Top 10 European boltholes
Published 28/04/2013 | 05:00
Elizabeth Rhodes from boutique gurus Mr & Mrs Smith shares her favourite city hotspots
Romeo Hotel Naples, Italy
This hotel overlooks Naples' hectic docks but, inside, the impeccable art collection of owner Mr Romeo makes you feel as if you're wandering around a dazzling antique-stuffed home.
It's a sleek glass and metal hotel and spa in the heart of one of Italy's grittier cities, with Michelin-starred gastronomy, an aficionado-approved cigar room and on-show wine cellar. It's frequented by a Gucci-clad clientele almost as gorgeous as the views of Vesuvius.
Details: 83 rooms, including 14 suites and 10 junior suites. From €200, including breakfast.
Heritage Av Liberdade Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of our favourite city escapes – it's crammed with culture and full of restaurants and bars packed with personality. The award-winning Heritage Av Liberdade Hotel, situated in a restored 18th-century townhouse, is a picture-perfect powder-blue confection. Inside, the spice-rack colour palette, hand-painted tiles and antique furnishings (including a preserved apothecary stand) blend traditional Portuguese charm with laid-back luxe.
Details: 42 rooms, including one suite. From €136, not including breakfast.
The Rutland Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh comes alive in the spring, as it shakes off its winter cloak. Be king of the castle and stay at the Rutland Hotel, which overlooks the city's citadel and boasts a plum location, bold decor and majestic wining and dining. This boutique hotel's listed building sits pretty on Edinburgh's arterial Princes Street, with the city's best shops and sights on your doorstep.
Details: 12 rooms. From €115, not including breakfast.
ME Madrid Madrid, Spain
Proudly positioned in the city's bustling Plaza de Santa Ana, ME Madrid's dramatic 1919 facade belies the extensive modern reinvention within. Once a favoured hangout for Madrid's matadors, this tower-topped hotel is now home-from-home to a glamorous crowd of fashionistas, financiers and fiesta-seekers in search of fine food, knockout panoramas and an unbeatable central setting.
Details: 192 rooms, including 12 suites. From €159, not including breakfast.
The Zetter London, UK
The Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell, east of the city, is all about cutting-edge design, with the clever and ironic contrasts of modern styles that you'd expect from an establishment embodying London's eastside renaissance. The flamboyant pink chandelier that greets you in the lobby is a statement of intent, and the bold thinking continues throughout. It's a slick warehouse conversion for a stylish city break.
Details: 59 rooms, including seven rooftop studios. From €173, not including breakfast.
Schlosshotel im Grunewald Berlin, Germany
Built by the Kaiser as a gift for his lawyer (and perhaps his very delightful wife), Schlosshotel im Grunewald is a regal, refined palace set in a green sprawl of gardens, and styled in the past by Karl Lagerfeld. There's a fine-dining restaurant and an indulgent spa and swimming pool. It's a peaceful hotel, but the city centre is close by.
Details: 53 rooms, including 10 suites. From €239, not including breakfast.
Hotel des Academies et des Arts Paris, France
Situated on the same Paris street that was once home to Gauguin and Modigliani, Hotel des Academies et des Arts is a homage to the artists who once painted this part of the town red – and continue to do so.
This 20-room hotel is the epitome of Left Bank chic, but that doesn't mean it's shambolic – standards and service are every bit as high-end as at the city's grand five-stars.
Details: 20 rooms. From €179, not including breakfast.
Hotel Yasmin Prague, Czech Republic
Every shred of the decor in Hotel Yasmin is contemporary, with a unique foyer scheme of olive walls, silver lights and what can only be described as 10-foot tangerine-coloured cats' tails. The orange-suited check-in staff are super-friendly, and the rooms are welcoming and comfortable.
Details: 198 rooms, including 11 suites. From €101, including breakfast.
Brody House Budapest, Hungary
More than just a boutique bolthole, Brody House is also a members' club with a stylish bar, a sometime film and fashion-shoot set, and a hub of local creativity with a calendar crammed full of art events and book readings. The rooms (each named after the artist whose work hangs on its walls) are mini galleries, and the communal spaces have high ceilings, lots of natural light and original parquet floors; yet somehow the townhouse still has the air of a (very cool) private home.
Details: Nine rooms. From €70, not including breakfast.
Maison Moschino Milan, Italy
Maison Moschino hotel is as fashionable as it is historic, housed in Milan's first rail station, with haute-couture allure and deliciously avant-garde decor.
Coming from mega-brand Moschino, style and surrealism are to be expected: rooms are inspired by fairy tales and abstract concepts, and the restaurant is manned by a dazzlingly creative chef. Nocturnal types will love this hotel's lively locale – expect weekends here to be buzzy.
Details: 65 rooms, including two junior suites. From €152, not including breakfast.
To book any of these properties, contact 1800 812 925 or see mrandmrssmith.com. Mr & Mrs Smith's properties have all been personally visited and anonymously reviewed