These 20 exquisite hotels — spanning Antalya in the east to Valencia in the west — are the Mediterranean’s most luxurious.
Adorned in lavish Turkish designs, the 175-room Kempinski Hotel The Dome is a five-pearl chain property with two 18-hole golf courses, five international restaurants, and a picturesque seaside location. Other features include a 7,000-square-foot outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, tennis courts, and a spa with indoor pools and a modern gym. Elegant rooms and one- and two-bedroom suites feature Seljuk designs and balconies, some with sea views.
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, and 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 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. The four restaurants (one of which has two Michelin stars) 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.
The Belmond Hotel Caruso is one of the top luxury hotels not only on the Amalfi Coast, but in Italy. Situated in an 11th-century palace and surrounded by fragrant terraced gardens, it is perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea at Ravello's highest point and offers full-on views of the sea and village. The 50 rooms and suites have beautifully tiled floors and marble bathrooms, and many offer terraces or balconies overlooking the water. Amenities include a truly jaw-dropping infinity pool, a small spa and gym, a piano bar, and a fine-dining Italian restaurant serving a free buffet breakfast. Many guests find the hotel well worth its considerable price tag.
Casa Angelina is an adult-only, luxury boutique on Praiano's rocky cliffside along the Amalfi Coast. White-on-white interiors are complemented by warm wood accents and colorful modern art. The hotel's 39 rooms and suites have beautiful sea views, and high-end touches 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. This is top-of-the-line for the Amalfi Coast.
The five-pearl Hotel Negresco oozes charm and personality, with a beachfront location, decadent decor, and a spectacular art collection. Right on the famed Promenade des Anglais, it’s a great base for exploring Nice’s Old Town. The 177 rooms are spacious and individually decorated to give each a distinct personality. But some rooms (especially their bathrooms) are dated, and the 1913 hotel can show its age at times as some guests complain of broken showers and spotty air-conditioning.
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, while rooms are Zen-like oases of calm with elegant furnishings.
Located atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, the 121-room Jumeirah Port Soller is one of the most luxurious hotels in Majorca. It has a number of wonderful features for families -- including a pool and a kids’ club -- but the property also offers adult-only amenities and areas for those looking to get away from it all. Rooms are sophisticated and airy, with a soft earth-tone palette and large bathrooms with soaking tubs. The fitness center, the views, and the pools are all top-notch, but the highlight at the Jumeirah is the spa, complete with a large outdoor pool with underwater jetted loungers and mountain views.
Part of a luxury chain with properties across Europe, the Verdura Resort is a large, self-contained resort on the southwest coast of Sicily. The all-suite property is completely self-contained and offers private access to a lovely, calm beach, two 18-hole golf courses, four restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, and huge indoor and outdoor pools. Contemporary suites are spacious and stocked with creature comforts. However, the resort is about 20-minutes by car from the town of Sciacca, so guests without cars may feel isolated.
The Canaves Oia Hotel is one of the most upscale and exclusive properties on Santorini Island -- with a price tag to match. The vibe is 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.
Dating back to 1820, the historic Bellevue Syrene is a romantic, luxury hotel perched on a cliff in Sorrento. The hotel has two restaurants and 50 beautiful rooms with balconies overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Guests looking for a decadent experience won’t be disappointed. There are a lot of perks offered by the hotel including free snacks and cocktails throughout the day, a seasonal private sunbathing deck on the sea, and breakfast served on an ocean-view terrace.
Myconian Villa Collection is a luxury property on a quiet strip of Elia Beach with modern villas and loads of lavish features. Highlights include an infinity saltwater pool, private beach on the Aegean, and an on-site spa with saltwater therapy treatments. Stays can be upgraded with luxury yacht rentals or private chefs. There's a free shuttle to town and a breakfast buffet included in the cost of the room.
A member of the luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel group -- and possibly the most expensive hotel in Positano -- Il San Pietro has enormous rooms with spacious terraces overlooking the sea, an elevator with access to a private cove beach, an on-site luxury spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The downside is that it is not within easy walking distance to town, but a free shuttle can take you there 24/7.
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.
The Myconian Utopia Resort is a five-pearl retreat that merges elegant, modern design with excellent dining and beautiful hilltop views of the Aegean. The 50 airy rooms are fine examples of contemporary design and craftsmanship, with options for outdoor hot tubs or private pools. Well-heeled travelers can arrive by boat or at the hotel's helipad to indulge in the resort's luxurious spa and scenic outdoor pool, or frolic along the reserved stretch of Elia Beach below.
Hugging a cliff high above the Aegean, this 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.
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 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.
Royal Myconian Resort & Thalasso Spa Center is a luxury chain hotel with 148 stylish guest rooms, which include suites and villas, on a steep hill above beautiful Elia Beach, where hotel guests have access to a private section with daybeds. From the hotel’s restaurant and pool area are views of the Aegean Sea. In addition to the large pool, the hotel has a small children’s pool, and an outdoor hot tub. The indoor spa offers guests a free daily thalassotherapy session, and private in-room beauty treatments are available for a fee. Mykonos Town is a 25-minute ride via the hotel's shuttle.
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.