Some of the Best Luxury Boutique Hotels are in Europe, and are destinations in their own right, given their superb service, views, dining, spa facilities or a combination of all of these. For purposes of this post, I'll define boutique hotels as ones with 50 rooms or fewer. Here are the top 10 luxury boutique hotels in Europe, based on my own and clients' experiences:
1. Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland
If you could only stay in one boutique hotel in Europe, the Park Hotel Vitznau would be my top pick. It's located right on Lake Lucerne, and its current beautifully designed form is due to financier Peter Pühringer, who is also behind the beautifully restored Palais Coburg in Vienna.
Sliding glass doors open onto a terrace with a magnificent view of the lake, which is also the stunning backdrop for the hotel's heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi. In warmer months, swim right in the lake, or enjoy the views from loungers on the lawn. In cooler months, relax in the indoor whirlpool, steam bath, sauna and relaxation rooms.
The 47 junior suites, suites and residences are each very individually designed and decorated, with many of them featuring the artwork of French painter, Claude Verlinde (Les Fables, Le Temps) and others carrying the theme of music or theater, universities (Stanford, Harvard, Yale), or wine (Bordeaux, Chateau d'Yquem).
Cuisine is also a true highlight at Park Hotel Vitznau, which boasts 2 Michelin Star Restaurant Focus, helmed by Chef Patrick Mahler, as well as 1 Michelin Star Restaurant PRISMA. Even the Bar serves an extensive and varied menu of comfort food. Oenophiles shouldn't miss the Park Hotel Vitznau's extensive wine offerings, from 6 cellars that hold a value of CHF 26 million in wine treasures.
2. La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa
Just a stone's throw away from other magnificent but larger Paris Palace hotels such as Le Bristol and the Four Seasons George V Paris is the La Reserve Paris Hotel, with just 40 rooms and suites. It's a favorite of celebrities and those who value greater privacy, without compromising service or quality. Each room and suite is individually dedicated and enjoys dedicated butler service. For romantics, an Eiffel Junior Suite or Eiffel Suite is a must.
Cheval Blanc, the luxury hotel arm of Louis Vuitton, took over the boutique hotel La Residence de la Pinede, renovated it, and added a Guerlain Spa. The property, already a firm favorite of its loyal clientele, has only gotten better. It's the only hotel in St. Tropez with its own private beach, and boasts the 3 Michelin Star La Vague d'Or, helmed by Chef Arnaud Donckele, the youngest chef ever to earn 3 Michelin stars.
4. Amanzoe, Greece
Amanzoe featured in our Top 10 Best Aman Resorts in the World, and it remains one of the most stunningly designed boutique hotels in Europe, together with the Park Hotel Vitznau. While its dining can't compete with the Park Hotel Vitznau, Cheval Blanc St. Tropez or Paris Michelin star offerings, it's a wonderful summer and even early autumn destination, especially for extended families or groups of friends, since it has villas (2 bedrooms, three bedrooms, four bedrooms, up to nine bedrooms). I recommend the helicopter transfer from Athens, to avoid the long 2.5 hour drive.
5. Cheval Blanc Courchevel
Cheval Blanc Courchevel, the first Cheval Blanc maison, is the perfect luxury ski chalet for both avid skiers and their family or friends who don't ski. For skiers, it offers ski in, ski out access to the Bellecote and Jardin Alpin slopes, as well as 58 ski lifts in the Courchevel area, reaching 150 km. of ski runs. The Ski Concierge service will even preheat your ski boots, and plant a dedicated flag each morning by your ski equipment.
Non skiers, meanwhile, can enjoy the indoor pool and jacuzzi, the Cheval Blanc Spa facilities, including a hammam, sauna, cold plunge pool and experience shower, and other winter activities such as snowmobiling, ice skating, and snow shoeing.
At the end of the day, foodies can savor a fine dinner at Le 1947 Restaurant, the only 3-Michelin star restaurant in Courchevel.
6. J.K. Place Capri
J.K. Place Capri is my clients' favorite luxury hotel on Capri, but it must be reserved well in advance, given that it has just 22 rooms and suites. Reserve a Penthouse (for a couple) or Penthouse Suite (for a family) for the best ocean views.
7. Castello Banfi Il Borgo, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Looking for the perfect boutique hotel in Tuscany? Look no further than Castello Banfi Il Borgo, about a 20 minute drive from Montalcino. It's set on the Banfi Estate, and has just a handful of rooms and suites, so you're ensured plenty of privacy, especially in the early mornings and evenings. Partake of wine tastings, a winery tour, cooking classes, walks, and visits to nearby towns.
8. Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Couples looking to ensure a childless romantic getaway should strongly consider a stay at the Monastero Santa Rosa, one of the most dramatic of the luxury boutique hotels that dot the Amalfi Coast. Situated in a former convent, the rooms and suites, while not large, have been beautifully rendered. The terraced gardens lead to an indulgent spa and to magnificent ocean views from the infinity pool.
9. Portrait Firenze, Florence, Italy
The Portrait Firenze, the flagship hotel of the Lungarno Collection, has the perfect central location in Florence, next to the Arno River and just a stone's throw from the Ponte Vecchio (visible from several of the rooms and suites), as well as a 4 minute walk to the Uffizi Gallery.
As at all Portrait hotels, enjoy Salvatore Ferragamo bath products–the Lungarno Collection is the luxury hotel arm of the Ferragamo brand.
10. Nimb Hotel, Copenhagen
As I wrote in my review, Nimb Hotel is one of our favorite boutique hotels in Europe. It may not have the dazzling ocean or lake vistas of some of the aforementioned hotels, but its unique location in Tivoli Gardens and complimentary access to Tivoli makes it an inspired choice both for families and anyone young at heart. We loved the tasteful, well appointed Balcony Suite, great service, thoughtful welcome amenities, and delicious breakfast.
11. Portrait Roma, Rome, Italy
I know, this is supposed to be a Top 10 list, but I can't resist including an honorable mention. The Portrait Roma is right in the heart of the Eternal City, but it's more akin to staying in the lavish home of a wealthy Roman friend with impeccable taste, than to staying in a hotel. We especially enjoyed our breakfast al fresco on the outdoor roof terrace.
What are your favorite luxury boutique hotels in Europe?
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