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Old Jul 13, 10, 6:51 pm   #1
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SPG Best of Europe - What are your top European Starwood Properties?

What are your top Starwood properties in Europe? Where you would choose to take a weekend trip in order to stay at this hotel? Perhaps the quality of the hotel makes you happy to take a business trip. Another hotel might be one you'd drive an hour out of the way to visit. The hotels could be intriguing because of their architecture, perhaps an old palace or monastery, or perhaps refreshingly contemporary. They might have a great city location, or a beautiful view of scenery. They should have excellent service and comfortable rooms.

This is a fresh start of a thread that I began in 2006. Starwood has lost and Starwood has gained hotels in Europe during the past four years. (I'm still mourning the loss of the Cipriani in Asolo, Italy.) I'm listing the summary from the initial thread below. Let me know if there are errors - but more importantly, are there some great hotels that should be noted? Or are some listed that have fallen substantially in favor?

I've built wonderful trips based on the first iteration of this list, and hope that others might do the same.
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Old Jul 13, 10, 6:52 pm   #2
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Austria
Salzburg - Goldener Hirsch, wonderful 15th century inn in the heart of the Old Town
Near Salzburg - Schloss Fuschl
Vienna - Westin Bristol, old world luxury, across from Opera House
Vienna - Imperial Hotel, old world luxury, grander than Bristol
Vienna - Le Meridien, contemporary design in a great sightseeing location

Bulgaria
Sofia - Sheraton

Croatia
Split - Le Meridien - A pleasant surprise. Wonderful location on the azure waters of the Adriatic. Nice pool and spa. Just a short drive from Split which is charming. Great upgrades for platinums

Finland
Helsinki - Kamp, LC hotel in the true sense of luxury, very stingy plat upgrades

France
Paris - Prince de Galles - near Arc de Triomphe off Champs Elysee and next to George V, superb concierge staff, 2009/10 reports of indifferent service other than concierges
Paris CDG - Sheraton CDG, superbly located in the airport by the RER/TGV station. The interior is an oasis of calm - lots of wood, natural light, and even has a Club lounge (not a destination hotel, but a superb airport property)

Germany
Dresden - Westin Bellevue - fantastic view, great location on river facing delightful old city
Hamburg - Le Meridien, lovely views overlooking the lake
Leipzig - Fürstenhof
Weimar - Elephant, 1 star Michelin rated restaurant. Lots of history within an easy walk in this charming small town

Greece
Athens - Hotel Grande Bretagne, wonderful 5 star city hotel on Syntagma Square with view of Parthenon from restaurant
Pelopensean peninsula - Westin and Romanos, gorgeous (very large) resort on the ocean
Crete - Blue Palace, an hour drive from Heraklion airport. Beautiful resort set into the hills with an amazing view overlooking the sea and other islands. Unique rock beach. Great treatment of Platinums.
Santorini - Mystique, very pricey for points redemption but with a fantastic view
Santorini - Vedema, quiet boutique away from the usual crowd of hotels. Very unique and non touristy. Not a beach property.

Ireland
Dublin - Westin, superb location, next to Trinity College and a short walk to Temple Bar

Italy
Florence - Westin Excelsior, great platinum upgrades facing square and river
Florence - Grand Hotel, immediately across square from Excelsior
Rome - Eden, a few blocks from top of Spanish Steps, historic hotel with great range in rooms. Nice if you get a great upgrade; not so nice if you end up in a tiny room. Terrific concierge team.
Rome - St. Regis Grand, a true 5 star hotel
Rome - Westin, very good service for a Westin. Old world decor.
Venice - Westin Europe and Regina, for the view if you get a room with a terrace/balcony fronting the Grand Canal (better view than Danieli)
Venice - Danieli, grand old palace hotel
Venice - Gritti Palace, grand old palace hotel
Cala Di Volpe, Costa Smerelda, Sardinia, very expensive food plan

Netherlands
Amsterdam - Pullitzer, unique hotel layout, amazing location on the canal and the upscale Jordaan neighborhood, improved 2010 plat benefits
Hague - des Indes

Poland
Warsaw - Le Meridien Bristol, well located for old town and Opera House

Portugal
Evora - Convento do Espinheiro
Lisbon - Sheraton, Incredible Design - ultra modern - almost like a W. Great buffet breakfast. Cool rooftop bar (indoor). Nice outdoor pool and gift for plats.
Porto - Sheraton

Spain
Barcelona - Le Meridien, great contemporary design in the lobby and remodeled rooms. Service seems to be getting better and the locaton is perfect.
Barcelona - 1 hour south - Le Meridien Ra, a surprising find on the beach, an old tuberculosis sanitarium with the guts made into an ultra contemporary hotel
Elciego (2 hours from Bilbao) - Marquis de Riscal, only Frank Gehry designed hotel in the world, meant to look like an exploding champagne cork. In the middle of a winery. The free tour of the winery is a must!
Madrid - Westin Palace, old school Westin, but great location near museums
San Sebastian - Maria Christina, Grande Dame
Seville - Alfonso XIII, commissioned by King of Spain in 1928 to be Europe's most luxurious hotel; great location close to all the major sites.
Valencia - Westin, Bliss. Go there

Sweden
Stockholm - Sheraton, easy walk to waterfront and Old City, near Opera House. Wonderful ikea-esque room. Spacious, bright and lots of wood! A fully stocked lounge for platinums too.

Switzerland
Davos - ArabellaSheraton Hotel Seehof, next to the funicular up to the largest ski area surrounding the valley.
Davos - Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus
Geneva - Hotel President Wilson, some expect better of a level 7 hotel

Turkey
Istanbul - W, a decent location away from the major tourist sites but in a pleasant, modern, up-and-coming area. THe rooms are unlike any other W in the world. This is truly East meet WWWWest!
UK - England
London - Le Meridien, Piccadilly - superb location for tourists in the heart of the city. Be aware that room quality varies wildly; lots of suites for platinums as well as a small executive lounge
London - Sheraton Park Towers, Knightsbridge, no bad rooms. Some complaints of cold service

UK - Scotland
Turnberry - Westin Resort, views from the dolls house on the hill to the Isle of Arran and the Ailsa Craig are breathtaking.

New and Promising
Greece - Arion Resort & Spa, Astir Palace, outside Athens
Spain - W Barcelona

Link to the European spa hotels which include a lot of the ones listed above:

http://www.luxurycollectionspas.com/...ntinent=Europe

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Sep 23, 14 at 3:16 pm. Reason: Thru izzik's post; Cologne Dom removed as it has left Starwood
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Old Jul 13, 10, 7:14 pm   #3
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In the UK, I have to give nods to both the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh and the Le Méridien Piccadilly in London. We'll be at the Westin Excelsior in Rome in December, and I'll report back then.
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Old Jul 13, 10, 7:22 pm   #4
 
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SanDiego1K,
I think that you have Cat7 Mystique mixed up with Cat6 Vedema. I personally thought that Arion was wonderful, and I expect to hear great things of the new resorts in Costa Navarino.

Also in Venice is Gritti Palace which I hope and expect will be comparable to the other two Venice properties.

Also in Davos is the Seehof. It was a toss-up about which one to stay in, but the Seehof is right next to the funicular up to the largest ski area surrounding the valley. (I seriously don't understand why these two hotels still don't get much discussion on FT with interest in their C&P availability nearly every day for the summer and winter!)

I think that you might also hear some votes for the Starwoods in Barcelona.

Greece
Santorini - Mystique, very pricey for points redemption but with a fantastic view
Santorini - Vedema, quiet boutique away from the usual crowd of hotels

Italy
Venice - Gritti Palace

Switzerland
Davos - Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus
Davos - ArabellaSheraton Hotel Seehof
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Old Jul 13, 10, 7:25 pm   #5
 
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I loved the Westin Excelsior in Rome. Going back for another five nights in September.

I did not like the Sheraton Park Towers in London. I found it to be cold, impersonal and over-rated.

Instead, I much prefer the Sheraton Park Lane, recognizing many others have a different opinion. All I can say is I have never had a bad experience, most of them quite delightful in fact.

I am eager to try the properties in Spain and Austria some day. I generally prefer older, traditional, formal properties.

Cheers,
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Old Jul 13, 10, 7:27 pm   #6
 
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Blue Palace - Crete, Greece: One of the most amazing views I have had the pleasure of witnessing from a Starwood property; a bit out of the way, but wonderful resort pools and a unique rock beach. Great treatment of Platinums including my upgrade to a two story suite with private plunge pool.

Hotel Alfonso XII - Seville, Spain: great location close to all the major sites that any visitor would want to see. A historic locale and building. As a platinum upgraded to an extremely generous junior suite with beautiful detailing and butler service.
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Old Jul 13, 10, 7:43 pm   #7
 
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Lisbon, Portugal

Le Meridien Atlantic Park is no longer a Le Meridien. The only SPG option in Lisbon now is a Sheraton.
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Old Jul 13, 10, 8:04 pm   #8
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Greece
Athens - Hotel Grande Bretagne, a true 5 star hotel
Santorini - Vendema, very unique and non touristy. Not a beach property.

Italy
Florence - Westin Excelsior, agree on the great platinum upgrades facing square and river
Rome - St. Regis Grand, a true 5 star hotel
Rome - Westin, very good service for a Westin. Old world decor.
Venice - Westin Europe and Regina, agree for the view if you get a room with a terrace/balcony fronting the Grand Canal. Expensive food & bar.

Netherlands
Amsterdam - Pullitzer, unique hotel layout, amazing location on the canal and the upscale Jordaan neighborhood, the improved plat benefits have put this on my list.

Spain
Elciego - Marquis de Riscal. The free tour of the winery is a must!
Madrid - Westin Palace, old school Westin, but great location near museums
Barcelona - Le Meridien, great contemporary design in the lobby and remodeled rooms. Service seems to be getting better and the locaton is perfect.
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Old Jul 14, 10, 8:55 am   #9
 
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Le Meridien Vienna, Austria.

Excellent Location and nice Suite Upgrades for Plats.

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Old Jul 14, 10, 9:05 am   #10
 
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W has been touting The W Barcelona as their european flagship and it's really in the top 5 of *wood's european properties (I'm going to Barcelona to stay there again next week).

Being so young (opened late last year) however means that it'll have to stand the test of time before it can truly be recognized.
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Old Jul 14, 10, 10:52 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocialAdept View Post
W has been touting The W Barcelona as their european flagship and it's really in the top 5 of *wood's european properties (I'm going to Barcelona to stay there again next week).

Being so young (opened late last year) however means that it'll have to stand the test of time before it can truly be recognized.
If you haven't been how do you know it is in the top 5 in Europe?
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Old Jul 14, 10, 11:00 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schley View Post
If you haven't been how do you know it is in the top 5 in Europe?
Notice the word "again".

Last edited by SocialAdept; Jul 15, 10 at 2:29 am. Reason: added quote
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Old Jul 15, 10, 2:11 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Austria

Switzerland
Davos - ArabellaSheraton Hotel Seehof, next to the funicular up to the largest ski area surrounding the valley.
Davos - Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus
Geneva - Hotel President Wilson
Is the hotel president Wilson truly worthy of a cat 7?
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Old Jul 15, 10, 5:49 am   #14
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great thread sandiego1k....lots of good information....will post my list soon....
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Old Jul 15, 10, 6:53 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNWO4LIFE View Post
Is the hotel president Wilson truly worthy of a cat 7?
It is to the people who forecast their rates. Category is based on a forecast of RevPAR -- regardless of whether most travelers think that it's worth that expense.

So do you mean, is it expensive? Yes, RACK rates:
. 890 CHF -- Superior
. 950 CHF -- Prestige Room City View
1 050 CHF -- Prestige Room lake view
1 500 CHF -- Business Corner Suite City View
1 800 CHF -- Business Corner Suite Lake View
2 900 CHF -- Executive Junior Suite
3 900 CHF -- Junior Suite
5 500 CHF -- Luxury Suite
8 000 CHF -- Crown Suite
14 000 CHF -- Presidential Suite
You mean, is it worth the expense? Not to me even if it were on SPG50. (Weekends are typically around 50% off RACK, I think.) Obviously, there are some others who disagree with me.

FWIW, it appears that many renovations were completed from 2008 - 2010.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...er-thread.html
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