The Historic Hotels of Europe Awards 2023 celebrates some of the continent’s most enchanting destinations, showcasing award-winning hotels that seamlessly blend the past with the present. From the cosmopolitan allure of Milan to the ancient charm of Plovdiv, these extraordinary retreats each tell an incredible story and offer guests an unforgettable experience, making them must-adds to your 2024 travel bucket list…
City breaks for history lovers
In the heart of Milan, the Grand Hotel et de Milan stands as an epitome of timeless elegance. Wander through its historic halls, and you’ll discover a haven where Maestro Giuseppe Verdi, who visited for 27 years while working on Othello and Falstaff, once found inspiration. Explore the vibrant city, indulging in world-class shopping along Via della Moscova and experiencing authentic Italian espresso in Brera. The hotel’s proximity to the iconic Cathedral of Milan and La Scala Theatre adds cultural richness to its historic charm.
Hotel Stefanie, Austria’s oldest hotel, invites guests to immerse themselves in imperial grandeur in the heart of Vienna. Stroll through the city’s historic first district, home to St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Indulge in traditional Viennese pastries at Café Central and witness the artistry of Klimt and Schiele at the Belvedere Palace. Hotel Stefanie seamlessly blends the splendour of the past with the vibrancy of contemporary Vienna.
Meanwhile, on the vibrant streets of Cork, The Metropole Hotel weaves modern luxury into its 19th-century heritage, providing an ideal base to explore Ireland’s charming city. Roam through the historic English Market, where local vendors showcase the region’s culinary delights. Wander along the River Lee and discover the city’s artistic side in the Crawford Art Gallery. The Metropole Hotel invites you to experience the lively spirit of Cork while surrounded by historic elegance.
Enchanting castle retreats
Chateau Liblice, nestled in the heart of the Czech Republic, welcomes guests to a realm of fairytale castles and scenic beauty. Explore the medieval town of Mělník, perched at the confluence of the Vltava and Labe rivers. Or take a day trip to Prague and enjoy a cruise along the Vltava River, passing by historic landmarks such as Charles Bridge in Prague. Chateau Liblice offers a charming escape into Czech history amid picturesque landscapes.
Across the rolling hills of Tuscany, Castello di Gargonza invites you to explore medieval history while enjoying the serenity of the Italian countryside. Wander through the charming streets of nearby Arezzo, where the Piazza Grande hosts a monthly antique fair. Immerse yourself in the artistic legacy of Tuscany at the Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo. Castello di Gargonza is a timeless retreat surrounded by the beauty of rural Italy.
In Switzerland, Chateau Salavaux stands proudly in the heart of the Three Lakes region, offering a picturesque escape where the charm of the past meets the tranquillity of the present. Explore the historic Old Town of Murten, stroll along the lake promenade, and savour Swiss chocolates at local confectioneries. Chateau Salavaux invites you to experience the peaceful serenity of the Swiss lakeside while surrounded by the rich history of the region.
Lose yourself in the countryside
Phillipshaugen Lodge in Norway captures the essence of Scandinavian hospitality, surrounded by fjords and mountains. Embark on a scenic day out in the nearby Øksendalsøra Nature Reserve, just 4km away. Day trippers can explore the charming village of Lom, known for its historic stave church and traditional wooden houses. Phillipshaugen Lodge offers a serene escape amid the breathtaking landscapes of Norway.
Renvyle House Hotel on Ireland’s Atlantic Connemara coast invites guests to unwind in a historic manor amid rugged landscapes. Explore the breathtaking Connemara National Park, and discover the historic Kylemore Abbey. Renvyle House Hotel provides a tranquil haven where the beauty of the Irish countryside meets the warmth of traditional hospitality.
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Hotel Falken, located in the picture-perfect, car-free alpine village of Wengen, provides a cosy retreat in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Climb the nearby Schilthorn, where one of the first James Bond movies was filmed and, with snow-covered slopes only a few hundred metres from our door, you can ski in and out in the winter months. Make a visit to St. Beatus Caves, and don’t forget to savour the region’s renowned cuisine. Hotel Falken invites you to experience the timeless charm of the Swiss countryside, where nature and history converge.
Palazzo Tiglio in Italy invites diners to indulge in the flavours of Tuscan cuisine within its historic walls. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the magnificent lush valleys of Valdambra, the menus here are inspired by the seasons and embrace the best of Italian ingredients. Palazzo Tiglio offers a culinary retreat in the heart of a city steeped in artistic and gastronomic traditions.
Avli Lounge Apartments in Crete combines Greek hospitality with culinary excellence, creating a sensory journey. Relax in the alfresco dining space — where a stone archway leads into a lush terrace, in which diners sample Cretan specialities under the sun. Along with exemplary food, they also have a wine cellar with more than 460 different vintage wines to swish, sniff and sip. Avli Lounge Apartments invites you to indulge in the rich flavours of Crete while surrounded by the island’s timeless beauty.
Sieraków Manor in Poland offers a taste of Polish tradition, with its historic setting complemented by locally inspired gastronomy. Traditional recipes interpreted in a new way are on the menu here. And with the vibrant city of Krakow just 30 minutes away, Sieraków Manor combines culinary excellence with the allure of Polish history, creating a gastronomic experience in the heart of Poland.
Ireland’s Park Hotel Kenmare offers a wellness sanctuary on the Ring of Kerry, surrounded by unforgettable landscapes. Explore the scenic beauty of Killarney National Park, indulge in spa treatments at the five-star spa, and chill out in the unparalleled beauty of Ireland’s southwest coast. Park Hotel Kenmare invites you to rejuvenate both body and soul in a historic setting.
Hotel Waldhaus perched on a hillside in an alpine forest overlooking the fairytale village of Sils Maria, provides guests with a wellness retreat amid stunning mountain landscapes. Embrace the outdoors with alpine hikes, unwind in the hotel’s alpine spa, and explore the charm of nearby St. Moritz. Hotel Waldhaus invites you to rejuvenate amid the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps, where wellness meets alpine elegance.
Hotel Angelo Engel in South Tyrol, Italy, combines wellness with alpine charm. The spa area here features a Tyrolean-style sauna, outdoor sauna hut, mountain pine steam bath and a cosy herbal sauna. Experience glorious Val Gardena and the stunning Italian Dolomites, explore the quaint villages of the region and indulge in South Tyrolean cuisine. Hotel Angelo Engel offers a wellness escape surrounded by the natural beauty of the Italian Alps.
I do… dreamy destination weddings
Villa Bergzauber in Austria provides a fairytale backdrop for couples seeking an enchanting wedding. This striking hotel also has ‘earth houses’ as an accommodation option for your guests, and is located in Upper Austria. Experience the magic of an Austrian wedding, in this truly romantic setting where history and love converge.
Hotel Gino Park Palace in Slovakia captures the essence of romance in the Upper Váh River Valley, a charming tourist region with plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with your loved one. For thrill-seeking couples, choose from a multitude of hiking and bicycling trails, especially at Javorníky and in the Strážov and Súľov Mountains. Or simply spend some quality time with your loved one by exploring the area’s many cultural monuments and historic buildings.
Barberstown Castle in Ireland offers a historic setting for couples amid the Irish countryside. Explore the castle’s opulent spaces, stroll through the lush gardens, and exchange vows in a medieval-style venue rich with history. Barberstown Castle invites couples to experience the magic of an Irish wedding surrounded by centuries of charm.
Poland’s Manowce Palace is a five-star mansion overlooking the Szczecin Lagoon in northwestern Poland and a perfect romantic escape. From sunbathing on the shores of the lagoon to foraging in the woods, there’s no better place to fall in love.
Hotel Villa Cipriani in Italy offers a retreat for lovers amid the vineyards of the Veneto region. From its verdant green gardens – complete with a beautiful swimming pool – to its relaxing terraces and stunning views, it’s the perfect place from which to admire the Tuscan countryside with your true love.
Greece’s Kyrimai Hotel offers lovers a romantic escape in the historic Mani region. Situated right next to the mirror-bright Maniot Sea, staying here is both a relaxing and inspiring experience. It’s impossible to get tired of the views from the rooms or the sound of the waves – Kyrimai’s most romantic soundtrack.
Sustainable Luxury in Historic Settings
Greece’s Esperas Hotel Santorini perches on the cliffs of Santorini and offers a sustainable luxury stay amid iconic views. Explore the picture-perfect white-washed buildings of Oia, relax on the volcanic beaches, and savour the flavours of Greek island life at Esperas Hotel Santorini.
Ghan House in Ireland provides an eco-friendly retreat in the historic town of Carlingford, in the heart of Ireland. Here, you can relax in the peaceful landscape, explore the medieval streets, hike in the Cooley Mountains, and enjoy locally sourced cuisine.
Hotel Schwarzer Bock in Germany provides a historic and eco-friendly experience in Wiesbaden. Explore the city’s spa culture, visit the historic Kurhaus, and indulge in the rich history of the region. Hotel Schwarzer Bock invites guests to enjoy sustainable luxury in a setting that reflects the charm of Wiesbaden.
Portugal’s Hotel Britania is situated in the heart of Lisbon and offers guests top-class hospitality from the moment they arrive. A gleaming Art Deco masterpiece; this 1940s hotel is consistently rated as a top choice by visitors to Lisbon for both excellent value and service. It’s hard to leave this beautiful hotel but venture out and explore the colourful neighbourhoods of the Portuguese capital, visit the historic Belém Tower, indulge in incredible food and wine and take a day trip to nearby sandy beaches.
Allegory Boutique Hotel in Greece is an unforgettable blend of modern luxury and historic charm in beautiful Rhodes. Here, you can experience the true meaning of the Greek word philoxenia – literally translated to “friend to a stranger”. Enjoy the best of Greek hospitality while exploring the medieval streets of Rhodes, relaxing on the white-sand beaches and immersing yourself in Greek culture.
Dingle Benners Hotel is located in the unique, scenic town of Dingle on the southwest Atlantic coast of Ireland and experience the true meaning of céad míle fáilte (one hundred thousand welcomes). A shining example of world-famous Irish hospitality, it’s a perfect base from which to explore the rugged landscapes of the Dingle Peninsula and the rich cultural tapestry of Ireland — from experiencing the Irish language and one-of-a-kind pubs to the best of traditional music and top-class food and drink.
Norway’s Dalen Hotel in Norway is known as “the hotel from fairytales,” — and with its “floating” spa, jaw-dropping architecture, and exciting common areas, it is a magical place. With a distinct lack of modern distractions like TVs, it provides out-of-this-world service that aims to revive your spirit and restore your body. As you bask in the enchanting ambience here, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the wonders of Norway, from the majestic fjords to the vibrant cultural scene. Unmissable.
In the heart of the Italian Dolomites, Hotel Cavallino d´Oro is the epitome of alpine charm. Guests the world over have fallen in love with the cosy rooms and sumptuous spa (based in an ancient wine cellar) here, and year-round it’s the perfect spot from which to experience the breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomites.
Bulgaria’s Hotel Hebros is steeped in history and set in the fascinating town of Plovdiv. Located in the historic Old Town and festooned with antiques, this Revival-style stay is a voluptuous merchant’s house in Europe’s third oldest continuously inhabited city. Think ancient ruins, charming streets and tasty cuisine.
This collection of extraordinary hotels invites you to uncover the secrets of Europe’s past. As we celebrate the Historic Hotels of Europe Awards 2023, let each destination become a chapter in your own travel story, a tale woven with the threads of history, making these award-winning hotels must-visit additions to your 2024 bucket list.