Whether you crave a getaway in the highlands of Scotland or along the coast of Italy, these hotels have it all: world-class amenities, stunning interiors and unrivaled historical ties. Celebrities, presidents and royalty have stayed at some of these noteworthy properties.
Take a look at some of the most storied hotels of Europe and start dreaming of a vacation across the Atlantic.
1. The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria (Sorrento, Italy)
Celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has welcomed the likes of Sophia Loren, Jack Lemmon and Queen Margaret. Just a 20-minute ferry ride to Capri, a little under an hour to the stunning island of Ischia and a quick drive to the amazing Amalfi coast, the hotel has been in the Fiorentino family since it opened in 1834 and offers the quintessential taste of Italian hospitality. It recently unveiled the Lucio Dalla Suite, in honor of songwriter Lucio Dalla, who stayed at the hotel in 1986. It was while staying in the Caruso Suite that Dalla wrote the song "Caruso.”
2. Hotel de Rome (Berlin, Germany)
Built between 1887 and 1889, the building that is now Hotel de Rome served as the headquarters of the Dresdner Bank until 1945. Designed by architect Ludwig Heim in the Renaissance style, the building had only three floors until 1923, when three more floors and a roof terrace were added. The ballroom, which was a cashier's hall, has a mosaic floor that contains the names of the bank's four main offices (Dresden, Bremen, London and Berlin). It was briefly used as a cinema during the Communist era. Hotel de Rome's Spa de Rome is located in the old bank vault, which explains the 6-inch-thick steel door that leads to a treatment room. The gold leaf mosaics on the walls reflect where the bank once held its gold deposits.
3. Hotel Sacher (Vienna, Austria)
The "Osterreicherischer Hof," which opened in 1866, has a long line of history. After World War II, Austria’s hotels were controlled by the four Allied forces, and The Sacher (then British) became the so-called "Senior Officers Transit Club.” In the 1960s, the Vienna State Opera premiered its ballet, "Hotel Sacher," there. In 1973, the hotel played a starring role in the popular TV series "Hallo Hotel Sacher, Portier," featuring Austrian actors Maxi Boehm, Fritz Eckhardt and Manfred Inger. And let's not forget the day in 1969 when John Lennon and Yoko Ono, naked under the sheets, conducted an interview from their bed.
4. Brown's Hotel (London, England)
Brown's, London's first-ever hotel, opened its doors in 1837 under the watchful eye of Lady Byron's maid, Sarah, and her husband, James Brown. Made up of 11 Georgian townhouses, Brown's has a rich and intriguing history. In 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell visited London to tell the government about his latest invention, he chose to stay at Brown's and made the nation’s first telephone call from the hotel. Guests have included presidents and prime ministers, royalty and writers. One notable regular was Agatha Christie, whose 1965 thriller, “At Bertram's Hotel,” was inspired by Brown's.
5. The Scotsman Hotel (Edinburgh, Scotland)
The Scotsman Hotel, built in 1905, is the former home of the newspaper The Scotsman. The building, which was designed to dominate the Edinburgh skyline, features incredible views of the city's landmarks. In 2001, it was transformed into The Scotsman Hotel, and the designers made sure to preserve its magnificent Italian marble staircase, stunning oak paneling, marble pillars and ornate ceilings. The newspaper held its giant printing presses in the lower ground floor, and the press room now houses the Scotsman Health Club & Spa, with its vast state-of-the-art gym. Facilities include a steel swimming pool, steam and sauna, treatment rooms and more.