Explore our Most Fascinating European Accommodations Posted December 3, 2020
While often an underappreciated aspect of travel, great accommodations can take a trip to the next level. And on our small group tours to Europe, we stay in a variety of fascinating and unique properties across the continent. From the 17th fairway of the world’s oldest golf course to the shores of a sparkling Norwegian fjord, and beyond, these accommodations will open your eyes to all that Europe has to offer.
The world-famous Old Course Hotel sits adjacent to the 17th fairway of the renowned Old Course at St. Andrews, the spiritual “home of golf.” In fact, Phil Mickelson’s misplayed tee shot during the 2015 British Open came to rest on the balcony of room 130. The elegant hotel offers six dining options (including the Jigger Inn, golf’s most famous 19th hole), fitness center, indoor swimming pool, spa, rooftop hot tub, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms offer all modern amenities – just watch out for errant Titleists!
The Graffit Gallery Design Hotel was built on the foundations of the Center for Contemporary Art in Bulgaria’s seaside capital of Varna, and pays homage to this location with its second-floor contemporary art gallery. A handful of architects and designers collaborated on the hotel’s layout and aesthetics, and the end result is a strikingly modern building with a contemporary, yet homey feel. Amenities include a popular restaurant and café, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and each climate-controlled guest room includes all modern amenities.
Sitting in the heart of Matera’s Sassi, a historical district full of ancient cave dwellings, this 32-room hotel expertly blends old and new. Passageways cut into the rock, external staircases, and elevators connect all four levels of the hotel, while contemporary comforts and modern amenities offer a comfortable stay. The breakfast area, bar, swim grotto, and guest rooms all boast natural rock walls and ceilings, and each guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, Internet access, and TV. Please note that because of the unique nature of the hotel, room sizes and views vary.
Family-run for five generations, this gracious 172-room hotel sits on the eastern shore of Sorfjorden, part of majestic Hardangerfjord. The hotel has two restaurants, a bar, and several lounges; indoor swimming pool; indoor tennis court; fitness room; golf simulator; Jacuzzi; sauna; and solarium. During the summer guests can lounge in the delightful fjord garden (where composer Edvard Grieg’s cottage still stands), swim in the surprisingly comfortable waters of the fjord, enjoy lunch with a view (above), or explore the by rowboat or paddle boat. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
Considered one of the world’s oldest hotels, the Parador de Santiago de Compostela (also known as the Hostal dos Reis Catolicós) was built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1486 as a hospital for pilgrims. The 137-room parador is situated in the historic Plaza do Obradoiro, adjacent to the famed cathedral, and includes architectural flourishes such as a carved entrance façade, vaulted ceilings, stone archways, a Renaissance chapel, and four courtyards. The hotel features two restaurants and a bar, coffee shop, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, library, gift shop, and laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee). Air-conditioned guest rooms offer private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
The Francis Hotel sits in the center of the highly walkable city of Bath and occupies seven original 18th-century townhouses along historic Queen Square. Designed by architect John Wood the Elder in the early 18th-century, Georgian Queen Square wraps around its namesake park and makes up the first portion of Bath’s celebrated architectural sequence, which also includes the Circus and Royal Crescent just a short distance away. The sophisticated Francis offers a French restaurant, bar and lounge, afternoon tea service, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.
We hope to welcome you soon on an Odysseys trip to Europe, where the accommodations can offer just as many delights as the destination!