Marble for miles, and acres of gold. Clashing colours and in-your-face modern ‘art’. We’ve all stayed in hotel rooms that have strong…ahem…design principles. But a new generation of boutique retreats is changing all that. We’ve rounded up some of the most uniquely beautiful bedrooms in Europe. These might not be the rooms you’d find on a traditional ‘most beautiful’ list. But each of these hotels pours passion and pride into how their bedrooms look and feel to their guests – and you really can tell.
1. FOR A ROMAN HOLIDAY IN THE BEST POSSIBLE TASTE… HOTEL VILÒN
Every bedroom at Hotel Vilòn in Rome is as far from the overblown, gilt-covered luxury hotel cliché as it’s possible to be. All are design-led, soothing spaces, with a soft colour palette and striking artwork. The Borghese Suite crowns them all; dark parquet floors meet muted blue-grey walls and statement furniture. Soak in the over-sized freestanding bath or relax on your private terrace with views of the Borghese Palace Gardens.
2. FOR SCANDI-LOVERS… ETT HEM
Ett Hem in Stockholm has been rightly lauded since opening for its elegant aesthetics, and warm, homely ambiance. A stay here is guaranteed to have you reaching for paint charts and speed-dialling an interior designer when you get home. Bedrooms are tactile havens furnished with classic Swedish materials such as oak, sheepskin and Gotland stone. And suites boast four-poster beds, marble baths and a beautifully curated selection of Scandi-chic furniture and artwork.
3. WHEN LESS IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT MORE… Hotel TwentySeven
The most lavish hotel rooms in Amsterdam? Quite possibly. Hotel TwentySeven is a haven with just a handful of the most opulent suites imaginable. Think handmade silk carpets, Versailles-patterned oak floors, designer wallpaper and natural stone bathrooms. Nothing here is minimal; every detail is attention-grabbing and exceedingly luxurious. It’s not for everyone, but for those it is – you’ll love it. Book a signature suite with views over the city if you really want to impress.
4. FAR FROM SHABBY; DEFINITELY CHIC… Villa La Madonna
Surrounded by vineyards in the rolling Piedmontese hills, Villa La Madonna is the essence of smart boho-chic. Take your pick from bedrooms that are beautifully balanced between contemporary and vintage sensibilities. Beds have upholstered velvet headboards, and soft tactile throws. Bathrooms feature metro tiles in jewel-bright tones. And huge antique mirrors set beside black and white photographs complete the rather perfect picture.
5. FOR (STYLISH) BIBLIOPHILES… L’Hotel
It just so happens that the last residence of Oscar Wilde has found a purpose that he’d probably heartily approve of. L’Hotel in Paris is a quirky literary lovers dream. Each bohemian bedroom is individually and uniquely decorated with painstaking attention to detail. Stay in the Oscar Wilde Suite to revel in its authentic touches, including an emerald green phoenix fresco, a swan-decorated bedhead and a totally charming private Parisian terrace.
6. THE SKI LODGE, REDEFINED… Le Refuge de la Traye
If you’ve ever woken up on a ski holiday and felt like you were in a giant sauna you may have preconceptions of the bedrooms you can expect on a winter break. But Le Refuge de la Traye in Méribel turns all that on its head, with its small collection of rooms that are stunning in their simplicity. Sleep cocooned in the softest fabrics and (faux) furs, surrounded by warm, smooth wood. By night, the cleverest mood lighting turns your suite into a peaceful haven. And in the morning, open your drapes to mountain views and fill the room with the purest Alpine sunshine. These bedrooms don’t scream luxury – they whisper it. And they’re all the better for it.