According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a boutique hotel is “a small stylish hotel, typically one situated in a fashionable urban location.” In recent years, however, the term has become unsurprisingly overused, often without merit, so discover this handpicked selection of outstandingly intimate hotels in Europe that are boutique-worthy for all the right reasons, and indulge in the most unique experience. Welcoming their guests with the perfect 'home-away-from-home', it is here that you can find your peace of mind, unwind and truly enjoy yourself.
Open the old fashioned wooden door to this historical bolt hole, and enter a world of refined sophistication. Named after its most illustrious former owners, the Albiousse family, this intimate home away from home is boutique in every sense of the word. Built somewhere between the 16th and 18th-century, L’Albiousse has five luxuriously-appointed rooms which pay subtle homage to aircraft, as the host, Gwilym, used to work for Air France. Bask in decadent French interiors with high ceilings where olde worlde charm is fused harmoniously with modern day comforts and even quirky chandeliers handmade from old ventilation pipes. Situated in the historical market town of Uzès, explore UNESCO heritage sites, a medieval garden with herbarium or even take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Perfect for runaway romantics…
Nestled somewhere between the “White City” of Ostuni and the glimmering Adriatic Sea, lies the truly boutique haven, Masseria Dagilupi. This white lime-painted building (characteristic of the region) used to be an olive mill in a previous incarnation. Cavernous-like rooms of stylish minimalist design are set against the warmth and hospitality of its owners, offering guests an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you’re looking for Zen, you can find it under the shade of one of the property’s 400 olive trees, some of which are over 1000 years old, as you enjoy a personalized yoga session. Or meander through the picturesque Apulian alleys, cascading beneath the 15th-century cathedral, as you sample traditional gastronomic delights on your way.
Situated somewhere between the narrow cobbled streets of La Lonja and Palma’s emblematic Cathedral, known as “La Seu” (cathedral of the Sea), Ocho Suites offers eight spacious suites and a restaurant with a Swedish twist. This old Spanish manor home in the heart of the old town marries the best of the city’s charm – think iconic green shutters, colourful buildings and flagstone streets - with Swedish design. Each room is unique, promising the fluffiest beds in the whole city, and organic bath amenities all the way from snowy Lapland are sure to delight. If you want to be in the heart of the action but also enjoy a true taste of Palma, Ocho Suites will surely deliver. Ocho Kitchen, the on-site restaurant serves up a delicious menu made with locally sourced ingredients. Salut!
After undergoing a £4.5m makeover, Hurley House is an exemplary example of laidback luxury, comprising of ten elegantly-appointed en-suite bedrooms. It was Michelin-starred head chef, Michael Chapman’s vision to “capture the essence of country living” and along with an unparalleled fine dining experience, it’s fair to say he succeeded. Meticulous attention to detail permeates throughout the hotel – from underfloor heating to Jane Austen novels thoughtfully scattered for guests in search of true escapism. Foodies will love the intimate pub and restaurant, whilst those looking to unwind will enjoy the ‘Soak & Sleep’ towels and robes, ready to envelope you in total warmth and luxury after a relaxing soak in one of the deep free standing tubs. This Berkshire retreat is the perfect pairing of rustic charm and contemporary chic.
Fancy a little French flair with a Danish twist? If so, Villa Provence in the heart of Aarhus has your name on it. Decorated in gorgeous Provençal style, all 35 rooms and four suites ooze irresistible charm and romance. There are four poster beds, free standing tubs and one room even painted in the colour of a Van Gogh painting. Create your own artistic magic as you immerse yourself in this designer accommodation, and enjoy an espresso or chilled Pastis in the cobbled courtyard, surrounded by lime trees and trickling fountains. Next to the vibrant Latin Quarter, the oldest preserved neighbourhood in the city, Villa Provence has everything on its doorstep, from the train station to the museums and all the finest restaurants and cafes. A firm celebrity go-to but for now at least, still relatively secret. Our lips are sealed.
Revel in the ‘convivio’ of luxurious simplicity, at the very special OMHOM residence. Made up of two separate buildings, this Italian delight is set within the village of Trebiano, a hidden sanctuary tucked within a maze of narrow streets, sloping down into the Ligurian Sea. The Bed and Cinema suite takes over two floors in Via Porta, boasting breathtaking views over the rooftops of Trebiano. The bed and Vista suite by contrast is located within a whole house, and with two incredible terraces on-site, is the perfect spot to take in the panoramas of Cinque Terre, the Apuan Alps and the Gulf of Poets. Enjoy delectable gourmet tastings prepared by the in-house chef or unwind in the relaxing SPA zone, equipped with Jacuzzi, infrared sauna and Water Chamber. Now, exhale…
Close to the Temple of Hephaestus and Monastiraki, what was once a historic workshop has today been converted into a charming boutique hotel. Combining the three main materials of construction - cement, brick and wood, accented with handcrafted furniture, the resulting design is both chic and reminiscent of the building’s industrial past. Under the commanding beauty of the Acropolis, 18 Micon Str. is a hidden gem in the vibrant neighbourhood of Psiri. Take delight as you roam through neoclassical buildings and ancient ruins, or simply breathe in the view from your sun-soaked balcony, as you tuck into a hearty breakfast of handmade pies, jams, fruit and Greek cheeses. One thing that is always on the menu - authentic Greek hospitality.
Prim and proper on the outside, hedonistic on the inside. Notting Hill’s Portobello Hotel’s straight-laced exterior belies a darker underbelly of wild antics and raunchy romps. Two converted neoclassical mansions house 21 divinely decadent rooms that have attracted rock stars and celebrities since its opening in 1971. Kate Moss and Johnny Depp famously filled their tub with Champagne, whilst Alice Cooper kept his snakes in it. Wall-to-wall frescos, bold colours and beds so inviting Robbie Williams even tried to buy one, this legendary residence manages to be both eccentric and exceptional, making it one of London’s most talked about hotels. Located on the doorstep of the colourful Portobello Market, and the super trendy bars and boutiques of bohemian Notting Hill, slip in, slip out, just be sure not to tip off the paparazzi…
Immersed in a landscape of lush rolling hills and ancient homes, in the picture-postcard region of Mougins, the final resting place of Picasso, is the magnificent Le Manoir de L’Etang. A 19th-century stately manor house that was once home to an English lord, overlooks a lake blanketed in gorgeous lotus flowers. Everything about Le Manoir breathes serenity, and tales of all the stories held within its walls, including a visit from ‘The Jungle Book’s’ Rudyard Kipling, who once visited the former home. There are 22 beautifully appointed rooms to choose from, each boasting dreamy vistas over the lake and the surrounding countryside. The décor is rustic elegance, with beamed ceilings and sumptuous Egyptian cotton linen. Dining experiences are unforgettable and the refreshing waters of the elegant marble swimming pool, impossible to resist.
The North Sea island of Sylt has got to be one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, until now. Located at the northern tip of Germany, bordering Denmark, this island boasts 40km of untouched white beaches, attracting surfers and sunbathers from far and wide. Named after one of our favourite drinks, Mimosa Suites is located in one of the 12 charming villages on the island and is just a stone’s throw away from the mesmerizing pristine Westerland beach. All 15 newly refurbished spacious suites come equipped with cooking facilities, underfloor heating and Molten Brown bath products. Guests also have the advantage of using the spa facilities of the neighbouring TUI Blue Hotel, which has a pool, sauna and fitness area. Raise a glass with us as we explore this utterly chic accommodation, and island.
As its name suggests, Design Hotel Neruda owes much of its style to some very talented creatives. Designed by architect Borek Sipek, with tasteful interiors courtesy of famous designer Barbara Skorpilova, this 26-room hotel is a feast for the eyes. Think modern furniture, oriental carpets, painted floor tiles, and glass walls in the bathrooms. The former residence of famous Czech writer Jan Neruda, this charming boutique hotel is located in the area of Mala Strana, steps from Prague castle and just 15 minutes from the historic Charles Bridge. All of the rooms have excerpts of Jan Neruda’s most famous poems written on the walls, but inspiration can strike at any moment in this fascinating location. Don’t miss freshly baked croissants with Prague chocolate at the onsite Prague chocolate café and bistro. Just dreamy…
In the heart of the artsy Jordaan district, on the Keizersgracht sits a truly historic boutique hotel. What used to be three 17th-century merchants’ houses have today been transformed into a haven of opulence and grandeur, in the shape of a horseshoe. There are 23 exquisite rooms to choose from, labelled ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’, ‘Exceptional’ to the ‘Best’ in all its 60sqm glory with stunning glass walk-in showers. Enjoy the bold purple and black colour palette of the rooms, with rich velvet fabrics, opulent Bisazza mosaics and exceptional views over the canal. Boasting one of the largest courtyard gardens in central Amsterdam, Canal House is the best spot to enjoy their famous Canal House G&T, and perfectly located to explore this museum district. Hire one of the hotel bikes and head to the Van Gogh museum, Stedelijk and many more.
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