It’s time to celebrate the transformative power of travel. Europe is ready to welcome visitors back in 2022 and these eight hot city destinations each offer newly opened, buzzworthy hotels fit for the dreamiest of dream holidays. Here’s our wrap of the coolest hotels in Europe to put on your radar.
The Tate Modern and Buckingham Palace will remain London’s big-ticket calling cards so long as Big Ben keeps chiming but the city’s effervescent modern side is an ever-evolving proposition.
Right now, there’s no better ’hood to get a taste of London’s cutting edge than Dalston. Universally acclaimed as an epicentre of hipness, it’s an artistically minded haven of vegan cafés, vintage stores and secret supper clubs knitted together by pedestrian-only thoroughfares.
Named Hotel of the Year at the AHEAD Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design, NoMad (above) in Covent Garden’s former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court is truly a sight to behold. Bold design, 20th-century artworks and living greenery are layered onto sumptuous Victorian heritage bones - including a triple-storey glass atrium housing the acclaimed restaurant.
Or make Westminster your seat of power by checking into boutique newcomer The Guardsman (above), where the clubbish feel (all plush velvet and gold trim) is enhanced by a drawing room and library channeling a proud Old Blighty past.
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The City of Lights still harbours secrets, as micro-explorers of its famous Marais would discover when they reach the less-frequented northern end of the cosmopolitan district.
Known as the Haut Marais, the area is home to edgy art galleries and edgier fashion boutiques, along with restaurant terraces that evoke sepia-toned photographs and elegant private residences that make ambling a bonne idee.
The essence of Parisian style, the newly opened Hotel du Sentier (above) is a study in understated chic, gracing a charming square in the edgy garment district, where 30 individually designed rooms are spread over six levels of a light-bathed heritage building.
The world’s first cinema-hotel, Hotel Paradiso (below) offers projectors and popcorn in all its 36 rooms and suites, while panoramic views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower compete with the big screen on its seventh-floor rooftop lawn and terrace.
If it’s been a while between drinks in the Eternal City, it’s time to check out the Mercato Centrale. Rome’s first (and only) artisan food market offers a deep dive into Italy’s proud culinary traditions, with stalls showcasing artisan produce from across the regions, including Chianina beef burgers from Tuscany, Sicilian pastries and hauntingly delicious Alba truffles – all within a magnificently reimagined historic space at Termini Station.
Once the home of 19th-century opera composer Gaetano Donizetti, as of September the 30-room Maalot Roma (above) and its buzz-worthy Don Pasquale restaurant have welcomed modern aesthetes with an era-mashing art collection and boldly patterned furnishings, so close to the Trevi Fountain you can hear the splash of coins.
If it’s newest you’re after, the December 2021 opening of the W Rome (above) gives a local spin to its Italian brand debut, presenting a grand palazzo to the street and a bold maximalist design within, including a rooftop bar (opening March 2022) surrounded by greenery.
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Pack your walking shoes: Dublin has been tipped as one of the hottest 2022 destinations by travel mavens Lonely Planet, thanks to its new policy of putting pedestrians before cars and closing busy city streets to traffic.
The on-foot takeover is set to continue – all the better to boost an outdoor drinking and dining scene that brings the craic to the Republic of Ireland’s capital.
In the emerging Docklands precinct, The Mayson Dublin (above) has turned a heritage waterfront warehouse into a hipster haven with in-room turntables and walls decorated by up-and-coming Irish artists, while striking copper bathtubs in the suites reference the building’s industrial past.
The city centre’s Marlin Hotel Stephens Green (below) is the perfect base for exploring the stylish boutiques of nearby Drury Street and boasts its own design witticisms, like a grand sculptural tree and horse float coffee station in the lobby.
There’s nothing wrong with having fun in Amsterdam, but as the Netherlands’ capital reopens to the world it’s poised to show off its more serious side thanks to a government campaign tipping its cap to culture and history buffs.
Hard-to-resist lures include the city’s first new media gallery, the multi-sensory Nxt Museum, while novelty hunters will thrill to the emerging Amsterdam Noord neighbourhood with its Palm Springs-inspired Pink Beach bar.
Close to the central Museum Square, the 19 rooms of the salon-like De Ware Jacob Boutique Hotel (above) offer a prime position for visiting the city’s famous cultural institutions, such as the Van Gogh Museum, while the classically styled lounge and serene garden provide the perfect setting for aprés-sightseeing relaxation.
The triple-stacked architectural triangles of the Nhow Amsterdam RAI (above) are an arresting sight towering over the Zuidas business district, with dazzling interiors bringing its own eclectic brand of modernity in a cacophony of colour.
Use or earn Qantas Points when you book your Amsterdam stay at Qantas Hotels. Search now.
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The times they are a’changin’ in Edinburgh, where the port neighbourhood of Leith has gone from a place your parents warn you about to the last word in urban cool.
It’s out with the rogues and swindlers, in with the designers, baristas and high-flying chefs, especially around the few blocks comprising the foodie precinct known as The Shore – but the star attraction of afternoon tea on the Royal Yacht Britannia remains undiminished.
On Leith’s lively waterfront, the 100-room Malmaison Edinburgh City (above) has turned a former Seaman’s Mission into a beautifully textured showpiece of modern design, complete with a terrace purpose-built for soaking up the maritime views with the help of a peated whiskey (or a margarita).
Back in Edinburgh’s city centre, the amazing views of Edinburgh Castle from the rooftop bar at Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge (below) risk detracting attention from the cocktails (and occasional movie screenings) on offer at this arty new haunt, while rooms decked out in natural timbers offer a calming respite from the big-city buzz.
Get ready to broaden your horizons beyond the taverna. Athens’ rustic image has been given a sophisticated overhaul by Michelin-starred restaurants offering unforgettable experiences in some of its most scenic spots.
Whether enjoying red mullet tartare at the marina at Varoulko Seaside or lamb cooked with young figs and verjuice overlooking the Acropolis at Hytra, it’s an exciting new window on the world’s ancient capital.
Mirroring the sophisticated flavour of its central Plaka neighbourhood, the chic Villa Brown Ermou (above) is a sanctuary of Gatsby-esque glamour and offbeat objects d’art tucked along a cobblestone walkway close to the shopping thrills of Ermou Street.
Hugging the steep marble streets of the trendy Kolonaki `hood, Shila Athens (above) evokes a bohemian vision of the city’s grand past in six character-filled suites singing in a key of romance with curtain-shrouded beds, vintage lamps and antique rugs, all housed in an art-filled neoclassical mansion.
Use or earn Qantas Points when you book your Athens stay at Qantas Hotels. Search now.
The world’s gastronomic capital for more than a decade thanks to Rene Redzepi’s Noma and the “New Nordic” zeitgeist, Copenhagen has more recently morphed into a fashion capital with an engagingly offbeat aesthetic.
Head to the Nørrebro neighbourhood to shop the look celebrated by the global design glitterati as “Scandi cool”, but not before gathering street-style inspiration from a terrace table at one of the area’s lively bars.
Contemporary design layered over an original Carlsberg brewery has seen Hotel Ottilia (above) make a bold impression in the up-and-coming Carlsberg City precinct south-west of the city. New Nordic style struts its stuff across 155 rooms and suites, some boasting panoramic circular windows with stylish daybeds.
There’s more Nordic novelty in the city centre, where citizenM Copenhagen Radhuspladsen (below) brings funky design and a buzzing lobby that has quickly become one of the city’s informal meeting places for its movers, shakers and tastemakers.