You may have decided to make Europe your next holiday travel destination or even gone ahead and made one or two reservations, but have you perfected all the elements of luxury travel to make this vacation one to remember?
Europe offers some of the world’s top-notch travel, luxury and relaxation holiday spots and the continent is bursting with an array of languages, cultures, architecture, heritage sites, customs and traditions spread from east to west. Therefore, it’s essential to plan your journey to Europe appropriately to make your trip memorable one and experience the full extent of the splendour that the continent offers.
If you’re looking for some suggestions on how to make your next European vacation an extra special one, then read on for our top luxury travel tips.
1. Fly first-class or business class
What is more luxurious than making your way to your destination in relaxation and first-class comfort? Fly in style with one of the top airlines and arrive in Europe rested, refreshed, and ready for even more luxury. First-class travel almost always guarantees a few hours of shut eye, a tasty meal, some excellent wine, top-notch service and expedited boarding as well as impressive airport lounges too.
If you want to be spoiled before you even set foot in your holiday destination, then flying business or first class is a given. While you are at it, go ahead and book a roomy suite, which will give you plenty of relaxation, the best treatment and supreme pampering too, setting you up nicely for your memorable trip.
2. Hire a chauffeur for your transportation
Sit back, relax, and allow yourself to be driven to those cultural hot spots in style. Booking a chauffeur makes your transport requirements much less of a hassle, from the moment you are greeted at the airport to the time you visit all of those hard to reach sights on your list.
No longer will you have to waste time trying to find a taxi, dragging your luggage around or spending endless hours waiting for public transport to catch up with your needs, a private driver will be dedicated to your travel needs, meaning no wasted hours.
From airport to hotel to the top sights in hard to reach areas and for dinner reservations too, your vacation is bound to run much more smoothly with someone ready and waiting to greet you and chauffeur you around at any given time.
3. Stay in a five-star hotel
There is nothing better than relaxing in a hotel that takes the extra step to ensure that all their guests are well cared for, and with a great selection of amenities to utilise too, a five-star hotel is where you should be heading.
Often boasting luxurious spas, fine dining restaurants, refined bars and exclusive leisure facilities, these top-notch hotels are geared towards their guests luxuriating in their surroundings for a stay they won’t forget in a hurry. On top of this you can expect to come across well-trained, committed staff who work hard to ensure all visitors are catered to and thoroughly enjoying their stay, whether that’s a drink in the bar, a meal in a restaurant or the very best housekeeping services. This rigorous approach is what sets a five-star establishment apart from the rest and you will be pleased to know that Europe boasts a pretty impressive selection of these hotels.
4. Get comfortable in a private villa
If you prefer to have a few weeks off in total privacy and are looking to spend some quality time in your own surroundings then a private villa will surely do the trick. A private villa offers peaceful and luxurious seclusion from the busy city life, and many come complete with nanny services, a local chef, concierge service, and a wide array of bespoke services. There are several private villa options across Europe, with most of them benefitting from attractive locations, private pools and all the mod cons you could need.
5. Educate yourself with a private tour guide
With such a varied history and fascinating insights at every turn, you will no doubt be interested in learning a little bit about each place you visit as you journey around the continent. Though you may have some idea of the captivating past of your destination learned from textbooks or travel guides, there really is no better way of discovering than seeing for yourself.
The best way to take in any city is with a personal tour, be it on foot, by boat or road, and a private tour guide will make this experience that much better. A reputable guide can be found through local tourist services, though your hotel should be able to help too, and they will have plenty of insider knowledge as well as exclusive access to certain attractions that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
6. Personalise each experience
If you’re visiting a European city for the first time, you should use every moment to create a more long-lasting personal experience. Start by having your hotel concierge or travel advisor plan something a little out of the ordinary, over-the-top, and yet a meaningful experience that will connect you with the town, community, or travel family long after you have left.
There are plenty of options to choose from, be it a drive through the Black Forest, a helicopter ride over the monuments in Athens, or even a private yacht cruise along the Amalfi coast. If you happen to visit England during the football season, you can book a VIP seat and enjoy the FA Cup final or a top club game, you could also book a football class from some of the biggest names in Lisbon’s football world. Other options include running the bulls in Spain’s Pamplona or going hunting for truffles in France – whatever you do you will be sure to take home a treasure trove of wonderful memories with you.
7. Befriend your hotel concierge
During your stay in those top tier hotels across Europe, you will soon realise that there is almost nothing a good hotel concierge cannot do for you. The truth is that luxury hotel concierges are some of the best insiders to rely on for certain things, as most of them have an impressive network of connections. So, if you find yourself needing help with a replacement passport, a table at a fully booked restaurant, or some last-minute tickets to a sold-out concert, these are the people you can count on.
The most reliable concierges can pull all manner of strings to make the seemingly impossible possible – or at least, offer very pleasing alternatives.
8. Find a great hotel bar
If you are a lover of terrific hotel bar experiences, then this tip is for you. A hotel bar can be the go-to place for you after a long day of touring an area and offer the ideal place to sit back, relax, order a lovely glass of wine or a signature cocktail and soak up the luxurious environment.
For the best options, you can ask your concierge for suggestions or undertake a little research before you travel. A brief online research could be enough to ensure that you do not miss out on the beautiful experiences that most of the luxurious hotel bars across Europe have to offer. A few options include the Mandarin Oriental’s rooftop Terrat in Barcelona, the Hassler bar in Rome, The Merrion’s Cellar Bar in Dublin, and Corinthia Hotel London’s art-deco Bassoon.
9. Experience at least one Michelin Star restaurant
From the avant-garde to authentic dishes prepared with simple ingredients, Europe has a wide array of Michelin Star restaurants worth visiting among those off the track delights enjoyed by locals. From the plentiful options in Northern Spain and London to those found across France and Italy, you can sure that the food, service and locations will provide an all-round dining experience to please your taste buds.