Let your inner wanderlust run wild with these eight elegant hotels that embody the finest of European hospitality design. For more inspiration, check out our hospitality board on Pinterest.
1. La Dimora di Metello Hotel by Manca Studio
An indigenous volcanic rock, tufa, dominates Matera, Italy, but this incredible (and diminutive) hotel by brother-sister firm Manca Studio really puts the tiny town on the map. Municipal regulations were strict, so architectural additions were limited; each accommodation is unique and has its own name, Roman and female. Walls and arched ceilings carved out of tufa define each room. In Marina Manca's words, "It's a place that surprises with a rigorous and intrepid beauty.
2. Monverde Wine Experience Hotel by FCC Architecture and Paulo Lobo Interior Design
FCC Architecture and Paulo Lobo Interior Design commissioned sculptor Paulo Neves for an installation of 366 carved cedar grape leaves dangling from a 34-by-39-foot skylight in the Amarante, Portugal hotel's lobby—the project's signature moment. Against a backdrop of predominantly clear-finished pine, the colors are earthy, dappled with the vineyard's springtime green and autumnal russet, all Pantone-matched to vine leaves.
3. Radisson Blu Hotel by Graft
Constructed in 1902 as a gristmill (and burning to the ground following a 1980s conflagration), this Belgrade hotel by Graft aligns closely with the city's sobering narrative of destruction and rebirth. Greeting visitors in the lobby is a statement piece of stepped seating, whose organic curves descend from the rear wall to flow around a row of columns. Salvaged materials dominate throughout—a guest room mixes reclaimed pine with new wood wire-brushed and stained to match.
4. Hôtel du Ministère by Agence François Champsaur
"Art is what inspires me the most, because it's much less formatted than design today," François Champsaur says. Walls in his Hôtel du Ministère near the heart of Paris are pure Piet Mondrian, whose colorful motifs manifest in the exuberant red and yellow upholstery of Franco Albini's armchairs. Romantic artist-studio skylights let natural light flood inside guest suites.
5. Room Mate Giulia Hotel by Patricia Urquiola
Nestled in a five-story bank building from 1910, the Room Mate Giulia Hotel is replete with references to Milan, which also happens to be designer Patricia Urquiola's home town. Of the 85 guest rooms and suites, no two are like, but Urquiola color-coded them blue, green, or orange. Each contain counterpoints provided by vibrant upholstery on the furniture, mostly Urquiola's production pieces in combination with modern classics and custom designs.
6. Sobreiras-Alentejo Country Hotel by FAT—Future Architecture Thinking
An unexpected minimalist oasis in a fragile, savannalike, arid landscape, Future Architecture Thinking's Sobreiras-Alentejo Country Hotel emerged as a vision of founding principal Miguel Correia's model of earth-friendly elegance. Correia rhythmically scattered an irregular grouping of eight simple structures across 62 acres near Grândola, Portugal to let the landscape's trees breathe. A neutral palette, established in the lobby, extends to the guest rooms, where botanical illustrations from old science books allude to local vegetation.
7. Hotel Ambassador & Spa by Ali Tayar
The late Ali Tayar oversaw a sweeping gut-renovation of the Hotel Ambassador & Spa's two lower levels, lending an unmistakably Japanese aesthetic to the 1970s property in Bern, Switzerland. Red carries through as the primary accent, most notable in the powder-coated cylindrical ceiling fixtures angled over the bar and Arper Catifa 80 lounge chairs anchoring reception.
8. Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud by Jouin Manku
France's Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud has the distinction of being one of the largest medieval monasteries to have survived essentially intact. Jouin Manku's renovation honors the original priory, all creamy white tufa stone with Romanesque and Gothic architecture that is striking for its purity. The designers confined themselves to a mostly organic palette of wood, linen, wool, and leather, accented by blackened steel, all to maintain the serene atmosphere.