Top 10 best luxury beach resorts in Europe

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today: Top 10 best luxury beach resorts in Europe.

Each year, millions of tourists are enjoying a sundrenched summer holiday in Europe’s southern regions. However, the Mediterranean Sea – where Europe’s most fabulous coastal resorts are located – is not particularly known for its beaches, which often tend to be narrow and composed of pebbles, mostly explained by the fact that the Mediterranean Sea has tides of a very low amplitude due to its very narrow outlet/inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, it’s Europe’s prime summer playground, offering spectacular natural scenery including ancient pine forests and scalloped bays. Here’s my selection of Europe’s most fabulous beach resorts where you can treat yourself and your loved ones to an unforgettable holiday.

There is more info below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite beach resort in Europe in the comments section.

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10. VERDURA RESORT, A ROCCO FORTE HOTEL, SICILY, ITALY

Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel, is set in South Sicily with 1.8 km (1,2 mi) of private coastline. The contemporary architecture combines luxury with simplicity that is in keeping with the local culture. There are 168 rooms, 32 suites and a dozen private villas, all with sea view. The property’s four restaurants enchants the senses with menus inspired by traditional Sicilian cuisine. The resort’s award-winning spa offers holistic treatments and health programs. Golfers from all over the world come to enjoy the two 18-hole championship courses and a nine-hole par-three course.

  • Hotel websiteVerdura Resort, a Rocce Forte Hotel
  • Other accolades: Verdura Resort, a Rocce Forte Hotel, also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Sicily.
  • Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Review: read my review of Verdura Resort here.

VERDURA RESORT, A ROCCO FORTE HOTEL, SICILY, ITALY


9. DAIOS COVE LUXURY RESORT & VILLAS, CRETE, GREECE

Located in a spectacular private bay on Crete’s northeast coast, Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas evokes the intimate charm of the traditional villages found throughout the Greek isles, expressed in an elegant, contemporary architecture. Blending in with its rugged and dramatic surroundings, the property – one of the best beach resorts in Europe – boasts spacious rooms, suites, and villas that bring the beauty of the outside in, some with their own private pool. Facilities include an award-winning spa, direct access to a private beach, a magnificent infinity pool, and several gourmet dining options.

  • Hotel websiteDaios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas
  • Other accolades: Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Crete.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit or one complimentary lunch or dinner for up to two people per room).
  • Review: read my review of Daois Cove Luxury Resort & Villas here.

DAIOS COVE LUXURY RESORT & VILLAS, CRETE, GREECE


8. BORGO IGNAZIA, ITALY

Borgo Egnazia is a visionary interpretation of a Puglian village, a “nowhere else” place embodying the true essence of Puglia. Located in Savelletri di Fasano, among millennial olive groves beside the blue Adriatic Sea, it is open all year and offers a beguiling portfolio of rooms, casettas, and villas. It features Vair, the tradition-based spa, and San Domenico Golf Club, one of the best courses in Italy. With four sparkling pools (two heated), nearby beaches, paddle and tennis courts, cookery school, kids’ and teens’ clubs, and “nowhere else” experiences, this hotel offers something for all types of travelers.

  • Hotel website: Borgo Egnazia
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

BORGO IGNAZIA, ITALY


7. THE ROMANOS, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, GREECE

Set amid lush olive groves and overlooking the Ionian Sea, The Romanos offers a distinctive and inspiring environment of genuine luxury and heartfelt hospitality. Choose from 321 beautifully appointed guest rooms, suites, and villas – be sure to book one of the 128 that have their own infinity-edge pool. Dine on local and international culinary flavors in numerous unique venues. Activities such as philosophy walks and olive harvesting are sure to pique your interest, and set aside time to indulge at Anazoe Spa, with special therapies based on ancient Greek practices and oleotherapy treatments.

  • Hotel websiteThe Romanos
  • Other accolades: The Romanos also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Greece.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check-in, late check-out, and daily breakfast for 2).

THE ROMANOS, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, GREECE


6. FORTE VILLAGE HOTEL IL CASTELLO, SARDINIA, ITALY

Well-heeled hedonists feel right at home at the 218-room Hotel Il Castello at Forte Village Resort. Set in an exclusive enclave on the southern coast of Sardinia, this resort provides a stupefying choice of diversions: beachcombing, gourmet dining, thalassotherapy, youth soccer led by Chelsea Football Club coaches, fashion fittings from the foremost Italian labels, and more. Il Castello guests enjoy their own pool and have direct access to one of the Med’s best beaches; suites come with heady extras, including a private butler and chef service. Twenty-one restaurants take you on a culinary world tour.

  • Hotel website: Forte Village Hotel Castello
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD resort credit, a complimentary round of golf for up to two people, complimentary spa access with use of thalasso pools, and 20% discount on spa treatments).

FORTE VILLAGE HOTEL IL CASTELLO, SARDINIA, ITALY


5. AMANZOE, GREECE

Laying amongst centuries old olive groves, Amanzoe’s hilltop location affords panoramic views of the Peloponnese countryside, the glittering sea, and awe-inspiring mountains. Designed by quintessential Aman architect, the legendary Ed Tuttle, this exclusive haven of unsurpassed beauty features classically inspired yet sleekly contemporary villas, which open to expansive private terraces, creating unrivaled sense of space and seclusion. A stone’s throw away, Amanzoe’s beach resort club – one of the most exclusive in Europe – comes with four pools and provides fun in total privacy by the water.


4. VILA VITA PARC RESORT & SPA, PORTUGAL

Vila Vita Parc celebrates the best of Portugal, immersing guests in an ultra-luxurious and lush seaside oasis with every imaginable service, amenity, activity and pleasure. The property is perched majestically atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, set nearby the typical village of Porches. Its Moorish style influenced architecture is harmoniously inserted in the local landscape along the Algarve coastline. The 170 breezy, sea-themed rooms and villas provide guests with the ultimate privacy. Guests can indulge in body treatment at the spa, a cruise on the yacht or a six-course tasting at the two Michelin-star Ocean.

  • Hotel websiteVila Vita Parc Resort & Spa
  • Other accolades: Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Portugal.
  • Tip: get complimentary benefits when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD resort credit, and a bottle of wine, seasonal fruit and mineral water on arrival).

VILA VITA PARC RESORT & SPA, PORTUGAL


3. CALILO, IOS, GREECE

Rising out of, and carved from, the native rock, Calilo is cradled by 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by six miles of golden sand, lapped by a cerulean sea. In a remote corner of unspoilt Ios, in the heart of the Cyclades, and just a pebble’s throw from party islands Mykonos and Santorini, this 30-suite sanctuary offers an escape from the crowds. Think sun-drenched seclusion surrounded by an ancient olive-pricked landscape – nature and art at its heart. From its architecture and interior design to the striking artworks and installations, Calilo is the creation a family whose aim is to preserve, protect and nurture this tantalising land – and to share the dream and the island’s mesmerising magic.

  • Hotel website: Calilo
  • Review: coming soon

CALILO, IOS ISLAND, GREECE


2. MANDARIN ORIENTAL BODRUM, TURKEY

Located along Turkey’s sparkling Riviera, Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is one of Europe’s most exclusive beach resorts. This bespoke 133-room hotel stands encircled by olive groves, an exclusive private beach, and a water sports center with myriad options. Wave to passing yachts from your private cabana, take a dip in one of many pools, play tennis, or join a Pilates class. A kids’ club is available and the spa provides a host of nurturing treatments, so there is something for everyone. Inspired dining options range from traditional Turkish fare to contemporary Japanese cuisine.


1. ONE&ONLY PORTONOVI, MONTENEGRO

The Adriatic has a new nautical playground: One&Only Portonovi. Resplendent at the entrance of Boka Bay, a fjord-like idyll on Montenegro’s Adriatic Sea (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the phenomenal beach resort is the jewel of Europe’s most fashionable new riviera. With its spacious rooms, suites, and villas, and Riviera-style dining helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Giorgio Locatelli, this 60-acre retreat is a must-stay for discerning. Play on the private beach, try an al fresco yoga session, relax in one of the 11 pools, or join the after-dark festivities hosted by the resort’s resident DJ.

  • Hotel website: One&Only Portonovi
  • Other accolades: One&Only Portonovi also features in my list of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2021.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of One&Only Portonovi here.

ONE&ONLY PORTONOVI, MONTENEGRO


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2 Comments

  1. O&O Portofino looks nice, but their website had only poor information. So thank you for your beautiful review! We also love VilaVita.

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