ADVERTORIAL • September 2023
Refusing to say sayonara to summer? We don’t blame you. Chase the last of the late-summer sun with this trio of dashing European stays, guaranteed to boost Vit-C and smugness levels. Upgrade getaways with Marriott Bonvoy®: the scheme that rewards you for going on holiday. You can accrue Marriott Bonvoy points and convert them into Avios on every stay, racking up an array of perks, from flight upgrades to hotel stays and more.
Pick from more than 8,000+ participating hotels and resorts, choose a reward option, then treat yourself. Plus, for a limited time only, those who enrol and stay* twice at any participating hotels can collect 3,000 bonus Avios for doing so.
You haven’t lived until you’ve plunged into the bracing waters of the Atlantic Ocean, feasted on Francesinha (a mighty mixed-meat sandwich, slathered in tomato sauce and melted cheese, topped with an egg) and toasted the glittering Douro with effervescent vinho verde or garnet-red port in Porto, which has been giving its big sister, Lisbon, a run for its money of late. Admire the city’s downtown skyline from the rooftop terrace at Renaissance Porto Lapa Hotel or soak up the sunshine from the cool embrace of its rooftop infinity pool. Stretch out on sun-loungers and stay poolside for light bites and cocktails, shaded by salmon-pink sun umbrellas. For something more substantial, the hotel’s pretty restaurant showcases the sunshine flavours and seasonal ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine. Insider tip: pick a room or suite overlooking the emerald gardens of Lapa Park – the sleek and spacious Deluxe Kings, decorated with soft, minty-green hues, get our vote.
Live out any dormant Game of Thrones fantasies – with added swimwear – at this new, city-centre stay in Malta. Wake up just a shell’s throw from the waves and enjoy breakfast in the hotel’s relaxed restaurant, with all of Malta’s charms at your fingertips. Beach-lovers, take note: Għajn Tuffieħa, Spinola Bay and St George’s Bay are your local starting points for sun, sea and sand. Post-adventures, sip cocktails in the hotel’s rooftop pool or AC Lounge, styled with irreproachable Euro elegance, or enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at the inviting Ona restaurant. There’s a 24-hour fitness centre kitted out with cardio, strength and core equipment for those who are that way inclined. If, however, your preference is to nibble pastizzi pastries and sip Kinnie (sparkling bitter-orange juice) or ice-cold Cisk lager, the city’s finest drinking and dining spots are just an amble away. Sleep it all off in a Terrace suite, which rewards guests with calm, contemporary styling and sweeping city views.
Living up to its name, Grand Universe Lucca delivers a generous dollop of la dolce vita in a stately Tuscan palazzo. The only hotel in Lucca’s historic city centre has attracted a famous following, with eclectic previous guests including John Ruskin, Giacomo Puccini and Chet Baker. So, naturally, there’s A-list glamour a-go-go: picture shimmering chandeliers, perfectly preserved architecture, lofty ceilings and a prime position, eyeballing the handsome Teatro del Giglio opposite. The hotel’s foundations date back to Roman times, and the ancient remnants of a glassblower’s fountain grace the cellar, but there’s nothing stuffy about the regal rooms (we adore the dreamy Junior Suites) and communal areas, adorned with tactile furnishings and gemstone colours. Soak up the panoramic views from Sommitá rooftop bar, listen to the tinkling of the ivories in the Symphony Lounge, or savour Tuscan cuisine in Legacy restaurant. Tutto bene.
*A "stay" is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity or any points-eligible rate. For more information about collecting Avios with Marriott Bonvoy, click here