Spring into a Short Break with Kirker Holidays
With January duly dispatched and the shortest (and, arguably, most dreary) month of the year well underway, now is definitely the time to start planning an essential escape.
Renowned for its array of tailor-made short breaks for discerning travellers, specialist tour operator Kirker Holidays (www.kirkerholidays.com) has a tempting selection of destinations from which to choose, encompassing no less than 80 cities and some 250 properties across Italy, France, Spain and the rest of Europe. Keen to venture further afield? Kirker also offers personalised itineraries to North Africa, the Middle East, Ireland, the USA and Cuba, with Egypt and Tunisia returning to its worldwide selection this year.
Kirker has fine-tuned its recommended hotels in Europe for 2019, adding new hotels in key cities. In PARIS, these include:
- Grand Powers: Reopened in December 2018 following a sensitive restoration, this five-star hotel has been welcoming guests since 1920. Balancing contemporary Parisian chic with Art Deco touches within a Haussmann building so typical of the 8th arrondissement, the Grand Powers also has a cosy bar for pre-dinner drinks and a small spa. A three-night stay costs from £1,098 pp*.
- The landmark five-star Lutetia, which also reopened last year following four years of painstaking restoration. This Art Deco palace, reimagined for the 21st century, enjoys a superb location at the heart of Saint Germain, with a new expansive spa offering holistic treatments plus a large indoor swimming pool. A three-night stay costs from £1,129 pp*.
Kirker has also added to its hotel selection in northern Europe, including Copenhagen, Hamburg and Stockholm…
COPENHAGEN: Owned by former Danish ballet dancer Alexander Koplin, Sanders is a luxury boutique hotel that draws design inspiration from his travels, blending English eccentricity and Parisian sophistication with a Danish sensibility. Set directly behind the Royal Danish Theatre, it is just a three-minute walk to the King’s New Square and the Nyhavn Canal (three nights from £1,298 pp*).
HAMBURG: Opened in 2018 in a striking modern building on the shores of Lake Alstar, the five-star Fontenay boasts spectacular views across both the lake and the city skyline from its stylish rooftop restaurant, bar and spa with indoor/outdoor swimming pool (three nights from £1,029 pp*). Alternatively, the four-star Ameron Hotel Speicherstadt is superbly located in Hamburg’s UNESCO-listed harbour district, just a ten-minute walk from the spectacular Elbphilharmonie concert hall (three nights from £679 pp*).
STOCKHOLM: Two four-star hotels join Kirker’s collection in the Swedish capital for 2019. Just five minutes’ walk from the Opera House in the heart of Stockholm’s shopping district, Kungsträdgården offers delightfully quirky accommodation, decorated in classic Gustavian style (three nights from £998 pp*) whilst the Lady Hamilton promises chandeliered bedrooms and an excellent location in the centre of the historic Gamla Stan (three nights from £798 pp*).
.… as well as expanding its programme in SWITZERLAND to include St Moritz, where Kirker’s featured properties are the traditional four-star Schweizerhof, just a five-minute walk from the Chantarella funicular (three nights from £948 pp*) and Waldhaus Sils, a five-star hotel perched in a wonderful position above the village of Sils Maria (a 15-minute drive from St. Moritz), set between two lakes and flanked by mountains and forests, with spectacular views (three nights from £1,068 pp*).
Also in Switzerland, Kirker has added hotels in Zermatt (the five-star Grand Hotel Zermatterhof; three nights from £998 pp*) and Wengen (the four-star Sunstar Wengen, three nights from £688 pp*), as well as a trio of sample tailor-made itineraries designed the make the very most of the Swiss rail system: The Glacier Express (four nights from £1,688 pp), The Top of Europe (six nights from £1,878 pp) and The Gotthard Pass (six nights from £1,998 pp).
Closer to home, Kirker has added Kerry (from £569 pp* for three nights at the historic four-star Great Southern Killarney) and Limerick (from £598 pp* for three nights at No. 1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa) to its selection in IRELAND’s bucolic South West, while the four-star Ballymaloe House (three nights from £739 pp*) joins its accommodation collection in Cork.
TURKEY: Kirker has expanded its programme in Turkey to include the lively resort of Izmir, the picturesque hillside village of Sirince, and Alaçati, a delightful blend of cobbled streets, whitewashed stone houses, boutique hotels and renowned restaurants. Also new in Turkey for 2019, Kirker has added the four-star Sultanhan hotel in Istanbul, just five minutes’ walk from the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar (three nights from £549 pp*) and, perched on a hilltop overlooking Bodrum’s distinctive sugar-cube houses, the four-star The Marmara (three nights from £739 pp*).
EGYPT: Kirker has reintroduced Egypt for 2019, offering tailor-made short breaks and holidays to Cairo and Giza, Luxor and Aswan, as well as selection of Nile cruises – visiting the country’s ancient sites in the company of experienced Egyptologists – on a range of vessels that include an original steam ship dating from 1907, a dahabiya (traditional Egyptian sailing boat), and the luxurious Philae or Zahra from Oberoi, both with on-board spas. A tailor-made holiday combining two nights in Cairo (including a half-day private tour to the Pyramids) followed by a flight to Luxor for a two-night stay before boarding the M/S Hamees for a four-night cruise to Aswan for the final two nights costs from £2,998.
TUNISIA: Also back in the fold for 2019 is Tunisia, where Kirker’s featured hotel is the five-star The Residence (three nights from £659 pp*). Located 30 minutes from the centre of Tunis and close to the village of La Marsa, the hotel has its own private beach as well as three excellent restaurants, an ESPA thalasso therapy spa with hammam, and 18-hole golf links course. Kirker clients can also enjoy a number of excellent private excursions, arranged by the Kirker Concierge and accompanied by expert English-speaking guides. Highlights include a half-day city tour of Tunis with walking tour of the medina, a full-day tour of the world-famous Bardo Museum and the archaeological site of Carthage, or a visit to the fascinating ruined city of Dougga.
OMAN: Kirker has also expanded its programme in the ‘Pearl of Arabia’, adding the four-star Crowne Plaza to its hotel collection in Muscat (three nights from £1,168 pp*) and, built into the ‘Green Mountain’ in Oman’s fascinating interior region, the five-star Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, boasting spectacular canyon views from all of its rooms and a stunning infinity pool (three nights from £1,695 pp*). For discerning travellers seeking an Arabian Nights experience of magical sunsets and sleeping under clear starry skies, Kirker can now arrange overnight stays amid the vast red dunes of Wahiba Sands. Choose from a Desert Nights Camp on the edge of this dramatic sand ocean or ask the Kirker Concierge about Private Camps, which can be set up in a location of your choice… from a remote corner of Wahiba Sands to the edge of the vast Empty Quarter. For those who prefer to travel in the company of like-minded individuals, Kirker also offers a new six night escorted Cultural Tour, ‘Oman – Pearl of Arabia’ (departing 10 October, six nights cost from £2,929 pp).
All of the hotels described above are featured in Kirker’s 2019 Short Breaks & Tailor-Made Holidays brochure, which can be viewed online or requested here. Brimming with travel inspiration, the brochure features more special offers than ever before, giving complimentary nights of accommodation at selected properties throughout the year, with new offers being added all the time (check with Kirker at the time of booking for all the latest details).
Many of the destinations featured in Kirker’s programme also include welcome extras to further enhance your holiday experience. These include Museum Passes in Paris and Bruges, a Passport to Monaco, visitor cards in Bologna, Naples and Turin, and complimentary entrance to the Doge’s Palace, Accademia or Guggenheim in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Vatican Museum or Villa Borghese in Rome, the Brera Gallery in Milan, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, as well as the services of the Kirker Concierge to assist with booking expert guides, tickets to musical performances and exhibitions, or a table for dinner.
*Prices are based on two people sharing and include flights (London) or Eurostar, transfers, accommodation with breakfast, Kirker Guide Notes where appropriate and the services of the Kirker Concierge.
For more information on tailor-made short breaks and holidays to Europe and beyond, call Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com.
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