A continent of incredible history, culture and splendor, Europe offers everything the traveler could possibly want. Each country has distinctive hotels, scenic mountains and some of the most amazing cities in the world. Travelers will find exquisite cuisine, centuries of history and masterpieces of art. It's almost impossible to pick the best hotels as it's all a matter of taste but here is a list for you to splurge on.
This hotel has to be seen to be believed. Built in the 16th century, this is one of Ireland’s most famous baronial castles presiding over hundreds of acres. The ancestral home of the O’Brien clan Dromoland is a perfectly preserved slice of Irish history. Its majesty and epic beauty have been brilliantly transformed into one of Europe’s finest resorts where charmed peace, top-class hospitality, tremendous golf, luxury spa and fine dining all come together.
Hambleton Hall, overlooking Rutland Water, started its life as a hunting lodge for Walter Marshall in 1881, whose penchant for socializing and enjoying the high life gained him a reputation for fine dinner parties. Current owners continue the convivial hospitality at Hambleton Hall and uphold Hambleton’s welcoming reception. With a restaurant that would make Walter proud, staff serve strongly seasonal menus in the Michelin starred restaurant.
A throwback to the F Scott Fitzgerald era, this grand 19th-century mansion on Cap d’Antibes has 117 rooms and two villas with sumptuous Louis XV and XVI furnishings, gilded mirrors and chandeliers. Set among 20 acres of landscaped gardens, there are five clay tennis courts, a Sisley spa and a seawater pool cut into the natural rock. A seafront diving board and overwater trapeze launch bathers into the Mediterranean and there is a jetty for guests arriving by boat. Best of all are the 33 beach cabins where the illustrious and notorious come to hide.
Overlooking the famous Place de la Concorde, at the crossroads of arts and fashion, Hotel de Crillon is a former private residence offering discrete luxury in the heart of Paris. Here is a prestigious setting that can be seen throughout the 147 guest rooms and suites. With its restaurants and bar, its gift boutique, its fitness center and business center, Hotel de Crillon has been cultivating an authentic “la franaise” lifestyle since 1909, becoming a mythical place where major figures in the world have left their mark.
Cliveden is epic. Almost too grand, extremely opulent and irrepressibly English it seems too fantastic to believe but here it is, in Berkshire, beside the River Thames, conveniently near to London and Heathrow Airport. During Cliveden’s 300-year history, royal guests from George I to Queen Victoria have graced its stately walls. Today, Cliveden’s hundreds of surrounding acres and impossibly immaculate formal gardens belong to the National Trust. Despite all this extravagance, there’s a refreshing absence of pretension.
On the shores of the Mediterranean and overlooking Port Olympic, Hotel Arts Barcelona offers the ultimate experience in luxury. Panoramic views of the city and the sea can be enjoyed from all of the 483 guest rooms and suites. The Hotel is known for its superb service, a wealth of indoor and outdoor dining options, luxuriously appointed rooms and suites with every amenity sophisticated travelers expect.
The hotel sits on the European bank of the Bosphorus and offers a prestigious location and pampering care that will make every stay memorable. This fresh contemporary Hotel blends a 19th century ottoman palace with chic urban style. All guest rooms are decorated in a bright airy style merging ottoman design details with contemporary furnishings. Most rooms offer a bay window sitting area with ottoman style sofa.
What was once a hillside monastery is now the summer playground of an international tribe of beautiful people. They come for Mediterranean gardens overlooking a postcard harbor, glasses of Prosecco mixed with fresh tangerine juice, and wisteria-scented dinners that last for hours. Every resort on the Italian Riviera strives for surroundings this romantic. Flower banks, stone walkways, juniper trees grow lush and tall, and towering Canary pines frame stretches of the sparkling marina.
The 11-acre botanical garden that is home to these two restored Renaissance buildings, a fifteenth-century palazzo and a sixteenth-century convent is “like heaven.” Rooms with frescoes and ceiling murals have amenities made by a Florence-based perfumer, and public areas showcase Renaissance art. The whole hotel feels steeped in history. Stroll tree-lined paths to the two-story herbal spa, where wet-treatment rooms have glass mosaic walls and floors. It’s expensive, but wonderful for a splurge.
Located on the tip of Giudecca Island, this hotel has it all. Stay in the main building or the Palazzo Vendramin, a 15th-century residence near the hotel. Both offer opulent rooms and suites, including the Palladio Suite, which has a private dock and sweeping views over the Venetian lagoon through floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel is one of only two in Venice to offer a swimming pool. Come September, the Cipriani fills up with movie stars and celebrities in town for the Venice Film Festival.