Everyone knows that home is where the heart is, but which nation has the best love shack
After a quiet January, many hoteliers rub their hands at the prospect of Valentine’s Day. Four-poster beds, private plunge pools, panoramic views….. Lovers’ wish-lists are the same the world over.
But which is the world’s romantic home? It is all a matter of taste, obviously. Nationality comes into it, too. The English have always had a soft spot for thatched cottages. Even without its historic associations, Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon would be heart-meltingly beautiful.
To the French, it would have to be a chateau on the Loire – perhaps the exquisite Chateau de Chenonceau, fought over by the wife and mistress of the French King, Henry II. The Germans would probably plump for King Ludwig’s sublime turreted castle at Neuschwanstein.
There is stiff competition all over the world, from ultra-chic Manhattan penthouses, with breathtaking views, to sun-kissed villas in the Caribbean, with waves tiptoeing up to the back door.
“A lot of the most romantic English properties are in the country rather than the town,” says James Bailey, chief executive of Henry & James. “There was a quintessential English cottage – Rose Hill Cottage in Shere, Surrey – which featured in the movie ‘The Holiday’, with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. It looked simply stunning” – but was it real?
But surely there is no more romantic home on the planet than the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello (now a hotel, with the character of a friendly private home), perched high above the Amalfi coast, Italy. The medieval villa itself is comparatively simple, but the meandering gardens and famous belvedere, with the brilliant blue sea below, are just perfection. The property was renovated by Lord Grimthorpe, a Tory politician, in the last century, and the secluded home played host to many a publicity-shy celebrity.
Greta Garbo spent some of her happiest years here, and if it was good enough for her….Back to News