The Kinsterna Hotel close to Monemvasia
A very unique place. The Kinsterna is a Byzantine mansion that was turned into a luxury boutique hotel with only 48 rooms. Located on a hill between vineyards and orange trees, overlooking the Aegean Sea and the impressive rock of the medieval city of Monemvasia. Excellent cuisine and many authentic activities to learn more about Greece's past. Fantastic staff that goes the extra mile to make clients happy. A perfect place to unwind, far away from mass tourism.
Highlight: Authentic Greek experiences such as olive harvesting and bread baking
Hotel website: kinsternahotel.gr
2019 Hotels Combined: Recognition of Excellence (rated 9.9 by hotel guests)
2019 Winner Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality & Lifestyle Awards
2013 - 2019 TripAdvisor Excellence
2017 Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year - Luxury Travel Guide
2016 Best Greek Green Hotel - Greek Hospitality Awards
Green Key Badge
Monemvasia counts amount the 10 most famous monuments in Greece.
My review: Kinsterna Hotel
Poseidonion Grand Hotel – Spetses Island / Gulf of Athens
This magic hotel is a true landmark on the charming island of Spetses in the Saronic Gulf, not far from Athens. You almost stumble into this bespoken hotel when you arrive in Spetses by ferry. Built in 1914, the Côte d´Azur style Poseidonion had undergone a full restoration in 2009. Very stylish interior. A beautiful garden with palm trees and two pools. First-class spa with ayurvedic treatment. Greek cuisine and hospitality at its best. I love the hotel-owned organic farm in Spetses' hills, a beautiful place to have lunch with the most natural ingredients. What else can you ask for?
Photo: ©Trésor Hotels
Highlight: Impressive architecture in the style of the "belle époque."
Hotel website: poseidonion.com
Accolades: Over the past years, the Poseidonion Grand Hotel has received numerous awards and recognitions. Here are just some of them: 2020 Platinum Award for "Strategy and intertemporal Presence."
The hotel's restaurant On the Verandah has received in 2017, 2018,& 2019 the Best Greek Cuisine Award from Athinorama Magazine
2018 Silver Award for "Contribution in local community" -Tourism Awards 2019| Guest Experience for Bostani (the organic farm of the hotel) in Tourism Awards 2020
My review: Poseidonion Grand Hotel
Lango Design Hotel & Spa***** – Kos Island
The Lango is a new, very puristic hotel (adults only) on the Greek island of Kos, close to Turkey, with only 55 rooms and suites. When I visited this place in June 2018, it had just opened. I love the clean, simple style, the stunning pool landscape with Balinese beds, and the excellent restaurant that serves a lovely breakfast. Lambi beach is close by, you just have to cross a road.
Highlight: The very edgy, puristic architecture and design
Hotel website: langohotel.com
Accolades: high ranking on booking.com ("excellent")
My review: Lango Design Hotel & Spa
Photo: ©Lango Design Hotel & Spa
The Margi Hotel***** – Vouliagmeni/Athens
The Margi Hotel is a small luxury boutique hotel in Vouliagmeni, an elegant neighborhood of the Greek capital and right on the Riviera of Athens. This lovely hotel has only 89 rooms and belongs to Small Luxury Hotels. The cuisine at the Malabar Restaurant merely is excellent. The atmosphere in the hotel spa is almost sacred. I truly enjoyed the beautiful scents, a delightful illumination, and relaxing music. The view of the indoor pool is simply excellent - and so is the underwater massage.
Highlight: Chilling in the romantic pool area with its Balinese beds. At night, this place is magic!
Hotel website: themargi.gr
Accolades: 2017 CNN TRAVEL: "The Margi Hotel's new restaurant allows chef Panagiotis Giakalis to raid the property's farm for the finest Mediterranean produce, before crafting them into a choice of gourmet degustation menus that set a new standard for contemporary Greek cuisine."
2016 - 2020 FNL Guide Award for the restaurants Malabar and Patio
Yearly since 1992 - Les Toques d´Or for the Patio restaurant (The gastronomic awards institution of Greece)
My review: The Margi Hotel
Palácio Belmonte – Lisbon
What can I say, this place is so very unique. It's not a hotel but a luxurious guest palace, located high above the Alfama, Lisbon's picturesque old city. Only 11 suites, all of them different and with lots of arts. Stunning parlors with the typical "azulejos", the historic Portuguese tiles. And it is all about history and culture in this heavenly place that is over 500 years old! A French landscape collector and his Portuguese wife turned it into a special place for the sophisticated international traveler. Not to forget the beautiful garden with a little pool where you can relax in the middle of bustling Lisbon.
Photo: Bathroom of the suite Amadeu de Souza - ©Jeroen Musch
Highlight: The unique 11 suites, all different and with lots of arts
Hotel website: palaciobelmonte.com
2020 Hotels Combined Recognition of excellence
2019 winner – World Luxury Hotel Awards
2019 LUX Global Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards – Most historically authentic luxury hotel in Portugal
2018 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List
2018 Condé Nast Readers' Choice Awards
My review: Palácio Belmonte
Tivoli Marina Vilamoura - Vilamoura, Algarve
The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is not an architectural masterpiece, to be honest. However, this five-star hotel has excellent amenities and is located close to Europe's most beautiful beaches. My highlight is the two adjacent Purobeach Clubs where you can enjoy lunch, drinks, and chill in a very edgy ambiance. The hotel has a fantastic spa and two excellent restaurants.
Highlight: The adjacent Purobeach Clubs
Hotel website: tivolihotels.com
Accolades: The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is an establishment complying with Health Measures Portugal (Clean & Safe) – Turismo de Portugal
My review: Tivoli Marina Vilamoura
Purohotel – Palma de Mallorca, Spain
This is 100% my style! Puristic, all in white, and a fantastic location in the picturesque old town of Palma de Mallorca, one of my favorite cities. The Purohotel was converted from an XVII century palace into a modern boutique hotel. Once you enter the hotel, you can enjoy music that is part of the Puro brand. My highlight is the spectacular rooftop with pools, chilling areas, and vistas second to none. As a hotel guest, you can also enjoy two Purobeach Clubs on the beach in Ca'n Pastilla and Illetas. Let's have a refreshing sundowner!
Highlight: the rooftop facilities with bar, pool and chillout area, overlooking the city of Palma
Hotel website: purohotel.com
Accolades: Rated as "fabulous" on booking.com
My review: Purohotel Palma de Mallorca
Gran Hotel Bahía Real – Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
The best hotel on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, right on the beach. The famous sandy dunes are not far away. Luxurious elegance, outstanding service, and excellent gastronomy in six different restaurants. My favorite is the Coco Bahia Lounge & Restaurant high above the Atlantic Ocean, with stunning views of the neighboring islands of Lobos and Lanzarote. Award-winning spa on 3,500 square meters and a modern gym.
Photo: ©Gran Hotel Bahía Real
Highlight: Coco Bahía Chillout – a relax area all in white, with Balinese beds, above the Atlantic Ocean
Hotel website: bahiareal.com
2020 Condé Nast Johansens Best Waterside Hotel for the second year running
This is just one of many international awards and recognitions the Gran Hotel Bahía Real has received over the past years.
My review: Gran Hotel Bahía Real
NYX Hotel Milan by Leonardo Hotels – Milan
Not really a luxury hotel, but design at ist best! The NYX Hotel Milan is located next to Milan Central Station in a beautiful area. Edgy design all over the place. Fresh interactive photo stations. A lovely restaurant where you can enjoy the best Italian food. The fancy bar is a popular meeting point in the evening. And yes, you can get rid of all calories gained in the well-equipped hotel restaurant. Thumbs up!
Highlight: the edgy decor in all rooms and social areas
Hotel website: nyxhotels.com
Accolades: Rated as "excellent" (4.5 out of 5 points) by over 5,000 hotel guests
My review: will follow soon
Suvretta House – St. Moritz, Switzerland
Although I am more into modern, rather puristic hotels, I also love this place in the majestic Swiss Alps. The Suvretta House is a chateau-like 5-star hotel that leaves no desires open. Most excellent Swiss hospitality under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Egli. Elegant rooms, breathtaking views of the mountains and lake and, of course, most exquisite Swiss cuisine. Grandezza Swiss style!
Highlight: Stunning, castle-like architecture
Hotel website: suvrettahouse.ch
Accolades: Member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and The Leading Hotels of the World
My review: Suvretta House
Hotel Bristol – Vienna
A real hotel gem opposite the famous Vienna State Opera. Lovely art-deco architecture and the charm of Vienna, Austria's capital city, with its glorious architecture. You can choose between very traditional rooms and modern ones, both are stunning. I enjoyed the Bristol cake in the hotel restaurant (who counts calories?) and the gym on top of the hotel with a stunning view of the Vienna State Opera. The Hotel Bristol Vienna is a Luxury Collection Hotel.
Photo: ©Bristol Hotel
Highlight: the excellent location just opposite the National State Opera of Vienna with breathtaking views
Hotel website: marriott.com
Accolades: 4.6 out of 5.0 - 93% of guests recommend this hotel
My review: Bristol Hotel
Das Central – Sölden
This award-winning 5-star hotel in one of Austria's leading ski resorts combines casual luxury with an alpine lifestyle. Ideally located in downtown Sölden, Das Central offers gourmet cuisine, an excellent spa and gym, and breathtaking views of the Austrian Alps. A perfect hideaway for all seasons.
Photo: ©Das Central
Highlight: The restaurant ICE Q on 3,048 meters is offering breathtaking views and excellent food and wines. This stylish place is next to 007 Elements, a globally unique James Bond cinematic installation, situated above 3050m, which provides inspiration and insight into the filming of a James Bond movie!
Hotel website: central-soelden.com
Gault Millau 2020: 3 toques & One of the best luxury hotels in Austria
Harper's Bazaar Travel Guide 2019: The 100 most exceptional experiences in the world
Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Award 2018: Top 25 Luxury Hotels – Austria
My review: Das Central
Das Kranzbach – Klais, Germany
This is one of my hotel favorites in Germany. I have visited Das Kranzbach in summer and winter – and both seasons are perfect if you look for a real high-end hideaway. Here it's all about well-being. Das Kranzbach is located on a meadow, surrounded by Germany's highest mountains in the Alps. Nature where ever you look. Fantastic facilities with gym, spa, and pools. I also love the modern meditation house in the forest close by and, of course, the excellent cuisine.
Highlight: The Onsen, a Japanese swimming-pool with warm water. You can even have a little swim when it's pretty cold outside.
Hotel website: daskranzbach.de
Accolades: Relax Guide 2020: 4 lilies, 20 points – highest possible marks. Das Kranzbach is among the four best hotels in Germany, according to this German wellness guide. Many other awards and recognitions which you will find on their homepage.
My review: Das Kranzbach
The Charles - Munich
One of my favorite city hotels for sure. Excellent location in downtown Munich (not far from the central station). Elegant architecture and design. First-class spa and the longest hotel swimming-pool in Munich. "The Charles" belongs to Rocco Forte Hotels, one of the most exclusive hotel brands globally.
Highlight: Longest hotel pool in Munich
Hotel website: Roccofortehotels.com
Accolades: Rocco Forte Hotels
TOP HOTEL BRANDS IN THE WORLD
TRAVEL+LEISURE WORLD'S BEST AWARDS
My review: The Charles Hotel
Brenners Parkhotel – Baden-Baden
Yes, this is one of Germany's best hotels for sure. Located in the elegant city of Baden-Baden, next to the spectacular Black Forest. A very traditional 5-star hotel with a stunning service. Outstanding spa on 5,000 square meters. I stayed at the modern Villa Stephanie that was built for wellness-conscious clients. One of the most indoor swimming-pools I have ever seen in a hotel. A modern gym and various health facilities where you can improve your fitness. Needless to say that the cuisine is also top-notch.
Photo: ©Oetker Collection
Highlight: the medical and sports facilities at Villa Stéphanie
Hotel website: oetkercollection.com
Accolades: # 21: Condé Nast Travelers 2019 Readers Choice Awards: Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in the category Destination Spa Resorts
And many more – have a look at their other awards and recognitions.
My review: Villa Stephanie at Brenners Parkhotel
Villa Kennedy – Frankfurt
Definitely, one of the best choices in Frankfurt, Germany's business capital city, if you are looking for something unique. A magnificent old building not far from the city center. Exquisite rooms and a beautiful patio which is a popular meeting point for luncheons and cocktails. Villa Kennedy is part of the renowned Rocco Forte Hotels.
Photo: ©Villa Kennedy
Highlight: The 1,000 sqm, award-winning spa with gym, indoor pool with a little garden
Hotel website: roccofortehotels.com
Accolades: Rated as "fabulous" on booking.com
My review: Villa Kennedy
Photos: ©Rocco Forte Hotels
Hotel am Steinplatz – Berlin
This exceptional hotel is an art-nouveau building dating back to 1907 (according to the hotel website the most beautiful in all of Berlin) and almost right in the center of West Berlin. The Hotel am Steinplatz is full of history. Even in the 50s and 60s, many celebrities loved this hotel and its bar in particular. Brigitte Bardot, German actress Romy Schneider, the French Latin lover Alain Delon, and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, just to name a few. The gorgeous building designed by architect August Endell (he also built the famous "Hackesche Höfe" in East Berlin) was then vacant for quite a while before a pretty rich Asian guy invested millions and millions. It was worthwhile – the Hotel am Steinplatz re-opened in 2013 and is definitely one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in Berlin.
Highlight: Modern ambiance, combined with the enchanting style of the 20s – only a perfect combination.
Hotel website: hotelsteinplatz.com
Accolades: 2018 – Travelers'choice TripAdvisor
My review: Hotel am Steinplatz
25hours Hotel Das Tour – Düsseldorf
This is definitely one of Düsseldorf's trendiest hotels. Opened in 2018 in a brand new neighborhood, this tower with 18 stores gives a taste of Paris. The 25hours hotels are known for their edgy design. The Düsseldorf property is no exception and has one of the best restaurants (innovative French cuisine) in town. Very funny: bathtubs on the room balconies.
Highlight: the rooftop bar on the 16th floor with a breathtaking view of Düsseldorf
Hotel website: 25hours-hotels.com
Accolades: Excellent review on TrustYou (4.4)
My review: 25hours Hotel Das Tour
Como Metropolitan Hotel
One of my all-time favorites for sure! A very puristic, high-end boutique hotel opposite Hyde Park. Stylish social areas with the latest design. The breakfast at the NOBU restaurant is served at the table and simply stunning. Healthy but, at the same time, delicious options. The edgy MET Bar has been a meeting point for celebrities for quite a while. And not to forget the first-class spa.
Photo: ©COMO Metropolitan Hotel
Highlight: The healthy but yet delicious food at the elegant NOBU restaurant. Breakfast is a dream!
Hotel website: comohotels.com
Accolades: European Awards 2018
Luxury Hotel and Spa - London
Travel and Hospitality Awards 2017
Stylish Luxury Hotel of the Year
Condé Nast Traveler – USA Readers' Choice Awards 2017
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 Winner
My review: COMO Metropolitan Hotel
Photo: ©COMO Metropolitan Hotel
25hours Hotel Terminus Nord – Paris
This hotel chain is so refreshingly different, and their new rather new property in Paris is no exception. The 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord has an excellent location opposite the Gare du Nord and is within walking distance to the famous Montmartre district. Fancy, colorful design, and street art all over the place. The bar SAPE has become a meeting point for "tout Paris". I really enjoyed the NENI restaurant with lovely service and oriental food, including many vegetarian options.
Highlight: Breakfast at the NENI Restaurant with a colorful style mix and excellent food
Hotel website: 25hours-hotels.com
Accolades: Excellent review on TrustYou (4.4)
My review: 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord de Paris
Some Hotel Recommendations outside Europe
Over the past few years, I have mostly traveled in Europe. However, here are a few hotels in North Africa, the Middle East and in Canada that have also impressed me:
Mövenpick Hotel Gammarth – Gammarth, Tunisia
Yes, this is not Europe, but close by. You can reach Tunisia by plane in a bit more than two hours from Frankfurt. The Mövenpick Gammarth is definitely one of the best hotels in the country. Not far from Tunis, it is located on a lovely sandy beach. Very modern architecture with a vast, beautiful garden. Perfect for relaxing! I liked the gym and, of course, the fantastic cuisine Mövenpick is known for. After all, it's a Swiss chain. Doesn't say that all? Don't miss to visit Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia's most beautiful village, and historic Carthago. Both places are close by, and cabs don't cost a fortune in Tunisia.
Highlight: the fantastic location one of Tunisia's most beautiful beaches
Hotel website: movenpick.com
Accolades: 2017 Travellers' Choice
My review: Mövenpick Hotel Gammarth
Palais Bayram – Tunis, Tunisia
The stunning Palais Bayram is located right in the middle of the medina of Tunis, hidden behind beautiful gates. This wonderful place seduces with its historic architecture. Cabs cannot take the guests directly to the entrance, the alleys in the old city are just too small. The islamic decor is fascinating. The hotel has a lovely spa and hammam.
Highlight: The Blue Suite - Blue walls, awesome old furniture, and a gorgeous chandelier. The bathroom tub is another highlight – it is an old piece with golden fixtures.
Hotel website: palaisbayram.com
Accolades: 2017 Excellence Award – Hôtels de Charme et de Charactère
2017 Expedia Guest Rated Award
2017 Travelocity rated as "outstanding" (5 out of 5)
My review: Palais Bayram
Mövenpick Hotel – Beirut, Lebanon
The Mövenpick Hotel Beirut is a business hotel and resort at the same time. The hotel is located on the Mediterranean Sea, has 292 rooms, large pools, and offers first-class services. The restaurants serve Lebanese and international specialties. The chillout bar "Skyline" is a popular meeting point in the evening. Very nice staff!
Photo: ©Moevenpick H&R Management AG
Highlight: Private sandy beach with water sports facilities
Hotel website: movenpickhotels.com
Accolades: World Travel Awards 2017 and 2018 – Lebanon's leading luxury hotel
My review: Mövenpick Hotel Beirut
Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Dead Sea – Jordan
As you can see, I am a big fan of the Swiss Mövenpick hotel chain. You can hardly do anything wrong when booking these hotels. The Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Dead Sea is a beautiful Arabian-style complex with vast gardens, various pools (one overlooking the Dead Sea), lots of sports and wellness facilities, and excellent cuisine (no wonder, Swiss management...). And you just walk down to a private beach to have a bath (max. 20 minutes – and don't forget, you cannot swim here...) and put that fine mud on your skin – wellness at its best!
Photo: ©Nicolas Dumont
Highlight: The award-winning Arabian Dead Sea Zara Spa with breathtaking views of the healing waters on 6,000 square meters.
Hotel website: movenpick.com
Accolades: Rated as "excellent" by TripAdvisor and TrustYou
My review: Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Dead Sea
The Wickanninish Inn – Tofino/BC, Canada
Definitely one of the best hotels in all of Canada. A breathtaking location on Chesterman Beach on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Close by, you will find mystic rainforests, snow-capped mountains, long sandy beaches, and the wild Pacific Ocean. Heaven for cool young surfers (and a bit too cold for a swim unless you wear a wetsuit). Winter storm watching is one of the extraordinary experiences in this hotel – and so is the Ancient Cedars Spa.
Photo: Aerial shot of "The Wick" - ©Chris Pouget
Highlight: The Pointe restaurant with its 270-degree panoramic views looking out to Chesterman beach, the islands, and the open Pacific, enjoying a marvelous breakfast.
Hotel website: wickinn.com
Accolades: The Wick is part of Condé Nast's "Gold List," which includes 142 luxury resorts worldwide – doesn't that say it all?
Best Resort in Canada (Readers' Choice Awards)
Condé Nast Traveler's Platinum Circle (recognition for making the publication's Gold List over five years in a row)
This is just an excerpt. For the full list of awards and recognitions, have a look at their site.
My review: The Wickanninish Inn
Did any of these magical places catch your interest? And what are your favorite hotels?
Photo: Enjoying the view of Lisbon from Palácio Belmonte