Five European city breaks for Christmas
From this month, if you stay at a Meliá Hotel, there are even more advantages for Iberia Plus programme. In addition to obtaining Avios, as a member of Iberia Plus, you will enjoy all the benefits MeliáRewards offers. All you have to do is select Iberia Plus as a preferred partner from your MeliáRewards account and, for each €1, you will receive 3 Avios. So, to make the most of the scheme, here are five ideas for your weekend getaways, before or during the festive season. Merry Christmas!
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a British Christmas staple, after visiting you can stay at the Meliá White House, both of which are perfect for a family Christmas getaway. Or stay at Covent Garden’s stylish ME London, minutes from Covent Garden market, which lights up with 40 mistletoe chandeliers and a giant silver reindeer this December.
The German capital is world-famous for its Christmas markets, and in the city centre the Weihnachtszauber is a lavish affair, offering glühwein, bratwurst and live entertainment. Stay a few minutes’ walk away at Meliá Berlin, on Berlin’s Friedrichstraße, one of the city’s prime shopping streets. Or stay at TRYP Berlin Mitte, also in the city centre and walking-distance from Sophienstraße Environmental and Christmas Market, which offers environmentally friendly and fair-trade goods.
Another Christmas shopping mecca, Paris offers the best of boutique and big-name brands. On the banks of the Seine, The Meliá La Défense hotel is perfectly placed for relaxing after a day’s retail therapy. Or, if you’re looking for an escape from the city, there’s a wealth of villages nearby offering bucolic food markets full of Christmas delicacies. Try Chantilly (home to the Château de Chantilly) Chartres (famous for its 13th-century cathedral) or the regal Fontainebleau, which has a lively restaurant scene.
Among Europe’s most surprising traditions for the holiday season is the Italian custom of eating lentils on New Year’s Eve to encourage wealth and prosperity for the future. And if those two things are on your mind, spend your break at the Gran Meliá Rome, on the doorstep of the one-time ‘Capital of the World’, home to such lavish displays of opulence as the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain and the Basilica di Santa Maria.
For Spanish children, the most important day of Christmas is 5 January, which marks the moment they finally get their Christmas presents and the date of the Cavalcade of Kings parade. Treat your children to a front row view from the balcony of a room at the Gran Meliá Fénix in Madrid’s Salamanca neighbourhood. Or stay in the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, which serves a great roscón – a doughnut eaten in Spain during the Christmas season – and is minutes away from the Teatro Real, which holds its festive Noche Española en Navidad concert on 13 December.