Nineteenth-century villas on the Amalfi Coast. Cliff-hugging cave hotels in the Greek isles. Historic grande dames on the French Riviera. See our complete list of the very best boutique hotels on the coasts of Italy, Greece, France, Spain, and Malta.
The historic Chateau de la Chevre d’Or is a five-pearl property located within a medieval village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Lovely gardens and terraces provide beautiful scenery, while a pool, four restaurants (one of which has two Michelin stars), and treatments like massages make for a romantic atmosphere. The restaurants can be quite pricey, however, and the many stairs on the property are too much for some. The 39 guest rooms are large and elegant, with flat-screen TVs, espresso-makers, free Wi-Fi, and minibars. Some suites have terraces with lovely views of the sea, while others have hot tubs, private pools, and separate living rooms.
Casa Angelina is top-of-the-line for the Amalfi Coast. The adult-only, luxury boutique on Praiano's rocky cliffside has white-on-white interiors that are complemented by warm wood accents and colorful modern art. The hotel's 39 rooms and suites have beautiful sea views, and variable comforts like minibars, Bang & Olufsen TVs, L'Occitane toiletries, and Nespresso machines. The restaurant serves local, seasonal fare, and the hotel also has a rustic cigar bar, bright cocktail lounge, and modern wellness center. The pool is lovely, if a bit small, and the beach area -- which has no sand -- is accessed by elevator and 200 steps.
The 22-room luxury J.K. Place Capri is an exclusive boutique hotel that exudes elegance without being ostentatious. Built in a restored late-19th-century villa located on the main road to Anacapri, J.K. Place is perched high on a cliff with gorgeous sea views visible in various spots including the ultra glamorous pool, which also offers food and drink service and poolside spa treatments. The hotel mirrors the sun and sea outside, with crisp whites, sea blue accents, and lots of outdoor space for quiet relaxation. Guest rooms are large and lush, with beautiful views and marble bathrooms, and most have terraces or balconies.
One of the priciest hotels in Positano, this luxury boutique is also perhaps the most beautiful and it lives up to its upscale reputation with pristine grounds, thoughtful free extras (like snacks and boat trips), and a renowned restaurant. Rooms feature antique furniture and modern appliances, but some are small and/or noisy. That said, it's an excellent choice for those who can afford it and seek a central location, gorgeous spa, and spectacular views from all around.
The Canaves Oia Hotel is one of the most upscale and exclusive properties on Santorini Island -- with a price tag to match. The finish is immaculate and luxurious throughout, and the layout takes full advantage of the breathtaking sea-view panoramas. The suites are spacious with impeccable interiors and amenities, and the pool is also large by island standards.
The 51-room luxury boutique Hospes Maricel is the kind of place where one might expect to find a modern doppelgänger of Cary Grant lounging by the pool. It is timeless and timely; marvelously classic in parts, and strikingly contemporary in others. Views of the sapphire ocean waters are ubiquitous, as are views of the mountains and gardens. The variety of rooms offered -- from opulent classics to more minimalist, eco-friendly rooms with stone walls -- is impressive. Service is reportedly not always up to five-pearl standard, however, and there have been issues with a limited hot water supply.
The five-pearl Hotel Royal-Riviera is set in a spectacular private beachfront location on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, between Nice and Monte Carlo. Rooms are chic and spacious, with a slight 1950s vibe, and are equipped with flat-screen TVs, terraces, and minibars, but no coffee- and tea-making facilities. Guests have access to a private beach, plus there's a lovely outdoor pool, a small spa with a gym, as well as two restaurants and bars. The property is close to several restaurants and within walking distance of bus stops and a train station, which gives access to Nice in about an hour (or it's a 25-minute drive).
The 37-room luxury Fontsanta Hotel, Thermal Spa & Wellness is a historic, adult-only destination spa built around healing thermal springs in use since the Roman era. Located in the countryside surrounded by nature preserves, the Fontsanta is elegant and high-end. Guest rooms are light, clean, and modern, with private balconies or terraces, and posh bathrooms. Peaceful and full of character, the Fontsanta caters mainly to couples, who may not feel the need to leave the hotel during their stay.
The 149-room Palace is a stylish luxury hotel in the center of Sliema, with a stunning infinity pool on the roof, the highest point in the city. But the Palace offers more than beautiful views, with a variety of fun restaurants and a singular design aesthetic that makes the common spaces feel hip and luxurious. Rooms range from economical to extravagant, and there are six individually themed Designer Suites. All rooms are clean, spacious, and elegant, with modern bathrooms. However, some have lackluster views, and the hotel is not directly on the beach, which may be a deal-breaker for some guests.
The five-pearl Cavo Bianco is a romantic luxury hotel in Kamari, on the eastern coast of Santorini. The 33 rooms and suites are bright and modern, and feel homey despite their bright-white color scheme; some also have private pools. Property amenities include a central swimming pool, a spa with a large treatment menu, a gym with cardio and weight-training equipment, and an elegant bar and restaurant with room service that operates late into the night. While Cavo Bianco does not offer direct beach access, it's only a four-minute walk to the sea.
Capri Tiberio Palace is a chic, luxury hotel in a convenient location five minutes from Piazzetta's shops and restaurants. The 46 rooms have posh decor, free minibars, and free Wi-Fi, and some include balconies with beautiful Bay of Naples views. The hotel has a ritzy bar and restaurant that serves Kosher options, and the free breakfast can be enjoyed alfresco on a terrace overlooking the sea. There's a spa with a variety of facilities and treatments, but the pool is small and guests have complained the water is often too cold to enjoy.
The 66-room luxury boutique Hospes Palau de la Mar Hotel is a refurbished 19th-century palace that's near Valencia's historic center. The lobby is grand, with tall arches, pillars, an imposing marble staircase, and elaborate wood carvings and ironwork. The hotel combines this grand old Spanish feeling with modern, high-quality touches and Zen-like tranquility. Rooms are oases of calm with elegant furnishings, promising a peaceful stay.
Hugging a cliff high above the Aegean, the five-pearl Cavo Tagoo is one of the top luxury hotels on Mykonos. The 80-room boutique hotel offers one spectacular view after another from its multi-level terraces and windows. The party scene in town is five minutes away via the hotel's free shuttle, but there's also plenty of action (some complain too much) at the pool bar for guests who want to mingle. Rooms -- with stone walls, wood floors, and beamed ceilings -- are gorgeous and sleek, and some have private pools that create a nice romantic ambience for a honeymoon or a couples retreat.
While most of the Amalfi hotels can claim excellent sea views, the 66-room Santa Caterina Hotel has five-star features, harmonious antique style, and fragrant gardens. Guests can take advantage of the wellness center, pool, and gym. Dining options range from the elegant Restaurant Santa Caterina to the more casual Al Mare eatery, along with an expansive wine cellar.
This part of Santorini is renowned for its specular vistas, and the 14-room Andronis Boutique Hotel takes full advantage of its privileged position -- there are few places in the hotel without gorgeous sea views. Cave-like rooms are luxurious and really quite special, as are bathrooms and private balconies. The pool isn't huge, but is lined with sunbeds overlooking the all-important panorama. All in all, it's luxury accommodation at a luxury price.
Andronis Luxury Suites is a luxury boutique overlooking the Aegean Sea. Though Santorini and over-the-top hotels go hand in hand, this property has the added benefit of a location overlooking the Caldera side of the Mediterranean and it is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Oia. Each of the 22 suites includes a private hot tub; some suites are done in the traditional cave style of the island. A dramatic infinity pool overlooks the cliffs and sea below. The on-site restaurant gets good reviews for Greek food and free breakfast with local ingredients. Like most hotels in this part of the world, expect steep steps and spotty Wi-Fi access.
The stylishly designed luxury 83-room Romeo Hotel near the Teatro San Carlo and Port of Naples offers beautiful harbor views from a small outdoor pool and bar, and some of its rooms. Restaurants serve Italian fare and sushi, with terraces that also overlook the sea. The hotel has a stylish game lounge, an indoor golf video simulator, and a kids’ playroom. The meeting space and computer center should suit business travelers. Design-conscious rooms offer sea and Mount Vesuvius views, and Specialty Suites have amenities that range from saunas to office or fitness equipment. This hotel is a solid luxury choice, but guests have complained about patchy Wi-Fi.