25 European Hotels To Add to Your Bucket List

Image: The Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel in Switzlerland  (Photo Credit: Beau-Rivage Palace)
Image: The Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel in Switzlerland (Photo Credit: Beau-Rivage Palace)
Scott Hartbeck
by Scott Hartbeck
Last updated: 7:00 PM ET, Sat September 9, 2023

From the most elegant of addresses to up-and-coming boutique retreats, Europe is full of fabulous hotels that might just be the highlight of your trip to the continent. Here are 25 (plus one bonus) that are worthy of being put on your European travel bucket list. 

Beau-Rivage Palace

No, you’re not dreaming, you’re staying at the Beau-Rivage Palace, darling. Elegantly standing on the shores of Lake Geneva since the 1860s, the hotel is home to gorgeous gardens perfect for promenading, resplendent rooms & suites (including a wing that recently underwent a renovation under the watchful eye of esteemed interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon), Michelin-starred dining at Anne-Sophie Pic and breathtaking views of the Alps. Here, luxury is subtly woven into every fabric of the guest experience, and no tour of Europe's grand hotels would be complete without a stop. 

The Savoy

Calling The Savoy a "nice place to stay" is a bit like saying Buckingham Palace has "a few rooms under its roof". An absolute icon of the London hotel scene, The Savoy is the city's only five-star hotel on the River Thames and is a marvelous mish-mash of striking architectural styles that all add up to one remarkable place to temporarily call home. Before heading out to the bright lights of the nearby West End, grab a cocktail in the American Bar, an Art Deco watering hole with nearly as much history as the hotel itself.

Poseidonion Grand Hotel

The Greek Islands are famed for their glamour, but grand hotels are few and far between in these parts, and that's what makes Poseidonion so special. This Belle Époque beauty on the island of Spetses sits near the water—where the ferries come ashore—and has been welcoming guests for well over a century (royalty, society and well-to-do Athenians have been known to spend the night), seemingly getting better with every passing summer season. 

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle. (photo via Storied Collection)

Ashford Castle

You knew there would be a couple of castles on this list, right? Enveloped by the green expanse of the Emerald Isle, this 13th century fortification has been transformed into a fantastic escape full of little touches that will make your stay memorable. Fresh-cut flowers in your room, candlelit turndown services and rooms filled with antique furniture & luxurious fabrics are just a few of the reasons you'll fall head-over-heels for Ashford Castle

The Xara Palace

Tucked inside the medieval city of Mdina in Malta, this lovingly restored 17th century mansion has blossomed into the epitome of a European boutique hotel. The Xara Palace is the only hotel located within the walls of the city and it sits atop dramatic stone ramparts, surrounded by Baroque architecture at every turn. During your stay, don't miss a meal at the rooftop De Mondion, home to a Michelin star and magnificent views over the city.

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice, Bucket List Hotels

Arrival at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa (Photo Credit: JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa)

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Opened in 2015, this island resort has quickly established itself as a classic on the Venetian hotel scene. Guests arrive via shuttle boat (the resort is located on the private Isola delle Rose) and the unforgettable experiences flow from there. Rooftop infinity pool sessions with Venice views, meals inspired by the island’s own produce & fruits of the lagoon at Agli Amici Dopolavoro restaurant and just a general sense of getting to have your tiramisu and eat it too by being able to experience all the perks of a full-fledged luxury resort in the heart of Venice make a stay at the JW Marriott Venice truly stand out. 

Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens

Located in the heart of the Greek capital since the 1870s, the Hotel Grande Bretagne Athens sits surrounded by the city's most famous landmarks and is arguably one itself, albeit slightly younger. From your sumptuously appointed room or the hotel’s terrace, you'll be able to gaze upon the Acropolis and stately Syntagma Square while scoring a front-row seat for the changing of the guard at Parliament. 

Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris

PHOTO: Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris. (Photo courtesy of the Dorchester Collection)

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

A fixture on the tree-lined fashion mecca of Avenue Montaigne for well over a century, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée distills the allure of Paris into one incredible place to stay. Walk the avenue under the hotel’s signature red awnings to do some shopping or simply linger in the hotel's exquisite spaces alongside some of the fashion world's movers and shakers. Yes, this is the Parisian hotel you've seen featured in Emily in Paris, The Devil Wears Prada and Sex And The City and you'll feel like a star staying here, even if you don't stay in one of the world-famous Eiffel Tower suites. The Michelin-starred Jean Imbert restaurant is the icing on the cake.

La Residencia

This sprawling sanctuary sits just outside the magical mountain town of Deia on the island of Mallorca, offering guests a luxurious yet relaxed retreat into another state of mind. Set inside rustic manor houses and among olive & citrus trees, this is the sort of place where you come to simply soak up the sun and reconnect with yourself. The area has long been a haven of artists and the afterglow of their inspiration permeates both the town and La Residencia.

Waldhotel Fletschhorn

Located in a traditional Swiss lodge, which is surrounded by forest atop the charming village of Saas-Fee, Waldhotel Fletschhorn was doing "wellness" before it was a buzzword and everything about your experience here will serve as a big breath of fresh air. Spend your days exploring the picturesque pines, feeding the famously friendly local marmots or simply just lingering on your balcony admiring the surrounding mountains. Waldhotel Fletschhorn is also famed for its wine cellar—home to over 9,000 bottles—superb dining and sensational stargazing. 

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Bucket List Hotels,

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como (Photo Credit: Business Slayer / Wikimedia Commons)

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Lake Como's reputation precedes it and this grand dame has sat elegantly on its lapping shores—epitomizing the heavenly body of water's version of the Italian La Dolce Vita—for over 100 years. Family-run from day one, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo welcomes guests with plush red carpets, slabs of sumptuous marble and a multitude of floral arrangements, a greeting that is certain to have you falling head over heels. From suites and rooms with lake views to its signature pool that floats on Lake Como, you'll be dazzled at this quintessentially European hotel.

Chateau d'Urspelt

Located on the outskirts of the cute small town of Clervaux in northern Luxembourg, this painstakingly restored castle is home to a warm welcome and just the right amount of European opulence. A stay at Chateau d'Urspelt will not only tick the "castle stay" box off your list, but it will also provide the impetus to explore one of Europe’s underrated truly underrated corners: The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Arguably the most stylish skyscraper on the continent, Hotel Arts occupies a shimmering 44-story building where the Mediterranean meets the urban buzz of Barcelona. Contemporary art abounds throughout the property, with hundreds of pieces adding splashes of vibrancy, with even Hotel Arts’ infinity pool offering an up-close view of Frank Gehry's famous curvaceous Golden Fish sculpture. The restaurants (Enoteca owns two Michelin stars) and bars continue the theme with food & drink that looks as remarkable as it tastes. 

The Kinloch Lodge, Bucket List hotels, Europe

Cozy scene at Kinloch Lodge (Photo Credit: The Kinloch Lodge)

Kinloch Lodge

Perched beside Loch Na Dal and enjoying sweeping views of the Isle of Skye's signature peaks, this family-run hotel has been offering the warmest of Scottish welcomes for over five decades. Kinloch Lodge is located in a centuries-old farmhouse & former shooting lodge and is filled with crackling fires, rooms kitted out with antiques from the family’s rich history and touches of tweed made by local weavers. When it comes time for dinner, you'll enjoy seasonal fare, some foraged from the local shores and hills.

Marbella Club

What started life as a bohemian, '60s California at sunset-inspired village has evolved into one of the chicest places to be seen on Spain’s famed Costa Del Sol. Make no mistake, the Marbella Club knows how to pamper and the hotel fully embraces the finer things in life, but the spirit of the hotel has always prioritized fun, togetherness and laughter, values that are sure to shine—nearly as bright as the Andalucian sun—during your stay. 

Hotel De L'Europe Amsterdam, Bucket List Hotels Europe,

Lobby of the Hotel De L'Europe Amsterdam (Photo Credit: Hotel De L'Europe Amsterdam)

Hotel De L'Europe 

Built on the site of Amsterdam’s first-ever inn and filled with priceless art by the hotel’s owners the Heineken family, Hotel De L'Europe stands proudly in the heart of the city’s famed canals. The hotel is considered a “cultural custodian” of the city and its architecture and interior design blends the history of Amsterdam with modern touches. The hotel is also a food lover's dream come true as the restaurant Flore has scored a two Michelin star rating and a green star for dedication to sustainable food practices. 

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

A shining pearl in Antibes on the French Riviera, this hotel adds a shimmer of glamour to every guest experience. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has an illustrious history as a grand hotel and simply strolling from your room to the seaside pool is a thrilling experience. Pack your designer sunglasses and swimwear, but know that the restaurant and bars are casual affairs where you'll be treated to classic flavors of the South of France and treated as if you are an A-list. And if you aren't, the table next to you might just be. 

London, Bucket List Hotels of Europe, The Goring

The Goring Hotel in London (Photo Credit: CVB / Wikimedia Commons)

The Goring

Impeccably English to the core, the Goring is London’s London hotel. Family-run since its opening in 1910, the spirit of the nation runs through everything they do here, with the hotel hitting that sweet spot of luxury and attention without ever overstepping. The Goring is also considerably smaller than many other five-star London hotels, allowing it to offer a level of intimacy and a feeling of being "hidden" that others can only dream of. Add to this gorgeous gardens and the Michelin-starred Dining Room and you have an unforgettable experience. If by some cruel twist of fate, you had one last night in London before leaving it forever, you'd want to spend it at The Goring.

Burghotel Auf Schönburg

Perched above the most romantic stretch of the Rhine River in Oberwesel, Germany's Burghotel Auf Schönburg is the European castle hotel you've been daydreaming about. Spend your days cruising the Rhine and your nights dining at the hotel's restaurant and reveling in the 1000-year-plus history of this special place. 

Bucket List Hotels, Europe, Sensoria Dolomites

View of pool and mountains at Sensoria Dolomites (Photo Credit: Sensoria Dolomites)

Sensoria Dolomites

Situated at the foot of the spectacular Alpe di Siusi alpine meadow, Sensoria Dolomites owns sweeping views of the surrounding peaks and a distinct South Tyrolean charm. The family-run luxury wellness haven is located in the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage site, and in addition to the nearby mountains and their wealth of all-seasons recreation, the resort provides guests with plenty of reasons to stay put including a stellar spa experience and the chance to relax on a terrace with views of the majestic Sciliar mountain. 

The Leo Grand

Located in the grand heart of Vienna, The Leo Grand is one of the newer hotels on the list, but it has quickly established itself in the Austrian capital. Located a stone's throw from St. Stephen's Cathedral—the symbol of the city—it's home to a playful mixture of grandeur, artistic flair and just plain fun. The hotel has elegant touches at nearly every turn, but things never stray into the realm of stuffy (think jungle prints besides Baroque), as at its core, Leo aims to be your brand new best friend in Vienna.  

Infinity Pool, San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Resort, Sicily, Italy, The White Lotus

Infinity Pool at San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Resort in Sicily, Italy. (photo courtesy of Four Seasons, credit: Peter Vitale) (Photo Credit: Four Seasons)

San Domenico Palace

Long before The White Lotus featured this luxurious Sicilian hotel in 2022, San Domenico Palace (A Four Seasons Hotel) enjoyed a reputation as one of Europe’s most scintillating places to stay and had long been a favorite of the jet set. This former 14th-century convent sits tucked away in the enchanting town of Taormina and has been painstakingly restored to the highest standards. Sat atop a rocky outcrop with commanding views over the sea and moody Mount Etna, the hotel boasts a gorgeous Italian garden, a truly special clifftop infinity pool and an unforgettable dining experience at Principe Cerami—the hotel’s fine dining restaurant—which boasts a Michelin star. 

Hotel Bayerischer Hof 

Family-run for four generations, Hotel Bayerischer Hof is an institution in Munich, known throughout the city for its status as the place to meet and be seen. While staying at the hotel, make sure to dine at Atelier, which boasts two Michelin stars or have a cocktail in Falk's Bar among its famed hall of mirrors. The hotel is also renowned all over Europe for its design collaborations, which have seen some of the continent's most sought-after tastemakers leave their mark on the hotel. 

Gleneagles, Scotland, Bucket List Hotels, Europe

Gleneagles in summer (Photo Credit: Gleneagles)


Have you gone to heaven? Close, it's Gleneagles. A luxurious hotel, golf and dining destination set against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes, Gleneagles is arguably the hotel of Scotland. Gleneagles is home to Restaurant Andrew Fairlie—the nation's only restaurant with two Michelin stars—but your pursuits might just as likely lead you into the surrounding countryside (shooting & fishing, horse riding and falconry are all available) or onto one of the property's championship golf courses. 

Schloss Fuschl 

A former royal hunting lodge, Schloss Fuschl sits perched on a pretty wooded peninsula on the shores of Lake Fuschl near Salzburg, Austria. The 15th-century castle's grounds feel like something taken straight from a fairytale, with the interior traditionally being home to a mix of rural Austrian charm and regal elegance and all vantage points offering sweeping views of the water. The hotel will re-open in 2024 following an extensive renovation and it will be home to a mix of rooms, suites and chalets in addition to excellent dining and both indoor & outdoor swimming pools.

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Scott Hartbeck

Scott Hartbeck

Born in the USA but now based in England, Scott has been writing about travel for over 10 years. He specializes in Europe, rail...

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