The 16 best new hotels in Europe that every traveler should visit

20/12/2019 10:08

Sleeper recently announced the winners of its third annual Ahead Europe Awards, which recognize the best new hospitality projects and renovations in Europe.

In total, 16 hotels newly built or renovated from June 2018 to May 2019 were awarded across 18 categories including best new lobby, best restaurant, and best new concept. A panel of international hospitality experts, including Marriott International’s senior interior design director and Hilton Worldwide’s vice president of architecture, design, and construction, chose the winners based on “the application of design and architecture to deliver great guest experiences.”

From eco-friendly sea cabins on a remote Norwegian island to an abandoned wine factory turned hotel, take a look at the 16 winners.

Ahead Europe hotel of the year and best guestrooms: Palazzo Daniele

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Hotel of the Year & Best Guestrooms - Palazzo Daniele

Located in Southern Italy’s Gagliano del Capo, the 158-year-old Palazzo Daniele earned two distinctions: best guesthouses and hotel of the year. The Milanese design team Ludovica and Roberto Palomba transformed the 19th-century property’s interior into a minimalist nine-suite hotel.

Best bar, club, or lounge: Soho House Amsterdam

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Bar, Club or Lounge - Soho House Amsterdam Club Floor

The members-only Soho House in downtown Amsterdam consists of 79 hotel rooms located inside a functionalist office building dating back to the 1930s. The Ahead Awards judges describe the space as having a “a real sense of place throughout which perfectly matches the building’s architecture.”

Best event space: Cinema Paradiso at Puro Lódź

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Event Spaces | Puro Lodz, Poland

Home to one of the world’s oldest film schools, Lodz, Poland, lives and breathes cinema. The Puro Hotel in Lodz’s city center took note, creating an event space that hosts regular movie nights and bears the name of the iconic 1988 film “Cinema Paradiso” directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.

Best hotel conversion: The Langley

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Hotel Conversion - The Langley Hotel

An hour’s drive outside London, the Marriott Langley is located inside a historical manor home surrounded by 150 acres of parks and gardens. Marriott’s conversion of the estate into a hotel resulted in what Ahead describes as “an opulent country retreat with a high-end residential feel.”

Best hotel newbuild: Mollie’s Motel & Diner

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Hotel Newbuild - Mollie's Diner

Mollie’s Motel & Diner, a Soho House project located in Buckland, England, is modeled after a 1950s American diner and even features a drive-thru. Ahead judges praised Mollie’s for its “quality and simplicity,” noting that it had become a favorite local haunt.

Best hotel renovation and restoration: Heckfield Place

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Hotel Renovation & Restoration - Heckfield Place

Located in Hampshire, England, Heckfield Place consists of a working farm and a 46-room Georgian estate dating back to the 18th century. The architectural firm Spratley & Partners restored the property, collaborating with the interior-design team BWT London.

Best landscaping and outdoor spaces: Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden Palma

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces - Can Bordoy Grand House Garden

Can Bordoy Grand House in Mallorca features a “secret garden” with more than 70 plant species and a heated swimming pool. Ahead’s judging panel noted how Can Bordoy’s “mindful” landscaping ensured even more privacy for its guests.

Best lobby and public spaces: Belmond Cadogan Hotel

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Lobby & Public Spaces - BELMOND CADOGAN_LOBBY

The judges praised the Belmond Cadogan Hotel‘s recent updates to its lobby, describing it as “light, airy and inviting.” The hotel was originally built in 1887.

Best lodge, cabin, and tented camps: Manshausen 2.0

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Lodges, Cabins, Test - Manshausen 2.0

Located on a 55-acre private island in Norway, Manshausen 2.0 is the latest extension of the Manshausen Island Resort and consists of three “sea cabins” boasting breathtaking views of the ocean. They are built primarily of cross-laminated timber and coated in aluminum to protect against the elements. The Ahead judges praised Manshausen 2.o for the sustainability of its design.

Best resort hotel: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019 - Best Resort - The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is undeniably picturesque, and the Retreat at Blue Lagoon is equally so. Its 62 suites feature panoramic views of the lagoon’s alluring, steamy waters and surrounding landscape. The resort also features a subterranean spa and traditional Icelandic restaurant.

Best restaurant: Neni at 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Restaurant - 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord

Conveniently located across from the Gare du Nord train station in Paris’ 10th Arrondissement, 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord features a restaurant that Ahead describes as having a distinctly feminine feel. Marrying Persian, Arabic, French, and Russian influences, it features pastel velvet chairs, pink marble tables, and several women-themed artworks.

The 25hours Hotel cofounder Christoph Hoffmann, who has overseen the development of 13 25hours hotels since 2005, separately won the outstanding-contribution category of this year’s Ahead Europe Awards for his contributions to the hospitality industry.

Best spa and wellness: Euphoria Retreat

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Spa/Wellness - Euphoria Spa

Carved into a mountainside in Mystras, Greece, Euphoria Spa spans four stories and merges elements of Byzantine architecture with minimalist Zen design. One of the spa’s defining features is its dome-like “Sphere Pool,” inspired by the architecture of the Hagia Sophia church.

Best suite: Dexamenes Seaside Hotel

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Suite - Dexamenes Seaside Hotel

Once a derelict, abandoned wine factory, Dexamenes Seaside Hotel in Kourouta, Greece, is now beachside haven thanks to K-Studio architects. Ahead judges described Dexamenes as “the height of unpretentious luxury.”

Best transport: Ponant Le Champlain

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Transport - Le Champlain

Le Champlain is one of six new luxury vessels released by the cruise operator Ponant, which sends cruises all over the world. The ship, named after the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, embarked on its maiden voyage in October 2018.

Best visual identity: Amerikalinjen

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best Visual Identity - Amerikalinjen

Ahead awarded Amerikalinjen, once the former offices of the cruise ship Norwegian American Line, for how well the boutique hotel incorporated travel and navigation themes into its design. The hotel’s suites feature objects related to the history of Amerikalinjen, and its cocktail bar is named after one of the cruise ship’s iconic final destinations: New York’s Pier 42.

New concept of the year: The Audo

AHEAD Awards Europe 2019: Best New Concept - The Audo

The Audo hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, won one of Ahead’s special-category awards, touted as “a hotel that truly offers everything,” from typical hotel features like restaurants and cafés to a “concept store” and “material library.” In the concept store, guests can purchase Audo linens, robes, and furniture to commemorate their stay, and in the material library they can draw design inspiration from a rotating selection of natural materials, fabrics, and leathers.

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