Fairytale Honeymoons in Europe

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mallorca, spain

For honeymooners seeking an island respite, there’s no better pick than Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, vacation central for many Europeans seeking sun, sea and sand. But while sun, sea and sand is all well and good, seaside resorts can be a bit boisterous and intrusive for couples looking for some intimacy.

So enlist them with the latest exclusive property on the island, Cap Rocat, a former military fortress located in the most secluded area of the bay of Palma de Mallorca. Stunningly blended into the landscape, this magnificent fortress has been totally refurbished without altering its unique architecture and its natural environment. Guests enter through a drawbridge to another world—a real fort with ramparts, turrets and 40-ft. walls, but this is no stark, military facility, although it will get the attention of couples looking for a serene but luxurious environment. Here, they will not only get the solitude they seek, but over-the-top service and out-of-this-world pampering at the Mirador treatment suite, perched on a hilltop with views of the bay.

The property—a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World—offers three kinds of suites: the Cap Rocat Suites, built on the former fort’s shooting pads offering a commanding view of the bay; the El Cabo, with a large living room furnished with unique pieces of art, spacious gardens with private terraces and private pool; and the Double Fortaleza, located along the fortress’ exterior walls, the former military quarters that now offer the comfort and exclusive services of the hotel.

There are three dining options, as well, all offering Mallorcan-inspired cuisine, including the fortress’ former kitchen, which has been refurbished to offer a private dining room, where wine tastings and cooking classes are organized. There’s a 4-night Romance Experience that includes airport transfer with private chauffeur, four nights in a Cap Rocat Suite; breakfast served en-suite; candlelit dinner for two (drinks included); bottle of champagne and fresh fruit platter upon arrival; one 60-minute massage en-suite pp and other inclusions. Rates from $1,032.

Contact: (800) 608-0273; slh.com

sintra, portugal

Sintra is truly a fairy tale town that promises to make all your client’s traditional European honeymoon wishes come true, with buildings dating from the 15th to 19th centuries, including the Sintra National Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its parishes are rich with castles, royal retreats and manors dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries. This is a place for couples who yearn to get lost amid the past.

Honeymooners can escape to that bygone era of elegance and grandeur at the 30-room Tivoli Palacio de Seteais, situated atop a mountainside location. It’s a classic example of 18th century architecture, with richly decorated guestrooms, soaring ballrooms, extraordinary paintings, tapestries and frescoes. Superb views of the town’s Moorish Castle and Pena Palace are another plus of this five-star Preferred Boutique property. Dining is offered in the Seteais Restaurant with a superb view of the gardens and Sintra Mountains and specializing in traditional Portuguese cuisine. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, sightseeing tours and transfers to the Sintra village. Rates from $267.

Contact: (866) 990-9491; preferredhotelgroup.com

saint-jean-cap-ferrat, france

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has a reputation as one of the loveliest places on the French Riviera. Located near Nice, its tranquillity and climate have drawn European aristocracy and international high-rollers for centuries. This is a place for couples looking for a laid-back, but sophisticated European-style getaway—a place where they can hibernate in a low-key but elegant setting.

This is exactly what they’ll find at La Voile d’Or, a luxury hotel and still another Preferred Boutique property, tucked away on a private peninsula at the edge of a quaint seaside village. The hotel was designed to capture the ambiance of a Florentine palace and offers 45 guestrooms that are the ultimate in comfort and luxury. Their interiors feature examples of hand-painted Florentine craftsmanship, with many of the rooms boasting elegant balconies with awe-inspiring views of the harbor, the sea or the beautiful gardens—get the picture?

La Voile d’Or has a gourmet-style restaurant serving traditional French Mediterranean cuisine, along with a beach restaurant offering a selection of Mediterranean dishes. Couples can enjoy a private drink for two at the beach bar or at the hotel bar, located on a picturesque terrace overlooking the harbor. Other amenities include a fitness center, sea water pool, private beach, watersports and sauna. Rates from $389.

Contact: (866) 990-9491; preferredhotelgroup.com

Archived related article: Time to “Czech” Out Moravia (February 2012)