If your European fantasies feature historic properties, new tastes and culture by the bucketload, our hotels are the places to turn them into reality. Make enchanting memories in 2020 by adding these lesser flocked-to destinations to your travel wanderlist
WHERE TO STAY: Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the fiftieth, Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana always delivers something new. Stay at the exclusive Antiq Palace and you’ll be amongst it all – the castle, river, squares and markets – in a luxury haven with a genuinely fascinating story to tell.
WHERE TO STAY: Gorgeous accommodation in Rīga needn’t be a headache to find. Metropole nudges the city’s most-loved attractions and delivers a world-class 19th-century base for your Latvian adventure in the centre of Old Town.
WHERE TO STAY: In the land of castles and mountains, it feels fitting to stay in a palace. Don’t do things by half – check into luxury five-star spa Hotel Royal Palace and experience royal elegance in a building dating back to 1883. This Art Deco wonderland has its own centuries-old thermal spring and even offers one-of-a-kind wellness treatments using 24-carat gold.
WHERE TO STAY: Montenegro’s capital, Kotor, is a time-traveller’s paradise. In the dramatic Old Town sits Hotel Cattaro – a boutique stone haven that’s been everything from a theatre to a guard tower in its previous lives.
WHERE TO STAY: Live like royalty at the five-star Suter Palace Heritage Boutique Hotel, a Bucharest-based beauty built between 1902 and 1906. It’s a luxurious masterpiece inside and out, from its elaborate architecture to the crystals, velvets, walnuts and silks inside.
WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Villa Astra in Lovran is an Art Nouveau masterpiece designed by Venetian architect Renato Renosco in 1905. Its revitalisation has been spectacular – there’s now seven spacious double bedrooms (seaview included), a stunning restaurant, outdoor pool, private beach and massage area.
WHERE TO STAY: Just south of Krakow – close enough to the city for easy travel yet far enough for serenity in spades – is four-star historic hotel Sierakow Manor. Peace-seekers will also love Palac Lucja in Zakrzów village – a 19th-century sanctuary in the heavenly landscape of St. Anne’s Mountain.
8. Czech Republic
WHERE TO STAY: Bohemia is a bucket-list destination for travellers craving a fairytale castle experience – look no further than Rubezahl-Marienbad Castle Hotel in the spa town of Marienbad, baroque beauty Chateau Liblice in the quaint village of Liblice, and Vetrov Castle Hotel in a natural park outside the city of Aš.