Concierge.com's insider take:
Built in 1580 as the Marquis de Graveson's palace, the Europe has been a hotel since 1799. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning eloped here, and a who's who roster of famous Frenchmen have stayed there—from Napoléon, Victor Hugo, and Chateaubriand to Mitterrand and Chirac—not to mention such esteemed foreigners as John Stuart Mill (after whom the hotel named its business center), Tennessee Williams, Charles Dickens, Salvador Dalí, and Picasso. The hotel is a plush oasis of elegance, sophistication, and calm. The staff is outstanding, and the decor is traditional and quintessentially French. With three categories of rooms, there's something in size, style, and cost to suit any taste.