January 23, 2017 | Kirker Holidays
Kicking off 2017 with a new website (www.kirkerholidays.com) and an expanded collection of short break destinations, specialist tour operator, Kirker Holidays offers much to entice discerning travellers this year .
Whilst its passion for tailor-made short breaks in Europe remains undiminished, Kirker has also increased its presence in the United States for 2017, adding the culturally-rich cities of Washington DC and Philadelphia, as well as a further five-star property in New York: the five-star deluxe Ritz-Carlton Central Park, where three nights cost from £1,766 pp*.
Currently the focus of the world’s spotlight following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, on Capitol Hill, on 20 January, WASHINGTON DC makes a dream city break destination for political history enthusiasts, art lovers and sightseers alike. Browse the private collection of Impressionist paintings at The Kreeger or the impressive pieces at The National Gallery of Art, visit the Natural History Museum and the National Air and Space Museum or indulge in world-class music performances at the Kennedy Centre, home to the National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra. A three-night stay at the five-star superior Hay-Adams on Lafayette Square (opposite the White House) costs from £1,685 pp* whilst three nights at the stylish Kimpton Mason & Rook (close to the sights of 16th Street and the restaurants of 14th Street) cost from £1,326 pp*.
A perfect accompaniment to Washington DC is PHILADELPHIA – the new high-speed Acela train line links both cities in less than two hours – or as a short break destination in its own right. Philadelphia boasts both a fascinating past, having briefly been the nation’s capital (in the late 18th century), and a compelling present, its vibrant modern art and music scene complementing a number of world-renowned classical fine art collections. Stay three nights at the five-star superior Ritz-Carlton from £1,498 pp* or the four-star Morris House – constructed by a family of early colonists in 1787 and now a National Historic Landmark – from £1,336 pp*.
Combine Washington DC, Philadelphia and the Big Apple on a tailor-made East Coast USA by Rail itinerary that includes three nights at the four-star superior Fifty NYC in New York and two nights each at Morris House in Philadelphia and Kimpton Mason & Rook in Washington DC, as well as flights (London) to New York/from Washington DC, private airport transfers on arrival and departure, and Acela business class rail travel between the three cities. The price of this seven-night break is from £1,998 pp*.
Those inspired to discover a new city by the recent BBC Two series, Rick Stein’s Long Weekends, will find all of the featured destinations included: Bordeaux, Reykjavik, Berlin, Vienna, Bologna, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Cadiz, Thessaloniki and Palermo. Delegate the smooth running of your own long weekend to Kirker’s experts, who will combine carefully-selected hotels in the centre of each city with hassle-free private transfers, flights from your local airport and the services of the in-house Kirker Concierge to assist with those all-important table reservations for a delicious dinner or al fresco lunch at a recommended local restaurant.
NEW in Europe for 2017, Kirker has added MONTENEGRO to its short breaks selection. Brimming with outstanding natural beauty, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and charming sightseeing spots such as the fortified mediaeval town of Kotor and the pristine Baroque village of Perast, Kirker’s recommended hotels include the five-star deluxe Aman Sveti Stefan on the pretty Islet of Sveti Stefan (three nights from £1,648 pp*) and the four-star superior Palazzo Radomiri, a family-run property on the shore of the Bay of Kotor (three nights from £579 pp*).
Alternatively, allow Kirker’s expert team to create a two-centre itinerary that blends Montenegro with its equally enchanting neighbour, CROATIA. Joining Kirker’s Croatia’s programme – which already includes Dubrovnik, Hvar, Istria, Korcula, Rovinj, Split , Zadar and Zagreb – in 2017 are the Plitvice Lakes. Set in the UNESCO-protected Plitvice National Park, the four lower lakes, which are separated by waterfalls, can be enjoyed at close proximity via wooden walkways, whilst the 12 larger upper lakes can be viewed from footpaths that run around the perimeter. Stay at the Ethno Houses, six characterful and simply furnished log cabins set in a small woodland clearing in the heart of the national park, where three nights cost from £768 pp*.
Discerning travellers planning to visit PORTUGAL this year are in for a treat, too, with the pretty riverside town of Amarante (a delightful extension to a stay in Oporto or en route to the Douro Valley) and the historic university city of Coimbra joining Kirker’s well-established programme in the country, which now also features in a new dedicated Spain & Portugal brochure. In Amarante, stay three nights at the four-star deluxe Casa da Calçada from £598 pp*, while three nights at Kirker’s featured property in Coimbra, the four-star deluxe Quinta das Lagrimas – set in its own wooded estate – are from £549 pp*.
In SWITZERLAND, Kirker has added the picturesque mountain village of Wengen. Surrounded by flower-filled meadows and with a breathtaking backdrop of the Jungfrau, Eiger and the Mönch, this charmingly traditional car-free resort is the perfect spot from which to enjoy 500 km of walking trails and the 15 mountain cableways that carry visitors to the some of the most beautiful vantage points of the region. Stay at the four-star superior Beausite Park Hotel & Spa where three nights cost from £839 pp*, including rail transfers from Zurich.
Another of Switzerland’s renowned Alpine villages, Zermatt, joins Kirker’s short breaks programme for the first time this year. As much of a dream in summer as it is for winter holidays, hop on one of the cable cars, gondolas or cog railways for a mountain ascent that promises spectacular views of the magnificent Matterhorn, the glaciers and the Monte-Rosa massif. Stay at the four-star superior Parkhotel Beau Site where three nights cost from £769 pp*, including rail transfers from Geneva.
As well as new short break destinations, Kirker has also added a number of hotels in established European favourites for 2017, including:
AMSTERDAM: Recently renovated to its former glory as one of the city’s grand hotels, the five-star NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky enjoys an enviable location on Dam Square. Three nights from £748 pp*. Enjoy a generous array of amenities – including unlimited use of the in-room mini bar and drinks from the self-service lobby bar between 5pm and 7pm – at the four-star Banks Mansion (three nights from £728 pp*) whilst the four-star NH Museum Quarter is ideally situated for visiting the Rijkmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the Concertgebouw (three nights from £598 pp*).
BADEN-BADEN: Just a few minutes’ walk from the town’s famous thermal baths and the Museum-Frieder-Burda sits the four-star superior Hotel Der Kleine Prinz, where three nights are from £679 pp*.
BERLIN: Superbly placed for exploring some of the German capital’s most famous landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden and the Reichstag, three nights at the four-star NH Collection Berlin Mitte Freidrichstrasse are from £629 pp*.
BRUGES: Offering the ambience of a private residence in a grand Italianate mansion, the four-star deluxe Van Cleef sits at the heart of Bruges, close to Burg Square. Three nights from £688 pp*.
GREEK MAINLAND: Located in the East Peloponnese and close to the resort of Porto Heli, the exclusive five-star deluxe Amanzoe (three nights from £2,378 pp*) boasts a secluded hilltop position with panaromic sea and countryside views as well as convenient access to ancient treasures such as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Epidaurus and Mycenae.
HAMBURG: Decorated in a contemporary, minimalist style, the four-star NH Collection Hamburg City is conveniently located in Hamburg’s St. Paul’s district, with easy access to the harbour and old town. Three nights from £679 pp*.
MOSCOW: Enjoy a riverside setting within comfortable walking distance of Red Square, the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral at the four-star Kadashevskaya. Three nights from £1,278 pp*.
VALLETTA: Perfect for a year-round escape thanks to its delightful climate, the Maltese capital is easily explored on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. Stay at the four-star superior Palazzo Consiglia, close to the Lower Barrakka Gardens, where Grand Harbour views are at their very best. Three nights from £566 pp*.
VIENNA: Bursting with contemporary art by Viennese artists, three nights at the stylish and friendly four-star superior Das Tyrol are from £588 pp*, whilst elegance is the order of the day at the four-star superior Kaiserin Elisabeth (three nights from £716 pp*).
ZADAR: Explore Croatia’s stunning Dalmatian Coast from the historic walled port of Zadar, staying at the four-star superior Bastion, a stylish former 13th century Venetian fortress set in a quiet part of the city’s charming antique quarter. Three nights from £998 pp*.
ZURICH: Whether visiting this Swiss city for culture, shopping or sightseeing, the four-star superior Ambassador à l’Opéra (three nights from £998 pp*) provides a perfect base.
*Prices are based on a three-night break and include flights (London – regional departures on request), private transfers or car hire, accommodation (two sharing) with breakfast (room-only in the USA), Kirker Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing (where available) and the services of the Kirker Concierge to book restaurants, expert local guides or tickets to theatres, opera performances, concerts, museums and galleries.
In many classic European cities – including Venice, Florence, Rome, Turin, Paris, Monaco, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Granada, Valencia and Bilbao – Kirker also includes complimentary entrance tickets to the most important museums and galleries. NEW for 2017, Kirker has added tickets to Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona and to one of Italy’s finest art galleries, the Brera, in Milan.
Visitors to Monaco can enjoy complimentary helicopter transfers from Nice airport and a Passport to Monaco (giving entrance to a number of key attractions) on selected departure dates, while private walking tours of Prague or Marrakech are also included on a complimentary basis, ensuring Kirker clients make the most of their time available in their chosen city.
Celebrating an anniversary or special event in 2017? Allow Kirker Holidays to assist by arranging a few extra touches, using the expert services of the Kirker Concierge to book dinner at a recommended restaurant, opera or ballet tickets, or a private walking tour with an experienced, English-speaking local guide who will help make your holiday even more memorable.
For further information, to hear about Kirker’s latest special offers on short breaks and tailor-made holidays or for a copy of Kirker’s new Short Breaks or Spain & Portugal brochures (online here and here), contact Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 or visit the new website at www.kirkerholidays.com.