1. Trafalgar has announced new Europe itineraries for the coming year, including the new 6-day Amsterdam Explorer, priced from $1,550 pp; the 20-day Nordic Adventure, priced from $4,195 pp and visiting Norway, Finland and Sweden; and an Insider Experience at The Vatican, with an exclusive after-hours private visit followed by dinner in the Missionary Ethnological Museum on six select Italian itineraries.
2. Aarhus, a European Capital of Culture for 2017, is included in one of Insight Vacations’ new European itineraries, the 13-day Country Roads of Southern Scandinavia. The tour, which starts in Oslo and ends in Copenhagen, also visits Bergen and takes an island-hopping cruise through Norway’s West Coast fjords.
3. Paris’ very elegant Le Meurice hotel, part of the Dorchester Collection, has just unveiled a refurbished Pompadour Suite. This exquisite accommodation, accessible through a private entrance, features a spacious sitting room, grand bedroom and marble bathroom. There’s also 18th century artwork, hidden doors, a Louis VX fireplace, and plush king bed with Garnier-Thiebaut linen and Muhldorfer pillows.
4. The new 18-room and -suite country house hotel Pale Hall, located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, is SLH’s first hotel in the country. Built in 1871, the house has played host to Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria, and today it features Zoffany furnishings and William Morris prints, with every guestroom offering picturesque views of the rural Welsh landscape.
5. Collette has introduced the 12-day The Romantic Road and Fairy Tale Road itinerary, which travels through Germany, starting in Berlin, then traveling to Hamburg, Lubeck, Hamelin, Rothenburg, and finally Southern Bavaria, with visits to the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Bavarian Alpine town of Oberammergau, and Munich.
6. Also in Germany, the Westin Hamburg recently opened with 244 guestrooms, offerings views of HafenCity, the Elbe River, or the inner heart of the Elbphilharmonie.
7. After extensive renovation, the iconic Hotel Eden in Rome will reopen in April. It will debut with 98 spacious guestrooms and suites; a new 4-suite spa; and enhanced views over the Eternal City.
8. British Airways is launching a new service to Fort Lauderdale starting July 6, 2017. It will be the airline’s third route from Gatwick to Florida, and its fourth service to the state. The route will be served by a 777-200 aircraft operating three days a week year-round; four-a-week during peak summer.
9. Design Hotels has a few new properties sprinkled throughout Europe, including the Mediterranean-style, 54-room and 18-suite Giardino Ascona, located along Lake Maggiore in Switzerland; the 41-room Memmo Principe Real, located in the heart of Lisbon’s trendiest neighborhood; Paris’ 37-room Le Roch Hotel & Spa, nestled between Place Vendome, the Opera Garnier and the Louvre; and the 12-room La Bandita Townhouse, set amidst the historic center of Pienza, in southern Tuscany.
10. Recommend true adventure-seekers H+I Adventures’ new Into the Labyrinth mountain biking expedition, which launches this June in the heart of the Norwegian fjords. Bike adventurers will sleep and eat on board an ex-navy minesweeper, able to access remote
trails around the rugged west coast of Norway, plus ride and hike their mountain bike to towering mountain summits, overlooking glaciers, emerald lakes and waterfalls. Of course, what goes up must go down, and bikers will have to tackle the technical descent down the opposite side of the mountain.