The 5 best hotels that opened in Europe while Americans were on lockdown
After a 15-month ban from Europe, the United States returned to the list on June 18. That’s right: regardless of vaccine status, you are now officially free to start booking travel within the 27-country EU bloc again.
That said, a lot can happen in 15 months, and it does. The Louvre in Paris was able to close for the first time for a restoration. Venice’s canals were clearer than they have been for decades thanks to reduced boat traffic. Amsterdam, which has long fought against overtourism, marked the end of “cafes” and its famous red light district as a way to protect their newfound peace and quiet. Restaurants across Europe inevitably closed, but new ones sprouted in their place. Life persisted because we were – understandably – kept at a distance.
And while the hospitality industry has suffered one of the biggest blows of all, with hotel profitability in Europe falling by more than 100% in 2020, it wasted no time in preparing. to an epic comeback with a number of long-awaited hotels. openings that will push even the most difficult travelers to impress in a state of wanting to travel.
Below, we take a look at five of those properties, all of which have made their home in your favorite European destinations while you were away …
Last November, Spain’s first Four Seasons hotel officially opened its doors to guests, moving into an iconic building in central Madrid that once housed the Banco Hispano Americano, Banco Español de Crédito and Palazzo de La Equitativa. , the latter dating from 1887.. And while the structure blends seamlessly into its surroundings and faithfully celebrates its history, the Four Seasons Madrid also exudes luxury, with a four-story spa and fitness center, a rooftop terrace where guests can enjoy world-class food from Spanish chef Dani García, a museum-worthy art collection and around 200 rooms. In addition, due to its proximity to the Galería Canalejas, customers will have access to luxury boutiques of some of the most prestigious brands in the world, both Spanish and international. Rates start at $ 660 / night.
About an hour from Paris, the Château de Versailles des Airelles, which opened on June 1, is exceptional for a multitude of reasons, not least because it is the first time that guests will be able to sleep in the park of the castle. of Versailles. in literal centuries. An extension of the palace’s south wing, transformed from a former residence built in 1681, the hotel is said to be inspired by the tastes of none other than Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and each room is littered with original artifacts. Unsurprisingly, there are only 14 rooms (each named after a historical figure linked to Versailles) available at Airelles Château de Versailles; That said, amenities also include an on-site restaurant, spa, indoor pool, and private access to the palaces and 2,000 acres of Versailles, so, you know, you get what you pay for. Rates start at around € 1,700 or around $ 2,082 per night.
As recently as last week, on June 25, the Kempinski Palace Engelberg, billed as “the first international five-star superior hotel in central Switzerland’s largest winter and summer vacation destination,” officially started to operate. welcome guests. With 129 rooms, the Kempinski Palace reinvents the Grand Hotel Winterhaus, which opened in 1904 and is said to have been the first building in Switzerland to be equipped with central heating. Ideal for a holiday spent hiking in the Swiss Alps or relaxing by the infinity pool, the hotel is located in the center of Engelberg, an authentic monastic village at the foot of the Titlis mountain, and at few steps from Zurich and Basel. Rates start at CHF 530, or roughly $ 577 per night.
On June 15, Angsana Corfu opened on Akra Punta Bay, making it the first (and therefore flagship) Banyan Tree Hotel in Europe. Boasting 159 guest rooms, including their most extravagant room – the Banyan Tree Pool Villa – Angsana Corfu is a short distance from Benitses Village and Corfu Town, and the local influence is evident in the surrounding areas. details. In contrast, hospitality is described as being a ‘unique blend of Greek and Asian’, ranging from an array of Greek and Japanese cuisines offered at the 10 on-site bars and restaurants to the spa, where Greek ingredients are combined. with traditional ingredients. Asian benefits. Plus, guests will also have access to an infinity pool, juice bar, gym (and trainers), yoga pavilion, and stunning views of the Ionian Sea. Rates start at $ 195 per night.
After years of renovations, the highly anticipated 11th-century Hotel Castello Di Reschio, located just across the Tuscan border in Umbria, officially opened in May. The hotel, which sits on a 3,750-acre property shared with 30 fully restored farmhouses, has 36 rooms – none of which are the same – and dates back over 1,000 years. Effectively tasked with transforming a “medieval fortified castle” into luxury homes, it is no wonder that it took more than 20 years for the current owner, Count Benedikt Bolza, to design and bring it to life. With a balance of contemporary and antique decor, locally sourced materials, bespoke furniture, bold color choices and plenty of natural light, Hotel Castello Di Reschio is truly a design lover’s paradise. The Reschio Estate is also home to a lake, farm, historic wine cellar, horse riding center, tennis courts, and an ethereal underground swimming pool which, when merged together, make for a truly authentic Italian getaway. Rates start at € 810, or $ 966, per night.
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