sheen fallsSheen Falls Lodge, County Kerry, Ireland

This 17th-century fishing lodge turned Relais & Chateaux hotel might have the most idyllic location of all: Nestled between the world famous Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara, it overlooks the picturesque Sheen Falls. Guests can choose from rooms, suites, and villas; all are plush with a classic Irish manor feel. La Cascade offers modern Irish cuisine such as Killarney venison with a port essence; its wine cellar boasts over 10,000 bottles. There are stables at the lodge for eager equestrians.


The LobbyAshford Castle Hotel, Mayo, Ireland

This 13th-century castle, formerly the Guinness family home, is set against an impressive backdrop of thick forest, mountains and Lough Corrib. Its 82 guest rooms feature high ceilings, vintage furnishings, and four-poster beds, some boast fireplaces and claw-foot tubs. Activities like skeet shooting, falconry, and private hawk walks make the most of the beautiful grounds; its Prince of Wales Bar is the perfect spot to unwind with a champagne cocktail (the Arthur’s Bellini comes topped with Guinness).


blue-palace-resort-spa-luxury-collection-elounda-crete-crete-greece-106272-1Blue Palace Resort (Luxury Collection), Crete, Greece

Set amid the palm and olive trees in Elounda, opposite the isle of Spinalonga, this low-rise property blends into the landscape with clay roof tiles, wooden shutters, and traditional pebble mosaics. Guest rooms are arranged in clusters along a slope overlooking the sea—”definitely splurge on one with a private infinity pool,” our readers suggest. Vegetables handpicked by the chef accompany Flame restaurant’s locally sourced steak.


k-club-golf-and-spa-resort-co-kildare-co-kildare-brit_ireland-105458-1Kildare Hotel at the K Club, County Kildare, Ireland

The Kildare’s elegant rooms and suites feature original art and antiques, as well as hand-painted bathrooms. It’s the ultimate country retreat, sprawled across 550 lush acres, offering fly fishing, horseback riding, and clay pigeon shooting, in addition to two world-class golf courses. A 20,000-square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms and a hammam rounds out the luxe offerings.


gleneagles-hotel-auchterarderThe Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Scotland

There’s no shortage of things to do at this stately Scottish resort built in 1924: Activities on offer include hot-air balloon rides, golfing, and falconry lessons. For those who are less outdoorsy, there are also whisky master classes, located in the private cellars. Suites are French chateau-inspired, and guests can choose from a traditional or modern design.


badrutt's-palace-st-moritzBadrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland

Opened in 1896 by the Badrutt family—and still owned by them—this legendary hotel on the shore of Lake St. Moritz has 157 sumptuous guest rooms, including 37 suites with views over the Alps. It’s home to seven different restaurants, the most famous being the iconic Le Restaurant, which boasts a menu heavy with caviar, truffles, and oysters. Its eco-friendly spa draws inspiration from its majestic surroundings, uses organic botanicals and incorporates Indian, Thai and Japanese traditions.


grand-hotel-zermatterhof-zermatt-zermatt-switzerland-107453-1Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt, Switzerland

This longtime Alpinist mecca boasts spacious, homey rooms with murals, pine paneling, and blue and red accents. Its signature restaurant, Lusi—named after a traditional hiking lantern—serves Mediterranean fare al fresco and by candlelight. The Alpine spa features an ice grotto and an impressively long list of Swiss-based treatments and therapies. Stars Bar offers an open fire and plush, black leather upholstery—the perfect setting for enjoying a smooth brandy.


ritz-carlton-powerscourt-co-wicklow-co-wicklow-brit_ireland-105478-5Powerscourt Hotel (formerly Ritz-Carlton), Wicklow, Ireland

This Palladian-Georgian hotel, located just 25 minutes from Dublin’s city center, is set amidst one of the most scenic and historic estates in Ireland. Built as a 68-room palace in 1741, it was restored in the 1990s after a fire, but you’ll find that the grounds are a greater draw: The gardens’ 18th-century framework makes the place feel like a homey version of Versailles, with more than 200 kinds of trees and shrubs growing over 47 acres. The fish pie at its Terrace Café is excellent.


villa-d-este-lake-como-lake-como-italy-106457-3Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy

Readers call this classic lakefront estate “gorgeously decadent,” and no wonder: Though every room is outfitted in handpicked antiques, velvet, and silk brocade, no two rooms are alike. Water-skiers and sailors can take to the lake; inside, Turkish baths, facials, and body treatments are on offer at the wellness center. The property also boasts eight tennis courts, and an excellent fine dining restaurant, Veranda.


old-course-hotel-st-andrews-fife-fife-brit_scotland-105528-1Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, Fife, Scotland

Constructed on the site of the original St. Andrews railway station, this resort owned by the Kohler company offers sweeping vistas across the links to the North Sea. Jacques Garcia–designed rooms in earth tones have splashes of the resort’s signature red; bathrooms have chromotherapy fixtures. The Kohler Waters Spa has a deep relaxation suite. Road Hole Restaurant serves excellent venison, according to readers, and its bar stocks more than 200 different whiskys.


adare-manor-aerial-irelandAdare Manor, Limerick, Ireland

Surrounded by medieval ruins and hidden by the Maigue River and a barricade of trees, this 19th-century neo-Gothic manor feels like a secret hideaway. Its 125 rooms are individually designed, with four-poster beds, vintage furniture, and sitting areas. (Splurge on Lady Caroline’s Room, the sumptuous former sleeping quarters of Lady Caroline Wyndham.) The Oakroom restaurant, with its wood-paneled walls, elegant chandeliers, and accompanying colonnade, is as fairytale-like as the rest of the property.


lodge-at-doonbeg-golf-club-county-clare-ireland-105393-2Trump International Hotel & Golf Links Doonbeg (formerly Lodge at Doonbeg), County Clare, Ireland

What appears to be an aristocrat’s stately 19th-century seaside manor was in fact built in 2006 by the developers of South Carolina’s Kiawah Island and designed entirely by Americans. But what is very real about Doonbeg (and all that really matters) is its stunning setting on a remote bay in County Clare, its welcoming staff, and attention to detail. Its 15 rooms have high, wood-beamed ceilings, fireplaces, and marble bathrooms with rain showers; its cottages boast underfloor heating. The centerpiece of the resort is the Greg Norman–designed course mowed through the rolling grass dunes.


four-seasons-provence-at-terre-blanche-tourettes-provence-france-105990-4Terre Blanche, Provence, France

Located 30 minutes from Cannes, this beautiful resort’s hillside villas are isolated and scenic. All villas boast rattan chairs, local artwork, and private patios with “gorgeous mountain views,” according to readers. At the spa, treatments like a sugar and honey scrub are expensive but worth the extravagance. The Guadina restaurant and bar serves Provençal specialties on the terrace.


dromoland-castle-co-clare-co-clare-brit_ireland-105392-1Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate, County Clare, Ireland

This sixteenth-century fortified castle is unabashedly opulent, with its limestone towers and turrets, Waterford-crystal chandeliers, damask wall coverings and tasseled drapes. And that’s just the lobby: Its 99 rooms feature Empire and Louis XV furnishings, 18th-century botanical drawings, and sweeping panoramas over the 410-acre estate. Its cocktail bar, formerly the castle library, has a cozy fireplace and is the perfect place for a nightcap.



turnberry-resort-ayrshire-ayrshire-brit_scotland-105501-1Trump Turnberry (Luxury Collection), South Ayrshire, Scotland

This iconic property embodies Old Scotland, with its Edwardian-era architecture and flower-filled spaces. Beautifully-renovated rooms have “deep tubs and soft robes,” according to readers, while downstairs, a new lounge boasts tea sommeliers who help guests pick the perfect cuppa. Ailsa, one of the resort’s three links courses, was formerly a World War II airfield and “must be played at least twice,” according to readers.


mount-juliet-estate-co-kilkenny-co-kilkenny-brit_ireland-105459-1Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny, Ireland

Once the residence of the Earl of Carrick, this 58-room hotel overlooking the River Nore still feels very much like an eighteenth-century working estate. Its classically elegant rooms mix Georgian decor with plush, hand-embroidered fabrics; Rose Garden Lodges offer extra space and privacy and sweeping woodland views. The 1,500-acre property also boasts a championship golf course and equestrian center.



andy-warhol-big-retrospective-painting-1979-1980-dolder-grand-lobbyThe Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland

According to our readers, The Dolder Grand is the “best hotel in Zurich,” with an ideal location between the city and woodlands. The 113-year-old building reopened in 2008 after a four-year renovation that added two new modern wings and colorful art by Dalí, Miró, Haring, and Murakami (Andy Warhol’s 33-foot Big Retrospective Painting hangs above the front desk). The Maestro Suite, inspired by Herbert von Karajan, has a bathroom finished in bianco oro and portoro marble, a sauna, and a private terrace with views of the Alps.


park-hotel-kenmare-co-kerry-co-kerry-brit_ireland-105452-1Park Hotel Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland

In a bucolic location overlooking Kenmare Bay, this 19th-century Victorian mansion fuses old-world elegance with cozy country charm. Its 46 rooms have sitting areas with views of either the gardens or the bay and are individually furnished with art and antiques. The dining room serves up classic dishes—think lamb confit and smoked duck—with local ingredients.



reids-palace-funchal-madeira-portugal-rca-2014-1Belmond Reid’s Palace, Madeira, Portugal

This historic hotel, built in 1891, is located to the west of Funchal Bay in Madeira and boasts spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean. The property is famous for having hosted countless public figures, from Winston Churchill to Gregory Peck. It’s flanked by 10 acres of landscaped subtropical gardens which feature over 500 species of trees and flowering plants from all over the world. Its Edwardian-style The Dining Room is the classiest restaurant in town; don’t miss the champagne buffet every Saturday.


four-seasons-hotel-hampshire-hampshire-england-105155-4Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, Hampshire, England

Built within an 18th-century Georgian estate, this grandiose country hotel packs in traditional manor pursuits: riding, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, croquet, and more. Rooms in the contemporary wings feature sleek, dark furnishings, plush carpeting, and heavy silk drapes. Its excellent Seasons restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Dogmersfield Park, and an ever-changing, market-driven menu.




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