Anabelle Bed and Breakfast
Often hailed as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, Hungary's capital is made up of two very distinct sections separated by the Danube River: Buda, the hilly, more residential area; and Pest, the modern, lively half buzzing with cafes, bars and bistros. Anabelle Bed and Breakfast is located in the latter, making it the perfect base for exploring the city's main attractions, such as Szechenyi Baths—one of the largest public baths on the Continent—and the neighboring House of Parliament. Though situated within a turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau building, the B&B has been lovingly renovated and offers a handful of stylishly furnished rooms, each sporting oak wood floors and traveler essentials such as hairdryers and Wi-Fi. There's even a penthouse with its own private terrace.
The Collector B&B
Housed within an early 20th-century building just around the corner from Amsterdam's Museum Quarter—home to both the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum—the Collector B&B boasts a gallery-worthy art collection of its own. Host Karel is an avid curator of everything from antique alarm clocks to Dutch wooden skates, all lovingly displayed throughout the property. Guests have access to a kitchen (open 24 hours) as well as a couple of rental bikes for exploring.
The center of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Belgian port city is the perfect destination for history-lovers. Family-run Hotel Alegria stands at the center of the action: a three-story 19th-century townhouse on a quiet street just a few hundred feet from Bruges' main square. Rooms feature hardwood floors and softly accented décor, and each has a small refrigerator for storing leftovers. There's an elevator for weary travelers and a hidden garden perfect for escaping the nearby throngs of tourists, as well as for enjoying a delicious outdoor buffet breakfast during warmer months.
Occupying prime real estate in the center of Portugal's stunning red-roofed capital, B&B ZUZA is made up of multiple properties. There is B&B Zuzabed (the proprietor's own home), a second-floor flat in Lisbon's upscale Chiado district with four well-appointed guestrooms, each offering views of São Jorge Castle and the city's Old Quarter. Less than a minute's walk from the property is Zuza Guest House, which has seven budget-friendly (but charming) guestrooms with three shared bathrooms between; and in the neighboring Bairro Alto district—known for its Portuguese restaurants and nightlife—the new Zuzabed Lisbon Suites features washing machines and fully-equipped private kitchens.
Known as the last stop on southern Germany's scenic Romantic Road, Füssen sits at the foot of the Bavarian alps just three miles from the Austrian border. It's home to LIPPERGÜT'L, an elegant B&B within easy travel distance to fairytale castles like Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. This former farmhouse stands just outside the charming lakeside town and offers three guestrooms filled with antique furnishings. LIPPERGÜT'L also boasts a renovated barn—complete with a breakfast area, library loft and piano for entertaining.
Travelers come from around the globe to bask in Salzburg's beauty, as well as the town's musical history. Along with being the birthplace of prolifiic 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the city's stunning surrounds also became the iconic setting for "The Sound of Music." The Amadeus Hotel is your place to experience it all. Occupying a centuries-old townhouse within the Old Town's vibrant pedestrian zone, this 20-room guesthouse accommodates everyone from solo travelers to families of four. Many rooms feature canopy poster beds and traditional Salzburg-style furnishings, and each offers the famed Julie Andrews film on in-room TV ... for inspiration, of course.
The Loire Valley is one of France's great offerings: a scenic stretch of ample vineyards, historic towns and stunning chateaus. What better way to experience the region than to stay in a chateau of your own? Less than an hour's drive from Paris, 17th-century Castle Herissaudiere perfectly embodies the classical French style with an array of unique offerings. Plan winery excursions or hot air ballooning trips in the leather-clad library; enjoy breakfast on a rose-covered terrace; or spend mornings doing laps in a heated pool or playing a round of tennis before setting out for the day. Each of the property's two guestrooms, three suites and two cottages are styled with Art Deco furnishings, and the grounds feature lovely old sequoia trees for wandering.
Le Mas Du Chanoine
SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE
Ideally located to explore the French Riviera and northern Italy, Le Mas du Chanoine is itself a welcome escape. This three-suite guesthouse (with portions dating back to the 17th century) is less than 5 miles to the superb beaches of the Côte d'Azur (though it's just as easy to while away an afternoon beside the B&B's inground pool). Each room is tastfully decorated in provencial-style decor and features a private outdoor entrance—two opening directly onto a garden filled with jasmine, roses, and fruit trees and another accessible by a series of stone steps that offer superb views of Saint-Paul de Vence, a medieval hilltop village just up the road.
Masseria Murgia Albanese
Still relatively undiscovered, Italy's Puglia region—in the heel of the country's boot—provides one of Italy's most authentic travel experiences. Stay in a masseria—a fortified centuries-old farmhouse once common throughout the region. Surrounded by open fields and dry stone walls, Masseria Murgia Albanese provides three antique-filled rooms for guests, including an old farmhouse annex with stone ceilings that can accommodate up to five. The working farm is also home to a series trullo, a traditional dry stone hut with pointy hat-like roofs. You can see more of these in nearby Alberobello. The cave city of Matera and the stunning beaches of Polignano a Mare are also an easy drive.
Valencia Mindfulness Retreat
On any good European vacation there comes a time to unwind; the Valencia Mindfulness Retreat in Spain's third-largest city offers a chance to do just that. Located within a 100-year-old mansion in Valencia's historical centre, the motto here is relaxation. Wake up to a five-star Champagne breakfast. Mingle over a pre-dinner drink in one of two bright lounge areas. Or splurge on a massage or yoga session. Rooms feature original details such as high ceilings and wrought-iron balconies, and attractions like the Plaza de la Virgen and the Museo Belles Artes are virtually just outside the door.
—by Laura Kiniry