A New European Hotel Renaissance

Il Castelfalfi feels like the bellwether of a trend sweeping across Europe, as a recently opened Four Seasons and newly refreshed grande dames mine their historic settings to create their futures.



Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

Sir Edwin Cooper designed the grand neoclassical structure housing this 8-month-old Four Seasons in 1922 as the headquarters of the Port Authority of London, and it remains one of the city’s more iconic edifices. Now, its soaring spaces, domed rotunda, and colonnades near the Tower of London house 100 rooms, two restaurants, a chic spa, and an indoor pool, plus residences managed by Four Seasons and a club operated in partnership between the hotel company and Bordeaux’s Château Latour wines. Bruno Moinard, whose previous projects include Hermès headquarters and galleries in Paris’ Musée des Arts Decoratifs, worked with Claire Bétaille to design all in gentlemanly style. Three-Michelin-star chef Anne-Sophie Pic runs the hotel’s gourmet La Dame de Pic. From $500. fourseasons.com/tentrinity


Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, Paris

When the Crillon opened on the Place de la Concorde last July after a nearly four-and-a-half-year closure, it relaunched as a 124-room Rosewood hotel, its reimagined rooms conceived to capture the élan of the landmark Louis XV palace’s 1758 origins as much as the aspirations of its 21st-century guests. A trio of Paris-based contemporary decorators — Tristan Auer, Chahan Minassian, and Cyril Vergniol — masterminded the redo, with Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld developing two of the 43 suites. A haute cuisine restaurant led by Michelin-starred Christopher Hache and pastry chef Jérôme Chaucesse, named one of France’s best pâtissiers, aspires for further success, while a pool and spa occupy a subterranean level newly excavated beneath the historic building. From $1,395. rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon


Adare Manor, County Limerick

After a 20-month, multimillion-dollar restoration and renovation, the neo-Gothic 104-room Adare Manor, originally built in the early 1800s by the 2nd Earl of Dunraven, will newly tempt travelers to its 842 acres when it reopens in October. A just-built limestone-clad guest wing will house 42 additional rooms; a clubhouse created by acclaimed British firm David Collins Studio will cosset those playing the 72-par golf course redesigned by links-master Tom Fazio; and spa treatments by French anti-aging brand La Mer will sooth and salve. Don’t miss walks along the River Maigue and among nearby medieval ruins, or laps in the skylight-lit pool and movies in the 27-seat cinema — both new. From $350. adaremanor.com


Hotel Eden, Rome

All eyes have been on this 19th-century Rome gem since 2013, when the Dorchester Collection acquired the property — set between the Spanish Steps and the Via Veneto — and subsequently oversaw a 17-month overhaul to elevate every element. Since the hotel reopened in the spring, classical frescos, coffered ceilings, and tons of carved and inlaid marble recall ancient and neoclassical aesthetics in the Bruno Moinard/Claire Bétaille-decorated reception rooms, while the 98 guest rooms, also by the duo, subtly update tradition. Design firm Jouin Manku, meanwhile, conceived the big-windowed top-floor restaurants and bar (with views over Rome’s historic center) and the spa (treatments by Sonya Dakar and Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella) in sleek 21st-century style. A nice touch: The staff, from doorman to GM, has remained largely unchanged from close to reopening — with service all the better for it. From $781. dorchestercollection.com/en/rome/hotel-eden


The Phoenicia Malta, Floriana

British boutique hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray has quite the track record: from London’s One Aldwych to Barbados’ Carlisle Bay to Beirut’s Le Gray. So his remastering of the 136-room Phoenicia, just outside Valletta, Malta’s capital, comes as big news. He turned to Peter Young Design and Mary Fox Linton for the renovation of this 1930s art deco landmark, the island’s original luxe hotel, which reopened in April. Much of what was iconic has been enhanced — including deco details, a ballroom beloved by Queen Elizabeth II, a terraced bar, and harbor and city views — but there’s much new to enjoy, too, especially the outdoor infinity pool, an eight-room spa, and a casual patio-side café. From $291. phoeniciamalta.com


The Palace Hotel, Lake Lucerne

Built in belle epoque style in 1904, the Palace was scheduled at press time to debut its 21st-century makeover to guests in late August, as part of the reconceived Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort. Investors have poured $571 million into the 148-acre complex on the verdant Alpine shores of Lake Lucerne, preserving 30 historic buildings and conceiving new luxury hotel, spa, and resort facilities — including
12 restaurants, lounges, and bars; three tennis courts; and a nine-hole golf course. At the Palace, interiors contain preserved original paintings, plasterwork, and antiques mixed with contemporary furniture and state-of-the-art technology; the Ritzcoffier restaurant updates the classic French gastronomy of Auguste Escoffier and César Ritz; and 108 rooms feature sweeping views of either the lake or mountains. From $460. buergenstock.ch

Tuscan Treasure

A medieval Italian village re-emerges as a grand resort that mixes past and present to create something special. It’s worth discovering.



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