Europe’s Best Beds

One of the biggest time consumers of trip planning is often where to stay. While this article may not help you find the best actual beds in Europe (though they do often tend to come with the nice hotels) perhaps it will provide a ?go to? list to ease all the searching. I have visited these hotels personally as well as sent clients to them and we have all been pleased! This list is by no means a budget hotel list, so it might not get you the ?cheapest deal?, but they provide great value – which means you get what you pay for, in the best sense of the phrase. As always, we?d love your suggestions as well so please feel free to comment with your favorite hotels, especially for those cities note haven?t covered here.

You may notice a large focus on Italy. Not only is this my most visited country, it?s also the country requested most by clients, so it seemed a good place to start.

Rome: Capo d?Africa – This hotel may not be the best location for the first timer to Rome, but I highly recommend it for those who don?t mind walking a little. It is probably a quarter mile from the Colosseum and slightly further from the Roman Forum and surrounding area. This means that to the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and other sites that are further out, it is a good walk or a bus/taxi ride. Still, it?s certainly do-able and all of the positive features, in my mind, outweigh the short walk. Most notable is the African motif, done with a modern flair. It?s impeccably clean, service is outstanding, the colors vivid and the rooms a good size for Europe (I actually had larger than a double bed)! For something a bit different if you don?t mind a short stroll, this hotel is fantastic.

Capo d'Africa Hotel, Rome

Florence: Plaza Lucchesi – This is without a doubt the hotel I most recommend over any other. It?s not the Ritz, but it is a solid 3.5 to 4 star hotel right on the Arno River, in walking distance to virtually every major attraction in Florence, and particularly close to the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. The staff is wonderful, the rooms are a decent size, I thoroughly enjoy a pre-dinner drink in their lobby bar and I simply like just about everything about this hotel. It has a traditional Italian feel – despite the fact that it?s a larger hotel they treat you like you?re part of their family.

Venice: The Kette – this hotel is a maximum 10 minute walk to St. Mark?s Square the central point in Venice. The hotel is right on the canal so to get there, you take a water taxi which drops you off at the front of the hotel. The only downside of this Venice-exclusive feature is that when the canal floods, the hotel lobby could flood. The service, once again, is optimal. The rooms are not huge, but it doesn?t really matter because it?s in such a great location, you probably won?t be in the room much.

Positano: Le Sirenuse – this is may well be my top European hotel pick of everywhere I?ve stayed. Located on a hill overlooking the beach, Le Sirenuse offers spacious rooms with everything from a jacuzzi tub to a balcony that looks out over the water. The rooms are simplistic yet not basic, the service is outstanding, and the location idyllic. It gives the vibe of a upscale beach hotel with a local flavor and small town feel.

View of Positano from Le Sirenuse Hotel

Paris: The Castille Hotel – This hotel is situated in an central spot, within easy walking distance to the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysees. It sits on a rather quiet side street, however, allowing guests to unwind without the noise and hubbub that is characteristic to this section of Paris. Service is top notch and the rooms are quite nice. Tip: Though the restaurant breakfast buffet is extensive, the restaurant is a bit expensive, so it may be better to skip meals here.

Prague: The Yalta – On Wenceslas Square, the Yalta is in a perfect location in the new section of the city. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, the square is a vibrant center for guests at the Yalta. If you?re looking for sleek architecture and modern design, you will not find it in the Yalta. In this case though, the hotel?s age gives it character that seems to perfectly fit this city that?s transitioning onto so many travelers? ?must see? lists. The Czech people?s hospitality is evident through the city and the Yalta is no exception.

Vienna: The Ambassador – The Ambassador may be the most luxurious hotel I?ve stayed in, or close to it. On a side street a few feet from the Karntner Strabe, Vienna?s premiere shopping street, the Ambassador is almost literally fit for a king – their rooms are even named for Europe?s royalty and elite. Don?t be mistaken though, the hotel isn?t elitist in nature. Simply put, you don?t have to be royalty, but if you want to feel like it, the Ambassador is a great place to stay in Vienna. It?s also in a key location, which makes it a great choice if you only have a few days in the city. Tip: Some rooms are almost like a suite with an additional sitting room. These are the same price, so get one if you can!

Pedestrian street in the center of Vienna

Dubrovnik: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik – The main reason to stay here, in addition to all of the modern amenities and its service is the location. The Hilton is right outside of the old city walls, within which are the cities main attractions. It?s a bit awe-inspiring to be able to look out of your hotel window and look out walls that enclosed this city.

Split, Croatia: Vesitbul Palace – This boutique hotel is in what used to be Diocletian?s Palace. Despite its aged surroundings, it has a the amenities you?d expect at a 4-star hotel and a modern style all its own. What makes this hotel (in addition to the history of its location) is the staff. It?s family run, and the family is there round the clock welcoming guests, helping when needed and visiting at breakfast to give pointers for the best sites to see.

Breakfast room at the Vestibul in Split

Madrid: Hotel Meninas – In a big city like Madrid, the number of hotels seems endless, and getting a hotel with your preferred amenities in a good location can feel like a daunting task. The Hotel Meninas is a modern hotel that sits a block from the opera house and about a block and a half from the Royal Palace, one of Madrid?s main attractions. It?s a ten to fifteen minute walk (at most) to the Grand Via and the city?s famous sqaures. The hotel has a small restaurant open for breakfast, offers free wifi and as with all others on this list, fantastic service. It?s location on a side street keeps it quieter hotels overlooking the main squares, where I wonder how anyone can actually sleep with a city that stays up until 3 or 4 AM most nights. Tip: Ask for a room with a sitting room – these rooms are bigger and not all rooms here have this.


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