Tired of water seeping into your sandals? The advice of Huffpost Lifestyle is to give up and head off.

Together with independent travel guide i-escape.com, we've rounded up a selection of boutique hotel city breaks that don't require packing an anorak.


Each property has been visited and reviewed by a member of the i-escape.com team, to avoid any nasty holiday surprises.

Here's a selection of the best boutique hotel breaks in Europe

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  • Córdoba, Spain - Hospes Palacio del Bailio

    If you're looking for almost-guaranteed summer sun, Córdoba (easily accessible from Málaga airport via Spain's high-speed AVE rail network) is a good bet. And it's not just the weather that's hot in this sultry southern Spanish city - it's home to fabulous tapas bars, cobbled streets lined with boutiques, and the world-famous Mezquita (one of the world's most stunning examples of Moorish-Christian architecture). Like the city itself, luxurious hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio is a glorious blend of old and new: There's also a pretty outdoor pool, tranquil courtyards filled with orange and lemon trees, and a spa with Roman baths. Doubles from £130 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/hospes-palacio-del-bailio/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark - CPH Living

    Wide boulevards, leafy cycle paths, Europe's longest shopping street (Strøget) and the world's best restaurant (Noma) - it's no wonder Copenhagen is said to have some of the happiest residents in the world. And where better to stay than CPH Living, a small, sleek hotel on a converted barge moored in trendy Christianshavn? Large water-facing windows let light splash into every room, and the breakfast room is dominated by a dangling, dazzling light fixture made up of oversized bulbs. Crowning the whole affair is an expansive outdoor deck, where you can soak up Copenhagen's temperamental sun by day, and snuggle up under a glowing lantern to watch the fireworks above Tivoli Gardens by night. Doubles from £150 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/cph-living/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Amsterdam, Holland - The Dylan Hotel

    Amsterdam is wonderfully laid-back at any time of year, but during the summer months it's also blissfully quiet, as many of the locals go away on holiday. With leafy canal paths to wander and more than 400km of cycle tracks to pedal along, it's the perfect place to make the most of long, balmy days. Stay at the city's heart in the ultra stylish Dylan Hotel. Originally a theatre, then a Catholic poorhouse and bakery, this now Anoushka Hempel designed hotel is a heady mix of traditional and modern, yin and yang, light and dark. Doubles from £260 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/the-dylan-amsterdam/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Marseille, France - Casa Honore

    Marseille is a vibrant city: full of attitude, defiantly independent and towering above it is the Basilique Notre Dame, one of those iconic landmarks that follow you around wherever you go. At its centre is the Vieux Port, and Casa Honore, a designer B&B with a very cool pool just two streets up from the water. White-walled interiors hold, contemporary art, colour-mixed concrete floors and walls of glass. Rooms are equally quirky and all have courtyard views, stylish bathrooms. Doubles from £120 a night - Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/casa-honore/rates#overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information

  • Rome, Italy - La Residenza Napoleone

    Italy, Rome, La Residenza Napoleone - stunningly lavish suite of rooms, exuding old-world opulence, in the heart of Rome's fashion quarter. If you can drag your eyes away from the mouthwatering boutique fronts of Rome's Via Condotti for a moment, you'll see behind you some large and private wooden gates - What lies behind them is dazzling. Roof garden suite from £566 a night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/la-residenza-napoleone/overview#overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Venice, Italy - Bloom & Settimo Cielo

    It may be a tourist hotspot, but Venice's winding lacework of canals, alleyways and hump-backed bridges is a delight to explore on a warm, sunny day. Stay at Bloom & Settimo Cielo, a pair of gorgeously opulent B&Bs in the heart of the city. Both offer beautifully styled rooms blending Venetian tradition with modern design, and the Grand Canal is only a 5-minute stroll away. Best of all, there's a delightful roof terrace with spectacular vistas across the rooftops, and a fridge storing complimentary bottles of Prosecco - a perfect accompaniment to the sunset views. Doubles from £177 per night including breakfast. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/bloom-settimo-cielo/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information

  • Paris, France - Hotel Particulier Montmartre

    Everyone talks about Paris in the springtime, but Paris in the summer can be just as charming. Throughout the season it plays host to a kaleidoscope of alfresco events, including an open-air cinema in Parc de la Villette. Stay at Hotel Particulier Montmartre, housed in a classical mansion. Its vast suites were styled by contemporary artists and its setting is secluded yet slap-bang in the middle of one of the city's most popular areas. A big plus is its serene fountain-filled garden, where you can soak up some summer rays. Double from £314 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/hotel-particulier-montmartre/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information

  • Lisbon, Portugal - Bairro Alto Hotel

    Cool Atlantic breezes make Lisbon much more bearable than many other southern European cities in the summer. Head there for fabulous fish restaurants, shaded squares, waterfront strolls and lots of history - plus lovely beaches a short drive away. Make the most of the balmy evenings by staying at Bairro Alto Hotel, a seriously spoiling place with a funky bar, a swanky restaurant, gorgeous rooms and - best of all - a fabulous roof terrace with sweeping views over the city. Doubles from £200 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/bairro-alto-hotel/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Valencia, Spain - Hospes Palau de la Mar

    With long swathes of sandy beach, yacht-filled marinas, the futuristic City of Arts & Sciences, a growing gourmet scene (it's the city that invented paella) and the lush green lung of the Turia Gardens, Valencia is wonderful in summer. It may not be as well-known as its big sisters Barcelona and Madrid, but plenty of air links from the UK make this an easy option for a quick Spanish city break. Stay at sleek and chic Hospes Palau de la Mar, housed in conjoined 19th-century mansions in the boutique-filled L'Eixample district, with a plant-filled patio, a soothing spa and a cooling underground pool and Jacuzzi. Rooms are from £96 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/hospes-palau-de-la-mar/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information.

  • Berlin, Germany - Ackselhaus & Blue Home

    Berlin is one of the most diverse capitals in western Europe, with sleek architecture, edgy bars and world-class museums and restaurants. It's one of the greenest too, and it has lots to offer in summer - you can plunge into the river from one of the bathing areas, meander through the landscaped grounds of Frederick the Great's summer palace in nearby Potsdam, or sink steins at the August beer festival. One of the best places to stay in the warmer months is Ackselhaus & Blue Home, a pair of intimate hotels with a mix of exotic, colonial and marine-styled rooms and apartments, plus a very groovy café-cum-breakfast-garden. Doubles from £112 per night. Click <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/ackselhaus-blue-home/overview" target="_hplink">here</a> for more information. http://www.i-escape.com/ackselhaus-blue-home/overview