Best of boutique Europe

Looking for some classy accommodation somewhere around the world? Then make sure to check out our guide to the country’s best boutique hotels.

MALTA

CASA ELLUL

A 19th-century palazzo turned chic retreat in Valletta’s historic centre.

With its elegant, tiered balconies overlooking the street, Casa Ellul captures the traditional style of a Valletta townhouse. From the outside of this boutique hotel, it seems little has changed from the moment the Ellul family made it their home back in the 1830s. But step inside and you’ll discover a contemporary haven that celebrates this elegant city’s past.

Take in the tranquil central courtyard, gathered around classical statues and historic Maltese features, such as original patterned tiles. Then seek out your suite, where modern artworks and cutting edge design stand alongside original antiques and period features. Choose Suites 6, 7 or 8 and you’ll have your own private rooftop terrace – the place to take in panoramic city views.

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MALLORCA

BOUTIQUE HOTEL SANT JAUME

Set between two rather grand church neighbours, a church of the same name on one side and the convent of Santa Magdalena on the other, the façade of Sant Jaume is easy to miss.

This crumbling 18th-century mansion was fresh to the Palma scene in summer 2017 after it was re-imagined as a sleek, modern space. In the towering light-filled atrium, a blue-and-white installation by Spanish artist Robert Ferrer i Martorell tumbles down into the lobby from the glass roof on the fourth floor.

A revolving exhibition of local modern artwork hangs in the bar, where brass pineapples sit atop the geometric, polished-steel counter and house-infused spirits line the shelves (a must-try: the smooth pear-and-walnut old fashioned).

The stylish bedrooms have Juliet balconies and are minimalist in style: a relaxing palette of moss green, chestnut brown and stony beige with pops of copper and gold. Up on the jasmine-scented rooftop, there’s a plunge pool to dip into after a day spent shopping in the nearby boutiques of Passeig des Born and exploring the terraces of La Seu cathedral (its Gothic spires can be seen from the sunbeds).

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CAP ROCAT

A boutique hotel with a story to tell, Cap Rocat calls itself the Mediterranean’s most secluded and private boutique hotel, and it’s easy to see why: the fortress-style 19th Century property on a clifftop in the Bay of Palma is invisble to both land and sea.

Having been reimagined into a luxury, boutique hotel of only 27 rooms and suites, it blends seamlessly into its surroundings, which just happens to be a breath-taking protected natural area. The highlight is the Sentinel rooms, dug out of rock and elegantly finished with marble floors, private pools and al fresco terraces on the cliff edge.

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SANTORINI

CANAVES OIA SUITES

In the postcard-perfect coastal town of Oia, Canaves Oia Suites is among the first in a strip of whitewashed boutique hotels in Santorini that cascade down the cliffs, offering breath-taking caldera and Agean sea views.

A myriad of suites all come with the same whitewashed interiors, private plunge pools with attractive views and a careful attention to detail.

We particularly love the personalized pillow menu, luxury bathroom amenities and the Panorama Balcony restaurant with a spectacular dinner setting with only one table and far-reaching vistas.

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MYKONOS

BILL & COO SUITES AND LOUNGE

The gorgeous infinity pool that appears to drop seamlessly into the azure Agean sea below might be the initial eye-catcher of this unique, boutique property in Greece, but it’s not its only allure.

On the hedonistic island of Mykonos, Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge is only a few hundred metres from the hustle and bustle of Mykonos town, nonetheless it feels worlds away thanks to its 32 serene suites, some with private pools and sea-facing balconies and verandas. Not even talked about the pampering spa with two treatment rooms and gourmet experiential dining restaurant.

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TUSCANY

CASTELLO DI VICARELLO

In Tuscany’s idyllic Maremma countryside, Castello Di Vicarello blends traditional Italian grandeur with authentic Tuscan charm.

A real luxury estate surrounded by 40 hectares of organic vineyards, olive groves, and farmland, almost everything that can be sourced from the land is, with bottles of grape and olive oil produced on the estate.

This beautifully boutique with just seven luxury suites, two infinity pools and a small spa, makes it easy to feel like you’ve got the place entirely to yourself.

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AMALFI COAST

HOTEL MARINCANTO POSITANO

Colourfully built into the dramatic cliffside, Positano is one of Italy’s most sought-after destinations on the Amalfi Coast, close to Capri.

For a romantic boutique stay, Hotel Marincanto has been welcoming guests with the same hospitable Italian charm since the 1960s – something that makes their guests return again and again.

An infinity pool that blends seamlessly into the horizon, private beach sheltered by rocks and the classy restaurant that overlooks the sea makes the facilities stand out on the Positano coast.

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IBIZA

CA NA XICA

Far removed from the wild reputation of its lively party spots on the island, this beautiful boutique hotel in the Ibizan countryside is a celebration of the island’s natural beauty.

A collection of 20 spacious and stylish rooms and suites, spa reserved for in-house guests only and a farm-to-table restaurant serving the freshest Mediterranean cuisine are all elegant and modern, while serene views broadening over the countryside are a welcome reminder of the stunning surroundings of the island.

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PORTUGAL

CASA DE SAO LOURENCO

Soaring high in the mountains of Portugal’s Serra da Estrela region this bed & breakfast turned five star mountain lodge blends cosy, traditional character with modern textures and design aesthetics that include picture windows offering panoramic views of the glacial valley below. Not surprisingly this hotel is a member of Design Hotels.

Open public spaces include an expansive and impressive terrace, two indoor lounges and a swim-through indoor/outdoor pool at The Mountain Spa.

Tip: book a room in the original building for a more traditional feel, or one of the rooms in the extension for concrete finishes, partial glass walls and panoramic terraces.

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COTE D'AZUR

HOTEL LES ROCHES ROUGES

A mix of Italian and French classic. On the shorefront of the glamourous Cote d’Azur, this beachfront boutique sanctuary is a celebration of Provençal charm, that extends from the design aesthetic to the Mediterranean gardens and Michelin-starred La Terrasse.

While the 50 almost-identical whitewashed guest rooms might not make this boutique hotel unique, its 30 metre swimming pool does, carved out of the craggy rocks, lined with plush white loungers and offering direct access to the ocean.

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