6 Epic Hotels in Europe You’ll Want to Plan a Road Trip AroundBy Terry Ward
With so many countries and diverse cultures crammed into a single continent, Europe might be the richest road-tripping territory of all. From the winding roads of Crete in Greece and France’s epic Côte d’Azur to the Bodrum Peninsula in southwest Turkey, the English countryside and Portugal’s languorous Atlantic coastline, deciding where to put your car in drive will be the biggest challenge of your vacation planning.
But narrowing it down can be easy if you start by choosing an epic hotel worthy of a road trip in and of itself.
Read on for some top European road trips and hotels so great they’ll inspire you to hit the open road to adventure.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Elciego
It’s second nature to set out on a wine-inspired road trip when you stay at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Elciego, the exquisite Frank Ghery–designed 21st-century chateau with just 61 guest rooms in the Basque country of northern Spain.
The medieval town of Elciego is at the property’s doorstep, with wine tours around Logroño, the capital of Spain’s renowned Rioja wine, just a few minutes away, too. It’s just a bit farther afield to visit Burgos, along the Ribera del Duero wine route, where more incredible medieval architecture and wine tasting awaits.
Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection
Winding mountain roads and Mediterranean views in 50 shades of sapphire make for breathtaking scenery at every bend when you plan a road trip in the wilds of eastern Crete.
Set out from Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection to explore the sandy coves around Mirabello Bay, the largest bay in the Greek islands; visit the palm forest in Vai; and set your sights on Aegean port towns like Sitia, where you can feast on seafood in tavernas.
The resort, designed to resemble an ancient Greek-style agora, has pop-up shopping, restaurants, kids clubs and pools to enjoy throughout its sprawling grounds.
The Bodrum EDITION
The Bodrum Peninsula in southwest Turkey is prime road-tripping territory, with beautiful beaches in the pretty fishing port of Yalıkavak and coastal resort towns like Yalıçiftlik to explore.
In the western reaches of the peninsula, make The Bodrum EDITION your stylish destination and you’ll be close to the Bodrum castle and amphitheater — then have the hotel’s indulgent Turkish hammam and exclusive beach club to return to when it’s time to shift gears into relaxation mode.
Le Méridien Nice
Roll down the windows to make the most of French Riviera views when you plot a road trip along the Côte d’Azur from its most iconic city, Nice. Head east along the coast to visit the medieval hilltop town of Èze or swing through Monte Carlo to soak in the jet set scene.
Heading west from Nice, set your sights on swanky coastal enclaves like Antibes, Cannes and St. Tropez. But right along the Promenade des Anglais in the heart of Nice, your primary destination, Le Méridien Nice has a rooftop bar with expansive Mediterranean views for sipping cocktails at sunset, and the outdoor heated pool beckons all day when it’s time for a break from the beach.
Penha Longa Resort
Perfectly positioned along Portugal’s coast for road trips north to Sintra and the surf town of Ericeira or south to visit Cascais and Lisbon, Penha Longa Resort is one of Europe’s most exclusive resorts.
The elegant property set within Sintra-Cascais Natural Park has hosted Portuguese kings and queens and sets the scene for a vacation that can be as active or relaxing as you like, with a golf course, horseback riding, a wellness club and spa with indoor and outdoor pools, and unique dining experiences on offer that include a Japanese buffet and afternoon tea.
The Langley, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buckinghamshire
Make the Duke of Marlborough’s former country estate your decadent base for road trips into the English and Welsh countryside west of London, with spots like Oxford and Bath in England and Cardiff, Wales, all within close reach for a day trip or lengthier forays.
The Langley, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buckinghamshire, a restored manor home with just 41 elegant rooms, feels like a contemporary country retreat, yet you access London by train in just an hour, if you wish — the best of both British worlds, in other words.
Hitting the road soon? Use Road Trip Search* to book hotels along your route, find pet-friendly properties, on-site EV charging, and more – only on the Marriott Bonvoy® App. Download today.
*Road Trip Search feature only available on iOS.