple, we've rounded up the UK hotels that most definitely have that special something for a memorable staycation. These gorgeous hotels are ideal for mini-moons, honeymoons or any other kind of just-for-two break you're planning. While some are very much on the five-star, luxe end of the scale, we've included affordable options - trust us, you don't have to spend a fortune for some close-to-home romance. We've also covered a range of hotel styles, from country retreats to sleek city hideaways and chic beach retreats.
Find your perfect escape with our edit of the UK's most romantic hotels.
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1. The Witchery, Edinburgh
If your idea of romance involves opulence and splendour, you need to check out The Witchery. This boutique hotel has nine unique suites, all sumptuously designed. While the décor may be eye-catching, don't think for a moment this is a case of style over substance. Details have been carefully thought out for peak romance, such as rolltop baths for two, mood-enhancing lighting, Amazon Echos (get your in-the-mood playlist ready now) and even Dyson hairdryers so you can look your best. Dinner in the candlelit restaurant is an absolute must.
2. Lympstone Manor, Devon
There's something magical about the light over the Exe Estuary, particularly at golden hour, just before sunset. You'll see what we mean if you stay at Lympstone Manor, whether you experience the light during a stroll around the glorious grounds or with a G&T in hand on the serene verandah. You'll find plenty to delight you inside this country house hotel, too, with inviting bedrooms and Michelin-starred food.
3. Pennyhill Park, Surrey
Pennyhill Park is a sublime combination of old and new. Within the ivy-clad interior, you'll find period features and dazzling chandeliers, but there's also a cutting-edge spa that is arguably one of the country's best. Trust us, once you've experienced the indoor/outdoor pool and maze of different steam rooms, you'll find it hard to leave.
4. Ynyshir, Powys
Ynyshir has become a foodie destination thanks to head chef Gareth Ward. But the inventive Michelin-starred set menus aren't the only reason to come here. The Scandi-inflected styling of the bedrooms is wonderfully mood-enhancing - try a garden room for extra space. And the magnificent Welsh countryside speaks for itself. Anyone who loves the great outdoors will fall in love with Snowdonia National Park.
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5. Ballyfin Demesne, County Laios, Ireland
No, you've got us, this isn't in the UK, but we're going to cheat here because the hotel is a perfect example of historic grandeur. Ballyfin Demesne is an unashamedly indulgent hotel, where period features, Irish artwork and soaring ceilings meet contemporary luxuries. While the estate is 614 acres, there are just 20 rooms, a state of affairs that allows for both impeccable service and a feeling of privacy. From long walks in the exquisite grounds to lazy mornings in your atmospheric room, all you have to do is cocoon yourselves in luxury.
6. The Lygon Arms, Worcestershire
At first glance, The Lygon Arms seems like your typical laidback-luxe, history-steeped Cotswolds inn. However, this is the sister property of high-glamour properties Cliveden House and Chewton Glen, so you can expect standards that are a cut above the rest. Bedrooms are beautifully designed, with antique furniture alongside modern comforts like Nespresso machines. The Lygon Bar & Grill is a hugely popular spot, serving British classics based around local, seasonal ingredients. There's also an unexpectedly glamorous spa with 13-metre pool.
7. The Bath Priory, Bath
Pulling up outside The Bath Priory is to experience fairytale-levels of prettiness - and what lies behind the enchanting facade certainly doesn't disappoint. You'll find the UK's only L'Occitane spa, with indoor pool, sauna and steam pod, and a renowned restaurant, as well as impeccably maintained gardens. Each light-filled bedroom is unique, and guests are greeted with homemade biscuits on arrival.
8. Eden Locke, Edinburgh
If you choose hotels based on how their interiors will look on your Instagram grid, Edinburgh's Eden Locke is definitely one you need to know about. You won't get luxe facilities or service - this is an aparthotel, so a cross between a hotel and self-catering. But the design is certainly Insta-chic, making for a lovely little city bolthole with an excellent New Town location.
9. The Newt, Somerset
The Newt is one of the openings over the last few years that have transformed our understanding of what country hotels can be. From the characterful accommodation to the excellent, garden-to-table dining, its particular brand of contemporary luxury is very much in harmony with both history and the natural setting. The emphasis is on pleasurable, laidback living, whether that's unwinding in the spa or taking high tea in the library.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Honeymoon Checklist
10. The Lanesborough, London
If you're going to treat yourselves to an indulgent stay, you need to find somewhere that will give you an experience that lives up to the price tag. That's certainly true of iconic London hotel The Lanesborough. In terms of styling, it's glamour all the way, with opulent interiors guaranteed to make you feel special. Each room and suite has 24-hour butler service, and the fantastic facilities include a renowned spa.
11. The Forest Side, Cumbria
There's beauty everywhere you look at The Forest Side, from the stunning Lake District scenery of Grasmere to the bewitchingly pretty exterior of the hotel itself - and that's before we've even got to the grounds, home to roe deer and red squirrel. After a day's exploring, the hotel's interiors make it an inviting hideaway, and the award-winning restaurant is a destination in its own right.
12. Heckfield Place, Hampshire
Heckfield Place is where travel insiders go for romantic country weekends. It is, quite simply, magnificent, but in an understated way. The finest contemporary design, an eco-centric approach, excellent, seasonal dining and heavenly grounds come together to create something truly special. The spa, offering both treatments and Pilates classes, is the icing on a most delightful cake.
13. The Fife Arms, Highlands
Romance means different things to different people, but if your idea of a romantic getaway involves cosying up in a luxurious cocoon, check out The Fife Arms. Of course, given its location, you will be leaving said cocoon to explore the stunning scenery. But once you've had your fill of walking, it's a lovely place to retreat to for evenings spent enjoying delicious food and some world-class whiskey.
14. Crab Manor, Yorkshire
Want to travel the world without leaving the country? Crab Manor's bedrooms and suites are themed around different luxury hotels, from Bird Island in the Seychelles via Montauk Beach House in the Hamptons and Venice's Cipriani Palace. Yes, it's a gimmick - but a gimmick pulled off with such wit and imagination. The rest of the hotel is quirky and eclectic, and there's an award-winning restaurant.
15. The Pig on the Beach, Dorset
There's something so special about a romantic break on the British coast, particularly when you're somewhere as stunning as Studland Bay, location of The Pig's seaside outpost. Choose a room with a sea view to really make the most of the setting. The hotel has a beach hut you can rent for the day, and if you're feeling active, there are plenty of beautiful coastal walks to delight and amaze you. As with other Pig hotels, there's a focus on delicious dining based on seasonal ingredients sourced either from the on-site kitchen garden or from local suppliers.
16. L'Oscar, London
L'Oscar may be located in a former church - retaining some of the features such as stained glass windows - but the interior styling can't help but make it a deeply sexy hotel. Those rich colours; those strokeable fabrics; those gleaming gold touches... There's a cool cocktail bar and a decadently designed restaurant, as well as a rather lovely 'secret garden'.
17. Palé Hall, Gwynedd
We really do love the décor at Palé Hall. It has all the features of classic country house style - prettily patterned wallpaper, antique furnishings, chandeliers - put together by a refined eye. And that's not the only thing to love. There are glorious grounds to explore and an acclaimed fine dining restaurant, as well as a more laidback bistro. The hotel offers some excellent experiences, too, including a tour of an artisan gin distillery and 4x4 off-road driving.
18. The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
The Merchant Hotel showcases glamour on a grand scale, from the impressive Victorian facade to the opulent interiors. There are two different styles of bedroom: 19th-century splendour, with high ceilings and antique furnishings; and Art Deco-inspired, with elegant lines and vibrant colours. Pre-dinner drinks in the champagne lounge are a romantic must-do, followed by fine dining in the Great Room restaurant.
19. Padstow Townhouse, Cornwall
Padstow Townhouse is a chic yet laidback hotel with just six marvellously designed suites. There are thoughtful touches aplenty, from Apple TV to a kitchen pantry stocked with local treats. Although there's no restaurant on site, breakfast is served at the acclaimed Caffe Rojano, and you can book dinner at one of the hotel's acclaimed eateries, including Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at No.6.
20. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is a country escape classic. There's everything you need for a romantic break away from the city: magical grounds; beautiful bedrooms; impeccable service; and, of course, out-of-this-world dining in the two-Michelin-starred restaurant. As an added bonus, there's also a cookery school offering a variety of courses for amateur cooks.
21. Sopwell House, Hertfordshire
We highly recommend staying in a Mews Suite at Sopwell House. Set across from the main hotel, these individually designed suites resemble mini cottages, and have features including private terraces, in-room baths and fireplaces. You also get access to the special spa area, The Club at Cottonmill, which is a delightful place to unwind.
22. Lundies House, Highlands
Lovers of fine design need to check out Lundies House, a boutique hotel that brings together Scandi and Scottish aesthetics to thrillingly stylish effect. Accommodation is across a converted manse and comprises beautiful, serene rooms as well as an apartment and studios. The food follows the same idea as the design, combining Nordic influences and British produce.
23. The Gilpin Hotel, Cumbria
Lake District gem The Gilpin Hotel is ideal for a romantic getaway. We highly recommend booking a Spa Lodge, which, as the name suggests, comes with its own ensuite spa. Whichever room type you choose, you can enjoy Michelin-starred dining, a champagne bar and glorious grounds to explore.
24. The Talbot Malton, Yorkshire
One of our favourite types of romantic break is a stay in a cosy country inn that's famed for its food. Seventeenth-century riverside inn The Talbot really elevates that experience thanks to the quality of its accommodation - think four-poster beds and and marble bathrooms. What's more, even in foodie paradise Malton, the quality of The Talbot's cooking really stands out, and there's an on-site cookery school.
25. Blakeney Hotel, Norfolk
The stunning Norfolk coast is a wonderful location for a tranquil getaway. To experience the area's natural beauty even while you're back at your hotel, check out the Blakeney, which has seemingly endless views across the salt marshes. A sundowner on the hotel's terrace is a delightful way to begin a romantic evening.
26. Penally Abbey, Pembrokeshire
Penally Abbey is a real hidden gem. There are just twelve bedrooms at this family-run boutique, all wonderfully designed, along with a candelit restaurant and the most bewitching grounds and woodland.
27. Tudor Farmhouse, Gloucestershire
Nature-lovers, you need to check out Tudor Farmhouse. There's plenty to explore on foot in the nearby Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, with cider orchards, ancient forests and river valleys. After a full day's adventuring, head back to this tranquil boutique for excellent food and soothing interiors.
28. Chateau Rhianfa, Anglesey
What could be more romantic than a fairytale castle? If the approach to Chateau Rhianfa doesn't give you chills, we don't know what will. And once inside you'll find plenty to delight, with 22 luxuriously appointed bedrooms. If you'd prefer to go self-catering, there are three on-site cottages.
29. The Harper, Norfolk
At the time of writing, The Harper's opening has been delayed. However, we had to include this Norfolk boutique because it's one of the most hotly anticipated properties of the year, bringing contemporary cool to the concept of the English rural retreat. Bookmark the website and keep an eye on it - we think this one's going to be pretty special.
30. Longlands, Devon
For an alternative to the traditional UK hotel, we love glamping boutique Longlands. The accommodation consists of five safari lodges, which are a perfect mixture of the practical and the luxe: think wood-burning stoves for cooking, White Company bedding, and a private deck for both barbecuing and star-gazing. There's also an on-site hot tub you can book for the two of you.
31. Barnsley House, Gloucestershire
Barnsley House is a Cotswolds classic for good reason. This indulgent hotel has bewitching gardens, a renowned spa with outdoor hydrotherapy pool and an overall atmosphere of blissful tranquility. The Potager restaurant has a garden-to-plate philosophy, serving up divine dishes from the freshest ingredients.
READ MORE: The 23 Best Wedding Venues in the Cotswolds
32. Chewton Glen, Hampshire
There's much to admire at five-star country house hotel Chewton Glen. However, we have to admit that it's their treehouse suites that have really stolen our hearts. Suspended amid a verdant canopy of trees, these gorgeous spaces have private terraces with day beds and hot tubs, to really make the most of the magical setting.
33. Galgorm, Co. Antrim
Looking for a getaway to wash away your stress? Northern Ireland's Galgorm is it. This ravishing haven has everything you need for a relaxing break: a sumptuous spa, beautiful rooms, and a wide range of dining and drinking options. For those with their eye on the tee, there's also a championship golf course.
34. Bovey Castle, Devon
To stay at Bovey Castle is to surround yourself with loveliness. The hotel is located overlooking a lake in the magnificent surroundings of Dartmoor National Park. Each of the 60 bedrooms has been individually designed, and there are also private estate lodges for those who prefer more privacy.
35. Redchurch Townhouse, London
Redchurch Townhouse is part of the Soho House group, so expect artfully cool, pared-back luxe interiors and attention to detail throughout. It's the perfect base for exploring Shoreditch, which has a fantastic range of drinking and dining options. Do, however, make time for dinner in the hotel's restaurant, Cecconi's, which serves divine Italian dishes.
36. The Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire
The Grove of Narberth is such an inviting country retreat. From the stunning Pembrokeshire setting and picture-perfect gardens to the understated beauty of the interiors, everything here speaks to blissful unwinding. As well as the 14 individually designed rooms and suites in the main house, there are beautiful cottages in the grounds. There are two romantic restaurants, as well as lounges that are ideal for relaxing with a cocktail.
37. Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
Nobody does country-house glamour quite like Lucknam Park. This famously luxurious Palladian mansion, set amid 500 acres of parkland, is ravishing inside and out. Bedrooms are beautifully styled, featuring a harmonious blend of antique furnishings and contemporary indulgences - if you can, upgrade to a suite to feel like royalty. The spa is terrific, and there's a studio for yoga and Pilates. A romantic dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant is a must.
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