Visiting Europe is often composed of a whirlwind tour, during which visitors hurry from one tourist destination to another. Therefore — in between trips to museums and monuments — finding the time to breathe can be surprisingly difficult. To help speed along to the moment where you actually find relaxation — you’re on vacation, after all — some of our favorite hotels across the pond are outfitted with top-notch spas designed to get you to that “Ahhh” feeling faster than you can say “Euro Trip.” Whether all you want is some downtime in the sauna or a deep tissue massage, these properties have you covered. So sit back and relax—the Louvre will still be there tomorrow.
The intimate spa encourages relaxation at every corner.
K West is a smart and sophisticated option in London, with its main attraction being the beautiful K Spa. Featuring sleek style and impressive facilities — the hydrotherapy pool and “Snow Paradise” room are particularly noteworthy — the spa is well-regarded throughout the United Kingdom. The “Snow Paradise” room is meant to follow a hot steam treatment, and is based on Finnish spa techniques of using hot-cold therapy to stimulate circulation and the immune system.
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Ballnahinch Castle, one of Ireland's most beautiful historic stays, has played host to Pirate Queens, members of Parliament, and an Indian Maharaja.
Europe’s rich history is alive and well at these amazing hotels. Seeming to appear straight out of the history books, these castles, palaces, and monasteries have been the host to some of our world’s most interesting — and sometimes notorious — affairs. Pirate Queens, famous authors, scheming politicians, and celebrities of days past and present have walked through these corridors — and now you can, too, just by clicking through our slideshow.
Lobby at the Altis Hotel -- Lisbon
The Altis Hotel, with 300 rooms, is the largest property in the Altis chain and is certainly one of the brand’s most luxurious hotels. Elegant rooms are a decent size with plush bedding, marble bathrooms, and TVs embedded in the mirrors. A major renovation was completed in 2011, and rooms feel fresh and contemporary. The hotel’s long list of amenities includes a restaurant on the 12th floor with great city views, a cozy lobby bar, and a coffee shop. The Altis also has a health club with an indoor pool, fitness center, and several treatment rooms. While this property has a reputation as a business hotel, it also attracts tourists with its convenient location near numerous attractions. A spacious marble lobby features large art installations and plenty of space to sit. Check out more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»
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The St. James's Hotel and Club is a top choice for business travelers in London.
Europe’s bustling capital cities always attract the suit-and-tie set, and the continent’s best business hotels cater to these travelers with great service, special features, and around-the-clock amenities. Whether you’re ironing out the details of a high stakes merger or need to be connected to all four corners of the globe at once, these impressive properties are equipped to help with your every need. Sealing the deal in Europe‘s capital cities has never been easier than at these top business hotels:
The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.
Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.
There are plenty of different ways to travel in Europe – from shoestring-budget trips to over-the-top getaways worthy of the British royals. Here at Oyster we’ve been lucky enough to be able to do both (seriously, the budget hotels in Europe are pretty nice!), but the holidays are for wishing and dreaming, so we’re going to help you put together your own list of top places to get pampered in 2013. Keep reading and discover our favorite luxury hotels in Europe!
These luxurious rooms have classic, elegant decor, but modern technologies.
The world-renowned luxury hotel Plaza Athenee — a part of the Dorchester Collection — is synonymous with Parisian elegance and good taste. Iconic red awnings and chestnut trees welcome guests to the historic setting, on the upscale Avenue Montaigne location with direct views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s all about luxury here, inside and out. The avenue is lined with high-end shops such as Christian Dior, Prada, and Chanel. And inside, the 146 rooms and 45 suites are decorated in classic Art Deco style with modern touches like flat-screen TVs and marble baths. With six distinct restaurants, a large fitness center, and a can’t-miss daily breakfast in a leafy garden, the Plaza Athenee doesn’t miss a beat.
- Our favorite luxe amenity: Guests have access to the Dior Institute for a full range of quality beauty and spa treatments.
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There’s so much to do and see in Lisbon that it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of grabbing a bite on the go. Yet, with so many great restaurants in Lisbon, not sitting down for a meal is a crime! Or at least means missing part of the culture and fun. Hotel restaurants are not only convenient picks, but often offer some of the best dining around from renowned chefs who offer interesting takes on Portuguese cuisine. So whether in town for business, on a family trip or with your significant other, we’ve got a restaurant for you. Keep reading and discover our favorite hotel restaurants in Lisbon!
Occasion: Impressing your clients
Where: Restaurante Feitoria at Altis Belem Hotel & Spa
Floor-to-ceiling windows let in tons of light and offer serene views of the river.
Feitoria is great for entertaining with its sophisticated dining room and general upscale feel, and its wonderful Portuguese cuisine (with a twist) got the restaurant a Michelin star. Renowned Chef Jose Cordeiro has created signature dishes incorporating exotic touches to the traditional local gastronomy. The restaurant offers executive menus, which change daily and are made using fresh ingredients available at the market that day, as well as tasting menus and a la carte options.
- Oyster’s Favorite Feature: The Olive Oil Tasting Menu, which includes three to six varieties of some of the best Portuguese olive oils in the market.
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‘Tis the season for annual awards lists, but if you think you know what’s coming, guess again. Oyster’s awards aren’t like the other guys’ — we’re not like the other guys, so why should our awards be? You can find lists of the world’s best luxury hotels in a dozen other places, but only Oyster digs deep to learn every hotel’s secret quirks. Our hotel investigators trot the globe and visit every hotel in person so we can bring you the unvarnished truth, and this year, for the first-ever annual Oyster Hotel Awards, we’d like to show you the wackiest, coolest, weirdest, and most interesting things they came across in their travels. We are thrilled to present the 2012 selection of Oyster’s Most Interesting Hotels in the World. Are you ready for this?
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The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is a modern, globalized area thanks to financial, cultural and tourism industries. But the city is also steeped in history — and many of its boutique hotels show it off. Check out our ten favorites below, and let us know which one YOU love the most in the comments section below!
The glass-walled bathroom lets anyone in the Master Bedroom sneak a peek.
Restaurant Feitoria serves up delicious TK.
The Altis Belem Hotel & Spa is a 50-room boutique in Belem, a residential neighborhood on the Tagus River. Belem is slightly removed from the city center, but has several of its own attractions, as well as gorgeous marina views and lovely restaurants lining the river. The hotel’s rooms are sexy and spacious, with all-white decor accented by green rugs and unusual wall murals. Marble bathrooms are open — with little privacy — and some have inviting soaking tubs. Some rooms also have balconies with marina views and private Jacuzzis. Despite its small size, this hotel has many amenities, including a spa, a big indoor pool, a fitness center, and a Michelin-rated restaurant. Guests that want to be within walking distance of more attractions might consider the Altis Avenida, also a boutique hotel, with modern rooms in the city center.
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Sure, a week holed up in a beach bungalow or a romantic jaunt to the City of Lights is a nice way to spend one’s honeymoon. But we’d argue it can be a bit cliché, and you’re not just any other couple, right? If you and your significant other identify more with the less-than-traditional set of newlyweds, why not jet off to some exotic, unexpected locale instead? Taking the road less traveled for a honeymoon can be all the more romantic, now that you have someone else to protect you, natch. So before you book that all-inclusive in the Caribbean, give our five alternative honeymoon destinations a look — you never know where they will take you!
1. Go on an African Safari in Botswana
&Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp
The &Beyond Xaranna Okavanga Delta Camp is an all-inclusive resort in Botswana– but not like one you’ve ever been to before. (Read: you’re not going to be carrying around that same old plastic cup all week.) Set on an island that’s home to a 62,000-acre nature preserve, this unique getaway combines natural beauty and a far-away feel that’ll be sure to create a sexy atmosphere — for an adrenaline-junkie couples happy. Couples can go on game drives, bush walks, and river cruises, or simply enjoy cocktails on the hotel grounds, waiting for lions, hippos, or monkeys to mosey by. The tented suites are a study in glamping (that’s glamorous camping for the uninformed), complete with soaking tubs, indoor and outdoor showers, and four poster beds. A holiday on safari is the perfect way to begin the adventure that is marriage, don’t you think?