It’s a sad fact, but the hotels that I am least likely to stay in are my favorite ones. When planning trips, I tend to focus on promising new properties and current recommendations that have generated controversy. Alas, I can seldom justify return visits to classic hotels in which I have complete confidence. But, of course, it is very often the famous and highly rated places that Andrew Harper members are eager to experience. I decided, therefore, to outline some of the European journeys I would be most keen to repeat given the time and opportunity. Each of the suggested itineraries below includes longtime favorite hotels in some of Europe’s most magical destinations.
Italy: Florence, Tuscany, Rome and the Amalfi Coast
Where to begin but Italy. I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve visited the country, yet I look forward to each return trip as if it were my first. The great cities like Venice, Florence and Rome are astonishing, but spending time in the small towns and idyllic countryside can be one of life’s supreme pleasures. On this occasion we begin in Florence and end in Ravello, some 1,000 feet above the sea.
France: Paris, Plus Provence and the Côte d’Azur
My favorite place in France is whichever region I visited last. Countless wonderful itineraries are possible here, including in Normandy, Brittany, the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, to name only a few. But if I were drawing a French trip out of a hat, I would most hope for Paris, where this itinerary begins, plus Provence and the Côte d’Azur.