Romantic Escapes

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Villa Carlotta in Taormina in Sicily.

Europe is dotted with iconic honeymoon destinations, memory-making places to spend early days of marital bliss, and exciting places to renew vows.

Corsica
Just a short drive from the seaside town of Calvi in Corsica, the 28-room La Signoria is a delightful country hotel in a converted and historic manor house, sitting on an 18th century Genoese estate at the foot of the Corsican mountains gazing out at the Mediterranean Sea. Surrounded by lush gardens, planted with palms, eucalyptus, olive and pine trees, the old house has been sumptuously restored. Guests relax around a heated pool, on a private beach and in the spa with jacuzzi, gym and massage rooms, and dine deliciously in the hotel’s one-star Michelin restaurant. Beautifully appointed guestrooms, suites and private villas are located either in the old house or in a range of converted buildings. All are stylishly decorated and elegantly furnished. Onsite activities include cooking lessons, watersports, fishing and hunting, while nearby, lovers of the outdoors can go horseback riding, mountain biking and sailing. For more information, visit hotel-la-signoriacom.

Balearic Islands
Consider something old and something new on two different isles. On Mallorca, a beautiful and diverse island of dramatic craggy peaks, ancient hill towns, vineyards and olive groves, over 70 beaches, great restaurants and lively cafes and bars, perhaps couples can spend a few nights at the San Lorenzo Hotel in Palma de Mallorca, before heading out to Campos. There on the southern shore of the island is Es Trenc, Mallorca’s most famous beach, a glittering long curve of white sand and turquoise water, backed by a peaceful nature reserve with 1,700 species of birds. New amidst all this pristine, peaceful loveliness is the Font Santa Hotel, an adults-only resort with 36 light and airy rooms with hugely comfy beds, excellent bathrooms, all high-tech amenities, plus private outdoor space with loungers. Further relaxation areas are the gardens lined with flowerbeds of lavender, private jacuzzi areas with double day beds, trickling fountains, hammocks swinging from palm trees, a spoiling thermal spa, and a pool whose staff keeps sunbathing guests cool with complimentary granitas. Activities range from scuba and windsurfing to cycling and horseback riding; great golf is nearby. Rooms with breakfast are priced from $270, suites from $505. For more information, visit fontsantahotel.com.

For something old and romantic on wildly hip Ibiza, an excellent pick (and a Relais & Chateaux member) is the Mirador de Dalt Villa, a 19th century lord’s manor converted into an intimate and welcoming hotel. Located inside the famous walled town of Dalt Vila, the 12-room hotel offers magnificent views from all of its balconies to the port of Ibiza and the Mediterranean Sea. And those beautifully appointed rooms come with high-end everything, from WiFi to Loewe bathroom amenities. Honeymooners can book a Romantic Break package, including three nights in a superior double room, a bottle of cava and dinner in El Mirador Restaurant, breakfast in the restaurant or served in the room, and private airport transfers. The cost is $1,175, with a suite upgrade available at $112 per night. For more information, visit hotelmiradordaltvila.com.

Sicily
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is a wondrous, one-stop destination. And Taormina is just too beautiful to be true—hugging the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Ionian Sea below, with Mt. Etna looming above. There’s no end of romantic things to see and do: dining in intimate restaurants; touring the Greek theater; shopping along the cobbled Corso Umberto 1; walking to Castel Mola; and taking day trips to the ancient sites in Syracuse and Piazza Armerina. Taormina makes an excellent base for exploring, although honeymooners may never want to go far from the gorgeous and secluded Villa Carlotta, converted into a boutique Small Luxury Hotels of the World property. Guests stay in 23 stylish bedrooms and suites; all are individually designed and furnished with warm colors, antique and modern objects, subtle lighting and fabrics in keeping with the original aristocratic residence constructed by a noble family in 1860. The property is surrounded by lush gardens, which boast a beautiful swimming pool and its own well-preserved ancient ruins such as the Byzantine catacombs and part of a Roman road. There’s a pool terrace with sea views, while the rooftop terrace is the ideal place to keep an eye on Mt. Etna’s regular eruptions. Meals are served on the terraces, adding complimentary canapes laid out for pre-dinner drinks, and the hotel staff continually wins plaudits for nonstop excellent hospitality, including personalized romantic serenades. A 2-night stay, including breakfast, taxes and service, is $670 in a double room, $1,255 in a mini-suite. For more information, visit villacarlotta.net.