Sandton Hotel de Filosoof Rating: 3.0 Pearls

Amsterdam The Save: Sandton Hotel de Filosoof Calling all non-conformists -- this quirky hotel in the residential Voldelpark area has 38 rooms and suites based on unique philosophical and/or cultural themes. Taking residence in a few 19th century buildings, every detail -- down to the steep spiral staircase -- has oodles of character. For twenty-something couples who prefer to avoid the sterile chain hotels and gravitate toward the unusual, this is ideal.

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Where to Honeymoon in Europe: The Most Romantic Hotels (2 of 28)

 Amsterdam The Save: Sandton Hotel de Filosoof
Calling all non-conformists -- this quirky hotel in the residential Voldelpark area has 38 rooms and suites based on unique philosophical and/or cultural themes. Taking residence in a few 19th century buildings, every detail -- down to the steep spiral staircase -- has oodles of character. For twenty-something couples who prefer to avoid the sterile chain hotels and gravitate toward the unusual, this is ideal.
The historic charm of Europe has long been entrancing newlyweds. From the cobblestone streets of Paris to the vineyards of Spain, Europe provides the quintessential escape for couples looking to celebrate their nuptials. Romantic hotels are aplenty across the pond, and choosing that one perfect hideaway can be just as difficult as the walk down the aisle. To help you out during your honeymoon planning, we've found our favorite hotels ready for romance -- and we've taken into consideration both the splurgers and the savers. Our first pick in each destination offers over-the-top luxury (and prices), while our second choice offers a cozy European getaway without too many dollar signs attached. Check them all out in this slideshow:
Amsterdam The Splurge: Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam
The Sofitel is an upscale, romantic property in the heart of Amsterdam's Old Center. The building has a rich history; it has been both a 15th century convent and a city hall. Hotel features include a high-end spa with indoor heated pool, a modern fitness center, and Bridges Restaurant with a canal-side garden terrace for dining al fresco. Plus, former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was wed here in 1966, so it has the royal stamp of approval where romance is concerned. Amsterdam The Save: Sandton Hotel de Filosoof
Calling all non-conformists -- this quirky hotel in the residential Voldelpark area has 38 rooms and suites based on unique philosophical and/or cultural themes. Taking residence in a few 19th century buildings, every detail -- down to the steep spiral staircase -- has oodles of character. For twenty-something couples who prefer to avoid the sterile chain hotels and gravitate toward the unusual, this is ideal. Barcelona The Splurge: Abac Barcelona
This exclusive 15-room luxury boutique hotel embodies contemporary style at its best, fitting right in in a city that treasures design. Rooms are avant garde, from the clean, white and beige decor, to the modern under lighting, to the remote-controlled blinds, to the Bang & Olufsen sound system. An amazing spa with Turkish baths shouldn't be missed, and the hotel's Michelin-starred on-site restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner. Barcelona The Save: Melia Barcelona Sky
The Melia Barcelona Sky is one of the most stylish hotels in the city, with contemporary design and vintage-chic decor. Its 258 rooms come with top-notch amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, Aveda toiletries, and Nespresso coffeemakers, plus a trendy layout with a glass wall separating the bathroom from the room. Highlights of this property for couples are the wonderful spa, two good restaurants, the sophisticated nightclub, and the great pool and sun deck. Berlin The Splurge: Hotel Adlon Kempinski
The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is an elegant, classic hotel with a rich history. Its predecessor was one of the most popular hotels in Europe through World War II, and it still attracts A-list clientele. Luxurious rooms have heavy drapes, four-poster canopy beds, plush couches, and fresh cut roses. Marble bathrooms offer soaking tubs and heated floors. These inviting rooms, combined with the hotel's impressive amenities -- an indoor pool, full spa, fitness center, and variety of restaurants -- make this one of the best picks for a romantic getaway in Berlin. Berlin The Save: NH Berlin Frankfurter Allee
Bright but basic rooms have red accent walls and black leather furniture, along with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and coffeemakers. The charming Wirtshaus-Fünfländereck restaurant and lounge is a rustic space serving a buffet breakfast and German cuisine for lunch or dinner that couples are sure to enjoy. In the summer all meals can be enjoyed outside on the garden terrace. There is also a cozy cellar dining room with a vaulted ceiling. Additional hotel perks include the free wellness center with a sauna and relaxation area. Florence The Splurge: Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy
This 102-room hotel known for personalized service and contemporary style is very popular with couples. Neutral tones and tasteful fabrics create an elegant look, and are livened up by colorful artwork throughout. The attached L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant features a renowned Tuscan menu created by Michelin-starred Chef Fulvio Pierangelini and a chic dining room that spills out onto the piazza during summer months. Florence The Save: Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco
The Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco is definitely distinctive, from its cheery yellow facade to its boldly decorated interior spaces. An extensive collection of contemporary art brings modern flair to the classically Italian public spaces and rooms, which feature coffered ceilings, exposed brick, and ornate furnishings. The hotel offers a great base location for scouting Florence's tourist sites, as many are within walking distance. Geneva The Splurge: Hotel d'Angleterre
Hotel d’Angleterre is one of Geneva’s grand dames, popular among diplomats and well-heeled travelers for its gorgeous views and opulent accommodations. It offers a convenient location right on the shores of Lake Geneva -- near shopping, dining, attractions and public transportation -- and high-end amenities such as in-room spa treatments, an acclaimed bar, and a wonderful restaurant with superb views and a popular afternoon tea service. Its 39 luxurious rooms and nine suites all feature pillow menus, iPod docks, interactive TVs, free Wi-Fi, and original artworks. Geneva The Save: Eastwest Hotel Geneva
This upscale, 41-room boutique hotel has a design that mixes eastern and western styles (hence the name). The Asian influences are evident in the antique-filled lobby, accented by hot pink sofas; the bamboo-surrounded outdoor seating at the restaurant; and the chic library. Sexy rooms have wooden floors, beds with bright throws and Frette sheets, and fresh orchids, as well as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Ireland The Splurge: Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle embodies the fantasy of the Irish castle hotel, featuring a massive historic stone facade, complete with towers and turrets; gorgeous, manicured grounds; a stunning setting on a huge lake; and common spaces that are truly grand, with rich wood paneling, chandeliers, and antique furniture. The wide range of estate activities for couples to enjoy includes falconry lessons, boat tours on the lake, golf on the 9-hole course, clay shooting, and archery. Ireland The Save: Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa
The Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is located about half an hour northwest of Dublin's city center. The historic property -- an 18th-century castle turned Georgian house, turned convent, turned hotel -- sits on beautiful green grounds, making it a popular spot for weddings and events. The biggest highlight here is the spa, with its serene hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tub, and variety of treatments. Istanbul The Splurge: Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Formerly the palace of an Ottoman Sultan, the Ciragan Palace Kempinski is the grand dame of Istanbul. It wows guests at every turn, from the sprawling, manicured grounds, to the heated infinity pool right on the Bosphorus, to the refined suites. The dining options are extensive and exceptional; the spa is lovely; and the meeting space housed in the original palace building makes an ornate setting for a business function or wedding. It's arguably the city's top luxury option, but it's far from the popular tourist sights in Sultanahmet. Istanbul The Save: Hotel Ibrahim Pasha
Hotel Ibrahim Pasha is one of the most charming boutique hotels in Sultanahmet, with an unbeatable location just off the Hippodrome. The cozy lobby and library both have wood-burning fireplaces -- a real treat in the cooler months -- and the roof terrace has a jaw-dropping view of the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus. Standard Rooms are diminutive but adorable, with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, robes, Molton Brown toiletries, and rainfall showerheads. Lisbon The Splurge: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
Few Lisbon hotels can compare to the Four Seasons. In addition to the top-notch service the brand is known for, the hotel goes above and beyond with its amenities; it features a stylish indoor pool, an impressive fitness center with an outdoor running track, and a luxurious spa. Large rooms have classic decor (think: 18th century replica furnishings and rich fabrics), as well as furnished terraces, flat-screen TVs, stocked minibars, and marble bathrooms. Lisbon The Save: Hotel Real Palacio
Though all guests can enjoy this hotel's elegant lobby, which features antique furniture, classic artwork, and lots of natural sunlight from the windows framed with floral curtains, only 12 guests can stay in the Palace rooms, housed in the 17th-century palace. These rooms, though not ultra-luxurious, are decorated in a Rococo style reminiscent of when the palace was built; they feature canopied beds and rich curtains in pastel colors. All guests have access to the hotel's many amenities, which include two restaurants (one with a free breakfast buffet) and a health club outfitted with a fitness room, a Turkish bath, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and one treatment room. Madrid The Splurge: The Westin Palace, Madrid
The 467-room Westin Palace is one of the top hotels in Madrid, and is housed in a gorgeous historic building that was commissioned by the king of Spain in 1912. Elegant, classic decor is found throughout the hotel. The Westin offers almost all of the conveniences of a luxury hotel: gorgeous meeting rooms, two gourmet restaurants, a 24-hour fitness center, even a Starbucks. However, the "spa" is really more of a barber shop, and there is no pool. Overall, the Westin is a great option, with a fabulous location in the heart of the city. Madrid The Save: Zenit Abeba
The 89-room Zenit Abeba is a modern, comfortable hotel in the fashionable Salamanca district. Rooms feature fresh decor including plush headboards, flat-screen TVs, and modern bathrooms. Additional hotel perks include free Wi-Fi, a big, cozy lobby with plenty of lounge space, a bar, casual restaurant, and a bright fitness center. The stylish Zenit Abeba is within walking distance of several restaurants and shops, but most attractions require a drive or subway ride. Norway The Splurge: Fretheim Hotel
The 121-room Fretheim Hotel is the main hotel in tiny Flam, a village that's the jumping off point for a number of fjord cruises. The property has a rich history -- it dates back to the late 19th century -- and the common spaces have charm to spare. Rooms, however, are a mixed bag; 80 percent have basic mid-range decor, while the rest are higher-end. The hotel makes the most of its unique, naturally beautiful location with soaring glass windows in the lobby and restaurant that frame the steep surrounding mountains. Norway The Save: Carlton Oslo Hotel Guldsmeden
This 50-room boutique hotel in Oslo is notable for two reasons: Its charming Norway-meets-Bali decor, and its eco-friendly philosophy. Some rooms and bathrooms are tiny, and the location is a tad removed from the heart of the action (though the Royal Palace and Aker Brygge are within walking distance). But features such as rustic-chic four-poster beds with fur throws; 27-inch iMacs in the rooms in lieu of TVs; a free organic breakfast; and a small spa area with a sauna make this an attractive, intimate option. Paris The Splurge: Hotel Le Bristol
The 88-room Hotel Le Bristol opened its doors in 1925 during the Roaring Twenties, and today is still one of Paris' best-known luxury hotels. It offers impressive amenities for its small size, including a sunlit indoor pool (a rare find in Paris); a three-Michelin-star restaurant, Epicure; and a lovely spa with three floors featuring a Turkish bath and playroom for kids. Rooms are elegant, aside from the dated comforters, and very in size and price. The hotel -- located on one of the most high-end shopping streets in Paris -- is steps to the Hermes flagship store, as well as avenue Montaigne and Champs Elysees. Paris The Save: Hotel Joyce
Quirky would be a good word to describe the Hotel Joyce -- oddities like car seats (with seatbelts) and funky light fixtures hang from the ceilings. The unique design elements mix well with the historical aspects of the hotel -- like the glass-roofed solarium and stone walls. Somehow, it all adds up to make this boutique hotel a solid, and fun, choice in the 9th arrondissement for couples. The street and neighborhood are quiet, but within walking distance are train stations, the Moulin Rouge, and restaurants. Rome The Splurge: Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa
The Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa is located in the Parioli district near the beautiful Villa Borghese park. The grand, opulent lobby has plush seating, chandeliers, and lovely artwork. Rooms are traditional in style with crisp white bedding and updated amenities; many rooms also include a private terrace with great views of Villa Borghese. Hotel features include an outdoor courtyard garden with big heated pool and the Prince Spa, complete with indoor pool and steam room. Rome The Save: Hotel Turner Rome
The 19th century style of this 63-room hotel is opulent (some might say over-the-top), but it feels fitting in this grand, historic city. The rooms have details such as rich wallpaper, crown moldings, chandeliers, and gilded headboards, though some are quite small. The location in a residential area outside of the city center isn't ideal for seeing the sights, but the Porta Pia bus stop is right out the front door. It's an older property, with a few signs of wear, but many will consider the ornate charm ample compensation. Stockholm The Splurge: Lydmar Hotel
The 50-room Lydmar Hotel is a hip, design-centric choice located in central Stockholm. Paintings and photographs line the hallways, each floor has its own living room area, and the two-floor lobby boasts a popular restaurant and beautiful views of the harbor. The sleek, earth-toned rooms are among Stockholm's best, with individual designs (no two rooms are the same), and thoughtful attention to detail -- big windows, unique light fixtures, cool wall art, and free Wi-Fi. Stockholm The Save: Hotel J
This nautical-themed, boutique hotel has a secluded, out-in-the-country feel, although it's only a 10-minute drive from central Stockholm. Though the suburban area of Nacka, one of the city's business hubs, can be relatively dead at night, the hotel has an excellent waterfront restaurant and is near numerous corporate offices. Rooms have tiny tube TVs, but include perks like balconies and free Wi-Fi. Venice The Splurge: Hotel Palazzo Stern
The boutique Hotel Palazzo Stern is housed in a restored historic building on the Grand Canal, with sections dating back to the 15th century. The room decor is in a traditional Venetian style, with crystal chandeliers and luxurious curtains, but it's not overly stuffy. Amenities include flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, and beautifully updated bathrooms come complete with towel warmers. But the hotel has few features; there is a small bar and a whirlpool on the rooftop terrace, but no spa, gym, pool, or full restaurant. Nonetheless, Hotel Palazzo Stern is one of the most popular luxury hotels in Venice, even if its Dorsoduro location is a bit removed from the main tourist action around St. Mark's Square. Venice The Save: Hotel Al Sole
Walking into the Hotel Al Sole feels like something out of a Venice daydream. The 15th century building is infused with everything visitors to the city would expect, from the brick walls, to the charming courtyard, to the canal views. That being said, the rooms are nothing to fawn over (especially at their price): Generic bedspreads, cheap rattan furniture, and tiny flat-screen TVs are some of the low points. The stocked minibars and canal views are helpful in looking past these faults, though, as is the hotel's great location near Venice's popular sights.
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