This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
The shores of the Continent always beckon. Still, travelers are as discerning as ever when it comes to determining the best resorts in Europe. As usual, Greece and Italy make a strong showing, but a smattering of properties in the U.K., Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal round out the far-reaching list, proving that the countryside is just as adored as the waterfront.
After zero presence on last year’s list, the U.K. captured two spots this year: Chewton Glen in the English countryside at No. 14 and Ireland’s famed Ballyfin at No. 12, which was described by one respondent as having “elegance and luxury, with the feel of a country home.” Portugal managed to nab one spot again, but with a different property this year. Lauded as a “beautiful hotel near Sintra with a great golf course,” Penha Longa Resort secured the eighth spot on the list.
Hotels in Italy made a strong showing. Scoring highest was Il Sereno Lago di Como in Torno, Italy, which claimed spot No. 2. According to one voter, the modern property is “a breath of fresh air in old Lake Como.” Another admirer wrote, “The rooms are beautifully crafted, and each element has been carefully thought through to pamper the guest.”
But rivalling Italy for clout on this year’s list is Greece, which has four hotels on the list, including the Santorini oasis that secured No. 1. Keep reading to find out what made it such a standout, and see the rest of the winners.
Moving up from the last spot on last year’s list, this cliff-top retreat on the quieter side of Santorini captured readers’ hearts in a big way. The stunning white-washed resort offers sweeping views of both the Aegean Sea and the surrounding blue and white buildings. (Elegant rooms echo the color scheme, which gives a seamless look and feel to the resort.) The minimalism continues throughout the modern restaurant, fitness center, and outdoor spaces, with only the massive infinity pool diverting attention from the sea. Guests obsessed over the “best sunset views on the whole island,” and one reviewer wrote simply that “the resort is magical and the food is divine.”
More information: aubergeresorts.com
More information: serenohotels.com
More information: canaves.com
More information: hotelilpellicano.com
More information: katikiesmykonos.com
More information: exvitt.it
More information: crillonlebrave.com
More information: penhalonga.com
More information: canaves.com
More information: badruttspalace.com
More information: fincacortesin.com
More information: ballyfin.com
More information: mandarinoriental.com
More information: chewtonglen.com
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