Sarah Jappe
Sarah Jappy


HOTELS • February 2020

Romantic retreats for every kind of couple

Lovers, like ice cream, come in all sorts of flavours – there’s the just-met kind, the wild-at-heart pair, the off-to-St-Barths ones. Whichever courtship category you and your sweetheart fall into this Valentine’s Day, our resident cupid and hotel writer Sarah Jappy has found the hotels worth falling for

The food lovers

The food lovers

Who are they? Their kitchen is worthy of Masterchef: The Professionals and their Twitter feed is a roll-call of restaurant trips. You’ll never be hungry around this pair.
Hotel match: Nobu Hotel Barcelona, Spain
Foodies who fancy a date with chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s miso-marinated black cod dish should head to the cloud-poking 23rd floor of Nobu Barcelona. Riffing on the hotel’s Eixample setting (one of the city’s most stylish districts), Nobu has added inspired-by-Barcelona treats to his menu. Further culinary clout comes in the form of Kozara, the swish lobby dining spot, which serves Japanese-inspired Catalan tapas, paired with cocktails that draw upon an impressive sake-and-whisky selection. Zen interiors mix Japanese stylings with artworks influenced by Catalonia’s legendary maestro, Gaudí.
Doubles from £212

The wilderness lovers

The wilderness lovers

Who are they? Talk about animal attraction – this adventurous couple gets a thrill from being amid Mother Nature, accompanied by creatures great and small.
Hotel match: Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Sri Lanka
Lovers with a wild side can swap their backyard for Yala National Park at Wild Coast Tented Lodge, whose cocoon-style canvas tents occupy an Attenborough-worthy spot by Sri Lanka’s second-largest national park. This is leopard country, so keep your eyes peeled (and model animal-print attire with caution). Yala’s rugged sprawl is also home to elephants, crocodiles and birdlife galore – but you might be too distracted by the lodge’s freeform infinity pool, boulder-strewn beach, nature-inspired restaurant and cinnamon-and-tea-loving spa to visit them. For maximum beastly perks, opt for a Cocoon Suite near a watering hole. 
Doubles from £848

The newbie lovers

The newbie lovers

Who are they? Easily recognised by their perma-locked limbs and puppy-dog eyes, this couple can’t get enough of each other. Expect PDAs a-go-go.
Hotel match: Grantley Hall, Yorkshire
A budding relationship is best baptised and nurtured by a well-judged mini break, and where better to snuggle up than Grantley Hall in Ripon? Thanks to a £70m revamp courtesy of owner Valeria Sykes, this stately home doesn’t hold back. We’re talking a bonkers spa and fitness centre with snow room, an underwater treadmill and cryotherapy chamber, three ravishing restaurants, marble-clad bathrooms and an enormous pool with enough columns to satisfy an ancient Greek. The hotel lords it over a 30-acre park with a glittering lake and Japanese garden.
Doubles from £250

The party lovers

The party lovers

Who are they? Three’s never a crowd in the company of this sociable couple. Their philosophy? Minimum sleep, maximum fun.
Hotel match: NoMo SoHo, New York
Night owls, social butterflies and barflies can get the party started (early) at NoMo SoHo, whose daily wine hour begins at 5pm. Even nocturnal types need a bed: NoMo SoHo’s sleeping quarters enjoy a prime location, a short stumble from some of the Big Apple’s best bars and nightclubs. Soothe your hangover with a refreshing blast under a jewelled shower, followed by brunch at the relaxed restaurant: the lemon ricotta pancakes are a must. If – if – you’re feeling lively, daytime temptations come in the form of NoMo’s neighbours, from Little Italy to the Lower East Side.
Doubles from £443 a night

The luxury lovers

The luxury lovers

Who are they? With a penchant for diamonds, deck shoes and dirty martinis, this couple courts the finer things in life.
Hotel match: La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich, Switzerland
Swiss grande dames don’t get much more swellegant than La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich, which recently flung open its shiny doors to guests. Rather than resting on its location laurels – Zurich’s only five-star hotel to boast a central and lakefront setting – this old-school charmer throws nautical-but-nice Philippe Starck interiors, an on-loan houseboat, stellar staff, delicious dining options and even a smoking lounge into the mix. In various guises, the hotel has wowed guests for 100 years, which explains the seamless hospitality and butter-smooth service.
Doubles from £700

The spa lovers

The spa lovers

Who are they? They spend more time in water than at work and wear spa robes more often than clothes; you’ll find them worshipping at the shrine of wellness.
Hotel match: Royal Mansour, Marrakech
Couples who like their spas on the spacious side – 2,500sqm to be precise – will feel at home at Royal Mansour in Marrakech. Pearl-white latticed Moorish walls, burbling fountains and perfumed air await at this wellness wonderland, whose holistic perks include hammam rituals, marocMaroc facials, hot-stone massages and treatments such as Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal massage) and Tibetan singing bowls therapy. Accommodation comes in the form of three-floor riads, spread across a medina dotted with little alleyways and secret doors. Unwind in the emerald splendour of Le Jardin, feast on dishes by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, and toast your romance at the bar. 
Riads from £940

This article has been tagged Destination, Hotels