Agoda.com, a leading Asia-based hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline.com, singles out some of Europe’s best off-season destinations with the top 5 European hot spots for winter 09/10.
Few regions are more magical than Europe during winter. Summer draws millions of international and domestic holiday-makers to the region’s major cities, but as temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, the crowds dissipate and rates ease, ushering in a more romantic and affordable time to explore this fascinating continent.
Vice president of business development at Agoda.com, Mr. Wilfred Fan, said: “While it’s wonderful to experience Europe in the summertime, the colder months have their own unique appeal. Not only can travelers save on flights during winter, they get to see the most visited places in the world free of summertime crowds.
“Winter is also a time when cultural pursuits move indoors and in many cities this means a greater emphasis on the performing arts. Travelers are able to have a richer, more authentic experience of Europe than those who visit during the hectic high season.”
Agoda.com’s top 5 European hot spots for winter 09/10 highlights some of the best European low-season destinations.
1. LONDON, UK
Built for the cold, London is a particularly charming wintertime destination – lights adorn trees, shoppers wrap themselves in warm layers, and open fires chase away the cold. Covent Garden is especially lively during the festive season, and Oxford Street is a shopper’s paradise. After a day pounding the city’s streets, travelers can head to a local inn for a traditional winter brew.
Park International Hotel – Early Bird Rate: book 14 days in advance and enjoy 5 percent off.
Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel – Early Bird Rate: book 21 days in advance and enjoy 10 percent off with a minimum of 2 nights.
Lancaster London Hotel – Great Rate: stay a minimum 3 nights and enjoy a 20 percent off until March 2010.
2. PARIS, FRANCE
Paris has to be one of Europe’s most romantic winter destinations. Morning mist lingers above the River Seine and the Champs Elysees buzzes with activity. During the low-season, queues for the Louvre and Eiffel Tower all but evaporate and the hearty Parisian cuisine becomes even more enticing.
Timhotel St. Georges – Early Bird Special: stay 1 night and get a 10 percent discount.
Ares Tour Eiffel Hotel – Huge Savings: book a standard night 2 days in advance and enjoy a 40 percent discount.
Danou Opera Hotel – Great Rate: book any room and enjoy a 20 percent discount.
3. ROME, ITALY
The Eternal City is eternally captivating, and wintertime visitors can experience a side of Rome usually only seen by its residents. Crisp mornings begin with a shot of espresso, while creamy pastas and rich wines dominate dinnertime. Seeing the Colosseum and the Vatican does not require a lengthy wait, and the Via del Corso buzzes with stylish Italian shoppers drawn to the winter sales.
Hotel Giorgi – Great Rate: book a minimum 3 nights and enjoy a 20 percent off.
Romanico Palace – Great Rate: book 2 nights in a suite and enjoy a 50 percent discount.
Veneto Hotel – Free Night: stay 3 nights and get an extra night FREE.
4. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague’s beauty is undisputed, and when the crowds disperse, the City of Spires assumes a new identity. Winter is when Prague’s elaborate 19th century theaters fill with classical music and a thin layer of snow covers the city’s fairytale landscape – the perfect time to indulge in the city of Kafka and King Wenceslas.
Hotel Julian – Great Rate: book one night for as low as US$82.
InterContinental Prague – Great Rate: book a classic room for as little as US$182 per night.
5. BARCELONA, SPAIN
Barcelona seems designed for summer with its beautiful parks, beaches, and promenades, yet the cool, dry days of winter bring many benefits. Barcelona’s rich culture is often overlooked by sun worshippers, so when the temperature drops, it’s time to explore the galleries and museums. In winter, travelers can immerse themselves in Gaudi’s dreamlike architecture without having to battle summertime crowds.
Catalonia Catedral – Great Rate: twin rooms for as low as US$130 per night.
Hotel HCC Regente – Great Rate: twin rooms for as low as US$130 per night.
Catalonia Duques de Bergara Hotel – Great Rate: book a twin room for as low as US$142 per night.