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Top 10 luxury city breaks in Europe

Considering a European city getaway?  Here we give you a round up on 10 of the best places to while away a weekend – or longer – in a number of Europe’s top cities. Whether it’s last year’s Olympic host city of London, the traditional romance of Paris or the vibrancy of Barcelona, you’re sure to find something here to suit your tastes. Great Northern Hotel, London In April 2013 in the heart of London’s King’s Cross St Pancras this Grade II listed luxury boutique hotel opened its doors for business once again having undergone a magnificent £40m renovation. Still capturing the timeless elegance of the original hotel, guests can enjoy broad corridors, sweeping staircases & impeccable design throughout. The hotel’s interior evokes the romance of bygone rail travel and preserves a sense of history and style, with 91 rooms luxuriously restored, all with beautiful furniture hand-crafted by artisans and selected for its quality and provenance. Great Northern Hotel The hotel offers three room categories: Couchette, Wainscot and Cubitt each with a Hypnos double bed, dressed with 500 thread count Egyptian cotton linen, high ceilings, abundant natural light and Loewe HD TV’s. The hotel also provides complimentary entertainment comprising super-fast 500MB bandwidth WiFi, accessible throughout the building, 72 movie library, a mixture of classic and new releases, 40 audio books and 6 curated playlists by top DJ’s; we only hope you have time to enjoy it all. A unique feature is the Pantries on each floor: this quirky concept is a collective space where you can retreat to pick up a retro treat or homemade cake, browse our extensive book collection or read the news of the day from a selection of newspapers. Lausanne Palace, Lausanne Since opening in 1915, the Lausanne Palace & Spa has been one of the city’s social hubs, providing a meeting place for locals and an escape for visitors. With unsurpassed views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, the hotel offers a natural sense of wellness in sync with the acclaimed CBE Concept Spa. Programs are tailored to a guest’s specific needs, and the healing properties of the indoor pool, sauna and hammam are complimented by traditional and ancient therapies. Lausanne Palace Under the helm of one-star Michelin Chef Edgard Bovier, the Palace’s kitchen offers various cuisines, from Gourmet, Parisian, Mediterranean to Japanese. To round out this culinary experience, guests will enjoy wines from nearby Lavaux World Heritage site in their private cellar or the chef’s exclusive olive oils. Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo, Monaco This traditional grand hotel, built in 1864, is set directly on the Place du Casino, adjacent to the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo and connecting directly to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. Low relief sculptures, marble colonnades and crystal chandeliers combine to create a sense of awe-inspiring solemnity which makes this such a memorable destination. Hotel de Paris Exuding an atmosphere of a bygone era, the Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo has earned its reputation by surpassing all of the standards set by the traditional luxury hotel. In addition to a world-renowned bar and the largest hotel wine cellar in the world, the hotel offers four exquisite dining venues totalling no fewer than 3-Michelin Stars. The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow Discover The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow and experience the breathtaking beauty of Russia. From the city’s time-honoured traditions and rich culture to its modern amenities and world-class dining, this five-star hotel provides guests with convenient access to all this unique destination has to offer. The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow After a day spent exploring Red Square, shopping at upscale boutiques or immersed in Moscow’s fascinating past, guests return to this luxury hotel and rejuvenate their bodies and souls at ESPA, indulge in an unforgettable meal at O2 Lounge or allow their personal butler to assist them in planning the perfect evening. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion in their opulent, 600-square-metre / 7,000-square-foot ballroom or you are planning a romantic getaway, this luxury European hotel delivers a magnificent escape that you will never forget. Palacio de Cataluña, Barcelona This luxury apartment is situated in the heart of Barcelona, in Eixample Dreta, one of the most elegant neighbourhoods of this city. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a unique city trip or holiday in Barcelona. Palacio de Cataluña, Barcelona Within walking distance of the apartment you’ll find the famous square Plaça Catalunya, the high class shopping street Passeig de Gracia and La Rambla. In the area you’ll also experience a nice local vibe. Discover the local bars and restaurants and come home in a comfortable apartment where you have all the privacy, space and comfort to relax. It’s almost like you live in Barcelona. Palacio de Cataluña has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a balcony, a stunning living room with large dining table, a modern and spacious kitchen, air conditioning, lift, free Wifi and more. Sorbier Loft, Paris There is always a good reason to visit Paris. This trendy and spacious loft set in vibrant Ménilmontant gives you one more excuse to visit La Ville Lumiere. The 220sqm loft can sleep up to 6 in 3 double bedrooms. Featured in several photos shoots, Sorbier Loft comes with a large outdoor fully equipped terrace with bbq, as well as your very own Hammam, to sooth your aching muscles after a day shopping in nearby Le Marais. For larger groups, you can also rent the duplex apartment next door, from the same owner, which can sleep up to 5. Sorbier Loft When booking your holiday at Sorbier Loft, please quote your dedicated Invite Code, “ALTB”. Hotel Ritz Madrid by Orient Express, Madrid The Hotel Ritz Madrid is a belle époque palace in the heart of Madrid’s Golden Triangle; owned and run by Orient Express Hotels Ltd., it is mere moments away from the highlights of this glamorous city. The rooms are elegant and refined, and the suites epitomise European luxury. With two fabulous restaurants, afternoon tea and an intimate cocktail bar, wining and dining at Hotel Ritz Madrid is a delight. Ritz Madrid Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen Having completed a total refurbishment this year, Hotel d’Angleterre was constructed as a neoclassic palace, and has maintained its 1870s historical aspects. The hotel blends elements of its original legacy with the latest in tailored services, elegance and technology. It is ideally situated next to the Royal Danish Theatre on the Kongens Nytorv Square in the heart of Copenhagen and connected to the famous Strøget pedestrian shopping street. The hotel features newly designed rooms including suites all with complimentary WiFi, spacious marble bathrooms, the latest technology and individually controlled climate systems. The stunning Royal Suite, with one to three bedrooms, features a grand balcony and fireplace, and a private dining room. Hotel d'Angleterre Hotel Le Palais Prague Le Palais Prague occupies an 1897 Baroque Revival villa in the city’s charming Vinohrady neighbourhood, an area that has been likened to New York’s SoHo or London’s Notting Hill. The hotel has a quirky history (it served as a meat-processing plant at one point) but today’s polished interiors and elegant vibe have transformed it into one of the city’s most renowned boutique properties. Guest rooms are bright and understated, and the marble bathrooms feature heated floors. Suites have original frescoes painted by one-time resident Luděk Marold, while other rooms boast fireplaces and balconies. Bohemian-inspired cuisine is served at Le Papillon, while the lobby bar, complete with a cigar corner, and the library’s fireplace make ideal places to wind down the day. Hotel Le Palais Prague Phoenicia Hotel, Valletta, Malta Malta’s fascinating capital, Valletta, is a set to become European Capital of Culture 2018 and it’s easy to see why. This World Heritage City is bursting with history and is simple to explore on foot. The majestic Phoenicia Hotel, set by the city gates, is the ideal place to stay for a luxury city break. Dating back to 1939 this elegant five-star hotel has welcomed numerous royals and celebrities over the years. Phoenicia Hotel Guests can saunter through the 7.5 acres of exquisite gardens and hide away at the Bastion Pool Deck, carved into the city walls, or stroll into Valletta to appreciate the architecture and enjoy its lively cafe culture and magnificent waterfront. Dining options include The Phoenix Restaurant with its sumptuous furnishing, delicious Maltese fusion cuisine and views of the Marsamxett harbour, and the Pegasus; a showcase of healthy Mediterranean cuisine, with most dishes being sourced on site from the hotel’s own herb and vegetable garden.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Prague for Christmas Markets and a short break.

    An old town small enough for a walk around in amongst its beautiful architecture.

    A destress break away from every day life.

    Watch the trams for pick pockets. Gentlemen don’t give them the gift of putting your wallet with Americn Express card etc on your back pocket. Ladies loop your bag’s shoulder strap and put your arm holding the front strap, to pur your forearm in the way of the dip and run pickpocket. Don’t sit at bus shelters. They use the fattest of their group to block you and then grab and run. In my case they chose a man not as round as me so it didn’t work!

    Every city has this scourge. But now you know what the Police pre-warned. And the Police are armed. And locals do hue and cry unlike here, so you can make a fuss. Just do it in German more than English.

  2. My vacation is a thing I plan for a long time. I have a pretty organized and stressful life, so vacation is my party break from everyday stress. I always research best parties, cruises, festivals and spend all my budget on having fun. That being said, my accommodation comes in second. But my partying skills never fail.

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