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Our favourite hotels in Europe (and 2 tips to book wonderful stays)

When we were preparing this post we both have discussed a lot. Which hotel would we recommend as our favourite? We have stayed in all kinds of wonderful resorts and boutique hotels. However, they all have something in common: the attention to detail and the relaxed atmosphere. Some hotels have the best locations, others have the best breakfasts, others have an amazing sense of place… But the ultimate question to choose our favourite hotel was: if our very best friends were to visit just one hotel for their holidays forever, which one will we recommend? Here you have the result followed by the only two tips you need to book wonderful stays:


Our favourite mountain retreat:

Rosa Petra Spa Resort: this boutique hotel is absolutely perfect. The rooms, the breakfast, the location, the spa, the restaurant, the views, the staff… Everything is flawless. We go back every year before Christmas and the experience is always wonderful, it’s a little piece of heaven on Earth. This has to be our favourite hotel in the world. Read our review here.

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Our favourite urban escape:

Here we couldn’t agree in just one hotel. For me, the best urban hotel we’ve ever stayed in is SP34 in Copenhagen. The decor, the understated atmosphere, the amazing breakfast, the REN amenities… I love everything about this hotel, it’s a gorgeous Scandi dream. And then again, it’s located in my beloved Copenhagen.

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But for her, the Only You Atocha hotel is the first one in the ranking. We’ve made this hotel our home away from home in Madrid and I have to admit that I love it too. The location is perfect if you want to do some sightseeing, the decor seems out of a cool magazine and the breakfast spread is impressive.

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Our favourite beach getaway:

We discovered the Belavista Hotel & Spa by pure chance but the moment we entered the premises we were mesmerized. We’ve been back a couple of times and we can’t wait to go back again. We even wrote a post with the reasons we love this hotel, so head over here to read it. The spa is incredible, the restaurant offers the best tasting menu we’ve ever had and the swimming pool is picture perfect. As we said before, we can’t wait to go back!

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Now onto the two tips you need to book the most wonderful stays:

Research: when looking for new hotels we always visit these websites: the Conde Nast Traveller guides, Design hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Besides, we google “boutique hotels in…” and read at least five pages. It may seem a quite obvious tip, but sometimes the best hotels are small or don’t spend lots in advertisement, so you have to dig for them. Once we have a couple of options, we read all the opinions that we can find. However, we’ve learnt to be very skeptical about these reviews and actually by reading so many reviews it’s very easy to distinguish between those which are real and those which are just exagerations or simply bad personal experiences. Just an example: sometimes you will see that lots of tourists from USA critizise hotels in Italy for the limited options for breakfast. We know that we don’t have to pay attention to it because it Italy an orange juice, a capuccino and a cornetto is a perfectly normal breakfast and it can be uttlery delicious. It’s all about culture and your priorities when travelling. Common sense, basically. But if a hotel is recommended by those websites mentioned before, we know that’s a guarantee for a great stay. On the other hand, sometimes a hotel just gives you good vibes or offers a special sense of place that you feel attracted to. Then our advise is: just book it!

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Book directly: this way you have a more personal experience and if someone is going to get an upgrade, that’s going to be you. It has happened to us a few times and it’s always a nice surprise. Besides, nowadays hotels offer the best rates and sometimes last minute offers in their own websites. Before booking, if you don’t find the right option for you but you still want to stay in that hotel, simply call or write an email and explain your concerns or requests. For instance, if the hotel has a minimun stay policy but you can’t extend your stay more than a weekend, get in touch and ask if they could make an exception. Chances are that you will have a positive answer. In this internet era we seem to have forgotten than we can call and have a nice chat!

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And a bonus, before finishing this post: check Conde Nast Deals or Atrapalo for the best prices and offers!



  1. I recognize the hotel in the last picture: the Hotel V in Amsterdam! I booked a room there after reading your article and will never thank you enough for writing about it.
    Donnie I’ll have to try the others too 😉

    • No need to thank us! We are so happy that you had a nice time there! We find the location superb, a walking distance from lots of attractions but also well connected with the tram. Now you you have to visit another hotel from our list! These ones here are our top favourites, but if you dig in our archives you will find plenty of recommendations!

  2. They seem all superb!
    Personal reviews can be quite tricky becuase you have to guess the mental background of the author as to clarify if their priorities/necessites are similar to yours.
    Booking directly seems a good advise!

    • Exactly! Every person has different tastes. That’s why we trust our gut sometimes.
      We try to book directly every time, with the only exception of Conde Nast Deals and Atraplo from time to time if the offer is really good!

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