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7 European Escapes That Embody Luxury

Many hotels offer a hollow "luxury" experience, propped up by paid influencers on social media. These hotels break through the Insta-hype barrier and offer authentic luxury to discerning travelers.

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire (Forbes Four-Star)

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, may look like your typical elegant English country house hotel from the outside. However, behind its stone gateway and beautifully landscaped gardens lies one of the most incredible culinary experiences in the U.K.


Renowned chef Raymond Blanc established Le Manoir in 1984 as a successor to his first restaurant, Les Quat' Saisons, which opened in Oxford in 1977. The hotel, located just a 25-minute drive from the historic university city where Blanc achieved his early professional feats, is also home to the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. While professionals train here, guests can also take courses on a range of topics such as dessert-making, nutrition, bread-making, and dinner parties. It's hard to imagine a more gourmet place to stay. Le Manoir stands out among other country-house hotels that usually have two or three restaurants, as it has only one. Nonetheless, guests never complain, as this cherished place has been pleasing critics and customers' palates since the mid-80s.


Take a leisurely stroll through the extensive vegetable and herb gardens, the 800-tree orchard, and the mushroom valley to see the ingredients that will end up on your plate. On the 30 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside where the luxurious hotel is situated, you can find a serene Japanese tea garden and a water garden that dates back to the 16th century. It is fed by natural springs.


Thoughtful touches like in-room spa treatments and a range of amenities for children like Nintendo Wiis, kiddie bathrobes, and in-room toy boxes make a stay at Le Manoir as comfortable as it is delectable. While strolling through the gardens, don't forget to keep an eye out for the bronze scarecrow modeled after Raymond Blanc himself.


The museums and historic architecture of Oxford, the U.K.'s oldest university city, can be explored beyond the hotel's vicinity.

Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast (Forbes Five-Star)

Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast, is a luxurious retreat that dominates the hillside town of Ravello, offering guests an enchanting escape enveloped in old-world allure. Originally built as a palazzo for a noble family in the 11th century, this remarkable property boasts two medieval stone lions guarding the entrance, creating a historic ambiance that continues to attract guests today.


The hotel is only moments away from the attractions that earned Ravello its reputation as a peaceful haven on the Amalfi Coast. Take a leisurely stroll through Villa Rufolo gardens, which inspired 19th-century composer Richard Wagner, or gaze out across the sea from the Terrace of Infinity at Villa Cimbrone. For those who love outdoor activities, there's a range of mountain hikes nearby and plenty of coastal villages to explore.


However, with an inviting infinity pool, elegantly landscaped gardens, and a variety of dining options, you may find it challenging to leave the Caruso property. The hotel's rich history is evident in every aspect of its decor, from the medieval frescoes and architectural elements in the grand lobby to the 17th- and 18th-century details in the luxurious rooms and suites.


The heated infinity pool is something to behold, blending seamlessly into the blue sky and sea, creating a captivating vista. As well as the pool, the terraced gardens offer hidden spots to admire panoramic views from this Amalfi Coast hotel. Budding botanists can enjoy a private tour with the hotel's head gardener to explore the grounds.


For ultimate relaxation, visit the Wellness Centre, where spa treatments and massages utilize artisanal Italian products. For those seeking privacy and luxury, Belmond Villa Margherita is an extraordinary private residence within the hotel's gardens, featuring two well-appointed suites, butler service, and a private chef. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have enjoyed Villa Margherita's seclusion and access to Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano via Caruso's shuttle bus.


Guests are encouraged to feel at home with the resort's casual dress code, but smart-casual attire is required when dining at the Belvedere Restaurant. Gentlemen must avoid wearing shorts. Caruso is open seasonally from early April through October, so book two to three months in advance or more for the best room options during summer stays.


The relaxed atmosphere of this Ravello hotel welcomes guests of all ages, including families with young children.

Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice (Forbes Five-Star)

Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice, is steeped in Venetian history and proudly upholds local traditions. The renowned Bellini cocktail, created by founder Giuseppe Cipriani from prosecco and peach, is still prepared using the original method by their expert barman. With unmatched charm, service, and amenities, the Cipriani has established a legacy that endures.


Located on Giudecca Island, the hotel offers a peaceful escape from the urban bustle of Venice. Guests can indulge in top cuisine, purchase extravagant linens from the hotel beds at exclusive boutiques, and take a dip in the garden-adjacent heated saltwater pool, among other things. The well-kept estate is adorned with exquisite, locally made touches, such as Murano glass, Fortuny fixtures, and Rubelli fabrics.


The luxury hotel's discreet, courteous, and efficient service is evident throughout Oro, brand-new trattoria Giudecca 10, Cip's Club, and the pool. For those requiring extra attention, the Palazzo Vendramin annex offers 16 rooms and suites with a private butler to tend to every need.


At Cip's Club, guests can relish in alfresco dining while taking in breathtaking views of the canal and San Marco in the distance. Upon arrival via the hotel's private launch, guests are greeted by staff and escorted under a vined, flowering awning to the intimate lobby.


The hotel's gardens not only serve as a beautiful backdrop, but they also provide fresh herbs for use in their cocktails and cuisine. With the help of the concierge, guests can embark on off-the-beaten-path excursions, such as private boat tours to antique wineries, behind-the-scenes visits to artisan workshops, or an evening kayak tour of San Marco by moonlight. For a more romantic experience, guests can even have a private picnic during a gondola tour.


The hotel's heated Olympic-sized pool, filled with filtered seawater, is the only one in Venice and perfect for swimming laps. Though the hotel is slightly removed from the heart of Venice, guests can access the city center with ease thanks to the 24-hour complimentary water shuttle.

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze (Forbes Five-Star)

Discover a hidden gem just outside of Florence's city center at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. This Renaissance-era palace surprises guests with its magnificent restored frescoes, bas-reliefs, stuccoes, and silk wallpaper throughout the hotel. The enclosed loggia features a frieze showcasing twelve mythological stories, while the city's largest private garden boasts a 91-foot-long pool, fountains, an Ionic temple, pavilions, and original sculptures, including contemporary artist Ugo Riva's Il Paradiso Perduto. The Giardino della Gherardesca, an 11-acre secret garden filled with art dating back to the 15th century, is a must-see.


Enjoy views of the stunning garden from the two-story spa and reserve treatments like La Vie en Rose, a body scrub with silk gloves, followed by a rose oil massage. The hotel offers weekly kids' activities, cooking classes, Pilates sessions, yoga, negroni tastings, cocktail-making classes, boating excursions on the Arno, biking in the Chianti region, and more for adults.


The suites are equally impressive, with the Sangallo Suite's regal look featuring deep purples and a white-and-gold coffered ceiling above the bed. The Scala Suite boasts a fresco of angels on its ceiling, while the Royal Suite wows with art on the vaulted ceilings, frescoes, stuccos, and an 18th-century ceramic floor.


Il Palagio, the destination restaurant, offers modern regional Italian cuisine with executive chef Vito Mollica's touch. Dine under the antique vaulted ceiling and elaborate chandeliers with tiny lampshades or the stars, if you choose to dine on the patio. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, the hotel sets up a private dinner on the Ponte Vecchio's only terrace. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Arno River while savoring a four-course meal made by cChefMollica onsite.

Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel (Forbes Five-Star)

Experience the perfect blend of classical grandeur and modern elegance at Paris' Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel. Built-in the 18th century and originally commissioned by Louis XV, the opulent palace has been restored to its former glory with pink-hued marble floors, gold-trimmed wrought-iron stair rails, and high, painted ceilings.


During the extensive four-year renovation, architect Richard Martinet and a team of top designers artfully reimagined the historic building, incorporating contemporary artwork and furnishings while preserving its antique bones. The lobby boasts intimate seating areas with softly rounded, handcrafted furnishings and occasional fanciful features. The hotel's prime location facing Place de la Concorde offers breathtaking views of Paris' most iconic landmarks.


Beyond the luxurious accommodations, guests can indulge in pampering at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, or treat themselves to a haircut at the David Lucas hair salon and La Barbière de Paris barber. The subterranean indoor pool is a must-see, surrounded by residential-style furnishings and a stunning faux-rock wall.


Don't miss out on the impressive 40,000-bottle wine collection, including rare vintages dating back to the early 20th century. For an unforgettable dining experience, book a private wine-paired dinner in La Cave, where the collection is stored.


Rates vary throughout the year, with prices rising during major Paris events and holidays. Plan ahead to secure your stay at this fashionable address and enjoy all that Hôtel de Crillon has to offer.

Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco (Forbes Five-Star)

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco offers a woodsy way of life that harmoniously combines Tuscany's fine trappings - winemaking, natural beauty, fresh food, and multilayered history. The property is part of the UNESCO-protected Val d'Orcia landscape, tucked away just off the Via Francigena pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. Spanning an expansive 5,000-acre estate with an 800-year history, the resort features restored farmhouses and a charming strip of historic buildings that make up the infrastructure.


Owned by Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo, Italy's top fashion family, the couple transformed the estate from a borgo into a resort while preserving its origins and authenticity. The elegant Ristorante Campo del Drago serves up gourmet twists on traditional Italian cuisine under the leadership of executive chef Matteo Temperini. The Spa at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco offers treatments and products from Florence's beloved Santa Maria Novella pharmacy and top-tier Swiss brand La Prairie.


The property features Italy's only private 18-hole greens, dreamily designed by former golf-pro-turned-architect Tom Weiskopf. The Montalcino Hotel's main infinity pool blends seamlessly with the surrounding vegetation, providing a breathtaking view. Guests can learn authentic Tuscan cuisine by taking a class at the hotel's La Canonica Cooking School, named for its location in what was once the village rectory.


The luxury resort boasts its own onsite winery producing rich, red Brunello di Montalcino vintages, offering oenophiles an unforgettable experience. The winery hosts an array of seminars and tastings, but the annual harvest in September is not to be missed. Visitors should be prepared for an adventure getting to the property; a dirt road alongside wild-boar- and deer-dotted woods leads the way. The hotel's charming boutique sells a range of regionally made clothing and crafts for those looking to streamline their gift and souvenir shopping.

Six Senses Ibiza (Forbes Four-Star)

Stay at Six Senses Ibiza, a 137-room hotel situated on the tranquil northern edge of the island, and take a dip in the serene waters of Xarraca Bay. While the beach is stunning, sustainability and wellness are at the forefront of this luxurious retreat. The property boasts various sustainable features, including solar panels that provide 10% of its electricity, geothermal cooling systems that save water equivalent to 10 Olympic-sized pools per year, and renewable energy that reduces carbon emissions by 40%. Additionally, the hotel has its own farm where it grows organic vegetables and fruits for its restaurants.


For wellness enthusiasts, the spa offers an extensive range of treatments, from biohacking to alchemy. Multi-day immersion programs are also available, targeting everything from sleep to fitness. The property is surrounded by natural beauty, including beachfront caves overlooking Platja de Cala Xarraca and 20 acres of lush land within the resort.


When venturing out, guests can visit the local Sunday craft market in San Juan, participate in sunset drumming at Benirras Bay, or explore the legendary Es Vedra. Back at the hotel, the rooms have warm earth tones and dark wood highlights, with many featuring stand-alone soaking tubs. Book a Junior or One-Bedroom Suite with patios and stunning views, or opt for the top-floor accommodations with outdoor access via the rooftop terrace garden.


Visit Six Senses' 400-year-old olive press and agricultural estate in Santa Gertrudis, just a 15-minute drive away. You can take part in growing your own food and sample the fresh produce at the farm's restaurants and juice bar. On occasion, chef-led pop-up events take place on the farm.


In the evening, head over to The Beach Caves, a dining and relaxation area overlooking Xarraca Bay that mimics the natural stone grottos in the area. Enjoy sushi and Japanese-inspired dishes by NYC import BONDST, accompanied by live music. The fitness area features a yoga deck facing the sea, an outdoor boxing ring, and a modern gym with a packed schedule of exercise classes.


Lastly, don't miss the spa, which has five treatment rooms, including three couples suites, and a variety of relaxation areas such as a rejuvenating caldarium bath, sauna, steam room, two types of showers, and a hammam. Indulge in treatments such as the Dreamcatcher, a full-body massage followed by a bath to send you off into slumber, or the 528 Hz Facial, which uses a tuning fork for ultimate relaxation.

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The Haen Travel Guide

Browse some of Haen's most loved locations, popular client destinations and general bucket list properties around the world.

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