Properties in Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Switzerland were voted best in their field by T+L readers.
Historic manor homes in the Irish countryside. Adults-only retreats along the Amalfi Coast. Ski retreats beloved by the jet set in St. Moritz. This year’s best resort hotels in Europe may differ in style, size, and location, but all share a common thread: exacting service and old-world grandeur, with the ability to transport guests to another, more civilized era.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Dramatic scenery also goes a long way toward creating a sense of adventure and escape — and this year’s winners have some pretty awe-inspiring backdrops. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and Carlton Hotel St. Moritz are both set in the postcard-perfect Swiss town of St. Moritz, Switzerland, home to emerald forests, snowcapped Alpine peaks, and glittering lakes. There’s also Il San Pietro di Positano, a celeb-favorite hideaway overlooking the Bay of Positano. It is the only hotel in the area with a private beach — let alone one reached by an elevator carved into a cliff. “The location is remarkable,” said one fan of the family-run property, which opened in 1970. “The rooms are fabulous. The service is fantastic. Get the point?”
We certainly do. The finest resorts go above and beyond to offer guest experiences that are authentic to their place. Take Inverlochy Castle Hotel, an 1863 Highland estate a few miles from the base of Ben Nevis mountain. Here, guests can try their hand at traditional Scottish-country pastimes like falconry, skeet shooting, and even sheepdog herding.
Meanwhile, the Six Senses Douro Valley, in Portugal’s northern wine region, places its focus on a holistic approach to well-being. Here, guests do aerial yoga among the trees; indulge in locally driven spa treatments (think lemon wraps with fruit from the gardens); and relax in outdoor meditation pods scattered throughout the forest.
Read on to find out what European resort hotel claimed the winning spot.