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The 10 ultimate luxury hotels in Europe for when travel restrictions are lifted

We might be living through unprecedented times, but that doesn’t stop us daydreaming about our next luxury holiday. As many people find themselves in isolation or working from home and increasingly unable to get out and about, it certainly feels like we’ll all deserve a holiday soon. The travel restrictions currently in effect worldwide won’t be around forever, and as soon as they’re lifted, you won’t have to travel half way around the world to find incredible destinations and awe-inspiring travel opportunities. Europe is a cultural melting pot unlike any other, with a magnificent coastline playing host to shimmering beaches, ancient cities that are steeped in history and a landscape that has inspired generations of artists. From romantic mini-breaks to a family-friendly hotels, a luxury European holiday has something for every type of traveller. Europe is a cultural melting pot unlike any other, with a magnificent coastline playing host to shimmering beaches, ancient cities that are steeped in history and a landscape that has inspired generations of artists. From romantic mini-breaks to a family-friendly hotels, our luxury European holidays have something for every type of traveller. Europe is a patchwork of cultures, climates, landscapes and experiences, which means it can be difficult to decide which destination is best for you. To inspire your next luxury European holiday and make your choice easier, here we have picked out our top ten hotels and resorts in Europe. With less time spent travelling to these luxurious destinations, you can spend more time focusing on what’s important – having the most incredible holiday experience possible. Read on to find out more about our top ten. 1. The Ritz Carlton, Abama – Tenerife, Spain With classical European architecture, ten restaurants and nine swimming pools to enjoy, there is an extraordinary amount of continental luxury to discover at The Ritz Carlton, Abama. As you would expect, the dining here is divine. Sumptuous offerings include Kabuki, a Japanese-inspired Michelin-starred restaurant and the incredible M.B, boasting two Michelin stars and serving a fine dining à la carte menu inspired by seasonal flavours. State-of-the-art sports facilities make The Ritz-Carlton, Abama a paradise for active travellers. There is even a challenging par 72, 18-hole golf course that includes 22 water hazards as well as a driving range and golf academy. Top tip: There is also Ritz Kids for children aged 4 – 12, making this Canary Islands resort a great choice for families of all ages. 2. Grace Santorini – Santorini, Greece Well-heeled travellers will be in their element at Grace Santorini with chic sophisticated style spilling down the hillside, bathing the resort in elegance. Accommodation on the terraced slopes feature white-washed walls, king-size beds with luxurious pillow-top mattresses, private plunge pools and breathtaking views. Set high on a volcanic outcrop, the resort faces famous Skaros, an idyllic island that is home to the ruins of a Venetian castle that is well worth a visit. The resort also boasts one of the most impressive infinity pools in the region, offering uninterrupted panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. With all of this and more, it is easy to see how this resort has become one of the most sought after in the Mediterranean. Top tip: The ‘Bespoke by Grace’ initiative will allow guests to personalise their in-room experience and request unique local experiences. 3. Aman Sveti Stefan – Montenegro Embrace the historic coastal legacy of Montenegro at Aman Sveti Stefan, a resort that has been built on the remnants of a 15th-century fishing village. Traditional design meets sleek modernity in each of the 58 dwellings that are dispersed along the coastline and connected by cobbled lanes that weave between the 600-year-old tiled roofs and shady courtyards. The highlight of this resort is undoubtedly the Villa Milicer. Once the summer residence of Montenegrin Queen Marija Karadordevic, the villa offers unparalleled luxury and direct access to two beaches. Aman Sveti Stefan guests can choose to relax at the resort’s completely private beach, or head to two others which are predominantly used by guests of the hotel. Top tip: Dining is exceptional, with choices ranging from the main restaurant showcasing the best of the region’s ingredients to the laid-back vibe in the al fresco piazza. 4. Grand Hotel Tremezzo – Lake Como, Italy Of course, the beautiful lake is the biggest draw to the region, and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo brings lakeside luxury to new heights. Ensuring that the focus is firmly on the waters, the hotel has a private boat for guests to use to explore the lake, and there are three docks nearby for easy access to Lake Como. Off the water, this hotel spoils guests with luxury, chic design, impeccable service and even your very own private rooftop jacuzzi from which you can gaze out over the lake. The food here is another major highlight, with five different restaurants and snack bars designed by culinary maestro Gualtiero Marchesi. Top tip: Visit the T beach, where real sand recreates a classic lido, with umbrellas, sunbeds, swimming pools, tennis courts and a spa. 5. Il Salviatino – Florence, Italy Could anything be better than staying in an authentic Renaissance villa? At Il Salviatino classic meets contemporary with beautiful 15th century architecture, grand stone steps, sweeping archways and elegant symmetry accompanied by modern amenities and state-of-the-art facilities. While the beautiful Il Salviatino is a feast for the eyes that could rival any of the famous sights you see on your luxury holiday in Florence, the views from the hilltop location are breathtaking. Through floor-to-ceiling windows, you will be able to see the terracotta roofs of Florence, the famous Duomo and the rolling Tuscan hills. Top tip: If you’re heading to a location as impressive as Il Salviatino, you’re going to want to arrive in style. A rooftop helicopter landing pad makes dramatic arrivals more than possible. 6. Aman Venice – Venice, Italy Nothing says Venetian luxury quite like an authentic 16th-century palazzo situated directly on the world-famous Grand Canal. With a location like this, all of Venice’s charms – including its restaurants, shops and museums – are easily accessible to guests. The fortuitous location of Aman Venice also means that the spacious accommodation boasts stunning views. Top chefs oversee the dining experience at Aman Venice, with the grand Yellow dining room featuring magnificent fireplaces and vistas of the canal, while the Red dining room is the perfect spot for al fresco feasts in the summer. Dishes use locally sourced ingredients, such as soft-shell crab from the lagoon and seasonal vegetables from the region’s farms, with Italian favourites including ice cream, pasta and bread made fresh in the hotel’s kitchen. Top tip: Join the hotel’s chef on a morning visit to the Rialto Market, followed by lunch, or a private visit to the Doge’s Palace with its frescoes by Venetian greats. 7. Le Bristol – Paris, France Paris is synonymous with chic style, breathtaking architecture, sensational cuisine and, of course, incredible European getaways. With divine Michelin-star dining and an elegant spa, the historic Hotel Le Bristol is an iconic hotel in the heart of the vibrant fashion and arts district, perfectly situated for embracing the best of what Paris has to offer. The Paris Suite is the highlight of the accommodation offerings here, with magical views of the City of Lights and the Eiffel Tower waiting to captivate guests relaxing on the spacious wrought-iron balcony. Extremely spacious, it has a sitting room and dining room, a fitted kitchen and even comes with its own steam room. Nothing could be better for those wanting to experience Paris in unparalleled style. Top tip: If you’re looking to kick back and relax, head to the hotel’s unique sixth-floor rooftop swimming pool, boasting panoramic views of the city. 8. Villa Orsula Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik, Croatia This contemporary boutique hotel has just 13 exclusive and private rooms and suites, all situated in a converted 1930s villa. The charm and character of the original building remains, but guests will also be treated to all of the modern facilities they will expect, including a fine dining Peruvian restaurant and beautiful gardens. Dubrovnik is just a short journey away for those looking for cultural and historical exploration and, after a busy day in the city, you will find an exclusive beach where a dedicated member of staff will lead you to your sunbed, sunshade and towels, all just a five-minute walk into the Old Town. Could anything possibly be more blissful? Top tip: Next to the restaurant is the peaceful Lounge Bar where cocktails are served in the stunning gardens accompanied by live jazz. 9. Belmond La Residencia – Mallorca, Spain Just forty minutes from Palma Airport, you’ll find this boutique hotel nestled in the Tramuntana mountains. And the idyllic setting makes it a great place to relax and unwind. Belmond La Residencia consists of several stone manor houses that have been converted and modernised to fit the 73 rooms and suites. In terms of activities – you won’t be disappointed. You can head out and explore the area by bike or Vespa, set sail aboard the complimentary two-hour sailing excursion or even take in a hot air balloon or helicopter ride. For those looking to maintain their physique – there are also two tennis courts, two swimming pools and a fitness centre. Whereas those keen to indulge in some culture won’t even have to leave the resort. It has a resident artist that holds regular exhibitions as well as a sculpture garden. The Belmond La Residencia is truly a place to behold. Top tip: Don’t miss out on the Olive Oil classes to give you a greater understanding of how to use this oil to bring out it’s best attributes. 10. Gleneagles – Scotland, UK Something a little bit closer to home, yet still exuding luxury at every turn, Gleneagles is a great choice for a short break away. Guests can choose a room with either a traditional or a modern approach to interiors, but in many ways, it’s the views out to the grounds and surrounding vistas that make the rooms special. Whilst Gleneagles is famed for its golf, there are many alternative activities that will keep everyone engaged during the holidays. This includes horseback riding, a zipline experience, cycling, archery and fishing. This British resort is also perfect if you want to take your family on holiday. The Den offers everything from games consoles, air hockey to a private cinema room. Oh and to add to it, Gleneagles houses Scotland’s only 2 Michelin Starred Restaurant – Andrew Fairlie. Top tip: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit a whisky distillery nearby. You are less than an hour away from Deanston, Glengoyne and the Famous Grouse Experience. Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destinations across the globe. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts is a Director of Inspiring Travel Company, part of the ITC Travel Group. The Inspiring Travel Company focus on building bespoke luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most incredible resorts, hotels and destinations across the globe. Sarah started working in the luxury Sports travel team before moving to ITC Travel Group’s Chester based travel agency Deva Travel. After three years, she progressed to Head of Sales at Inspiring Travel Company and then Director. She has travelled all over the world but includes Italy, Iceland, India, Bali, Vietnam, USA and Cambodia in her Top 10 destinations.

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  1. I’m disappointed to say that I haven’t stayed in any of these. Nor have I ever been to Dubrovnik. On top of that I generally prefer hotels that are small and intimate. On those criteria my first choice would probably be the Villa Orsula Dubrovnik. Never eaten at a Peruvian restaurant and I would be very keen to give that a try.

    1. The Villa Orsula is definitely a great choice and perfect is you are looking for that boutique stay. I would absolutely recommend it.

  2. Well, I was hoping to possibly visit Italy this summer — my parents had plans to fly there in September. They haven’t been canceled YET I don’t think, but we’ll see. I was also in Eastern Europe last summer, and I regret not visiting the coast because Dubrovnik is high up on my list. Montenegro looks like another place in the region that is becoming increasingly popular, and I can see why!

    1. Yes, unfortunately, we might not be able to visit Europe for some time, but when we can, Italy, Dubrovnik and Montenegro should definitely be on your list.

  3. Good title. Nice tone. We all need a bit of blue sky thinking and optimism for when these grim days are over. As many people will have gone months without travelling I imagine they will push the boat out when they are free to travel and go for one of these top class hotels.

  4. Never knew the Ritz Carlton had properties in Spain, I bet that one in Abama is pretty nice. You always hear how classically swanky Ritz hotels are but I’ve never stayed in one myself, wouldn’t say to seeing the luxury digs for myself. I had intended on doing Italy towards the end of this year but I don’t think that’ll happen now. Luckily we are usually last minute bookers so there’s no loss there. I’ll have to check out the Grand Hotel because I’m liking the look of that backing right onto the water at the dock, that looks amazing. Some incredible places here, and it’s nice to see a wee Scottish inclusion because Scotland could rival a few destination abroad for natural beauty.

    1. The Abama is a really popular hotel for Inspiring Travel Company customers as well. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is beautiful as well.

      I’m sure that a trip to Scotland can hopefully be booked sooner rather than later and a trip to Gleneagles would be ideal. You are absolutely right – Scotland’s beauty has few peers.

  5. Any news yet on the lifting of restrictions and which countries we can or can’t visit from the UK? I’ve heard that Portugal is likely to be off-limits, but places like France and Spain are more likely to gain approval. I would love to get away but am keen to hear where it’s best to go currently.

    1. Ministers confirmed on Friday night (26 June) that people returning from certain countries from 6 July onwards will no longer be required to self isolate for 14 days once they return to the UK. A list of confirmed travel corridors is set to be published on Wednesday (29 June), with Italy, Greece and Spain expected to feature. A summer holiday in Europe is definitely starting to seem possible!

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