Boutique Is Best: 5 Breathtaking Hotels For Euro Summer (And Beyond)
— Updated on 28 May 2024

Boutique Is Best: 5 Breathtaking Hotels For Euro Summer (And Beyond)

— Updated on 28 May 2024
Daisy Slade
Daisy Slade

From a grand manor set on a sprawling country estate, to a historic hideaway nestled deep in an ancient fir forest, these are the five elite boutique hotels in Europe currently on our hit list.

Manna, Arcadia (Greece)

There’s more to Greece than its islands and the Acropolis. Certainly, astounding and worthy drawcards in their own right, but if you wind your way past Athens, three hours deep into the ancient fir forests of Mount Mainalo you’ll find something just as wonderful: Manna Hotel. 

Housed within the warm stone exterior of a near century-old sanatorium — the hospital was once a refuge for tuberculosis patients — it’s clear to see how patients would have benefited from the clean mountainous air.  

The 32 rooms are generously proportioned, boasting high ceilings, cool tones, and local materials that work harmoniously within their bond-esque setting, enjoyed from every window in the building.

Specialised treatments, such as Mountain Power, are available for guests only at Manna’s wellness centre, a wonderful accompaniment to their subterranean rockpool — and the perfect place to decompress after a day spent mushroom foraging, horse riding, hiking, or skiing; while dining at the hotel is a tribute to local farmers and producers in a modern riff on much-treasured traditional Mediterranean flavours.  

Manna is a place for immersing yourself in the rugged and the untapped. It’s Greece… just not as you know it.  

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Estelle Manor, Oxfordshire (England)

Journeying down a manicured gravel driveway that could rival the lawns of most luxury estates, Estelle Manor stands grande, beautiful, and boisterous on 60 acres of exquisite Oxfordshire estate. For those wanting to live out their aristocratic fantasies, this “new-school club with old-school values” is most certainly the place.  

The Manor houses 108 stunning rooms, suites, and cottages — each a glorious gallimaufry of textures, furnishings, and finishes — where sunlight spills through elongated windows across four-poster beds, grand fireplaces, and velvet banquettes.

Guests should prepare for what can only be described as a decathlon of hospitality. Four dashing restaurants (helmed by chef Richard Bias), a year-round heated pool (at an inviting 25 metres in length), and a gym so well equipped it’s almost futuristic.

Children are welcome and catered to (in borderline excess), foraging excursions, mini Land Rovers, and a kids club providing endless streams of entertainment so mum and dad can sip their dry gin martinis in peace.

The Promised Land of pleasures for all.  

Relais Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany (Italy) 

For those who have dreamed of a treechange and a life on the land, Borgo Santo Pietro is that very dream realised. 

Though the scale of the property is grand, the vibe is intimate and welcoming, containing just 22 rooms within the farmhouse. Each room has been designed and decorated with a singularity you rarely see: custom-sourced antiques adorn hand-carved ledges, while the bespoke beds crafted by local artisans are designed to be slept in with doors ajar as the Tuscan air flows inside, over your private terrace and plunge pool.   

Supplying the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant with dairy is the estate’s own sheep, wine from its own vineyard, eggs from its own free-range hens, and honey from its bees. Nurture via nature is the ethos here, and the quality of produce and hospitality, as a result, are exceptional. 

Days at Borgo Santo Pietro are spent gladly. Choose from classes at the in-house cooking school, art or florist studio, or take a Vespa tour around the countryside and a dip in the River Mespe. Upping the ante, BSP also houses a helipad should you wish to take to the sky, or a 41-metre yacht ‘Satori’ should you wish to head to sea.  

AT BSP, an elusive mix of humble-meets-ultimate-luxury is met daily.  

Grand Hotel Son Net, Mallorca (Spain)

The audible gasps of adoration for Grand Hotel Son Net have been echoing across the hills of Mallorca since its 17th-century doors first opened to the public in 1998. Perched at the foot of the World Heritage-listed Sierra de Tramuntana, those hilltop echoes seem more akin to operatic crescendos.  

The beauty in every inch of this property is as unique as it is unparalleled. Rustic beams, stone floors and archways, as well as carved wooden ceilings feature throughout three distinct accommodations — the palace, the pool cottages, or the pool cottage house — which make up 31 guest rooms in total. The property is relaxed, romantic, and covered in Guggenheim-worthy art with views to match.  

Dining is an experience in abundance and freshness, lining the stomach for days or nights spent doing whatever you please. It might be playing backgammon by the multiple pools, trekking through the hills that Sierra de Tramuntana is so well known for, or a casual wine tasting of the Malvasia grapes planted on the estate some 20 years ago.  

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Château des Fleurs, Paris (France)

True luxury hotels are usually reserved for the big players in the City of Lights, yet Château des Fleurs is a true diamond in the run-down rough that is the plethora of boutique hotels in Paris. A block behind the famed and always busy Champs Elysees, look for the facade of planter-lined, stained-glass windows, and be greeted by a hotel that is chic, convivial, and intimate with just 37 guest rooms.  

Corner suites feature stand-alone bathtubs and panoramic views that sing romance, and a 24-hour concierge is on call to answer questions, organise itineraries, and simply be a head above the rest when it comes to politeness.  

Château des Fleurs is a sanctuary in the zoo that is Paris’ Golden Triangle, exacerbated by the in-house Spa by Omnisens and its checkerboard tiled plunge pool. Then, between reservations at Bistrot Paul Bert and Baron Rouge, order in at Château des Fleurs’ Restaurant OMA — a casual fine diner that brilliantly blends flavours from South Korea and France. Don’t miss an afternoon aperitif at the hotel’s bar and lounge, the best time of the day for people-watching. 

For more elevated content like this article on boutique hotels in Europe, our feature on the world’s most well-travelled man Fred Finn, and our conversation with Dorsia Travel’s Thomas Cahalan, be sure to subscribe to B.H. Magazine below.

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Daisy Slade


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