Check out these luxury European destinations that have suddenly become more affordable with the declining value of the Euro.
Across various media platforms, travel experts are noting that it is an opportune time for a budget-savvy Americans to plan a European vacation. In fact, a recent article in The Guardian reports that the value of the Euro has sunk to a 12-year low in relation to the dollar.
While visiting five-star European properties in beautiful locales can still be pricey, travelers are far better off this year than they were one year ago. Here are some examples of attractive price cuts between May 2014 and May 2015:
1) La Reserve Paris, Paris
La Reserve Paris opened its bright red doors on Avenue Gabriel in January, located only minutes away from Palais de l’Elysée, Grand Palais, and Champs–Élysées. The hotel has a 26/14 suite-to-room ratio, with suites that have assigned butlers that appear at the touch of an iPad key. Every room is stocked with his-and-her bathrobes of pink and gray, as well as hand weights and Pilates stretch bands. Half the public spaces, including a library with 19th-century French books and a Le Cercle de la Rue Royale-inspired smoking room, are restricted to hotel guests.
3 nights in a deluxe suite or superior category room; € 200 credit at Le Gabriel, the hotel’s restaurant; € 100 credit towards a better-aging treatment at the subterranean spa – the first Nescens spa in Paris – plus a bottle of champagne by owner Michel Reybier.
May 2014: Starting rate € 750 (approximately $1,035)
May 2015: $840
2) Majestic Hotel & Spa, Barcelona
Dating back to 1918 and located on Paseo de Gracia – Barcelona’s equivalent to Fifth Ave – Majestic Hotel & Spa is an ideal destination to conveniently explore the city’s history and architecture. The hotel is also a Leading Hotel of the World, as well as a Virtuoso member. Although biking is a great way to explore Barcelona, new this summer season will be an exclusive scooter program with an iPad with a map of nearby attractions, logoed scooters and helmets, and water and snacks in a backpack. Fashion tea comes to life every afternoon at El Bar del Majestic with a selection of designer éclairs. This is also where you enjoy a cocktail while getting your shoes shined by the resident shoe shiner.
Book a suite or penthouse with private terrace and receive a 15 percent discount (The Suites have unobstructed views of Paseo de Gracia and Gaudi’s Casa Batlló – and one with Sagrada Família); reservations include a buffet breakfast curated by Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany.
May 2014: Starting rate € 289 (approximately $398)
May 2015: $323
3) La Réserve Ramatuelle, St. Tropez
La Réserve Ramatuelle opened for its first season in 2009. Known for being a Shangri-la for celebrities like Karl Lagerfeld, and designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the hotel is very intimate with only 9 guestrooms, 19 suites, and 12 villas. It devotes a lot of its floor-area to its 11,000 square-foot spa. The property opened a new restaurant called La Voile in 2014 headed by Eric Canino. In February 2015, it was awarded its first Michelin star, and is now one of the hottest tables to get in the French Riviera. Mr. Canino uses all natural ingredients in his cooking, most of which comes from the expansive garden on the property.
The “Absolute Relaxation” package offers guests one of the most soothing spa experiences available in Europe. For a minimum of 3 nights in a Junior Suite or Suite, you’re given a Nescens better-aging facial treatment (duration: 50 minutes); a Nescens better-aging body treatment (duration: 50 minutes); and an additional treatment of your choice – balneotherapy, scrub, jet shower, or body wrap.
May 2014: Starting rate € 650 (approximately $903)
May 2015: $725
4) Park Hyatt Vienna, Vienna
Park Hyatt Vienna opened in June 2014 as the brand’s first hotel in Austria. It has 143 rooms, which includes 35 suites, and is housed within a 100-year-old former bank on Am Hof square, in Vienna’s First District (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The First District is known as the city’s shopping center. The hotel is a new home of Prada’s flagship store and is within walking distance of iconic sites like the Wiener Staatsoper and the Vienna State Opera House.
The “Culture at the Park” package allows guests to immerse themselves in Vienna’s rich history. In addition to complimentary daily breakfast, the package offers a guided city tour ticket with the Ring Red Line; a Vienna Card (providing discounted access to over 40 museums as well as complimentary public transportation for 72 hours); and 2pm late check out to make the most of the last morning.
May 2014: Starting rate € 375 (approximately $511)
May 2015: $407
5) Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, St. Barth
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France opened in October 2014 as the third hotel in LVMH’s growing hospitality collection. Although not in European, this resort is European in style. In addition to its signature St-Barth Sun Soother treatment, the property has the only Guerlain spa in the Caribbean; it is previewing two new wedding-themed Guerlain fragrances, Le Bouquet de la Mariée and Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie. Guests visiting the island between May 2 and June 12 can take advantage of the bi-yearly government mandated sales in the island’s designer-laden town of Gustavia.
7 nights for the price of five during the periods of May 1-August 31 and October 15-31, available for all types of rooms and suites.
May 2014: Starting rate € 590 (approximately $814)
May 2015: $660
All photos courtesy of the respective properties.