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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Travel briefs: Central Europe expands options for Middle East visitors

Hotel Le Grand Bellevue in Gstaad, Switzerland, has reopened for the summer with a new 3,000-square-metre spa

Sir Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany. Courtesy Design Hotels
Sir Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany. Courtesy Design Hotels

Arabic-speaking shopping assistants at Munich Airport

Munich Airport is offering Arabic-speaking shopping assistants for travellers, from this week until September 10. The on-request service is available free of charge at Terminal 2.

“They will be available to bridge any cultural or language gaps between passengers and the personnel serving them in airport shops,” said an airport spokesman. “The native Arabic speakers can also guide travellers through the Terminal 2 shopping world and provide detailed information on offers and products. The service will be free of charge for passengers, and is intended to provide them with a pleasant shopping experience.”

The shopping assistants can help with questions on sales tax refunds or customs formalities and should be easy to spot, with uniforms embroidered with “Arabic Shopping Assistant”.

Munich Airport is the gateway to Bavaria, which rivals London and Paris as a summer destination for Gulf travellers, attracted by luxury shopping, medical facilities and the destination’s safety. For more information, see www.munich-airport.com

Le Grand Bellevue reopens in Switzerland, with luxury spa

Hotel Le Grand Bellevue in Gstaad, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, has reopened for the summer with a new 3,000-square-metre spa. Le Grand Spa, one of the largest in the country, offers 17 different “wellness experiences”, including a hay sauna, infra-red sauna and Himalayan salt grotto. There is also a new garden with a yoga space and outdoor relaxation pool and an indoor relaxation area with water beds. Treatments range from goat milk and honey baths with mountain botanicals to Alpine salt scrubs, mineral-rich Egyptian Rasul mud masks. Rooms cost from Chf340 (Dh1,318) per night including taxes (www.bellevue-gstaad.ch/hotel-switzerland).

Two more Marriotts in Poland

Visitors to Poland can now check into the Sopot Marriott Resort & Spa, between Gdansk and Gdynia on the Baltic Sea. The resort has 145 rooms, two restaurants, and one of the biggest spas in the country, with 35 treatment rooms and four swimming pools. Double rooms from Pln546 (Dh549) per night including taxes. In September, Marriott will open a 91-room hotel in the cultural centre of Wroclaw (www.marriott.com).

Boutique hotels in Hamburg

Overlooking the shops, cafes and waterways of Hamburg’s Old Town is Sir Nikolai, a luxury 94-room boutique hotel. A member of the Berlin-based Design Hotels, the Sir Nikolai is anointed with curated art, vintage rugs, a glass roof and marble, and a restaurant called the Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar. Rooms from 155 euros (Dh663) per night including taxes (www.designhotels.com). Also in the German city, The Fontenay opens on October 15. The luxury lakeside hotel will have 131 rooms and suites, with double rooms from 355 euros (Dh1,519) per night including taxes (www.thefontenay.de).

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