Hi Frugalistas! Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m sharing secrets. I’m sharing my favorite frugal first class hotels in Europe. I’ve written before about the things I look for in a hotel, but I’ve never shared my real life favorites. These are all hotels I’ve stayed in. With one exception, they all hotels that I have booked and paid full price for just like you. They are hotels I would genuinely stay in again (and in one case, is a real favorite). This post is updated to include my new favorite Paris hotel and also to update one of my old favorites.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, you definitely need to bookmark this post!
Hotel de la Porte Dorée, Paris
If you read my recent post on the 12th arrondissement of Paris you’ll have heard of the Hotel de la Porte Dorée. You’ll also know it’s my new favorite hotel in Paris. I love the friendly staff, the gorgeously authentic décor and the charming, non touristy neighbourhood. Oh, and the breakfast is pretty fab too.Check out availability now
Hotel Muguet, Paris
I’ve been to Paris ten times in my life. And I think I’ve stayed at the Hotel Muguet at least half those times. Yes, sometimes I stay elsewhere in Paris, but the Hotel Muguet is the hotel in Paris I keep coming back to.
In a fantastic residential area of Paris, great staff and a reliably generous breakfast, it’s my “go to” hotel in Paris.Find rooms at the Hotel Muguet now
Hotel les Cigales, Nice
This hotel was a real find. It’s located in a quiet part of central Nice, just a block from the pricy Hotel Negresco and the beach. Walking distance to the tram and Old Town. And the staff are lovely. And it’s a great price. What’s not to love? On my recent trip to the lovely townhouse in Pigna, I had another stay in Nice at the Hotel Cigales before I went onto London. I was delighted to find it was just as I remembered it.Check out availability at Les Cigales now
Le Rapp Hotel, Colmar, Alsace
In the interests of full disclosure, I did receive a media rate when I stayed at the Le Rapp. But it is fully deserving of being in my list of favorites, regardless. In the old part of Colmar (and 10minutes walk to the station), it has beautiful modern rooms and one of the best Hotel Restaurants I’ve ever eaten in.Find rooms at Le Rapp here
Pensione Peters, Berlin
We spent New Years Eve at Pensione Peters in Berlin a number of years ago. When we got up on New Years Day we were served complimentary champagne and a celebration breakfast – at no extra cost. It’s that sort of place. Pensione Peters is like staying in a grand mansion with its high ceilings and winning location overlooking a park. The location is a definite winner too, right near the Ubahn (on a direct line to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof).
You can find some great vegan restaurants in Berlin here.Check out availability now
Hotel Spitzweg, Rothenburg-ob-der- Tauber
When you stay in a fairytale town like Rothenburg you need a fairytale hotel to stay in, right? And the 12 room Hotel Spitzweg is just that. Built in the sixteenth century, it has suitably creaky stairs, beautiful furniture and a great atmosphere. The best breakfast in Germany is served, I’m sure, by the owner himself – who does the most amazing impression of Santa Claus, just to add to your fairytale…….Find your Hotel Spitzweg fairytale now
Hotel Patritius, Bruges
This delightful 16 room charmer is located in a street full of beautiful early 19th century Neoclassical mansions. Family owned, the husband and wife owners take turns at manning the front desk. This hotel is really like staying in someone’s home – if the home was a mansion, with polished oak floors, and a magnificent chandelier in the breakfast room that is.Check out availability now
Hotel Grandvia, Barcelona
The Hotel Grand Via was typical of many older 3 star hotels in Europe. It had very plain rooms. But the public areas were stunning – especially the grand staircase and the sumptuous breakfast room. Fast forward a few years, and like many older hotels, it has also had a facelift. The public areas still look stunning, but the rooms themselves had had a facelift – and truly lovely they look too. It also offers an amazing buffet breakfast.Find rooms at the Granvia now
I love this place for its location: literally a stone’s throw from the Placa de Catalunya, the Barre Gotic and the Gaudi architecture in the Eixample.
Hotel du Lac, Bellagio, Lake Como
I gave myself a special treat when I booked a lake view room at the Hotel du Lac. Yes, it was more expensive, but it was also such a wonderful experience. The Hotel du Lac, also offers a half board option, with a beautiful meal in its lake view restaurant. Even that was a fabulous experience. The food was lovely (at a great price), and despite being a solo traveller, every night the other guests all struck a conversation. It really did feel like an exclusive club…….Book the Hotel du Lac now
Uyan Hotel, Istanbul
I booked a suite at the Uyan Hotel in Istanbul to celebrate a special birthday. You may not be looking at a special celebration, but if a little splurge is in order, I can’t help but recommend this hotel. Family run, with the kids manning the reception and presiding over a brilliant Turkish breakfast, I also love the location of this hotel. Regardless of your room, you will wake up in the middle of Sultanahmet to sounds of the call to prayer from the Blue Mosque. You will be literally a stone’s throw from Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace is just down the road. My guidebook tells me the single rooms and small doubles are very small, so you have been warned.Check out availability now
A for Athens, Athens
I booked a room at the A for Athens on the advice of a fellow travel blogger who lives in Athens. I have written about it before – and why I didn’t book an Acropolis view room. I stand by my decision – you can save big. The rooms are large, the staff are young and delightfully friendly, and the views from the rooftop terrace and breakfast rooms are definitely to die for. The A for Athens is a must stay for me when I return to Athens, and it should be for you too when you plan a trip to Greece.Check out A for Athens prices now
While these hotels don’t fit into the super budget class, they are definitely frugal, but first class. With great locations, welcoming staff and comfortable amenities, you will sleep well, eat well and be made to feel like a special guest in all of them.
I also know I haven’t included a hotel for everywhere in Europe, or even for every place I’ve been in Europe. There’s a reason for that. I wouldn’t recommend any place or experience I’ve never visited myself. And I wouldn’t recommend every hotel I’ve ever stayed in. These are the ones I think are worthy of my recommendation, that represent fair value, and that I can recommend with confidence.
No, there are no chain hotels. Because I think when you go to Europe you need to stay somewhere typically European, that represents where you are visiting. No there are no luxury 5 star hotels. Because that’s not where I, and I know most of you, can afford to stay in Europe.
And that is what frugal first class travel is all about……
Do you have a particular favorite hotel in Europe you’d like to share? I’d love to find some new treasures to explore. best frugal first class hotels in Europe Hotel Mugu Paris
All photos author’s own except where credited.
Well, I have been lucky enough in my life to have already traveled in some of those beautiful places and stayed in one of the hotels listed above – the one in Paris! Since it has always been my favorite city on earth, it was like living in a dream! The atmosphere of the hotel is totally of a different era and the service so great that we, me, my husband and a friendly couple accompanying us, felt like royals! Maria Antoinette, or something! We were thrilled –especially the ladies! As for the others, I have been in Berlin once, in a cold winter and couldn’t see a lot due to bad weather, but to tell you the truth I wasn’t really impressed by the place! I think it might have been a little…too quiet for me!
Yes, the Hotel Muguet does have a lovely atmosphere
Carol Perehudoff says
Bookingmarking this for my next trip to Europe especially Paris and Nice!
Thanks Carol. Glad you liked my choices