Glistening blue waters, rocky cliffs, beach towns brimming with outdoor concerts and festivals—Europe’s seaside destinations come alive in the summer when urbanites swap concrete streets for the shore. Follow their lead and check into one of these stunning oceanfront hotels, from a stylish boutique in Santorini to a grand estate on the coast of England. 

1. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento – Italy

Walking into this 19th-century cliffside grand dame is like stepping into Italy’s glamorous past, when the who’s who of the country’s creative set would gather here. Among the many big name guests was famed tenor Enrico Caruso, whose eponymous suite is still decked out in antiques and black-and-white photographs. At sunset, the hotel’s terrace is the perfect place to savor an Aperol Spritz with a view of the Bay of Sorrento before dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant Terrazza Bosquet.Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria Italy tree water sky outdoor Resort Pool swimming pool property leisure vacation swimming Villa real estate Lake condominium home resort town mansion blue surrounded

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2. La Sirenuse, Positano – Italy

When it comes to luxurious hotels on Italy’s glammed-out Amalfi Coast, it doesn’t get much more iconic than Le Sirenuse. Made famous by John Steinbeck, who wrote about his stay here in 1953, the hotel still attracts movie stars and jet-setters to the once sleepy fishing village of Positano. Colorful mosaic tiles, antiques, and a breezy nautical-inspired color scheme epitomize seaside Italian style. Request a sea-facing room so you can enjoy endless views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.Le Sirenuse Hotel Italy Buildings calm charming Cliffs europe houses isolation landscape Ocean quaint remote Scenic views serene view mountain water outdoor Town geographical feature landmark Coast vacation Sea tourism cityscape tower bay mountain range Village travel place of worship Island

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3. W Barcelona, Barcelona – Spain

If you want your vacay to combine city and beach, Barcelona has the best of both worlds: architectural marvels by Gaudí, next-level restaurants and bars, world-class museums, and a powdery stretch of sand dubbed La Barceloneta. Book a room at the sleek W Barcelona, which overlooks the water and has rooms with private balconies and lounge chairs for taking in the view, cocktail in hand. At night, the 26th-floor Eclipse lounge is the place to be for both locals and tourists.W Barcelona Barcelona, Spain sky swimming pool leisure vacation caribbean Resort Ocean Sea row line lined

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4. Grace, Santorini – Greece

On the idyllic Greek island of Santorini, this whitewashed resort is downright drool-worthy, thanks to a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the sea, a sleek interior filled with modernist furniture, and an unbeatable location on the caldera’s clifftop. Even standard rooms come with private plunge pools, and the new two-bedroom villa pulls out all the stops (we’re talking private spa, kitchen, terrace and swimming pool). Watch the sunset with a glass of bubbly at the hotel’s new 363 Champagne Lounge, so-called because of its location 363 meters above the sea.

5. Cap Eden Roc, Antibes – France

On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-coloured hotel. Deferential palms cool its flushed facade, and before it stretches a short dazzling beach. Lately it has become a summer resort of notable and fashionable people. So begins Tender is the Night, the novel that defined the South of France in the age when it shimmied out of Edwardian languor and into 20th-century excess. In F Scott Fitzgerald’s book, the Riviera filled the foreground and the hotel, which he called Gausse’s, was its quintessence. The model for Gausse’s was the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc at Antibes.

6. Pine Cliffs Residence, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve – Portugal

In Portugal’s Algarve region, where urbanites decamp during summer, the Pine Cliffs Residence is a secluded stay with sweeping views of the Atlantic. Along with the neighboring Pine Cliffs Hotel and Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites, the hotel spans over 170 acres of the Portuguese coastline and has plenty of outdoor activities—from golf to water sports—to keep you entertained. Check into one of 154 recently renovated rooms decorated with soothing browns and creams, terra cotta floors, and headboards made from azulejos (hand-painted tiles fired in kilns in Lisbon).

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7. Casa Ellul – Malta

With crystal-clear waters, mouthwatering cuisine, and a rich history that goes back centuries, the lesser-known island of Malta is a great getaway for travelers looking for an alternative to Italy or France. Make your base the capital of Valletta and check into the stylish Casa Ellul which has just eight rooms that blend heritage architecture with modern furnishings. The geometric tiles alone are Instagram-candy, while sea views from the rooftop terrace are an added bonus. Casa Ellul Valletta, Malta vacation Resort Sea travel

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8. J.K. Place, Capri – Italy

Sophistication redefined, J.K. Place Capri teeters on a cliff above the Marina Grande with panoramic views over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius in the distance. A pristine, ultra-chic retreat, it has a glorious pool, an expansive terrace, a spa, beach access, a bar and great cuisine. The ambiance at J.K. Place Capri is one of laid back glamour with utra-white interiors and contrasting navy blue highlights that give the hotel a super stylish look and feel. Like a sophisticated, private villa, there are beautiful decorative touches throughout from large, white vases in the dining room to antiques, beautiful books and great art. Definitely one of our favorites!

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