These posh pads deliver a world-class travel experience in Paris, Rome, London, and other major European cities for a fraction of what you might expect to spend.
Hôtel du Champ de Mars, from $141
Paris’s seventh arrondissement is a feast for the eyes. Take a sneak peak into the lives of upper crust Parisian life, then visit some of the city’s top postcard attractions, including the Musée Rodin, Les Invalides, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. The Hotel du Champ de Mars, situated just a 10-minute walk from Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece, offers views of the top of the wrought iron landmark from nearly a third of its rooms. But the boutique property doesn’t just coast on its location. Owners Françoise and Stéphane Gourdal have adorned the 25 rooms in a charming country house aesthetic—think pretty floral drapes and striped wallpaper—with two (rooms 2 and 4) opening onto a private courtyard.
Nerva Boutique Hotel, from $147
Antiquity-seekers, take note: Here’s your chance to stay at the foot of the Forum of Augustus, built over two thousand years ago by Rome’s first emperor. (And just beyond, the awe-inspiring Colosseum is a mere 10-minute walk away.) Then read up on the Eternal City’s history and architecture in the gorgeous tomes stocked in the charming 19-room Nerva Boutique Hotel, run by the same Italian family for over 20 years. But for a property steeped in so much history, there’s no fustiness. Most rooms feature a clean, crisp black-and-white color scheme accented by bold throw pillows and contemporary paintings. Luxe touches—including bathrooms clad in sleek, dark marble and limousine service to and from the airport—are welcome surprises given the low room rates.
CitizenM Tower of London, from $141
The ever-expanding Amsterdam-based chain CitizenM now has a dozen hotels worldwide, evidence that its bet on compact, tech-oriented rooms combined with funky design and super-central city locations is a winning combo. At the CitizenM Tower of London property, practically a stone’s throw from the historic castle, that translates to 370 pod-like rooms that don’t feel cramped thanks to wall-to-wall windows, plus tablets for controlling everything from the lights to the free movies. And while Borough Market, the Shard and Sky Garden are all within walking distance, we’d forgive you if you lingered just longer than usual in the sprawling lobby lined with comfy Vitra sofas, bookshelves filled with design tomes, and iMacs available for borrowing.
Danhostel Copenhagen City, from $117
This mega-property bills itself as Europe’s largest design hotel, and large it is indeed: There’s space for 1,020 guests in all sorts of smart modular setups including single beds that can easily be pushed into doubles, and space-saving touches like bunk beds that fold up into the wall. If Danhostel Copenhagen City’s clean, minimalist lines look familiar, that’s because the brains behind its interiors is Danish furniture company GUBI, whose work is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent exhibition. The centrally located property is housed in one of the city’s few high-rises, which means rooms on the higher floors get great light and phenomenal views. Ask for a northwest-facing room to see the Tivoli Gardens firework displays from your room, or better yet, head there in person—it’s less than a 10-minute walk away.
Linnen, from $100
Want to live like a hip Berliner? Then head over to the Linnen, whose five superstylish, individually-designed rooms and suite are tucked into a 19th-century residential apartment building in the buzzy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. One room resembles a cool log cabin (complete with a wall of reclaimed wood, plus a birdhouse hanging above the bed), while its suite is all Belle Epoque chic (with restored fresco ceiling above, and herringbone floors underfoot). After visiting the nearby Berlin Wall Memorial, do as the other neighborhood hipsters do and shop the immensely popular Sunday flea market in Mauer Park or take your kids to the adventurous Abenteuerlicher Bauspielplatz Kolle 37 playground.
My Story Hotel Rossio, from $99
My Story Hotel Rossio’s 46-room property’s prime location right on Rossio Square’s northwestern edge means views of the heart of historic Lisbon simply can’t be beat, whether it’s of the grand Baroque fountain (which is especially stunning when lit up at night) or the cobblestones set in a signature wave pattern. Situated in a four-story 18th-century building, the minimalist, stylish rooms here combine original aspects like exposed wooden ceiling beams and stone walls with fun graphics and smart, modern touches like mirror TVs and soundproof windows.
In[n] Athens, from $114
Take a step inside In[n] Athens’s tranquil, tree-filled open-air atrium, and it’s hard to believe the city’s sprawling, central Syntagma Square is mere minutes away. The twenty-two beautifully minimalist rooms here are outfitted in a neutral color scheme bolstered by materials like Greek marble, concrete and wood. (If it all sounds too cold and sleek to be comfortable, don’t worry, the beds—by local natural mattress maker Coco-Mat—couldn’t be more inviting.) Not that you’ll be arriving each night overly tired: The National Garden is only a stone’s throw away, and both the Acropolis and Parthenon are about a 15-minute walk.