Is it us or is this year particularly hot for hotel openings? Here are five new properties that families should know if headed to Europe this summer.
Sister hotel to Rome’s Portrait Suites, the new Portrait Firenze is the Ferragamo family’s sixth hotel in Florence. While all are family friendly, this has seven dedicated family suites with sofa beds and two bathrooms plus connecting options for those who need more space. They’ve also designed a menu of kids’ activities in the city and beyond (including special tours at the Galileo Museum), while the location overlooking the Ponte Vecchio is plenty romantic for a glass of wine after the bebes are in bed.
A vintage bowling alley, a movie theater, Nintendo Wiis - no, its not the coolest summer camp, it’s Ham Yard, London’s hip new Firmdale hotel. Set in the heart of Soho, the Kit Kemp-designed rooms have space for extra cots or cribs, and there are connecting options as well as spacious suites. Even the hot spot restaurant welcomes kids, but they’re also happy to arrange a sitter to let mom and dad explore the area’s trendy restaurants and bars solo. Be sure to check out Dinosaur Designs, the first London outpost for this cool Aussie design shop.
Amsterdam doesn’t get the attention of London or Florence, but this bikeable city is ideal for families. The new Waldorf Astoria, built into six connected 17th- and 18th-century canal houses, is the perfect base for exploring. Perks include an indoor swimming pool, a large garden, spacious rooms and a easy walk to the city’s sights. Cons: the airy decor that blends the buildings’ historic architecture with modern Dutch design makes your Pinterest-inspired interiors at home look terrible.
Trade the crowds in other European capitals and jet your junior set to charming Vienna, now easier to reach with new non-stop flights from both New York and Chicago. We’re Park Hyatt fans in general, but this one is especially great for families thanks to its location in the Golden Quarter, a new pedestrian-only district in the UNESCO World Heritage city center. Rooms are amongst the largest in Vienna, and there’s a subterranean pool located in the original vault (the building was formerly the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank).
It’s not open yet, but come August 1st, Europe’s first Peninsula will be the place to stay in Paris. In the 16th near the Arc de Triomphe, the 200-room hotel emerges from a six-year renovation with a lobby that rivals the elegance of the Bristol and rooms that match the high-tech touches of the Mandarin. Fun historical trivia to entice the kids: George Gershwin wrote “An American in Paris” while staying here in its previous incarnation, the Hotel Majestic, and the Paris Peace Accords were signed in what’s now Le Bar Kléber.