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51 stylish European city hotels

Here’s our hotel edit, from upmarket apartments and boutique boltholes to grande dames

Brummell hotel lap pool, terrace ad outdoor furniture from above
Brummell Barcelona

If you’re looking for a European city break, these are the places to book right now...



The Andaz Hotel, Amsterdam
The Andaz, Amsterdam

Perched beside Prinsengracht canal in the cool but peaceful Jordaan neighbourhood, this luxe 122-room hotel (above) is an artistic paean to the city’s culture. Dutch designer Marcel Wanders – dubbed ‘the Lady Gaga of the design world’ by The New York Times – has considered every aspect of the hotel interior, from his red and bright-yellow ‘Tulip’ chairs, to the grand, observatory-themed lobby. It’s all highly playful, yet, at the same time, somehow thoroughly grown-up. hyatt.com


Morgan & Mees hotel in Amsterdam
Morgan & Mees

A restful, neutral palette runs throughout this small but sleek pad in the west of the city –all dusky grey banquettes and elegant cream tiles. It’s a far cry from the building’s origins as a 19th-century orphanage. All nine rooms and suites have indulgent Coco-Mat beds, toiletries come courtesy of sustainable luxury beauty brand Marie-Stella-Maris and the hotel’s personalised charcoal-coloured VanMoof bicycles are on hand for exploring along the canals. morganandmees.com


Guestroom of Sir Adam Hotel, Amsterdam
Sir Adam, Amsterdam

This cool boutique hotel sits just across the waterfront from Centraal Station, and positively hums with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. The sleek, industrial interior features exposed concrete walls adorned with artworks ofBob Dylan and Mick Jagger, and you’ll find Crosley record players and Gibson guitars in the rooms – in addition to bed linens of the 300-thread-count variety, Illy espresso machines and expansive city views. sirhotels.com


Soho House Amsterdam guestroom
Soho House Amsterdam

Housed in the iconic Bungehuis building in the heart of Amsterdam, the Dutch addition to the glamorous Soho House portfolio is on point, with its Art Deco details, stained glass, sumptuous fabrics and parquet floors. Each of the 79 bedrooms differ slightly, but all feature vintage and contemporary pieces. There’s also a Cecconi’s restaurant serving northern Italian favourites, a spa, a gym with happily distracting views over the canal and an impressive roof terrace and pool. sohohouseamsterdam.com


The Dylan Hotel, Amsterdam
The Dylan, Amsterdam

Tucked away quietly in the Negen Straatjes shopping quarter, two historic canal-side buildings form this intimate five-star hotel, perennially popular for its old-world elegance. Its 40 rooms are offered in a range of designs to suit differing tastes, from the ‘Serendipity’ themes of warm browns and calming greys to the copper and pearl tones of the ‘Loxura’ butterfly-inspired rooms. dylanamsterdam.com



Perfectly located on the cusp of the El Born area, next door to Santa Caterina Market, this luxurious getaway is a mere stroll from some of the city’s best beaches and bars. That said, it would be easy to stay in and enjoy the Edition’s swish cocktail bar, sumptuous late-night lounge and rooftop with breathtaking views of the city. Each of the 100 rooms is a sanctuary of luxurious calm – think Anichini linens, Spanish leather headboards and white marble bathrooms. editionhotels.com


An urban hideaway in the hilly El Poble-sec neighbourhood, Brummell creates a sense of wellbeing. The hotel’s communal features include outdoor showers, a sauna, vegetable patch and garden. The 20 bright, minimalist guest rooms and two dazzling penthouse suites feature rain-shower bathrooms, and guests have access to unlimited free yoga and fitness classes at the studio next door. hotelbrummell.com


Claris Hotel & spa, Amsterdam
Claris Hotel & Spa

That this hotel (above) occupies a former19th-century palace should correctly set expectations of luxury. The 124 rooms range from charming split-level duplexes to more decadent suites, and feature original artworks throughout. There’s plenty to indulge in here: the rooftop terrace and pool, two restaurants and the Mayan Secret Spa, which includes a sauna with a ‘volcanic dome’, diffusing aromatic herbs along with the steam. Don’t miss the valuable collection of pre-Columbian artworks on the first floor. hotelclaris.com


Room Mate Anna hotel, Amsterdam
Room Mate Anna, Amsterdam

The interior of this characterful hotel in the centre of Barcelona is the vision of designer and antiques aficionado LorenzoCastillo, and it’s full of surprises for something at such an affordable price point. Just get a load of the plunge pool on the rooftop, the solarium and the remarkably comfortable beds. The 81 rooms come in sumptuous colour schemes of olive green, plum or deep red, depending on which you choose. room-matehotels.com


Soho House Barcelona
Soho House Barcelona

It might be situated comfortably near the end of Barcelona’s bustling La Rambla, but step inside this hotel and it’s all high-end English country escape (in the best way). Rooms are on the cosy side, which feels befitting of the tea sets, biscuits and vintage radios that adorn each one. But it’s far from twee –ready-made negronis in the minibar hint at the hotel’s hipper side, while everything else, from the Cowshed spa to the buzzing rooftop pool, is pure Soho House cool. sohohousebarcelona.com



Right on the Rosenthaler Platz in the Mitte district, these serviced digs in an elegant residential building are a home away from home. Each marries classic contemporary and vintage style, and while some bathrooms are open plan with the bedrooms, it means more chance to ogle the beautiful tiled bathtubs. There are restaurants aplenty on the doorstep, but should you wish to stay in, a concierge service is offered via WhatsApp. gorkiapartments.com


Hotel Zoo, Berlin
Hotel Zoo, Berlin

This property was born from the vision of Dayna Lee and Ted Berner, of LA’s Powerstrip Studio, who have pulled together a who’s who of design for this dazzling hotel. Diane von Fürstenberg is behind the green carpet with the leopard motif in the entrance, the sleek wing chairs in the lounge are by Tom Dixon; and fashion photographer Andreas Kock has works featured in all the rooms. Comfort is paramount: enjoy plush platform beds, Nespresso coffee machines and bathrobes by Maison Martin Margiela. hotelzoo.de


Soho House, Berlin
Soho House, Berlin

It doesn’t get much more Berlin than this iconic eight-storey restored Bauhaus building. All the favourite Soho House features are here: spa, rooftop pool, cinema and more high-end toiletries than you can stash in your suitcase. Yet the laid-back cool of the city’s culture is felt throughout, in industrial stylings such as wrought-iron staircases and concrete walls adorned with edgy art –witness the Damien Hirst shark in the lobby. sohohouseberlin.com


Step off Berlin’s bustling Potsdamer Platz and into the soothing escape of The Mandala. The 158 rooms are spacious and peaceful, with natural finishes of stone, cherry wood and raw silk. The Ono Spa, which offers holistic therapies as well as traditional treatments, is an oasis of Zen, decked out in dreamy white, while tranquil courtyard restaurant Facil, where the focus is on updated classics, has two Michelin stars. themandala.de



Housed in three elegant townhouses on Sankt Peders Stræde, in the Danish capital’s lively Latin quarter, this light-filled hotel effortlessly exemplifies what we love about Danish design: sleek but simple rooms with an abundance of natural finishes, and an atmosphere of casual luxury. There are DJ sets and concerts, and organic breakfasts are served every morning. Plus, this being Copenhagen, there are bicycles available for exploring the neighbourhood. brochner-hotels.com


Fancy a pied-à-terre while on tour? Make this recently restored 18th-century apartment in the charming Christianshavn district your base. Part accommodation, part gallery, it includes a kitchenette, drawing room and library. The apartment’s décor is ever-evolving but has been graced by works from Tómas Saraceno and Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank’s Svenskst Tenn collections. theapartment.dk



Klaus K hotel in Helsinki
Klaus K

A stone’s throw from the Helsinki harbourside, Klaus K is that refreshing rarity: a design hotel (on its opening in 2005, it was Finland’s first) that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a fusion of art and fun here, with four of the 171 rooms highlighting the works of creatives, such as Finnish cartoonist Katja Tukiainen, and décor throughout inspired by the Finnish literary epic The Kalevala. klauskhotel.com



Located in the culturally rich Belém district, this bright gem affords glittering water views best enjoyed from the rooftop pool deck. The interiors are all about clean, modern lines, from the expanses of white limestone and matching leather couches, to the black marble floors. There’s Karin Herzog‘s award-winning BSpa, and fine Portuguese food at the Michelin-starred Feitoria restaurant. altishotels.com


Santa Clara hotel in Lisbon
Santa Clara hotel

A dream escape from the tourist throngs starts in this lovely little find – six suites set in a romantic old building atop one of the city’s famous hills. Minimalist and almost monastic in its simple beauty, it features cool limestone interiors with muted tones of cream and pale wood, and eggshell walls. Excellent freshly prepared meals and communal dining make guests feel at home, but those in the know will spot furniture by Carl Hansen & Søn, and lighting by Italian designer Davide Groppi. silentliving.pt


Tucked into the narrow streets of the Bairro Alto district, this former palace houses 53spacious suites, an elegant spa and a rooftop restaurant. The rooms all congregate around the central stone staircase, and while all feature quaint wooden shutters, look out for more modern features, such as urban wall art by Maser, handmade Ferreira de Sá rugs and Claus Porto soaps in the monochrome-tiled bathrooms. thelumiares.com


Verride Palácio Santa Catarina hotel in Libson
Verride Palácio Santa Catarina in Libson

What was once a palace seems intent on staying one. Beautiful details in the guest rooms hark back to the glory days: silk and linen wallpaper, elaborate stucco, original blue-and-white tiles in some of the bathrooms. Other features are more modern: Aesop toiletries, organic wine and an outdoor pool with panoramic city views. verridesc.pt



This piece of Shoreditch cool is the brainchild of Sir Terence and Lady Victoria Conran and business partner Peter Prescott. There are 17 design-led rooms and suites, each unique and considered: one might bring a bright pop of Bauhaus, another pays homage to iconic designers Charles and Ray Eames. Upon the roof, the scenic garden and dining space is the place to be, as evidenced by the locals queueing at street level for a spot. boundary.london


Ham Yard Hotel in London
Ham Yard Hotel in London

Hidden away in the labyrinthine network of streets that is London’s Soho neighbourhood is this elegantly theatrical offering from the game-changing Firmdale Hotels design group. Its 91 rooms and suites, as well as 24 apartments, showcase influential designer Kit Kemp’s trademark flourishes, sensuous fabrics and heady fragrances. Beyond the bedrooms there’s an original 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas, a decadent Soholistic spa and a private guest terrace complete with leafy kitchen garden. firmdalehotels.com


Nobu Hotel Shoreditch hotel in London
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch

Together with business partner Robert deNiro, celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa has brought his hotel brand to London, with this glass, concrete and metallic temple to understated luxury. Its locale feels secretive, but inside is the same eye-catching fusion that has inspired Nobu’s Peruvian-Japanese cuisine. As you’d expect, the 240-seat restaurant is a major draw, boasting a sushi counter, bar and a split-level courtyard. nobuhotelshoreditch.com


St Pancras Renaissance  hotel in London
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

There are many five-star hotels of pedigree in the capital, but if you have to choose one for the sheer scale of its eye candy, it’s hard to bypass George Gilbert Scott’s fantastical gothic-styled property (above). First opened in 1893, it underwent a substantial renovation (the wallpaper in one suite alone famously cost £47,000 to produce) before being reborn in 2011. Step beyond the arches and spires of its grand exterior, and you’ll discover soaring ceilings, decorative columns, crimson walls with fleur-de-lys motifs, marble flooring, curving stairways and wrought-iron finishes. stpancraslondon.com


A 20-minute stroll east along the river from the South Bank takes you to this new 193-room hotel set in an imposing Grade II-listed building, close to Tower Bridge and named for the architect who built it in 1905. Simple brickwork and high Edwardian ceilings complement the Surrealist modern artworks on display alongside stylish furniture from an enviable roll-call of British designers. thedixon.co.uk


The Mandrake hotel London
The Mandrake

Ethnobotanical cocktails, anyone? This hotel in Fitzrovia has been causing a stir for its flamboyant fit-out, food, drinks and artistic offerings. From the jasmine-draped atrium, inner courtyard dominated by palm trees and Yopa restaurant, serving European-South American dishes, to the opulently decorated suites and regular artist-in-residence programmes, it’s a study in contrasts – visually rich and not for the faint-hearted. themandrake.com


A skip from Paddington Station, this restored townhouse of 73 rooms has been designed with minimal fuss (no reception, no check-in counter), sustainability and – gasp, for London– affordability in mind. Reclaimed fixtures include a water fountain from the Natural History Museum, and rooms are simply Bunk, Small, Medium or Large. There’s an excellent breakfast and a stunning downstairs café. thepilgrm.com


The Standard hotel in King’s Cross
The Standard

Located directly opposite St Pancras railway station in London’s ever-evolving Kings Cross Quarter, this is the US-based Standard hotel group’s first international outpost. The Brutalist property it occupies, formerly an office block and public library, has been heightened by a new glass extension, which hosts a restaurant and club accessed via a bubble-like external elevator. Tasked with creating its 266 rooms and public areas, American interior designer Shawn Hausman was equally enthused by the venue’s history. ‘There’s a lot of reference to the 1960s and 70s in The Standard’s hotels, but this was one of the first times we’ve actually had a property from that period. The architecture plays an important part in the rooms and their identities.’ standardhotels.com


The Stratford Hotel in London
The Stratford, photography Rich Stapleton

London is renowned for integrating the most inventive modern shapes into its heritage-listed skyline, and this shiny new 42-storey tower, rising out of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is no exception. Designed by SOM, the architects behind the Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Centre, the building’s hotel comprises 145 rooms. There’s lots to love, not least the refined interiors by SpaceCopenhagen – the studio also created the look for Allegra, a new restaurant by the ex-Chiltern Firehouse chef Patrick Powell. thestratford.com


Eclectic and elegant, this 13-room hotel exemplifies British eccentricity. The four-poster beds are draped in Union Jacks and the walls are candy-striped, but somehow it’s all still cool. Famous for its cocktails, the hotel bar’s style is a cross between the world of Alice in Wonderland and a flea market, while, if you fancy exploring the real world outside, Brompton bikes are available. thezettertownhouse.com



Hotel Urban hotel in Madrid
Hotel Urban

Just a five minute walk from Madrid’s historic Puerta del Sol district, this hotel’s striking steel-and-glass façade draws you into the modern yet art deco-inspired interior, which features black Zimbabwean stone panelling, as well as brass and chrome accents. The hotel’s president, an avid traveller of the Asia-Pacific, shares his valuable collection of art and artefacts on the lower-ground floor. hotelurban.com


In the heart of Madrid, next to the leafy expanse of Oeste Park, Plaza España Skyline is part of the Be Mate brand, a spin-off of the boutique Room Mate Group. The concept was to create places with business travellers in mind, but these 36 apartments make our list for providing a stylish alternative to a standard hotel stay. Think subtle scandi styling and plenty of natural materials, such as leather, linen and wood, as a backdrop to furniture upholstered with pops of colour. room-matehotels.com



Bulgari hotel in Milan
Bulgari Hotel

If you’re in the Italian fashion capital, a stay at the iconic jewellery brand’s original chic boutique hotel makes sense. And more so when you discover its spa – with golden steps and Moroccan treatments – and that the 58-room property (above) has a serene garden designed by landscape architect Sophie Agata. Having opened in 2004, away from the shops of Montenapoleone, it has recently had an update, with new linen wallpaper, furnishings and art. bulgarihotels.com


Straf Hotel in Milan

Just metres from the Duomo, this industrial,64-room hotel in the heart of Milan actually started its life as an 18th-century palazzo.The concept of architect Vincenzo de Cotiis, its minimalist interior (above) combines black slate and cement with mirrored glass and oxidised brass, while artworks made from recycled materials add pleasing shapes and colour throughout. The street-level bar hosts fashion and art shows, plus live music. straf.it



Brach hotel in Paris

Crammed with art and collectables, Philippe Starck’s reinvention of a rundown mail sorting centre in the cool 16th arrondissement is a lot of fun. There are 59 idiosyncratically styled rooms and suites, and a look that brings together Bauhaus, Dadaism and 1930s design. Downstairs, there’s a Mediterranean menu, cocktails and tapas, a DJ set every Thursday to Saturday, and a pastry shop. Upstairs, guests can sip sundowners with views across to the Eiffel Tower. brachparis.com


Set across six floors of a Haussmann-style building in a quiet corner of the 9th, this 33-room beauty was designed along clean, minimalist lines by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It looks simple, but it’s all about the luxe touches, be they the Japanese-style marble bathrooms, complimentary Nuxe body oil or thick-pile rugs. Don’t miss chef Bruno Doucet’s La Régalade Conservatoire restaurant, with its cosy aesthetic, chalkboard menu and top twists on bistro favourites. charmandmore.com


Bar Josephine at Hotel Lutetia in Paris
Hotel Lutetia

The Left Bank’s only grande dame hotel, the historic Lutetia (past patrons run from Picasso to de Gaulle) underwent a total facelift before reopening in 2018. Jean-Michel Wilmotte was behind the stunning overhaul which was inspired by the golden age of cruising (see the navy and cream colour scheme upstairs) and, among other things, revealed frescoes in the bar – named for Josephine Baker– and added a spa clad in white marble. hotellutetia.com


Hotel National des Arts et Metiers in Paris
Hotel National des Arts et Metiers

Located on the edge of the Marais district, this 66-room hotel is a little clunkily named (for a nearby engineering institute) but is as cool as they come. Designed by Raphael Navot with raw, natural finishes –industrial concrete walls, oak flooring, terrazzo bathrooms – and an abundance of natural light and indoor plants, it also includes a buzzy standout cocktail bar, L’Herbarium, where the drinks are mixed using vintage perfume beakers, as well as an Italian restaurant and a yoga studio. hotelnational.paris


A gorgeous art deco frontage with wooden signage belies the heritage of this boutique beauty, located in a building that’s previously served as both a chocolate factory and as the headquarters of an exotic timber importer. Part of the MGallery by Sofitel portfolio, it’s handily located in the Bastille area, close to the fashionable Marais. Highlights include an elegant six-storey concrete staircase, the retro décor and rooms with roof terraces. sofitel.accorhotels.com


Le Roch Hotel & Spa in Paris
Le Roch Hotel & Spa

Not far from the Louvre and its tourist crowds, this sanctuary of luxe living is designer Sarah Lavoine’s first hotel. There are 32 rooms and five suites – four of the latter with private hammam steam baths – decked out in bold palettes of monochrome and her trademark shade of blue. Lavoine has employed some beautiful trickery with glass and light, as in the restaurant skylight, while facilities include a swimming pool with a waterfall. leroch-hotel.com


This 18th-century building (above) was once a high-end residence, but has now been converted into a hotel of some 174 rooms, all with vivid feature walls, chevron flooring, formica tables and Lampe Gras lighting. The Hoxton’s signature is its lack of unnecessary extras, but whatever you need they’ll happily provide, or likely sell in the on-site concept store. Meanwhile, the elegant communal spaces make the most of the building’s original spiral staircase and mosaic floors. thehoxton.com



Built in a 1930s office building, this uber-cool design hotel has style in spades. Its 38 monochromatic rooms feature polished oak floors and, in some, freestanding claw-foot bathtubs, while the bedroom walls showcase the work of local artists. The atmosphere is kept warm and welcoming in the communal lounge with a wood-burning fireplace, and the designer furnishings include pieces byPhilippe Stark and Eero Saarinen – there’s an in-house art gallery, too. 101hotel.is



JK Place Roma hotel in Rome
JK Place Roma

Fittingly housed in Rome’s former school of architecture, this 30-room, seven-suite hotel was designed by architect Michele Bönan. Former classrooms have been converted into boldly hued bedrooms fusing contemporary style with Italian exuberance: soft golds and greys here, rich emerald and ruby there. Slip into a four-poster and admire the Massimo Listri photography on the walls. jkroma.com


If you want to put down your bags in the heart of Rome, consider this luxury property from the Ferragamo family, just a two-minute walk from the Spanish Steps. Composed of 14 crisply designed rooms and suites, this townhouse is positioned for sightseeing, though there’s plenty to look at indoors too, with photography by the Magnum greats, as well as original sketches and work by legendary shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo himself. Join the well-heeled and take in the views from the ravishing roof terrace. lungarnocollection.com



Its location on the Nacka Strand waterfront inspired this plush hotel’s nautical theme. Red, white and blue hues, fresh cottons and whitewashed wood give a New England flavour, but the clean, scandi styling – and the views across the Stockholm archipelago– remind you exactly where you are. hotelj.com


Stallmästaregården hotel in Stockholm

This elegant building, tucked into a serene pocket of Stockholm parkland, dates back to the 1600s, when it was built as the city’s first inn. Today, it’s been given a new lease of life as a pretty and welcoming boutique hotel with rooms of airy classic ambience and views of Brunnsviken Bay. Original paintings and grand chandeliers rub shoulders with Tom Dixon lamps, while the restaurant maintains the property’s culinary heritage, serving up classic Swedish dishes. stallmastaregarden.se



The Aman Hotel, Venice
The Aman, Photography Daniel Herendi

A short stroll from the famous Rialto bridge is this Venetian dream: a grand hotel adorned with mirrors and Murano glass chandeliers. The walls of the bar and dining areas are decked out in Rubelli silk, while renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy has worked wonders on the interiors. Try for the ‘Alcova Tiepolo’ suite: it has ceiling frescoes by 18th-century artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. aman.com


A former grain warehouse converted into ahip hostel on the island of Giudecca, Generator gets you away from the city’s often overwhelming crowds. The décor is industrial chic – exposed beams and brick – but with the odd mosaic floor and glass chandelier (this is Venice, after all). Expect baroque-style sofas, vintage pieces and works by local artists. There are three private rooms as well as shared accommodation, and a 24-hour vaporetto direct to Piazza San Marco. staygenerator.com


Palazzo Experimental hotel in Venice
Palazzo Experimental

Opening mid-2019, this converted 17th-century palazzo (above), located within a thriving residential pocket of the Dorsoduro district, is the first Italian property from French hospitality brand Experimental Group. The restaurant and cocktail bar make the most of the sweeping outdoor terrace, and designer Dorothée Meilichzon has been respectful of the original architecture while bringing brightness and colour to the 32 rooms. experimentalgroup.com/location/venice/



Atlantis by Giardano hotel in Zurich
Atlantis by Giardano

Situated at the foot of the Uetliberg mountain, this plush hotel is a beautiful example of postwar Modernist architecture. The 92 rooms once hosted the likes of Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones, and were later renovated by design company The Gallery HBA. There’s a playful use of fabrics and furnishings from Pierre Frey and Zimmer +Rohde, while wellness followers will love the Dipiù spa with its Ayurvedic treatments. atlantisbygiardino.com

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