This is a small collection of the best & luxuries hotels in Europe, there are plenty more to come but first i will start with the following hotels:
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK, LONDON
After a roof fire in June 2018, this flag-flying regal stalwart reopened last April. No one has dared to mess with the turreted exterior, and staff still meet guests at the door in red tails, but gone are the heavy curtains and throws. Instead, everything is lighter, fresher – even the marbled lobby – and rooms have been painted a pale grey with gold lampshades. The carpets have been replaced with wooden floors and little libraries curated by bookseller Heywood Hill. Still the best are the Hyde Park-facing rooms where the sound of the Household Cavalry clip-clopping past is better than any morning alarm. Artist Leah Wood has updated the Butterfly Terrace with hand-painted floral art; in the ballroom – where the Queen learned to dance – every millimetre of gold leaf has been restored; and both Bar Boulud and the molecular Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are packed every night. Gracious and unstuffy, it’s still the best-situated hotel in London.
THE ROSEWOOD, LONDON
The Rosewood London brought a neglected Edwardian pile back to life – the Mirror Room is fabulous – but it’s also helped put Holborn back on the map for Londoners.
THE WESTBURY, DUBLIN
The Westbury may not have the gracious Georgian proportions of some of its rivals, but it’s a less-buttoned-up local charmer with real flair. The Doyle Collection is a family-run Irish hotel group that counts London’s The Bloomsbury among its premises, and The Westbury is its flagship on home turf. It’s the little things that matter here, such as the team’s genuine warmth and desire to help guests tap in to the Dublin scene – whether engaging them with an expert-led art walk or guiding them to the city’s new foodie highlights. Location also counts. Trinity College, Grafton Street and the city’s best shopping hubs are just a skip away – or slip out through the back door into Dublin’s creative quarter, a browsable cluster of boutiques, cafés and galleries. Back at The Westbury, the owners’ collection of gallery-grade Irish art hangs in the drawing room, while the glam Sidecar Bar has butter-soft, caramel leather banquettes to roll into over a couple of killer cocktails. Decoratively speaking, a rolling programme of refurbishment has been bringing all 205 bedrooms bang up to date, with makeovers shot through with nods to the 1930s in a swatch of silver, mauve, mink and eau-de-nil tones. Locals gossip over lattes in Balfes Bar & Brasserie, while the first-floor Wilde restaurant – named after a certain Irish-born literary great – is one of the capital’s prettiest dining rooms with its in-out balcony and street views (order the signature Irish coffee and be prepared for the theatrical pyrotechnics involved in preparing it). This is a rooted hotel that offers a window on contemporary Dublin without peddling the usual Irish clichés.
This is one of a small number of hotels so high and mighty they create their own weather systems. Which made the ragging it got when it reopened in 2016 after a four-year revamp all the more baffling. Some scoffed that it was a facsimilie of its former self, smelling of fresh paint but virtually unchanged. But what exactly would have been gained if the Ritz had been remade in the image of a Nantucket shrimp shack or Buddhist monastery? It had stuck to its guns and its critics had shot themselves in the foot. The Ritz remained, merci au bon dieu, the Ritz, demonstrating that sometimes the most spectacular renovations are the least spectacular, though it is as opulent today as at any time in its 121-year history. Yet even here, among the silks and tassels, a kind of democracy prevails. The smallest rooms are, by Parisian standards, generous, and differ from the mega-suites only in the scale, not the degree, of their sumptuousness. And it does not matter how rich, famous or beautiful you are – the peerless Bar Hemingway still isn’t taking reservations.
HOTEL DE RUSSIE, ROME
From the moment the top-hatted doorman ushers you into the classic-modern space by former Valentino interiors whizz Tommaso Ziffer and Rocco Forte director of design Olga Polizzi, the sense of being in the foremost place to stay in town is as sharp as the Campari sodas served in the bar. The 120-room hotel just off Piazza del Popolo mixes up Art Deco-tinged nods to Rome’s classical past with jazzy homages to the spirit of Picasso and ballet legend Nijinsky, who stayed in its previous incarnation. They’re commemorated in signature suites, as is Giuseppe Valadier, the architect behind the palazzo’s terraced garden. This is being restored for the hotel’s 20th anniversary – one of several refreshes that include a health-oriented lightening of the mod-Med menu. The kitchen is overseen by chef Fulvio Pierangelini who also curates the food at the Stravinskij Bar, which heaves with beautiful Romans come aperitivo time.
WALDORF ASTORIA ROME CAVALIERI, ROME
The Rome Cavalieri, set in 15 acres on Monte Mario, with views to the dome of St Peter’s, is both a lavish escape and perfect city-break address. The lack of neighborhood action is more than made up for by a world-class art collection and La Pergola, one of the best restaurants in the capital.
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