Here is a subject that you will like, I offer you a very personal selection of the 10 hotels to do on the European continent in 2019. It is a very personal choice. You will tell me how he does to select that few establishments. It’s simple, I base myself on 3 essential criteria such as differentiation, exceptional and originality. A list comes out, a final cut, the last word. Many are classics that have built their reputation for many years, or new ones that have emerged and impressed with their quality.
- VILLA LA COSTE, Provence
- W LONDON, Soho
- DOMAINE DES ETANGS, Massignac
- BORGO EGNAZIA, Puglia
- AMAZOE, Porto Heli
- BLUE PALACE, Crete
- SOHO HOUSE, Istanbul
- FINCA CORTESIN, Andalucia
- SIX SENSES, Douro Valley
- FOUR SEASONS GRESHAM PALACE, Budapest
VILLA LA COSTE, Provence
A mosaic of pine forests, biodynamic vineyards, an artistic center designed by Tadao Ando and an open-air museum of contemporary sculpture. All scattered through the forest and the small pavilions of the architects winners of the Pritzker Prize Everything is there! And the magic in all of this is that everything blends in so perfectly with the terrain that at first you may not notice the exquisite 29-room Villa La Coste, discreetly built on a hillside, which has opened in 2016. The proud owner is Patrick McKillen, an art collector born in Belfast. With his team, he imagined an original place forming a geometric pile of rectangular suites bathed in light, filled with elegant furniture inspired by the mid-century, large posters, minimalist Asian marble bathrooms and spacious terraces with panoramic views. It’s amazing to have a moment there.
Road trip: Provencal art journey
I dedicate this Road Trip between the coast and the hinterland to aficionados of modern and contemporary art. Two lines of landscapes which inspired great artists like Matisse or Picasso… Continue reading
W LONDON, Soho
Located in Soho, W London is home to the epicenter of the city’s cultural center. Connected to the pulse of London’s energetic social scene, this is where Soho, stronger than life, mixes with the sumptuous West End. Tune into a contradictory RETOX / DETOX lifestyle in one of the 192 rooms or suites, adapted and started in a playful design with touches of cool Britannia. Mix and mingle with fun London brunch, original afternoon tea or innovative cocktails at The Perception. Energize FIT, then recharge at the AWAY spa. A real contemporary experience, to read here.
They are all beautiful but each different.
DOMAINE DES ETANGS, Massignac
Here, the charm operates as soon as you enter the 2000 hectares of pastures. This superb establishment has 29 rooms across its 11th century castle and farms, and fun interiors, with Matisses and Picassos hanging alongside Tintin engravings and telescopes. The landscape is to be explored up to the attic in the castle dotted with trunks filled with games for children, while parents can take advantage of the spa and the fitness area. At the end, the fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant will be able to inspire your taste buds. You want to know more, I’m talking about it here.
BORGO EGNAZIA, Puglia
This fake but fabulous Puglian village – at once romantic and exotic – has a film-set quality that’s lured Hollywood idols. It’s a magical, make-believe, candle-lit world, with a fistful of restaurants (one Michelin-starred), four pools, three bars, two private beaches and a sybaritic spa.
Things To Do Puglia
AMAZOE, Porto Heli
This hotel is a journey in its own right with a composition of black amphorae in an arrowhead portico and a sky-lit spa framed by graceful colonnades. It is possible to practice a balanced shala yoga on a panorama of the Peloponnese. The marble-clad villas look like miniature parthenons, only with pitched roofs and swimming pools. The recurring nod to the Acropolis turns to the pastiche, but everything fits beautifully because the landscape refuses to be overshadowed by the monumental architecture. At dusk, everyone drifts towards the circular terrace, which floats on a reflecting pool, to watch the sunset streak on the fuchsia and mandarin horizon. The beauty of Amanzoe lies in its isolation; the tranquility of the landscape and the absence of distraction are an instant balm. You want to know more, I’m talking about it here.
Things To Do Greece
BLUE PALACE, Crete
Endless views, crystal clear waters and a host of cultural and gastronomical experiences await guests at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa. Spend a day exploring the beauty of the island with its old villages, wineries and the ancient Palace of Knossos or simply enjoy a leisurely dip in the crystal blue waters of our magnificent private beach. Sail the coast of Elounda and around the relics of Spinalonga island, a National Monument, aboard our traditional caique. Discover unique dining experiences within five restaurants and select from a variety of exquisite Mediterranean dishes, traditional Greek specialties and cuisine with an international flair. Nourish body and soul with a signature treatment or just indulge in your own private pool, while rejoicing in a landscape of breathtaking beauty.
Road Trip Crete Off-Season
SOHO HOUSE, Istanbul
Already 25 years since Nick Jones opened h is first club of members in Soho in London. This year, an opening is planned in Rome, Tel Aviv, Paris and Austin. When the Istanbul Hotel opened in 2015, it confirmed the city’s status as a revolutionary creative force in a scene that is now bouncing back from political conflicts – the reopened cultural institution SALT Beyoğlu and the temporary house of the Istanbul Modern are both nearby. The building – an ornate 19th-century palace, all in marble and frescoes – is also quite disconcerting, and the rooms occupy a glass annex, decorated in the brand’s immediately identifiable style with a Turkish touch. As with all Soho houses, the advantage of staying is access to the members’ clubhouse where the cool crowd gathers by the pool, the DJ laying tracks on the call to prayer of the pointing mosques the horizon like candles on a birthday cake. Nowhere is the juxtaposition between the old and the new, the East and the West, no longer intoxicating, and staying here catching it at its most immediate.
Things To Do Istanbul
FINCA CORTESIN, Andalucia
The hotel’s avant-garde yet majestic design is inspired by traditional Andalusian architecture. Exclusive and luxurious, a world set apart, where traditional Mediterranean lifestyle is seamlessly combined with the latest in contemporary living: superb cuisine, impeccable service and an unrivalled ambience of peace and tranquillity. Built around two main courtyards of palatial proportion, the hotel boasts 67 spacious, light-filled and exquisitely designed suites which range from 50 to 200 sqm and which all feature impressive 4m-high ceilings.
SIX SENSES, Douro Valley
This beautifully renovated and reimagined 19th-century manor house is set high on a hill overlooking the vine-covered countryside of the Douro Valley and the river below. From the dreamily-designed and furnished rooms and suites to the expansive spa, fine and wholesome wining and dining, organic gardens and nature trails, this is where well-being meets pure joy.
Things To Do Porto
FOUR SEASONS GRESHAM PALACE, Budapest
Just by the architecture and its high ceilings, you will notice that the establishment has had an eventful life. Built in the secessionist modernist style in 1906, while Budapest was still the joint capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it became accommodation for Soviet troops in 1945, then was left to be slowly molded during the dark Communist years. His return in 2004 was therefore a reason for celebration for the whole city. The intricate mosaic floors were sided, glass domes and stained glass were revealed, and beautiful plasterwork reworked.