Europe's Grand Openings

Europe will see a slew of hotel openings this summer in familiar places such as Barcelona and Munich, as well as less-frequented destinations like Kazakhstan. Some are brand-new properties, while others are emerging from revamps, but all feature luxurious amenities that clients will love. Here, Travel Agent rounds up the who, what and where of European hotels debuting during the region's 2007 peak season.  An open-air rooftop Jacuzzi connecting to one of The 1898 Hotel's suites

Set in the heart of Barcelona, The 1898 Hotel is already open, having taken two years of reconstruction to become the 169-room property it is today. Núñez y Navarro Hotels restored a 127-year-old building that once was home to the General Company of Tobacco of the Philippines, one of the most important companies in Spain at the end of the 19th century.

Núñez y Navarro worked hard to preserve what it could of the original building, as it's said to be one of the most emblematic buildings in Barcelona. Fingerprints of the commercial activity between Spain and the Philippines during the 19th and 20th centuries are all over the walls of the building, including the front wall made in 1880, which was restored in its original neoclassical style.

The best rooms to book are the hotel's five suites. Two junior suites offer a salon and two suites provide Jacuzzi swimming pools with private terraces.

A guest room in The 1898 Hotel in Barcelona, Spain

The Colonial Suite is the most luxurious, with an outdoor area, Jacuzzi and terrace. All five suites offer a view, with The Colonial Suite providing a look at Las Ramblas and, from the terrace, the bell tower of the BelénChurch.

Current rates start around €280. The travel agent liaison is Nuria Graells ([email protected]).

Southern Brussels' newest property, Dolce La Hulpe opens on April 23. Surrounded by the Sonian forest, Dolce La Hulpe's 264 guest rooms all have views of the forest, but the best rooms to book, which include the Presidential Suite, overlook the Feng Shui Garden.

Outdoor-oriented guests can partake in a game of tennis on Dolce La Hulpe's two courts, round up a game of volleyball on its beach volleyball field or rent a mountain bike to breeze through forest trails. Guests also can go for rounds of golf in any of the 10 courses surrounding the hotel.

Two attractions, Castle of La Hulpe and the ContemporaryArtFolonMuseum are within walking distance from the hotel through the woods.

To celebrate its opening, multiple packages are available for booking that revolve around business, leisure, golf and spa guests.

When it opens this summer, the newly built Swissôtel Tallinn in Estonia will be the tallest building in the city's skyline, overlooking the Old Town World Heritage Site and the Baltic coast. Located on the "Wall Street of Tallinn," the property is 15 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes from the harbor and 15 minutes from the central railway station.

An artist’s rendering of a guest room at Swissôtel Tallin in Estonia

While the location may be ideally suited for business travelers, leisure travelers will be drawn to the Swissôtel Tallinn for dining and entertainment. Located on the hotel's top floor, the Specialty Restaurant & Bar features a panoramic view of the city. Café Swiss meanwhile, offers traditional cuisine and a buffet of international foods.

The property's AmritaSpa & WellnessCenter allows guests to work out, swim or relax.

Swissôtel Tallinn Estonia will be a mixed-use property, comprised of apartments, offices and 238 guest rooms, including a Presidential Suite. The rooms feature large living areas and a full line of luxury amenities and services, as well as state-of-the-art technology, such as wireless Internet access and an espresso machine.

By e-mailing [email protected], agents can book a Business Advantage room for an opening rate of €139 with taxes.

See more about Tallinn in the video below:




Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli in Gargnano, Italy, reopened last week after being closed for renovations over the last five months. The neo-gothic, 21-bedroom mansion sits next to Lake Garda on eight acres of parkland and Italian gardens.

The villa once was the summer home of the Feltrinelli family, whose lumber empire is reflected in the property's intricate carved wooden ceilings. Ten ceiling frescos, hand-painted in the 1890s, have been restored and cover thousands of antique and custom-made furnishings. This $1 million investment is the property's second, as the villa opened as a hotel in July 2001 after a five-year restoration totaling roughly $30 million.

A Classic Room in Rocco Forte's The Charles Hotel in Munich, Germany

Guests can opt to swim in the nearby lake or receive massages in a grove of lemon trees. In town, visitors can attend an opera in Verona or stroll the fishing port of Gargnano.

Note: The hotel's most famous guest, Benito Mussolini, was held prisoner here by the German army between 1943 and 1945.

Villa Feltrinelli is open April 5 through October 21 and caters to couples and small groups, but not young children.

Room rates range from €980 to €3,200 May 1 through September 30 and from €700 to €2,800 April 5 through 30 and October 1 through 21. This includes breakfast, wine and laundry and valet service.

Thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen and his Borat character, the "glorious nation of Kazakhstan" has intrigued plenty of savvy travelers, and The Rezidor Hotel Group hopes to lure them with the summer opening of its Radisson SAS Hotel in Astana, the first Radisson SAS property in Kazakhstan.

One of the largest countries in the world, Kazakhstan is located in the center of Eurasia and has an ethnically diverse population. The Radisson SAS Hotel in Astana is being built in the old city center, right next to the bridge leading into the new city center. The hotel is part of a complex of 17 buildings, which includes a department store and office tower, as well as apartments and restaurants.

Guests will have access to the business center, the spa and other recreation facilities located in the hotel's tower. The hotel itself will include a restaurant, lobby bar, cigar bar, bowling alley and nightclub.

The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte property, is set to makes its debut this summer in Munich. This marks Rocco Forte's third German property, along with Hotel de Rome in Berlin and Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt.

The hotel, located in the Lenbach Gärten section of Munich, is within walking distance of shopping and entertainment, as well as The Hauptbahnhof, Munich's largest train station.

Rocco Forte Hotels spent $93 million to build the eight-story, 132-room property. The custom-built rooms overlook the Old Botanical Gardens; nine junior suites and 18 master suites provide more living space, only to be topped by the Presidential Suite, which is large enough to host private receptions. The bar and restaurant only will be open for lunch and dinner.