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Hotels

13 Charming Country-House Hotels in Europe We Love

At these European country retreats, the high-design interiors are as swoon-worthy as the surrounding landscapes.

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Photo courtesy of La Fiermontina

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La Fiermontina, Italy

The region of Puglia, in the heel of Italy’s boot, exudes romance with its dreamy olive groves, hilltop villages, and exclusive beaches and hidden coves. If you're hoping to reignite the fire, look no further than La Fiermontina in Lecce, the area’s unofficial capital town. The 16-room retreat, one of the most charming country house hotels in Europe, is a fashionable blend of old and new: the façade is a contemporary build by local architect Antonio Annicchiarico on what was once a 17th-century home. Inside, you'll find antique Italian furnishings and an impressive art collection with pieces from legendary artists like Le Corbusier.

Check Prices for La Fiermontina – Urban Resort Lecce in Province of Lecce, Italy

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Photos courtesy of Ashford Castle

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Ashford Castle, Ireland

The people who've stayed at this sprawling 13th-century estate is impressive, to say the least: Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, and on and on. Its storied interiors were recently refreshed to the tune of $75 million and are filled with centuries-old antiques, opulent marble fireplaces, and world-famous artworks. But you'd be remiss not to center your stay around the great outdoors. Set on 350 verdant acres on the shores of western Ireland, the castle grounds offer endless activities for every type of traveler, from archery and clay pigeon shooting to golf, fishing and horseback riding.

RELATED: World's Best Castle Hotels

Check Prices for Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland

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Photo by David Roberts

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10 Castle Street, Dorset, England

Dorset’s Cranborne Chase, a former hunting ground for Britain's elite, is a handsome expanse of rolling hills, lush woodlands, charming villages, and grand estates that once housed a who’s who list of the English gentry. Visitors can channel their own inner lord or lady at 10 Castle Street, a magnificent Palladian-style, 18th-century mansion where nine individually styled bedrooms—very English garden party with their tufted headboards, paisley wallpaper, and floral drapes—evoke the feel of a private family home. The best part? Overnight guests have access to the member’s only club upstairs (including an exclusive restaurant and bar), where nights can be spent canoodling in utter privacy.

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Photos: Top left by Chris Caldicott, very bottom by John Athimaritis

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Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal

Portugal’s Douro Valley is the stuff of fairytales--a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards that blanket steep mountainsides, with the majestic Douro River as the centerpiece. Wine is at the heart of it all at the historic Six Senses, a 19th-century manor house restored for the 21st century by New York-based firm Clodagh Design. Guests can unwind with wine-focused treatments in the spa, attend wine tastings in the library, sample regional varietals at the on-site restaurant and bar, and, during harvest season, stomp grapes with the locals. What we love best, though, is the property's magnificent pool, which looks out over the winding river.

RELATED: 9 Wine Regions You've Never Heard Of

Check Prices for Six Senses Douro Valley in Lamego, Portugal

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Photos by Martin Kauffman

5

Killiehuntly Farmhouse & Cottage, Kingussie, Scotland

At this 4,000-acre property in Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, the loudest noises you'll hear are the roar of the nearby river and rustle of wind moving through centuries-old trees. This is the home of Killiehuntly, an impeccably restored 1600s farmhouse turned "Scandi-Scot" retreat courtesy of Danish owner Anne Storm Pederson, who incorporated her Scandinavian-Scottish design aesthetic to beautiful effect (think faux fur throws, rough-hewn wood tables, and stone floors). Guests can bed down at the farmhouse, cottage, or hayloft overlooking the garden and come together at night for communal meals—River Spey salmon; local venison—sourced either from surrounding farmers or right on property.

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Photo courtesy of Château St. Pierre de Serjac

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Château St. Pierre de Serjac, France

Château St Pierre de Serjac, in France’s Languedoc wine region, epitomizes country-house luxury. The working wine estate, fresh off a two-year, $28 million renovation, sits on 200 rolling vineyards, with a fairytale-like turreted façade and equally dreamy interiors that feature elaborate chandeliers, cozy fireplaces, tufted sofas, and vintage claw foot tubs. Our favorite room in the house might be what was once the owner’s chapel, with its original hand-painted Art Nouveau wallpapers and friezes restored to perfection.

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Photo by Tim Winter

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Palé Hall, Wales

What the tiny country of Wales lacks in landmass, it makes up for in culture and character. Case in point: the countless castles that dot the mountains and river valleys. Stately Palé Hall, a 19th-century Victorian estate adjacent to Snowdonia National Park, is exactly what you’d want in a quiet country escape—from the 18 cozy (and beautifully restored) bedrooms that have hosted the likes of Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill to the surrounding Dee valley, an idyllic playground for outdoor pursuits like hiking, fishing, and hunting. Don't miss the classic Welsh dishes at the property's standout restaurant.

Check Prices for Pale Hall Hotel in Llandderfel, United Kingdom

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Photos courtesy of Soho House

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Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, England

A bucolic 100-acre Cotswolds farm is the setting for Soho Farmhouse, the chic Soho House brand's first foray into the country. In addition to 40 cabins, a seven-bedroom farmhouse, and a four-bedroom cottage, there's a deli, a flower shop, a spa, and even a home goods shop where guests can pick up essentials. The vibe here is a luxurious take on country-house chic--you'll find reclaimed wood tables, brass chandeliers, plenty of whitewashed and clapboard, and bicycles and Wellington boots on loan at check-in.

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Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa
Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa
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Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, France

One of France’s—and the world’s—most famous wine regions finally has a five-star wellness retreat to house its hard-working vintners and tipplers. A 19th-century former post house is now the home of 49 elegant rooms and suites overlooking Champagne valley (featuring hues of wood and gold as well as products by Hermès) as well as the region’s first destination spa, which includes a wood-lined yoga studio, mosaic-tiled hammam, and both an indoor and outdoor pool with sweeping valley views. Ask the concierge to arrange a hot air balloon flight or horseback riding excursion to nearby villages, then return for gastronomic meals courtesy of awarded chef Jean-Denis Rieubland.

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Linthwaite House, England

Lovers of England’s bucolic Lake District now have a new reason to return: Linthwaite House, following a year-long renovation, is the tranquil escape it was always meant to be. You won’t spot a hint of florals or chintz here—this spot is contemporary chic at its most charming, with antiques, boldly patterned fabrics (zebra print; yellow tweed), and crackling fireplaces that make afternoons gazing out at Lake Windermere just fly by. Craft cocktails (a Pimm’s Cup, perhaps?) in the cheery Bar & Conservatory or garden bar before dinner at Stella is the usual order of the day. Afternoon tea, of course, is nonnegotiable.

See All Hotels in England's Lake District
Hotel Misincu
Hotel Misincu
Hotel Miniscu
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Hôtel Misíncu, Corsica

A patch of Corsica’s untamed countryside is now home to Hotel Misíncu—a relaxed, beachy boutique bringing a bit of cosmopolitan edge to the otherwise sleepy Cap Corse peninsula. Stone floors, wicker lampshades, and all amounts of copper keep guest rooms feeling chic yet natural—though it’s the windows framing the bay you’ll be most distracted by. If you manage to tear yourself away from your view, head down to Tra Di Noi for local, seasonal plates like shellfish and ewe’s cheese. If you can’t ignore the siren call of the beach any longer, A Spartera is there for all your ceviche and antipasti needs. How you spend the rest of your time—treatments at the spa, perhaps, or exploring nearby villages Saint-Florent and Mathys—is entirely up to you.

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Relais de Chambord, France
Relais de Chambord, France
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Relais de Chambord, France

With its 16th-century Renaissance facade and 13,000-acre estate, the Château de Chambord is among the most beautiful (and well-known) castles in all of France, inspiring such fairytales as Beauty and the Beast. Now, you have the chance to stay on its storied grounds thanks to the opening of the Relais de Chambord, a 19th-century farmhouse turned romantic 55-room hotel whose stylish but subdued interiors keep the focus firmly on the property it overlooks. Rooms are done up with jewel-tone velvet headboards and wall coverings depicting the castle, there’s a library and bar with a fireplace, an intimate spa, and a restaurant serving elevated rustic French cuisine (pan-fried sea bass with asparagus; rack of lamb with carrots) on an outdoor dining terrace. The views are stunning—but not so moving as having the castle all to yourself, once the day-trippers have vanished.

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Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey by Lalique, France
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey by Lalique, France
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Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey by Lalique, France

Renowned French crystal house Lalique is adding “seasoned hoteliers” to its portfolio with the debut of their second hotel, this time in the vineyards of Sauternes. Despite the impressive name, Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey houses just 13 guest rooms—all plush furniture, wood-beamed ceilings, and dramatic crystal chandeliers. The real star of the show, however, is the wine-driven gourmet restaurant (you’re in Bordeaux, after all) run by lauded chef Jérôme Schilling, where an in-house sommelier is at the ready to help pair your meal with one of the wine cellar’s 350,000 bottles.

See All Hotels in Bordeaux

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