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Irresistibly Romantic, Design-Led Retreats for Cosy Couples

29 March 2023

If you’re in need of an indulgent and richly romantic escape with your loved one (and really, who isn’t?) choosing a design-led retreat will add that little something extra.

What exactly do we mean by ‘design-led retreat’? One in which every last detail has been carefully and beautifully thought through – from luxurious location to idyllic interiors – by experts in their field.

In other words, a design-led treehouse won’t be just any old treehouse… it will be a heavenly sanctuary amongst whispering leaves, boasting superlative rural views and perhaps even an al fresco bathtub to help the stargazing go down!

Many design-led retreats are deliberately close to the bright lights of nearby cities; only their well-chosen settings will make you feel light-years away from civilisation. Perfect if you haven’t got a great deal of time to spare (or you simply hate travelling too far!)

What else can you expect? Snuggly sofas, hi-tech entertainment, beds dressed in opulent linen, and plenty of personalised touches that promise to elevate your break far away from the confines of a ‘normal’ holiday.

We’ve got plenty of design-led examples that show you exactly what we mean… though you may have to resist a strong temptation to block out your calendar with a well-deserved stay at each and every one!

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Nymetwood Treehouses | Devon

Bethnal & Bec

Cottered, Hertfordshire, England
Sustainable, adults-only Hertfordshire hideaways with al fresco baths, where city style and indulgent sensory treats meet pure countryside tranquillity.
Bedrooms: 1 per unit
Sleeps: 2 per unit
From
£180 / night

Nymetwood Treehouses

Crediton, Devon, England
Sumptuous Scandi-inspired hideaways with al fresco copper bathtubs, secluded amongst acres of Devon woodland, meadow, and apple orchard, with idyllic views over Dartmoor.
Bedrooms: 1 per treehouse
Sleeps: 2 per treehouse
From
£250 / night

Boutique Narrowboats

Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England
Explore the Leicestershire waterways at your own gentle pace, aboard your choice of luxurious ‘hotel suite’-style canal boat for couples.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£126/nt

Little Poro

Bishops Nympton, Devon, England
A dreamy Scandinavian-inspired retreat, complete with a cider house, a firepit shelter, and a stargazing hot tub, all beautifully secluded in a Devon apple orchard close to Exmoor.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£159 / night

Demeter Cave House

Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
A dreamily luxurious cave house with a romantic roof terrace and hot tub, blissfully secluded in a beautiful, unspoilt Santorini village.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£200 / night

Xanadu

Beaworthy, Devon, England
An idyllic, TV-featured geodesic retreat with bespoke hand-made elements, secluded on its own lake-island within a 20-acre site in rural Devon, complete with a fully-licensed pub.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£150 / night

The Laundry Retreat

Llanrhaeadr, Denbighshire, Wales
Luxury log-cabin-style hideaways, surrounded by breath-taking gardens on a historic Grade II-listed property in North Wales.
Bedrooms: 1 per roundhouse
Sleeps: 2 per roundhouse
From
£145 / night

Wildwood Spa

Ifracombe, Devon, England
A Zen-inspired TV-featured nature escape with a cedar sauna and heated infinity pool, nestled amongst 12 blissful acres of woodland in a North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£375 / night

Villa Ca'Damare

Porto Venere, Liguria
An exclusive, architect-restored villa with a private Mediterranean garden, mesmerisingly secluded within the natural park of Cinque Terre for incredible views of the Gulf of Poets and the soaring Apuan Alps.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£300 / night

HARTA retreat

Barnstaple, Devon, England
A sustainable sanctuary nestled amongst woodland and meadow on the scenic edge of Exmoor National Park, with the sweeping North Devon coast practically on the doorstep.
Bedrooms: Open plan
Sleeps: 2 per tipi
From
£125/ night

Tiny House Ballater

Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
A small, perfectly-formed retreat with big mountain views - and a wood-fired outdoor bathtub to enjoy them from! - gloriously positioned in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2-4
From
£137 / night

Miluna

Hormigos, Castilla La Mancha, Spain
Savour a star-sprinkled dream in nature, from the comfort of your own private ‘moon' set amongst wide open Spanish countryside, mere moments from the World Heritage city of Toledo.
Bedrooms: 1 per 'moon'
Sleeps: 2 per 'moon'
From
£237 / night

SeaBeds Luxury Lookout Lodges

Ballachulish, The Highlands, Scotland
A luxury, design-led ‘lookout' for couples and families, with an infinity hot tub and sweeping sea-and-mountain views of the Scottish Highlands.
Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom
Sleeps: 2 (+2)
From
£275 / night

Beacon Hill Farm Luxury Treehouse

Morpeth, Northumberland, England
A sleek, stylish and contemporary retreat set on an award-winning farmland estate, with unspoilt Northumberland country views and an indulgent spa just an amble away.  
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£825 -3nts w/e

The Captain's Cabin

Drimnin, The Highlands, Scotland
An elliptical, architect-designed retreat, rich in nautical style and elevated on the entire flat roof of an old chapel to showcase magnificent views over the Sound of Mull.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£160 / night

Desert House

Gorafe, Andalucia, Spain
An architect-designed, TV-featured eco-retreat crafted from thermally insulated glass, uniquely purpose-built in the heart of Granada's spectacular Gorafe Desert for incredible natural views.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£271 / night

Eastside Cartshed

Nr Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Escape to a blissful, detail-rich architectural hideaway with an effortless blend of old and new (and a wood-fired Finnish sauna!) beautifully surrounded by Scotland’s magical Pentland Hills.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£910/week

The Ellis-Miller House

Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
Exceptional style lives and breathes in this award-winning, architect-designed Cambridgeshire holiday home for two, looking out over the romantically rural Fens.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£404 / week

LV14 SULA Lightship

Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
Escape to the water and enjoy a unique and scenic adult-only stay aboard a historic British Lightship, beautifully restored and enchantingly moored in the Gloucester Docks, in the Cotswolds.
Bedrooms: 2
Sleeps: 4
From
£166 night

Kabn Company

Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Two architecturally-designed, off-grid havens with floor-to-ceiling glass and minimalist Scandi-inspired interiors, dreamily nestled on the shores of Loch Fyne.
Bedrooms: 1 per Kabn
Sleeps: 2 per Kabn
From
£220 /night

Breac.House

Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, Ireland
Offering glorious architecture, exquisite hand-crafted furnishings and the rugged wilderness of North West Donegal, a stay at Breac House is sure to delight, indulge and inspire.
Bedrooms:
Sleeps: 2 per room
From
£318 prpn

The Garden House Studio

Lyme Regis, Dorset, England
A stylish mid-century inspired self-catering studio complete with wood-fired sauna and outdoor shower, set in the stunning gardens of a 1960s family home.
Bedrooms: 1 (studio)
Sleeps: 2
From
£95 / night

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