The cities that make up the landscape of Europe have pasts that stretch back through every era of civilization. And the many grand, opulent hotels throughout the continent are evidence of the centuries of culture that shaped their home countries. Take a step back in time on your next trip to Europe by staying at one of these five hotels with long histories and a commitment to preserving an older way of life.
Grand Hotel Zermatterhof
Be transported to a distant past with a stay in the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, located below the iconic Matterhorn mountain. Your journey begins with a carriage ride from the train station to the car-free town of Zurich, one of the best cities to retreat to from the bustle of urban Europe. The historic Grand Hotel Zermatterhof has been hosting guests since 1879 and places a premium on a stay that celebrates the past.
In the summer months, the Zermatterhof makes a great place to embark on outdoor adventures in the rugged Swiss mountain country. In the winter, the hotel is located just 700 meters from the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, giving you access to some of the best skiing in the world.
The Olde Bell
Hurley, Berkshire, England
The oldest hotel on this list, The Olde Bell was opened in 1135, almost 900 years ago. You will see traces of this ancient history on the claw foot bathtubs and the charming farm home décor with dark wood floors and sheepskin throws. The hotel has seen many famous guests and historic events—including when it hosted the meeting of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill during the Second World War.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, located on the Gulf of Naples, has been operated by the Fiorento family since it opened in 1834. The hotel has seen famous figures such as Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe stay in the beautiful suites. You will feel whisked away to a bygone era of romantic opulence and comfort while you enjoy your stay at the Excelsior Vittoria.
Dive into Paris’ history of art, literature and culture at this wonderful hotel on the Left Bank. Here you will find the famous Belle Epoque’s “palace hotels” such as Hôtel Providence, which will give you a chance to explore the busy commercial heart of Paris that inspired great works of art in the early 20th century.
The Lutetia was opened across from The Bon Marche, the world’s first department store, at the height of one of the great eras of French cultural achievement. Since its construction, the Lutetia has hosted significant figures in the art world such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Matisse, and Picasso. Even the name evokes an ancient past: Lutetia was the name the Romans used for Paris.
Another hotel that has stood for centuries, Hotel Interlaken has been hosting guests for centuries. Hotel Interlaken was built in 1323 and first served as a cloister house run by nuns and monks for tired travelers. Hotel Interlaken served many other functions during these early years and was even used as a court room at one point.
Hotel Interlaken was converted to a hotel in 1491. The hotel is located a mere six-minute walk from the nearest train station and features cozy, rustic, and chic décor, plus a woodsy restaurant featuring a modern take on classic Swiss cuisine.
These hotels and the many others that can be found in European cities and countrysides will help you relax and enjoy the grand history of the European continent. Enjoy your travels abroad and take time to appreciate the luxuries afforded by these excellent hotels.