The best hotels in Europe
Answering that age-old question: Where should I stay in Europe?The best hotels in Europe
• The Best Hotels in Paris
• The Best Hotels in London
• The Best Hotels in Rome
• The Best Hotels in Florence
• The Best Hotels in Venice
• The Best Hotels in Tuscany
• The Best Hotels on the Amalfi Coast
Back when I was writing guidebooks, I spent a frightening amount of time touring European hotels.
Depending on how large the city, I'd see anywhere from two dozen to more than 100 hotels, a never ending process of badgering desk clerks to let me peek into rooms, bouncing on beds, turning on taps (hot water? check.), repeatedly opening and closing windows to see how well they kept out traffic noise, and furiously scribbling notes.
(I also spent an inordinate amount of time politely nodding at linen closets, hotel kitchens, conference rooms, and other bits of the hotel useless to my purposes but that overeager owners or managers felt it was vital that I see.)
Then I'd take my notes and my laptop back to my hotel (or a convenient pub) and spend hours crafting intricate, 300-word descriptions of the top 50 or 60 inns in each city, including laundry lists of obscure amenities and obsessive details on the decor, because this is what the guidebook editors required of me.
Not only was this excruciatingly dull, it was fairly useless to the travelers using the books. After having seen—and, over ten years of updating multiple editions of each book, stayed in—hundreds of hotels in dozens of towns, I finally figured it out. You don't need lengthy articles on 60 different places in Paris where you might spend the night.
Far more useful would be to know, right off the bat, the top four or five hotels where you'd want to spend the night. The places that offer great value for your dollar no matter what the price range—whether a $20 hostel or a $400 frescoed suite. Hotels that are really worth booking ahead for a room. The places where, having sampled them all, I would stay if given a choice.
People are always asking for my personal recommendations of where to stay in Rome, Florence, Venice, London, Paris, etc. Well, here they are: the hotel short lists I e-mail to friends and family. When I need a room—for myself, my parents, or my Boy Scout troop—these are the places I call.
These are, in short, the best hotels in Europe.