Europe may be struggling with an existential debt crisis, but it hasnt lost its taste for luxury accommodations. Europe accounts for 25 of The Worlds Best Hotels, Institutional investors annual ranking of elite establishments. Thats the most of any region after the Americas (48).
Many of the regions top hotels combine rich pedigrees and Old World elegance with the latest in high-tech gadgetry and luxury amenities.
Claridges, the Art Deco gem in Londons swank Mayfair district, comes top of the list with a rating of 94.3 on a scale of zero to 100. The hotel manages to maintain its classic style while staying abreast of Londons fashion trends. It recently appointed illustrator David Downton as its first artist in residence to draw some of the hotels most notable guests; the works will be put on permanent display in the hotel.
By contrast, the Hotel Arts Barcelona, which ranks second with a rating of 94.0, is a relative newcomer. The glass and aluminum tower was built as part of the renovation of the citys waterfront for the 1992 Olympic Games, and boasts dramatic views of the Mediterranean as well as the heart of the Catalan capital. The third-ranked European hotel, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, seamlessly blends old and new. The hotel was built in 2002 by linking together five townhouses just off the exclusive Place Vendôme.
Parisian style clearly appeals to the senior financial industry executives who rank the hotels. The City of Light places seven hotels among the top 25 in Europe, ahead of London (five) and Zurich (four).
See the full ranking of the best European hotels in our slideshow.