Holidays In Europe: Where To Go In 2019 And When?

Gold Lists 2019

Amsterdam

When: April

Spring is just the right time to visit Amsterdam, especially if you love nature. The weather is just right and it’s not the peak season which means that you’re free to explore and enjoy Amsterdam at your own pace. Amsterdam is famous for its vast flower fields and spring is when all the flowers start to blossom. In fact, the Tulp Festival 2019 takes place during April and you’ll find tulips displayed all over the city.

Make sure not to miss the Keukenhof Garden – it’s Europe’s largest garden spanning over 32 hectares and is roughly a 35 minute drive from Amsterdam. It’s a stunning sight for those who visit it during spring as flowers blossom. The Keukenhof Garden will be hosting a series of events which include shows and festivals till the 19th May.

Where to check-in?

The Conservatorium Hotel

The Conservatorium Hotel embraces her past as a musical institution and shares her love and admiration for art in a unique way. From violins dangling from the lobby’s ceiling, to intriguing works of arts, there’s a timeless feel to the place.

The rooms are bright and cozy with stunning views over the city. Wooden parquets adds a rustic touch to the otherwise very modern setting. But it’s the Artist in Residence suite that steal the show. Designed by Dutch photographer, Marie Cécile Thijs, the suite feels like a cozy townhouse in the city and there’s even a little balcony to enjoy views of the street and the Stedelijk Museum. The suite showcases the artist’s works which draws on Surrealism.

In the evenings, the Tunes Bar is the place to be to enjoy good music along with a good Gin & Tonic and their sushi and dumplings are very popular among regular patrons and make great appetizers. But if you’re looking for something more filling, the beetroot risotto at the Brasserie & Lounge is an excellent choice and it’s best paired with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Porto Heli, Greece

When: May to September

For a well-deserved R&R or if you just want a change of scene, Porto Heli has everything to please. The little town is always referred to as the Southampton of Greece. Known for its exceptional beaches, its harbour and its amazing views of the Mediterranean landscape, it’s the favourite holiday destination for wealthy Greek families as well as royals, celebrities and renowned entrepreneurs.

Where to check-in?

Amanzoe

Aman is known for its exceptional retreats that take you away from the hustle and bustle of the large cities and the Amanzoe at Porto Heli is really a one-of-a-kind property. Set on a hill, you’re at the front seat for some of the best panoramic views of the Peloponnese countryside. This is the place for a well-deserved break.

When you arrive at Amanzoe, you feel like it’s a modern Acropolis with its imposing marble and stone pillars and overall architecture. The pavilions and villas are all bright and airy with modern furnishings. From your terrace you can take in the stunning landscape of Porto Heli.

You can’t stay at any Aman resort without trying out their spa and wellness programmes. At the Amanzoe’s spa, treatments are inspired by the holistic approach of the Hippocrates. The An’a-trip’ sis treatment is a soothing one that uses acupuncture and other techniques to relax your muscles.

Paris

When: June & July

Paris becomes particularly lively during summer and it’s the best time of the year to be there. The streets are lively, the weather is fantastic and the days last longer – you have a lot of time at your disposal to make the most out of the city.

Famous for its landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, its array of art galleries and museums like the Louvres and its designer shops ranging from Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld, there’s more to see in the city in June and July.

Music aficionados are in for treat as Paris officially welcomes summer on the 21st of June with the Fête de la Musique, the festival of music. Throughout the day, music takes over the streets of Paris with live bands, musicians and Djs who will keep entertaining locals and tourists.

If you’re missing the festival of music, the Paris Jazz festival starts at the end of june till the 22nd July and draws around 120 000 visitors. This is the perfect time to experience the Parisina jazz scene and every year, many international jazz artists come to the city to perform at the Parc Floral.

Where to check-in?

Shangri-La Hotel Paris

This 19th century grande dame used to be the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Shangri-La Hotel Paris is right in the heart of Paris and offers stunning views of the city, its famous landmarks and the River Seine.

The hotel oozes old-world charm and the rooms are all elegant with a blend of classic and contemporary decor. Most offer a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy from your window or balcony. L’appartement Prince Bonaparte, Prince Bonaparte’s very own private apartment is a masterpiece and is even listed as an official historical monument. It’s every history aficionado’s dream to be there and experience the princely lifestyle, even for just a few days.

The magic continues at L’abeille, the hotel’s two-michelin stars restaurant that offers marvelous French cuisine under a stunning decor that even Napoleon Bonaparte would approve of. Try Chef Moret’s Lobster navarin that goes well with a glass of bourgogne chardonnay blanc 2014.

London

When: Mid-September

London is a popular destination that’s known for her museums, her famous landmarks like the Big Ben or the London Tower Bridge to its fashion scene and posh streets. But you want to see London’s creative side, September is the perfect time to visit the city.

Every year London hosts its now famous London Design Festival as from the 14th to the 22nd September and celebrates the city’s creativity. Designers from across the globe come together to the design capital of the world to show their talent works. Last year nearly 600 000 people came to attend the festival.

Where to check-in?

The Soho Hotel

This boutique hotel, designed by interior designer Kit Kemp, has a convivial feel to it which makes you feel at home. The Soho Hotel enjoys an idyllic location in London. While it’s in a quiet street, you’re right near the It-area.

The hotel stands out with its unique Kit Kemp interiors which are a refreshing take from the usual formal settings you’d find in most hotels. The rooms are elegant, colorful and airy but nothing looks out of place. After hours roaming down London’s busy streets, you’ll enjoy your moment of solace.

If you’re feeling like grabbing a little bite at teatime, the hotel’s Afternoon Tea is the perfect place for a traditional british tea break. Savour your british tea with some excellent pastries and savouries.

Afterwards if you have no plans of leaving the hotel, you can watch a movie at the screening room and film club. The hotel has two state-of-the art cinema halls where you can enjoy some great classics. Is there a better way to spend the rest of the evening?

Gstaad, Switzerland

When: December

December is the perfect time to enjoy the Swiss Alpine pistes at Gstaad and winter sports aficionados make the most out of the stunning town and the adventures it offers. Enjoy majestic views of the snow-covered mountains, skiing or snowboarding down the white pistes or even try the hot air balloon ride if the weather allows it.

Where to check-in?

Gstaad Palace

Since 1913, the Gstaad Palace has been welcoming guests from across the globe and in the 1960s, it even welcomed stars like famous musician Louis Armstrong. Gstaad Palace is also known for its panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and it’s lavish style.

The Gstaad Palace has some of the most stunning suites. They are all chic, colorful and modern and the views are mesmerizing. These suites have everything for a comfortable stay and it’s a joy to retreat to them after spending the day on the pistes.

If you need to unwind after your winter sports activities, the Palace Spa has a range of treatments that should soothe your sore muscles. The therapists are friendly and will advise you for the most suitable treatment. You’re in for a great treat.

The hotel is also home to the GreenGo Nightclub, one of the trendiest places in Gstaad. Set in a 1970s theme, It’s the place to be if you want to party the night away in style. Resident DJ Jim Leblanc spins great music to unwind to.

Monte-Carlo

When: March and April

Known mainly for its casinos, its exceptional museums, landmarks and its rather lavish lifestyle. Spring is the ideal time to visit the city as the weather allows you to stroll down the streets and the parks and the beach but there’s more happening during this period.

It’s also time for the Spring Arts Festival which starts in March since 1984. Initially performing only classical music, the festival has modernized itself and also features other genres such as Jazz. It’s the perfect time for music aficionados to discover talented artists at different venues like the Opera de Monte-Carlo or even the Oceanographic Museum.

Where to check-in?

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Built on a property that belonged to Pope Leon XIII, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is a work of art that blends history with elegant contemporary touches. This belle epoque hotel has everything for a memorable stay.

The suites are grandiose and offer you a stunning view of the city. They are all spacious and comfortable, with balconies to enjoy the spring weather and take in the sighs of the Casino Gardens. The iconic Carré D’or suite stands out with its large roof terrace and its exceptional gold and marble bathroom where you’ll probably spend hours unwinding in the inviting tub.

The hotel also houses the two-star Joel Robuchon restaurant which is known for its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. You’ll be wowed by chef Christophe’s Langoustine with Basil Dressing.

Istanbul, Turkey

When: March

Istanbul, the city where Asia meets Europe, has so much to offer to her visitors. This authentic destination is rich in history – it was the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and the Ottoman Empires. Needless to say that the city is filled with stunning landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Sultanahmet Mosque.

March is the best time to visit as Istanbul holds one of the most prestigious events of the year – the Istanbul Jewelry Show at the Istanbul Fair Center which welcomes more than 1000 brands from across the globe to showcase their work. If you’re looking to acquire some stunning pieces, this is the right place to be.

Where to check-in?

Raffles Istanbul

Located in the business area of Istanbul, the Raffles Istanbul is a sophisticated establishment that blends Oriental and European decor. From the moment you step in, you’re whisked away into a world of luxury.

The rooms are modern with oriental touches typical of Istanbul. Large floor to ceiling windows offer a stunning view over the whole city and whenever you step in your room, the first thing you’ll be tempted to do is step on the balcony to take in the mesmerizing sights of the city.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to unwind, the Raffles Spa offers a range of soothing treatments which leave you with glowing results. If massages are not your thing, you can workout at the gym with it equipement with the latest equipment.

If you’re up for a drink, Lounge6 is the right spot to be. Sip the finest cocktails from Long Bar by the pool and take in the sensational views of the city, be day or by night.

Barcelona

When: August

What makes Barcelona such a special city to visit? The city is home to exceptional landmarks such as the Gothic Quarter, the historic city centre which is home to the Gothic Cathedral and the Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan architect. The Sagrada Familia is still under construction but is already a stunning masterpiece. The city is also known as an artistic city showcasing works of Dali and Picasso and the likes.

In August, the city turns festive with the Festa Major De Gracia. The streets of the Gracia neighbourhood compete for the title of the most extravagant decorations. It’s a colorful feast to the eyes and to add to this, there’s huge parades, acrobatic acts and fireworks to entertain.

Where to check-in?

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Staying by the sea sounds like the perfect holiday especially during summer. That’s just one of the reasons to opt for Hotel Arts Barcelona when you’re visiting this vibrant city. This modern facade in the historic city has quickly become an iconic building that stands out till today.

The rooms are modern and filled with natural light and the views of the city’s exceptional skyline and the sea are mesmerizing. If you’re looking for a moment of solace, you’ll find it within the comfort of your room.

But if you want to pamper yourself, try the Citrus body soufflé at 43 The Spa. this treatment leaves you feeling all rejuvenated, removes signs of fatigue and improves the elasticity of your skin.

In the evening, if you want to discover unique flavours, head to the Marina Restaurant which serves delicious seafood dishes inspired by Asian and Peruvian cuisines and it’s always pleasant to dine outside, surrounded by the hotel’s gardens at this particular time of the year.

Porto

When: June

Porto is always at her best during summer and there’s a lot to see in this historic city with its majestic Cathedral and other landmarks, the medieval streets and the Port Wine lodges. Yet, the city knows how to embrace modernity. In June, the city hosts the Notações Sonoras: Espaço, Pausa, Repetição (Sound Annotations: Space, Pause, Repetition), an architectural structure that focuses on music performed by computers and sounds, light and fragrance.

Where to check-in?

Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace

Once known as the Cafe Monumental, one of Porto’s best cafes, Le Monumental Palace enjoys an idyllic location in the prestigious area of the city.

The hotel is all elegant and the rooms are bright and colorful, which give them a homely feel and when you pull back the curtains, your eyes can feast on the stunning views of Porto and its historical skyline.

If you’re feeling exhausted from wandering down the streets in the heat, you can head the Nuxe Spa and unwind in the pool, away from the outdoors noise or you can treat yourself to the Kashmir massage that helps to erase fatigue and leaves you fully re-energized.

When staying here, you can’t miss the legendary Monumental Café which is known for its Parisian brasserie-style cuisine and serves an excellent Crispy Fish “Goujonette”.

Berlin

When: September

Berlin keeps drawing crowds especially when the weather is good but when fall starts, it becomes a more thrilling destination. In September, the temperatures drop slightly and its less humid. That’s just the right time to hit the streets and visit the famous monuments. There’s also a lot to do in the city during that period.

If you love arts, literature or movies; you’re in for a treat. Art Week takes place between the 11th to the 15th and draws art aficionados who look forward to discovering local artists at different venues across the city. For those who are intrigued by literature, Berlin holds the International Literature Festival in September and it’s the place to meet writers from all over the world. There’s exhibitions, workshops and talks all across the city.

Where to check-in?

The Ritz-Carlton Berlin

Located on Potsdamer Platz, the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is inspired by the Golden Age and you can feel it everywhere in the hotel. Decorated in Art-Deco style, it’s all glitz and glamour blending history and contemporary.

The rooms are set in white and pastel hues which give it a relaxing feel while the furnishings add just the right touch of elegance without looking overly formal. Artworks add to the charm and outside, you have a good view what remains of the Berlin wall.

Experience an evening like no other at The Curtain Club which brings Latin American tradition to life right in the heart of Berlin. Enjoy live soul, jazz or Latin American music as you try master mixologist Arnd Heissen’s South American inspired cocktails.


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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