Europe: Town and Country

Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou
Photo by frentusha/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

 

Hotel Guarda Golf
Hotel Guarda holds prime Alpine real estate for both summer and winter activities.



VIPs looking for the best of both worlds in Europe (think gorgeous countryside and frenetic urban outings) can have it all, especially when traveling by private jet. Luxury Travel Advisor is just back from Europe, where we were able to get both a taste of Swiss vistas and Berlin energy in just four days, courtesy of Lufthansa Private Jet.

Ritz-Carlton Berlin
Ritz-Carlton Berlin is a posh palace in the city’s thriving center.

We flew into Geneva International Airport aboard SWISS’ business class and were whisked off via private transfer to Hotel Guarda Golf in Crans-Montana, just two hours outside Geneva in the world-renowned Valais region. Good to know: SWISS’ new business class seat is now available from all SWISS USA gateways.

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If your well-heeled clients are looking for Alpine luxury, we highly suggest booking a stay at this seasonal resort. Travelers that crave the unique will love that each room at the hotel is different. However, we hear that the most requested are the double deluxe rooms, specifically Nos. 203, 205, 303 and 305. Note: All south-facing rooms have spectacular views of snow-capped peaks.

We loved the extra touches that put this hotel over the top, from the bedside tech pad that controlled everything from the blinds to the TV, to the heated floors in the bathroom and the Bvlgari bath amenities.

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate was once the city gate to Berlin and is one of its top attractions.

The lounge is the epicenter of the hotel from where guests can access the restaurants, bar, spa and terrace. Gourmands and oenophiles will flip over the menus and wine selection. Nice Touch: Ristorante Giardino has been awarded 13 Gault Millau points. (The saffron risotto and lobster salad are sinfully good.) Looking for the best seat in the house? While all tables have views of the Alps, we hear that table No. 1 is the most requested. Luxury travel advisors can make reservations through Audrey Mabillard ([email protected]; 011-41-27-486-2000). It is best to reserve a table at least one week before arrival.

As for activities, Hotel Guarda Golf holds prime real estate. Golf enthusiasts will love the Jack Nicklaus-designed nine-hole golf course right off of the hotel’s terrace. Adjacent to the hotel is the 18-hole course designed by Severiano Ballesteros. We were told that the hotel provides multilingual caddies and professional instructors, as well as a car service to and from the course. Reach out to Front Office Manager Anup Shah ([email protected]; 011-41-27-486-2000), to arrange golf outings.

Hotel Guarda Golf is within a short distance to the ski slopes that stretch up to the Plaine Morte glacier (at an impressive 10,000 feet). Adrenaline junkies can take advantage of the hotel’s enviable winter sports location.

The spa is a perfect spot to unwind après-ski. Fun Fact: The hotel owner, Nati Felli, is a Brazil native and was able to secure the exclusive Brazilian cult label Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy for the spa. So chic: This is the first spa in the world to offer the line to guests.

The 6,500-square-foot spa has four treatment rooms, an indoor pool, hammam and sauna. Your clients who require the ultimate in privacy can request the spa suite, which has two massage beds, private Jacuzzi, hammam and tropical shower.

Looking for something extra special? Shah is on hand to arrange customized experiences for VIPs, whether it’s an early morning ski lift to see the sunrise or a special helicopter tour around the region with a champagne aperitif.

 

Advisor Insight:

Michael Holtz, owner of Smartflyer, recommends combining Berlin culture with a stay at Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome. “My favorite part of my recent visit to Berlin was heading back to the chic basement pool [at the hotel] after a day of visiting museums and Checkpoint Charlie.”

 

If your clients are fashionistas, they will be happy to know that Crans-Montana is home to high-end shopping (think Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, Moncler and Bally). The hotel can arrange a car service to and from the shopping area, although the shops are within walking distance and we think it’s nice to take the stroll.

Note: The hotel is open from December to April and from June to September.

Getting There: Fly your VIPs into Geneva International Airport, where it is possible to arrange a limousine transfer. For something a bit closer, guests can fly into Sion Airport, just 30 minutes from the hotel, which can accommodate private planes. Another option is to fly a helicopter to Chermignon Helipad, which is 15 minutes from Hotel Guarda Golf.

Luxury Travel Advisor departed Sion aboard the Lufthansa Private Jet and made our way to Berlin Tegel Airport. Lufthansa Private Jet provides travelers a single point of contact to take care of the entire journey, from flight arrangements to ground transportation and special requests. Services include a personal escort and VIP transfer between the long-haul Lufthansa and Private Jet flights. The product services over 1,000 destinations in Europe and was made available to the North American market as of February through a partnership with NetJets.

Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz epitomizes the rebirth of modern Berlin.

If your clients are looking to do a multi-destination trip to Europe, arranging a private jet service allows them to travel in ultimate style. Our flight to Berlin was just under two hours and the Lufthansa staff was on hand to cater to our every whim. (Snacks? Beverages? Customizable playlist? Check, check and check.)

Should Berlin be a destination on your clients’ itinerary, we recommend booking a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. Situated at Potsdamer Platz, the hotel will put your A-listers in the heart of the action. From the hotel, guests can easily access the city’s top attractions (think Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Tiergarten and more). For requests contact Director of Sales and Marketing Christian Szabo ([email protected]; 011-49-30-33-777-6020).

After all that pampering in Switzerland, it’s time to glam up and head out. Berlin’s scene is electric and sure to please even the most posh tastes. We suggest booking a customized tour with Culture Trip (culturetrip.de), a company specializing in tailor-made programs covering everything from architecture and museums to galleries and gastronomy. Luxury travel advisors can contact Virginia Giordano ([email protected]; 011-49-30-305-3890) with queries.

Berlin’s museum culture is one that ought not be missed. The city’s famous Museum Island in the Mitte district is a complex of five must-see museums, including Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum. Be sure to recommend a visit to the Jewish Museum, as well.

Lufthansa Private Jet
Lufthansa Private jet was made available in North America in February.

The city’s culinary scene is explosive. During our stay, we were able to “restaurant hop” to check out what is hot on the scene. If your clients are looking for something close to the hotel, you can’t go wrong with the onsite Brasserie Desbrosses—a little taste of Paris in the center of Berlin. Tip: After you answer three simple questions about your personality, the resident mixologist can concoct your own perfect elixir.

But if local immersion is more to your taste, book a table at Cookies Cream, a vegetarian restaurant serving an experimental menu that plays with the mind and the palate. Note: Night owls flock to this hot spot during afterhours when it turns into a pulsing club.

We got a kick out of Absinth Depot Berlin, a specialty shop selling and serving absinthes (and other liquors) from around the world. This hipster-esque shop takes its craft very seriously and will help match your clients up with their perfect absinthe.

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