The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is a proud TTC family Brand, and we are honoured to be celebrating 100 years of hospitality in 2020. In February, we’re focusing upon the romance of travel. Romance is at the heart of our collection, with our unique approach to hotel design and experiential travel a direct result of our founder, Bea Tollman’s, love for her husband Stanley. Over the years, that romance has been the inspiration behind some of Red Carnation Hotels’ most masterful rooms. These are our favourites.
The Oyster Box’s spectacular ocean views formed the backdrop to Bea and Stanley’s first meeting, and it’s this unrivalled view that’s the centrepiece of The Oyster Box’s most romantic rooms: the Sea Facing Deluxe Suites. This pair of majestic residences feature expansive, private views of the lollipop red-and-white Umhlanga lighthouse—which Bea and Stanley Tollman first dined under in the 1950s—and the Indian Ocean beyond. Each suite features a private terrace with loungers and a heated plunge pool, ideal for long days and nights spent relaxing in each other’s company beneath the South African sky. Inside, luxurious king-size beds gaze out at the ocean, with spacious lounge areas from which to enjoy the sumptuous scenery.
In Cape Town, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa sits serenely over the coast, enjoying sweeping views of the gently curving shore and the giant hills that crescendo above them. In the distance, on the far side of the long, coastline crescent, is Lion’s Head mountain, its tall silhouette a natural lighthouse over the city below. While The Twelve Apostles is replete with belvederes from which to view the tranquil coast, none quite compare to those of the Presidential Suite. The entirety of the Fairest Cape is on full display from this palatial suite, from the lofty plateaus of Table Mountain to the coastal promontories and Atlantic seas below. In the bedroom, large windows offer indulgent panoramics, while in the living area, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors welcome guests onto the private wraparound terrace—the ideal setting for a languorous breakfast or sleek sundowner.
The best view of all however, might just be that from its grand bathroom: an Italianate, antique lion-faced tub is the perfect perch from which to gaze out at Lion’s Head mountain. At night, a candle-lit bath pairs paragonically with a chilled bottle of Champagne for one of Red Carnation Hotels’ most romantic nightcaps.
The boutique Hotel 41 combines a smart, modern interior with a fashionable penthouse setting. In this highrise haven lies one of our most romantic London suites: the Conservatory Suite. Draped in debonair blacks, whites and golds, and equipped with P.G. Wodehouse-esque sketches—not to mention a host of singular antiques—it’s a space brimming with handsome yet understated glamour. The suite’s highlight however, is the conservatory glass pyramid roof, out of which couples may look out over London’s moon-tinselled night-sky and rainshower of twinkling stars.
In fashionable Bloomsbury, The Montague on The Garden’s Bedford Suite dances in tune with the Borough’s pretty squares and gardens. An exclusive entrance leads guests from the street to two private outdoor patios. Here, 19th-century Chinese garden seats, contemporary outdoor furniture and evergreen trellises provide intimate settings for afternoon tea or a chilled bottle of vintage Champagne. Inside, a deep ocean blue-and-white theme unites the suite, from its custom-made designer furniture to its silken wall coverings, to the Matisse and Miró artworks. Blue Caesarstone, meanwhile, defines the bathroom. Allow the butler to serve Bea Tollman’s classics from The Blue Door Bistro in the Bedford Suite’s gorgeous dining room.
Meanwhile, at The Milestone Hotel, each suite is a romantic, individually crafted masterpiece. On the first floor, the Hermès Suite echoes the regal green serenities of neighbouring Kensington Gardens through its superb collection of unique antiques and gorgeous malachite carpet. The Hermès features two separate balconies which each offer stunning views over the historical avenues of Victoria and Albert’s favourite borough.
The Hermès is a cornucopia for antique lovers, and each of its different sitting areas offer delightful reposes from which to admire its many objets d’art. In the centre of the opulent suite is a brass-framed four-poster, an ideal setting from which to gaze out at the morning mist over Kensington Palace or watch the retractable widescreen TV, which resides in the burl walnut trunk at the base of the bed.
Another of The Milestone’s romantic interiors is the Meghan Suite. Inspired by Prince Harry and Meghan’s captivating courtship, the Meghan is a tour de force of modern design, studded with elegant details, listed Victorian architectural features and one-of-a-kind artworks—all united by an indulgent leopard print carpet. Here, couples are greeted by a modernist balustrade, which leads to a beautiful living area, the ideal space to relax in each other’s company or to enjoy a private mixology masterclass.
In the centre of the suite lies a handmade Savoir bed, elegantly draped with custom-designed Indian silks. The bed is framed on both sides by lacquered Modernist desks, while above, a triptych of teardrop mirrors adds to the refreshing lightness of the interior.
A standout of the Meghan is the debonair marble bathroom, hidden behind magnificent bronzed-mirrored double doors. The entire bathroom is appointed in Makrana-white marble that’s inlaid with lacquer-like stone and includes his-and-her sinks and the largest shower room in The Milestone.
In the charming Dorset village of Evershot, the fairy-tale world of Hardy is brought to life by The Acorn Inn’s historic Four Poster Rooms. These four romantic enclaves are the zenith of countryside hospitality, each with a quaint, cosy bed-and-breakfast feel that sets the mood for the day ahead. While every interior is unique, each Four Poster Room is defined by an antique wood four-poster bed and gorgeous pastoral woven wallpapers. Of these, perhaps the most evocative is Hardy, draped in lavender-blues and featuring exposed wooden beams, a warming fireplace, and a gorgeous 350-year-old four-poster.
Just across Evershot at Summer Lodge, Ivy Cottage has been entertaining courting couples for 400 years. Set in a charming stone-built Dorset chalet, the cottage encapsulates the finest in intimate English countryside design, from the boutique 200 thread-count bedspreads of the master bedroom to the dainty outdoor furniture of the private garden. Inside, an open log fire contributes to the cottage’s abundant Austen-esque romance. While outside, the bijoux garden makes for a bucolic perch in which to enjoy a morning coffee or a shared sundowner. There’s also two master bathrooms, one with a standalone central tub, the other with a spacious walk-in shower.
The Ivy Cottage’s most decadent detail is its open-air hot tub, located in the private garden. While enjoyable throughout the day, the it’s irresistible come evening, when the vapours from its inviting waters mingle with the garden’s fairy candles. Set under the dramatic Dorset stars, this enchanted garden is transformed into an atmospheric haven where partners can enjoy each other’s company in blissful peace and quiet.
Guests wishing to remain embedded in Ivy Cottage’s romantic setting may savour Summer Lodge’s locally sourced cuisine from the comfort of their pied-à-terre. The extensive amenities of Summer Lodge’s five-star service are always available to create the most memorable experience possible.
Ashford Castle’s Staterooms colour the heritage site’s 800-year history with apt flourish. These are some of the oldest rooms in the castle, many enjoying commanding views of Lough Corrib and each a wonderful place from which to admire the emerald scenery. In the mornings, enjoy an in-room breakfast while watching the rising sun alight upon the mist-swept waters; come evening, settle back in your spacious room, complete with antique furniture, chandeliers and feature beds, to observe the unique colours of the sunset.
For couples desirous of utter privacy, Ashford Castle’s Hideaway Cottage is a sequestered haven, ever so gently removed from the main grounds. Here, surrounded by a grove of tall emerald trees, it overlooks the lip of Lough Corrib, where the river widens into a vast, lyrical lake. The harmonious ensemble of birds and other wildlife provides a constant accompaniment for cottage guests, complementing the lullaby splashes of lake waves and adding to the romantic sense of countryside seclusion.
The cottage itself has been converted from the estate’s old Guinness-era boathouse, its listed features lovingly restored throughout to create an inviting enclave. Inside, fabric wallpapers and decadent upholstery combine with hand-selected antique furniture—a 20th-century four-fold European screen here, a late 19th-century pair of walnut armchairs there—to create an atmosphere of complete cosiness. Meanwhile, the warmth of the flickering fireplace complements the homely palettes of the bedroom and makes for a delightful contrast to the low light of evening outside.
Outside, a wide deck overlooking the majestic lake means guests at Hideaway Cottage can dine privately on the shore and, later in the evening, enjoy a nightcap while gazing at the Connemara star-scape that’s reflected in the serene, looking-glass water.
To complete the Hideaway Cottage fairy-tale, all guests are given Wellingtons and signature Jack Murphy jackets, which make for a fitting memento of a lyrical countryside romance in one of Ireland’s most special environments.
The most romantic views throughout Geneva are those of the Alp-framed Lac Leman. Hotel d'Angleterre’s aptly named Bellevue Suite possesses such a view: an uninterrupted panorama of Geneva’s Jet d’Eau enjoyable from its floor-to-ceiling windows and private wrought iron balcony beyond. Set above the international bustle of the peace capital, enjoy a chilled flute of Champagne or an evening set of canapés as you gaze out over one of Europe’s most charismatic cities. Inside, an Italian shower and hammam await, while hand-selected antiques, including a marble inlay table, lacquered wood desk and painting of the birth of Venus, complement the timeless view.
Stay at one of Red Carnation Hotels’ immaculate properties with your beloved to play a part in the love stories that we’ve been creating throughout our history.