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Let’s face it: Whether you’re on a vacation or some other type of trip, it’s nice to relax in your hotel or resort after a long day.
The problem for some people, however, is that they struggle when it’s time to book that hotel in the first place. That’s because they often don’t have enough information and real-world feedback they can trust to make the best decision.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, here’s some good news. U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual ranking of the best hotels in Europe. What makes the ranking a valuable tool is that it’s based on a combination of awards, hotel star ratings, and user ratings.
“We believe this unbiased approach makes our rankings more useful than simply providing our editors’ personal opinions,” U.S. News & World Report explained in a statement.
“The travel industry has faced many disruptions over the past 2 years, highlighting the need to support and recognize hotels that continue to maintain excellent standards,” Zach Watson, senior travel editor at U.S. News said in a statement. “The 2022 best hotels rankings offer a dependable guide for travelers to use when organizing their next trip, whether that’s in a few weeks or later in the year.”
So, here they are: the top 10 hotels in Europe, according to U.S. News & World Report’s research.
Located near the world-famous Champs-Élysées avenue, Le Bristol Paris has been a landmark of its own since the hotel opened in 1925. Previous travelers noted that they were impressed by the hotel’s 18th-century elegant décor and spacious rooms that feature antique furnishings, marble bathrooms, and large windows that either face Paris’s streets or the hotel’s garden. The hotel also has an indoor pool that offers views of the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and Sacré-Coeur.
“Past guests heaped praise on this luxury property, describing their stays as ‘magical’ thanks to the elegance of the traditional, Parisian-style rooms, the delectable dinner at the Michelin-starred Epicure restaurant, and the staff’s attention to detail,” according to U.S. News & World Report. “From the concierge’s knowledgeable recommendations to the friendly demeanor of the bellhops, Le Bristol’s employees consistently impress travelers. While many note that a stay here is certainly a splurge, most say it’s worth it.”
It comes as no surprise that the 15 rooms and 25 suites at La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa are decorated in a “19th-century Parisian style that includes brocade taffeta, velvet drapes, herringbone oak parquet floors, antique furniture, and bathrooms made with both Carrara and Turquin marble,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s research. There are even private butlers. It should be noted though, that if you want views of the Eiffel Tower from your room’s balcony, you’ll need to upgrade to the Grand Palais Suite.
“Recent guests were floored by the personalized service available throughout the hotel, stating that every staff member seemed ready and willing to go above and beyond to make their stays enjoyable,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s ranking. “The two-starred Michelin restaurant, Le Gabriel, also received high praise from past diners for its seasonal French cuisine. Just be sure to make a reservation in advance since tables here fill up quickly.”
The Milestone Hotel & Residences, which in the past, was the home of multiple barons and ambassadors, is well-known for its staff’s attentiveness. “Past visitors were particularly impressed that hotel staff greeted travelers by name, provided personalized cakes for birthdays, and easily accommodated special requests,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s ranking. Visitors also reported that they were impressed with amenities such as candle turndown service and fresh flowers, as well as afternoon tea and meals at Cheneston’s Restaurant.
The location itself is also appealing since the Milestone offers access to Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens, and is a short walk from the High Street Kensington Tube station.
Built in 1228, Ashford Castle is about 25 miles northwest of Galway, Ireland. The fully-restored castle features modern touches such as a 32-seat cinema and a state-of-the-art spa, as well as opportunities for travelers to explore the castle’s gardens and even take a falconry course. As is fitting for a castle, the rooms have fresh-cut flowers, monogrammed bed linens, and custom carpets.
When it’s time for meals, travelers can choose from the elegant George V Dining Room, serving upscale meals; Cullen’s at the Cottage, serving local and international cuisine; and The Dungeon, serving traditional Irish cuisine. The only drawback? “Recent guests said that they felt like royalty during their stays, but they warned that even a few days of living like a king doesn’t come cheap,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s research.
The Four Seasons Hotel George V has a prime location: It’s a short walk from the famed Champs-Élysées — one of the world’s most well-known avenues. The hotel, which features 18th-century décor, received high praise for the staff’s hospitality and the comfortable 244 rooms and suites. It should be noted, however, if you want a room with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Palais Garnier, you’ll need to upgrade to a suite.
“Before you head off to explore Paris, grab a bite in one of the property’s three restaurants; all have at least one Michelin star and earn rave reviews from diners,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s ranking. “If you can only make time for one venue, book a dinner reservation well in advance at the three Michelin-starred Le Cinq, where contemporary French dishes are on the menu.”
Here’s one feature that sets the Cotton House Hotel apart from others: It’s inside the landmark building that used to be the Cotton Textile Foundation. Although the hotel was renovated in 2015, it still features a marble staircase and parquet ceilings and floors. When suites are upgraded, they include personalized butler service, or balconies or terraces that overlook the Gran Via business district.
“When you’re hungry, head to Batuar — named after the machine that pressed cotton — which earned high praise from recent travelers for its innovative tapas and award-winning cocktails,” U.S. News & World Report’s ranking explains. “Recent guests loved dining on the patio and appreciated the vast variety of gins, though some thought the prices were a bit steep.”
The first thing you notice about The Stafford London is that it’s located near Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and the National Gallery, so it’s convenient for anyone who has been sightseeing. Interestingly, the property’s accommodations are spread across three buildings: the Main House, the Mews Suites, and the Carriage House — although the standard rooms are all located in the Main House.
“Visitors also enjoyed the property’s food and beverage options,” according to U.S. News & World Report’s research. “An autograph-filled bar, a 380-year-old wine cellar, and the Game Bird’s Champagne Bar are available for libations, while afternoon tea and modern British pub dishes are served in the Game Bird’s dining room.” While wine tastings with the hotel’s sommelier may be arranged, they do come with an extra fee.
“Recent guests are in agreement: The best thing about the Park Hyatt Milan is its unbeatable location,” U.S. News & World Report’s ranking explains. “Situated steps from numerous restaurants, shops, and top attractions like the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) and the shopping plaza Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this Hyatt property is a convenient home base for both business and leisure travelers.”
The 106 guest rooms and suites feature Italian marble in bathrooms along with rain showers and separate tubs, as well as Tai Ping rugs, Murano glass lamps, and large windows looking out on the city. The property also features a bar and lobby lounge, an outdoor lounge, a spa, 24-hour fitness center, and VUN, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant famous for its Italian cuisine.
Located in the center of Paris just steps away from the Place Vendôme, also still referred to as Place Louis-le-Grand, and two blocks from the Jardin des Tuileries and its fountains, ponds, and sculptures, the Mandarin Oriental has a boutique spa, a 24-hour fitness center, and an indoor lap pool. Some of its rooms and suites face the courtyard, some look out over Rue St. Honoré, and others have views of Paris’s famous landmarks. Those rooms, by the way, feature large windows, 500-thread-count linens, and separate showers and tubs in the bathroom.
“Recent visitors did offer praise for the staff members, the expert concierge team, and the tasty cuisine and drinks served at the restaurants and bar,” U.S. News & World Report’s research found.
The Lanesborough, on the edge of Hyde Park Corner near Buckingham Palace, is known for touches of British charm, such as period furnishings and British-inspired artwork. Its rooms feature heated bathroom floors, 24-hour butler service, and some even include private balconies.
“But the highlight of this hotel is the food,” U.S. News & World Report’s research discovered. “Former travelers said the gourmet European-inspired fare served at the Michelin-starred Céleste is just as delectable as the restaurant’s dining room is beautiful.” And, of course, the hotel also serves finger sandwiches and scones during its traditional afternoon tea.
While you’re thinking about traveling, be sure to check out all of our Europe coverage, including France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
For more help finding the perfection hotels and resorts, check out all of our coverage:
Jim Fulcher has been a writer and editor his entire career. In addition to writing, he also enjoys traveling–particularly in an RV. Over the course of numerous trips, Jim has driven an RV through West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. His favorite national park is Yellowstone, which he has visited three times.