Grand hotel living room
Travel & Leisure

Creature Comforts: 6 Hotels That Feel Like Home

Comfort is key in these stunning luxury European hotels that offer the ultimate in rest and relaxation

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, choosing a hotel can make or break a trip. The best ones put their guests instantly at ease, with world-class luxury and service combining to provide a true home away from home. We’ve rounded up six of the finest in Europe, where a good night’s sleep has been elevated to an art form.

1. JK Place Roma, Italy

JK Place Roma is the ideal base from which to visit the Duomo of Florence for the finest Gothic art. Image: Getty Images. Banner image: One of the grand rooms at Ballyfin in Ireland.

In a city as beguiling as Rome, the temptation is to spend every second of your time here exploring. Yet even in the most enchanting destinations, there will come a time of day when thoughts turn to home comforts. Enter JK Place Roma: a home away from home for design lovers. Located on Via di Monte d’Oro—a quiet street just minutes from the throng of the Spanish Steps—this stylish hotel has 30 rooms and suites, and five-star service that helps you truly relax.

JK Place Roma’s central lounge area offers the perfect place to relax after a day spent exploring the city.

On the ground floor, light streams into the lobby lounge through a skylight, illuminating a collection of art and sculpture from across Europe that includes a French plaster statue thought to date from around 1870; a 1970s wood panel by Nerone and Patuzzi, Group NP2; a wall lamp from the 1940s; and soft furnishings by Michele Bönan, who is also the architect of the building’s current iteration.

Roman Forum in Rome
The Italian capital’s Roman Forum is easily accessed from JK Place Roma. Image: Getty Images

The library has a distinctly mid-century feel, with dark wood paneling and bookcases that house an array of fashion and design tomes. An onyx fireplace, Murano lamps, and gray velvet seating purchased from an out-of-service Dior airplane complete the look, making this an excellent setting for a business meeting—or after-dinner espresso (martini). Adjoining the library, the jewel-toned JK Café serves Sunday brunch, plus a market-fresh lunch and dinner menu of international and Italian classics. Turn the corner and take a seat in the lounge-bar, where you can watch your favorite team or a classic movie at your leisure—a drink of choice in hand, naturally.

2. The Peninsula Paris, France

Parisian rooftop bar
The terrace at L’Oiseau Blanc, The Peninsula Paris’s rooftop restaurant and bar, provides stunning views of the city’s landmarks including the Eiffel Tower.

In Paris, the Distinction Palace classification is reserved for just 11 hotels, considering attributes such as location, legacy, character, staff excellence, restaurants, respect for the environment, and more. Those that achieve this accolade are in a class of their own, and The Peninsula Paris is among them.

Hotel suite sitting room
Spacious and chic suites at The Peninsula Paris mirror the sense of style the city is famous for.

Its location, on Avenue Kléber, couldn’t be better. Sitting at the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle, with the city’s most famous monuments a short stroll away, the hotel’s 200 rooms and suites are inspired by haute couture and are among the largest in Paris.

With The Peninsula Hotels group an official partner of Art Basel Hong Kong, it’s no surprise that celebrating art is central to its ethos. And from September to November, guests at The Peninsula Paris will be able to view pieces from the Hong Kong launch of the group’s Art in Resonance program, alongside new installations from local artists. Expect boundary-pushing work by the likes of Iván Navarro, Saya Woolfalk, and Elise Morin, curated by art-world tastemakers Isolde Brielmaier and Bettina Prentice.

3. Ballyfin, Ireland

The Sir Christopher Coote suite at Ballyfin is the hotel’s largest, and includes a handsome living room overlooking the fountain and lake.

A vast 19th-century Irish manor, Ballyfin may have been magicked into a five-star hotel, but it remains a country house at heart. At the top of a winding drive, set within 614 acres (248 ha) of private parkland and overlooking a 28-acre (11 ha) lake, the house appears, its Neoclassical façade austere yet beautiful. Inside, 35,000 square feet (3,252 sq m) of Greek Revival architecture, Roman mosaics, Moorish marquetry, and Empire decor await.

Dining at Ballyfin hotel in Ireland takes place in grand formal surroundings.

Yet the effect is not one of clashing styles, but of layers of history waiting to be explored. The decorative diversity has been carefully researched, and the interiors nod to the Grand Tour tradition of former owners, the Coote family. A rite of passage for nobility at the time, these pilgrimages aimed to explore the roots of European culture through art, literature, and archaeology, and travelers returned from Europe with a rich and valuable collection of artifacts, paintings, mirrors, statues, and tapestries. In the Gold Drawing Room, a standout among so many beautiful spaces, the silk damask wall covering was rewoven using an original salvaged scrap. And in the 20 unique bedrooms there are domed canopy beds, marble tubs and fireplaces, 17th-century tapestries, and trompe l’oeil effect wallpaper.

The place is far from stuffy, though, and managing director Jim Reynolds insists that the house is not a museum. Alongside its elegance and touches of gilded drama, a warm atmosphere prevails. Guests are encouraged to fully explore the grounds, and make themselves at home at Ballyfin. To walk, cycle, or drive via golf cart around the grounds, meander through the two 18th-century walled gardens, and rest weary legs on a plush sofa. With only 20 bedrooms and so much space inside and out, you feel as if you have the entire estate to yourself. And the “butlers”—concierges, coachmen, and activities managers all in one—underline the sense that this is not a hotel at all, but a wonderful, private home.

4. The Beaumont, London, England

Wood-panelled hotel lobby
Art Deco-inspired interiors greet guests as they enter the lobby at The Beaumont hotel in London.

The first thing you notice at The Beaumont is how delicious it smells. Instantly seductive, the fragrance that hangs in the air at this chic London hotel was made specially for its Art Deco-inspired interiors. What you might not notice is the colossal stack of steel cubes and rectangles perched on the southeast façade. Crafted by sculptor Antony Gormley, this is Room: a one-of-a-kind suite into which guests can retreat to an almost monastic-like space.

Large hotel suite living room
The living room of The Roosevelt Suite at The Beaumont in London—the five-bedroom space occupies an entire floor of the hotel.

Elsewhere, beautifully appointed rooms and suites have unique decorative touches: a mirrored panel here, a lacquered bar cabinet there, all with sumptuous upholstery. The five-bedroom Roosevelt suite also features an eight-seat dining room and private terrace.

London roof terrace
A vast terrace with views across the rooftops of the British capital is one of the many highlights of The Roosevelt Suite at The Beaumont.

Whichever accommodation takes your fancy, everyone is sure to delight in the hotel’s excellent American bar, The Magritte, whose 1930s ambience has had a “soft refurb” by Nina Campbell. Among the 20th-century posters and paintings, the bar’s star artwork is René Magritte’s Le Maître d’École (1955).

5. JK Place Firenze, Italy

Hotel suite with white furniture
A Master Room, with views over Piazza Santa Maria Novella, is an oasis of calm at JK Place Firenze.

It’s hard to overstate the beauty of Florence, where every street seems to have a church more exquisite than the last and each gallery and museum an artwork or historical artifact you’ve waited years to gaze upon. The home of the Renaissance, the city was made for exploring on foot. Make JK Place Firenze your base and you’ll be at the very heart of Florence and everything it offers.

The intimate breakfast room at JK Place Firenze, where guests can enjoy locally sourced food cooked to perfection.

With just 20 elegant rooms, the hotel is intimate and pleasingly relaxed: paneled walls and high painted ceilings in public areas, and four-poster beds in the airy rooms where calming neutrals are the order of the day. JK hotels have a reputation for helping guests get the most from their visits, and the Florence offering is no exception; from the welcome drink to suggestions for places to eat and drink, a stay here feels like reconnecting with old friends—friends who know their neighborhood inside out. You’re even given a copy of JK Insider Guide to Florence, curated by general manager and local legend Claudio Meli, when you arrive.

JK Place Firenze’s 20 rooms include two-story suites, giving even more of a sense of space to stretch out in.

But you don’t have to leave the hotel to enjoy excellent Tuscan food. A lavish breakfast spread is served in a glass-domed courtyard (complete with homemade cakes and breads), while the JK Lounge restaurant and bar serves lunches and dinners made with seasonal, locally sourced produce (vegetables come from a nearby farm). You may, in fact, find it hard to leave the hotel. But do venture out, safe in the knowledge that you can end the day with a nightcap on JK’s rooftop terrace.

6. Masqi, The Energy House, Spain

Set in the lush grounds of Masqi, the hotel’s yoga dome hosts classes for people of all abilities.

Arrive at Masqi just as the sun is setting behind the tops of the Spanish pines, and you’ll get to see the main residence bathed in a peachy, ethereal glow. Expect to leave with a similar glow after a weekend spent at this unique wellness retreat in Spain’s Sierra de Mariola mountains.

Hotel room with wooden floor
With is emphasis on wellness, Masqi in Spain’s Sierra de Mariola mountains allows guests to recharge both body and mind.

Located between Alicante and Valencia, Masqi—a combination of the Spanish word for more and the Chinese word for energy—is run by owner and founder Sonia Ferre Garcia, who converted her family’s 19th-century Spanish farmhouse into a stylish and homely eight-room hotel, and filled it with locally handcrafted ceramics and furnishings. Ferre Garcia offers a program of rebalancing through yoga, meditation, energy healing, life coaching, and nutrition, combined with healthy, locally sourced meals that follow macrobiotic principles.

Within the bougainvillea-scented garden, a yoga dome and treatment rooms sit beside a swimming pool with views out across the rural landscape, while surrounding the main property a collection of rambling paths cut through bushes of gorse and wild thyme, leading to a waterfall in one direction, and through the hills in another. A typical day at the Masqi retreat starts and ends with a warming cup of vitamin-rich kukicha tea, and in-between itineraries can be created with Ferre Garcia to suit your every need or desire.