The Top 15 Resort Hotels in Europe in 2017
What do an Irish castle, a Tuscan estate, and a 19th-century Swiss icon have in common? By their location and the looks of things, not much — but each of these resort hotels prides itself on fine service and a rarified atmosphere. Perhaps that’s why our readers have chosen them as the best properties in Europe.
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.
As if you needed one more reason to visit Italy, it is home to six of the top 15 resort hotels on this year’s list. Set on 4,200 acres in the hills of Tuscany, Castello de Casole — A Timbers Resort offers 41 spacious suites with wood-beamed ceilings and terra-cotta floors. Many of our readers loved the fact that the hotel, with its expansive grounds, appeals to both couples and families. At its neighbor, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, guests can experience a cooking school and sip the resort’s own Brunello di Montalcino, while at the popular J.K. Place Capri, it’s all about the pleasures of sun and sea. One reader wrote of this 22-room hotel, which overlooks the Bay of Naples, “You felt like you were a guest in someone’s personal mansion.”
Greece claimed two winners on this year’s list, both on Santorini (another World’s Best winner, for best island in Europe). If cave dwelling doesn’t sound appealing to you, you haven’t checked out the likes of Katikies Hotel, voted the best resort hotel in Greece. “The rooms are literally carved into the side of the cliff, the views are sweeping, and the privacy of the terraces is perfect,” said one reader.
Should living like royalty be your priority, France’s Trianon Palace Versailles, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel offers a view of the former domain and grounds of Louis XIV, while Ireland’s Ashford Castle is set on an estate that once belonged to the Guinness family. Whatever your choice, thanks to these hotels you can be queen or king for a day or more.
15. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
14. Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Évora, Portugal
13. Caesar Augustus, Capri, Italy
12. Palazzo Avino, Ravello, Italy
11. Sheen Falls Lodge, County Kerry, Ireland
10. Trianon Palace Versailles, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Versailles, France
9. J.K. Place Capri, Italy
8. Canaves Oia, Santorini, Greece
7. Katikies Hotel, Santorini, Greece
6. Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland
5. Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland
4. Ballyfin, County Laois, Ireland
3. Mont Cervin Palace, Zermatt, Switzerland
2. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino, Italy
1. Castello di Casole — A Timbers Resort, Casole d’Elsa, Italy
At this 10th-century Tuscan castle turned 41-suite luxury resort, all you have to do is relax and sip wine, sleep and eat. And then repeat. The estate has views out over the hills, olive groves, and vineyards, and feels like a small fairy-tale village with a chapel, farmhouse villas (also available to rent), infinity pool, and spa. At the fine-dining Ristorante Tosca, you can indulge in pan-seared black cod with potato and squid-ink cream, or quail breast filled with green apple. The kids can grab a wood-fired bufala pizza at the more casual Pazzia. “The people inspire laughter and relaxation,” said one reader. “The food and wine delight the taste buds. The spa returns you to a peaceful state. Spectacular!”