- Staying in a historic building is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the local culture and heritage.
- An on-site spa can make your European break more relaxing and offers a haven from the hustle and bustle.
- Consider booking a hotel serving local cuisine to experience European culinary traditions first-hand.
- Many of the best hotels in Europe offer child-friendly amenities to keep little ones entertained.
Whether you’re planning a romantic honeymoon, city break or even a grand European tour, a luxury hotel provides the perfect relaxing base for exploring your new surroundings. Europe offers a diverse range of accommodation options, from tranquil rural retreats to historic hotels in its major cities.
Staying in a hotel isn’t just about the rooms; many offer incredible dining experiences and indulgent spa facilities. Below, we’ll reveal the 12 best hotels in Europe.
1. Le Bristol, Paris
The iconic Le Bristol hotel in Paris, France, offers palatial rooms and suites decked out in chic Parisian style. The hotel regularly tops the awards charts in publications such as Forbes and CNBC travel, thanks to its exemplary hospitality and comprehensive range of guest amenities. Le Bristol is ideal for luxurious family vacations and provides various kid-friendly services, including the Parisian Kids Club in partnership with Bonpoint.
One of Le Bristol’s unique selling points is its art installations, and it regularly partners with leading art galleries to decorate the hotel’s private suites and communal areas. Visitors can also purchase handmade delicacies from the on-site store, including traditional cakes baked by the chef-in-residence.
2. Ashford Castle, County Mayo
If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in a real fairy-tale castle, Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, is hard to beat. This impressive stone-gated castle dates back to 1228 and is now home to one of Europe’s most celebrated hotels. The hotel prides itself on personalized hospitality, and you can expect your favorite drink to be ready and waiting upon your arrival.
Ashford Castle is the ideal bolt-hole for exploring the beautiful surroundings of rural County Mayo and offers multiple outdoor experiences on the sprawling estate. Visitors can enjoy private horse riding lessons, guided bike tours or a round of golf on the beautiful nine-hole par 35 course.
3. The Milestone Hotel and Residences, London
Set in the heart of London’s fashionable Kensington district, The Milestone Hotel and Residences is just a stone’s throw from the royal palace and offers a rare view into the gardens. The Grade II listed building boasts an impressive white-and-red brick facade, making it one of the most recognizable local landmarks.
The historic Stables Bar is a real highlight, serving the hotel’s signature old-fashioned cocktail and offering traditional champagne service using a saber. Alternatively, you can enjoy 24/7 room service in your beautifully decorated room, suite or residence. Each accommodation features antique furniture and exquisite artwork, and many bookings include candlelit turndowns and freshly prepared snacks.
4. Portrait Firenze, Florence
Enjoying a delightful position in the center of Florence, Italy, Portrait Firenze is a suite-only hotel offering sleek, contemporary accommodation. Its range of opulent suites includes intimate one-bedroom sanctuaries perfect for honeymoons and couples’ vacations, and two-bedroom options are suitable for families. Many rooms offer exquisite views of the River Arno and the historic Ponte Vecchio bridge.
The jewel in Portrait Firenze’s crown is the 1950s-style Caffè dell’Oro, which affords delightful views over the pedestrian streets below and specializes in contemporary Italian cuisine. Guests can also experience a traditional wine-tasting session at the exquisite Palazzo Capponi, provided in partnership with famous wine producer Castiglion del Bosco.
5. La Residencia, Mallorca
The picturesque La Residencia is part of the prestigious Belmond hotel group. This peaceful gem sits nestled in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains on the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca. Each characterful beamed room and suite offers calming, muted furnishings, queen-sized beds and delightful mountain views.
La Residencia boasts an incredibly luxurious spa where you can enjoy personalized treatments using local floral ingredients in tranquil surroundings. The hotel also hosts regular installations at the on-site Sa Tafona gallery for the more artistically minded.
6. The Fontenay, Hamburg
The Fontenay is an ultra-modern luxury hotel on the banks of Lake Alster in Hamburg, Germany. Its unique, wave-like architecture reflects the lake’s shoreline, and all rooms face outward to afford gorgeous views of the water and cityscape. Even better, it’s just a short walk to the bustling, cosmopolitan city center with its broad array of eateries and cultural attractions.
Foodies will appreciate the wide choice of dining options, thanks to four on-site bars and restaurants. Guests can enjoy fine dining in the Michelin-starred Lakeside restaurant with breathtaking panoramic views. Alternatively, head to the Atrium Lounge to sip your morning coffee under an impressive 27-meter-high paneled ceiling.
7. Walaker Hotel, Solvorn
Few European hotels offer as spectacular a location as the Walaker Hotel in the beautiful Luster municipality in western Norway. The Walaker is Sweden’s oldest hotel, and the same family has run it since 1690. It’s the ideal base for a hiking vacation around the famous Sognefjord and surrounding mountains, and there’s also a tranquil garden bursting with fragrant lilacs.
The highlight of a stay at the Walaker is a four-course dinner showcasing the finest local ingredients, followed by a wander around the hotel’s art gallery. Menus change daily, allowing guests to sample a wide variety of seasonal produce.
8. Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour, Senglea
Historic and imposing, Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour sits within the fortress walls in the fortified city of Senglea in southeast Malta. It offers six magnificent, hyper-modern suites with vaulted ceilings and contemporary styling, creating a surprising contrast with the hotel’s exterior. There’s also an impressive rooftop pool with spectacular views over the harbor, and you can book luxurious wellness treatments in the adjacent spa.
Downstairs, you’ll find the popular Hammett’s Macina Restaurant serving modern Mediterranean cuisine reflecting Malta’s diverse culinary influences. The menu celebrates fresh local produce, and the restaurant also boasts an extensive wine cellar, so you can select the perfect tipple to go with your meal.
9. Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve
Portugal’s Algarve region is a popular location for a seaside vacation, and staying at the Pine Cliffs Resort allows convenient access to the beach in gorgeous surroundings. The accommodation comprises luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas, and golf suites are located near the 168-acre on-site course.
The World Luxury Hotel Awards named Pine Cliffs Resort the “Best Family Resort” for good reason. It offers daily activities for kids of all ages, including mini golf, tennis and water games. Meanwhile, grown-ups can enjoy a serene yoga and meditation session or book a relaxing treatment in the hotel’s spa.
10. Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa, Prague
Just a stone’s throw from Prague Castle in the Czech Republic sits the Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa, a gorgeous baroque hotel with 46 ornately decorated guest rooms and suites. Every room features a stunning marble bathroom, and many include exquisite crystal chandeliers.
The hotel’s lavish Aquarius Restaurant is one of its standout features, containing authentic Venetian stucco and original French Zuber wallpaper. During warmer weather, you can enjoy a prosecco breakfast or an elegant meal alfresco in the inner courtyard. Alternatively, the Barocco Veneziano Cafe is the ideal spot for afternoon tea in opulent surroundings.
11. Hotel Sacher, Vienna
Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, has welcomed many famous faces, including President John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II. Since its opening in 1876, the hotel has garnered a stellar reputation for luxurious rooms and exemplary food. It’s also the birthplace of the delicious Sacher-Torte, and you can still enjoy a slice made with the original recipe in the hotel’s restaurant.
Hotel Sacher specializes in grand, opulently decorated rooms in keeping with the building’s heritage. However, the accommodation also contains every modern amenity alongside the crystal chandeliers and original artworks. Many rooms boast impressive views of the opera house and distinctive Albertina Museum.
12. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest
An impressive Art Nouveau edifice houses the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, one of the most iconic hotels in Budapest, Hungary. It occupies an enviable city center location affording breathtaking views of the River Danube. Furthermore, its distinctive wrought-iron gates and unique mosaic-lined lobby create an extraordinary visual impact when you enter.
The guest rooms are light, comfortable and airy, and many provide enough space for small families. However, its star feature is its contemporary spa, which offers traditional Hungarian moor mud treatments and skin therapies using local botanical ingredients.