Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange

7 European properties you should visit, stat

  • Brought to you by Mr & Mrs Smith

The Euro — like the New York Knicks or an Indianan governor's approval rating — is in decline.

In fact, most economists predict it's only a matter of time before the Dollar overtakes it.

So, uh, let's talk about that European vacation you just started planning.

Namely, let's talk hotels.

Beautiful, one-of-a-kind, boutique hotels.

And for that, no one beats our friends at Mr & Mrs Smith. They've got more than 400 European properties up for grabs, many of them housed in centuries-old landmarks — monasteries, farms, castles, a 19th-century Spanish war fortress — that have been refurbed to the proverbial nines.

Below: we comb the lot of 'em to deliver you seven of the most superlative your booming American greenbacks can buy.

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La Bastide de Moustiers
Provence, France

By day: charter a hot air balloon, take a para/hang-gliding lesson or engage in some watersport on nearby Lake St. Croix. In the evening: dine at the Michelin-starred in-house restaurant by Alain DuCasse, and that's a direct order. Just be sure to reserve a table when you reserve your room. And while you don't have to arrive via the on-site helicopter pad, it'd be a lot cooler if you did.

See it here

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Canaves Oia Hotel & Suites

Santorini, GreeceCarved into Santorini’s cream-colored postcard caverns, Canaves Oia is a laid-back, 48-room ode to seaside living. In-room jacuzzis. A swim-up bar. Something called the “Infinity Pool Suite.” Oh yeah, also: Mediterranean blue as far as the eye can see just steps beneath you.

See it here

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Conti di San Bonifacio
Tuscany, Italy

When in Tuscany, do as the Tuscans do: drink really good wine. Then sleep with the windows open and a Tuscan summer breeze licking at your feet. Then repeat. San Bonifacio lives in a refurbed farmhouse and bills itself as a "wine resort," so it's a good place to get those things done.

See it here

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Ett Hem
Stockholm, Sweden

This devastatingly appointed 12-roomer overlooks a verdant park in Stockholm's upscale Lärkstaden neighborhood, sports a traditional Swedish sauna in the basement and fields an on-site chef who's happy to whip something up for you whenever you have a hankering. When to go: June 19-21st, when the Swedes celebrate Midsummer, a solstice festival that basks in 19 hours of glorious sunlight.

See it here

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Monastero Santa Rosa
Amalfi Coast, Italy

The romantic’s choice: 20 country-style rooms and a stately spa housed in a former monastery. Not to be missed: the herb gardens strewn throughout the property and an infinity pool with dramatic Mediterranean views that look straight out of a James Bond establishing sequence.

See it here

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Son Brull
Mallorca, Spain

A Balearic hideout with white linens, sprawling pool cabanas and a sunny disposition. They'll arrange a bike rental if you want to explore the foothills that surround the property — or a yacht if you packed your captain's hat. Pro tip: Thursday is Jazz Night. You want to be there on Jazz Night.

See it here

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Sir Albert
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Three reasons why Sir Albert should be your homebase in Amsterdam: Convenient location in the city's cultured De Pijp District. Elevated Japanese eats at in-house boîte Izakaya. And the novel but cheeky presence of fictional host Sir Albert throughout — from handwritten notes greeting every guest as a "Lord" or "Lady" to a study piled high with his collection of writings on Amsterdam's art and architecture.

See it here

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