Here are 5 of our favourite boutique hotels as chosen by the World Privilege Plus team. To celebrate the cream of the crop, we takes you through the five European hidden gems that came out on top of our list. All with discounts for members of course.
Krakow has long been a creative hub and this art-filled “boutique style hotel in a fabulous city”, housed in a 19th-century, neo-classical building that was once the home of Polish painter Jan Matejko, is a celebration of all that. “A lovely cosy hotel with everything you need”, one floor is dedicated to Matejko, another to playwright, painter and poet Stanislaw Wyspianski and a third to painter and illustrator Jerzy Nowosielski. A highlight is in-house restaurant Filipa 18, named after its street address, offering Polish classics with a contemporary slant. Its menu is based on what’s available at the excellent Stary Kleparz farmers’ market just around the corner, which has been going since the 12th century. Even the cocktails at industrial-chic U-Bar feature drinks made from seasonal local ingredients. “Beautiful city, beautiful hotel,” said readers. They “loved it”.
(Doubles from £58)
Originally, the Hôtel d’Europe was a large private mansion built in the 16th century (1580). It belonged first to several noble families from the Comtat Venaissin. In 1740, the house was bought by François de Boutin de Valouse who carried out significant construction work and transformed the building. It then took on the look of a large hôtel particulier of Classical style. The architecture has barely been changed since then. The first important guest to stay at the Hôtel d’Europe was General Bonaparte, on the way back to Paris from his campaign in Egypt in 1799. Period decor and furniture outfit all 44 rooms and suites (Doubles from £58)
It’s hard to imagine that this “just lovely” Terence Conran-designed hotel was once a rather characterless 1950s youth hostel. A five-minute walk from the Vienna State Opera House and not much further to St Stephen’s Cathedral, this stylish, friendly hotel is a temple to classic modern Viennese design, with comfy, studio-like bedrooms with separate living areas, some of which have cantilevered windows with “gorgeous window seats” on which to stretch out to enjoy a book and a glass of something lovely (every room comes with complimentary wine). At the hotel’s relaxed Brasserie & Bakery restaurant you can feast on the freshest bread and pastries at breakfast and contemporary interpretations of traditional Viennese dishes for lunch and dinner.
(Doubles from £232)
Set in Seville in the Andalucía Region, 1.1 km from Plaza de Armas. The glass of cava that gets pressed into your hand on arrival at this “oasis in the heart of the city” sets the tone nicely. In the riverside neighbourhood of El Arenal, Hotel Mercer offers everything you could want on a long weekend in the city. “A true hidden jewel”, this restored 19th-century palace on a quiet cobbled street has just 12 sleekly contemporary bedrooms, two of which come with private terraces furnished with sun loungers and orange trees. After a day’s sightseeing, head up to the rooftop pool and poolside bar to cool off. Then move on to Maria Luisa, the hotel’s contemporary Andalucian restaurant, and drinks at cocktail bar Fizz, both of which are arranged around an Andalucian-style central patio.
(Doubles from £282)
It would be difficult to speak of Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas without mentioning the cove itself. Here, the surrounding landscape is formed in a stunning concave, giving the azure waters and resort on its shores a feeling of deep privacy. Agios Nikolaos – an arty, sleepy town in on the north-east coast – provides the buzz, while Mirabello Bay offers the glorious horizons and water-sport opportunities. You’ll find sands are white and smooth as silk, the sky a similar shade to the water all year round and the parasols open, waiting for your arrival.