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By Siobhan Reid
July 10, 2019
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The Best Resorts in Europe, as voted by the readers of Travel + Leisure (shown: Canaves Oia Epitome)
Credit: Christos Drazos/Courtesy of Canaves Oia Epitome

Europe’s top resort hotels are synonymous with old-world grandeur, exacting service, and over-the-top amenities. And while these attributes may conjure images of sumptuously decorated medieval castles and fresco-covered palaces, our 2019 winners prove that you don’t need a certain look (or centuries’ worth of history) to make a lasting impression.

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.

This year Greece took home the most winning hotels — five, to be exact, all located on Santorini. The Greek hotel chain Andronis claimed two winners: Andronis Luxury Suites and Andronis Boutique Hotel (No. 8 and No. 10 on the list, respectively). Both properties are set in the coastal town of Oia and occupy traditional whitewashed Cycladic homes that are carved into the rugged clifftops and overlook the Aegean Sea.

The dramatic scenery at Grace Hotel Santorini, our runner-up, in the peaceful village of Imerovigli, also earned high praise from our readers. “The location is private and romantic,” wrote one, “and offers the best views of the Santorini caldera.” Though intimate in scope (the property has just 20 rooms), Grace Hotel Santorini stands out with its minimalist design, buzzy restaurant and bar, and massive infinity pool (the island’s largest).

Italy, too, fared well in this year’s awards, accounting for four of the winners. The Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, readers’ No. 3 pick, draws families to a private shoreline on Lake Como, while Palazzo Avino (No. 4) is a honeymooner’s paradise, with its panoramic sea views, Michelin-starred restaurant, and private beach club. Borgo Egnazia, a 40-acre compound in Puglia, appeals to couples and families alike; parents can steal away to the heavenly spa or take a yoga class while the little ones listen to story-telling or learn how to bake bread at the kids’ club. “The best hotel in the world,” declared one reader.

To see which resort hotel in Europe landed in the No.1 spot, and find out U.K. spot edged itself into the list among these Greek and Italian favorites, read on.

10. Andronis Boutique Hotel, Santorini, Greece

Andronis Boutique Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of Andronis Boutique Hotel

Score: 94.76

More information: andronisboutiquehotel.com

8. (tie) Ballyfin, County Laois, Ireland

Ballyfin Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of Ballyfin

Score: 95.16

More information: ballyfin.com

8. (tie) Andronis Luxury Suites, Santorini, Greece

Andronis Luxury Suites
Credit: Courtesy of Andronis Luxury Suites

Score: 95.16

More information: andronis-suites.com

7. Borgo Egnazia, Savelletri Di Fasano, Italy

Borgo Egnazia
Credit: Courtesy of Borgo Egnazia

Score: 95.29

More information: borgoegnazia.com

6. Katikies Hotel, Santorini

Katikies Hotel
Credit: Christos Drazos/Courtesy of Katikies Hotel

Score: 95.63

5. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino, Italy

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco
Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood

Score: 96.00

More information: rosewoodhotels.com

4. Palazzo Avino, Ravello, Italy

Palazzo Avino
Credit: Courtesy of Palazzo Avino

Score: 96.15

More information: palazzoavino.com

3. Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Lake Como, Italy

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
Credit: Courtesy of Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Score: 96.33

More information: villaserbelloni.com

2. Grace Hotel Santorini, Auberge Resorts Collection, Greece

Grace Santorini
Credit: Courtesy of Grace Hotel Santorini, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 96.40

1. Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini

Canaves Oia Epitome
Credit: Christos Drazos/Courtesy of Canaves Oia Epitome

Score: 97.58

This all-villa boutique hotel may only be a little over a year old, but it’s already a Greek icon. Set high above the picturesque fishing town of Ammoudi, the property eschews Santorini’s prevailing whitewashed aesthetic for a stony, rough-hewn look — a nod to the island’s volcanic topography. The spacious 24 villas have cavelike interiors (outfitted with woven wicker walls and marble furniture) and expansive outdoor decks with private pools and views of the Aegean. “One of the few hotels on the island that has such enormous indoor and outdoor living areas,” gushed one reader. And thanks to its prime perch just outside the main town, you won’t have to sacrifice convenience for privacy. “The hotel is in close proximity to the hustle and bustle of Oia village, but you won’t have to deal with crowds peering in on your patio,” wrote one respondent.

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.