Think Europe is just for summer holidays? Here are our top five suggestions of the best lux destinations for low season travel…
The autumn and spring school terms can feel a bit of a stretch without a break, but if long-haul is too much effort for a week, then a private property in Europe might be just the ticket for some October or May half term ‘R&R’. Villa Eulalia on the island of Menorca is a quick fix, and perfect for active teens with its table tennis, boules pitch, and badminton and cricket nets (complete with bowling machine). The 20-metre swimming pool is heated to take the edge off a dip, and a separate casita will comfortably accommodate grandparents joining in the fun.
The City of Masks is as romantic as they come, where every street leads to an iconic view and each experience offers quality time for two. A-list favourite the Belmond Hotel Cipriani is a grown-up affair for a Valentine’s weekend away. Rooms and suites boast views to marvel at while you laze in bed with your morning cup of Italian caffè, and the Michelin-starred Oro restaurant is a grandiose backdrop for a special celebration. After a busy day wending your way along the city’s canals in a gondola you can hide away with your companion in the twin treatment cabin at the hotel’s spa.
Hot winter holidays mean going long-haul, but if you head to the southernmost boundaries of the EU you can still get the rays without the airmiles. Tenerife’s tagline is ‘Island of Eternal Spring’ for its year-round balmy climate and the winter months offer quieter resorts with average daily temperatures rarely dropping below 19°C. A stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama will add 5-star treatment to your seasonal getaway, with its two Michelin star restaurants and ‘Augusta of Europe’ golf course. The award-winning spa with its hydrotherapy pool is a restful retreat if the weather does turn.
Home of the Renaissance and some of the world’s greatest artistic riches, Florence is a history enthusiast’s dream and a destination best explored with a camera in hand. Don’t miss the famous Duomo and Uffizi Gallery – Italy’s most visited museum – and for a room with a view base your stay at Portrait Firenze on the River Arno, right by Florence’s ‘Old Bridge’ the Ponte Vecchio. The hotel’s Lifestyle Team can up the lux factor of your Florentine experience, arranging Vespa tours of the city, painting lessons with a pro or even ‘dinner with (the statue of) David’!
Fashionistas need look no further than the French capital for a short-haul shopping spree, the highlight of which is surely Avenue des Champs-Élysées and its flagship Louis Vuitton store. If high-end style is your thing, then Le Bristol Paris is the place to stay. The hotel’s locale on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is walking distance from prestigious boutiques and leading luxury brands, with Le Bristol’s concierge on hand to arrange personal shopping experiences. Coincide your trip with one of the hotel’s Fashion Saturdays for a catwalk show, high tea and mingle with the models.
Speak to an Inspiring Travel Specialist for the latest lux offers for your European travel and beyond.
Enjoyed reading this feature? This article appeared in our Summer/Autumn 2017 issue of Other Shores, the ITC Travel Group magazine. For further holiday inspiration you can order your very own copy of Other Shores online.