It’s not often I can say that I have booked a three day trip for two in Europe for just over £200 but our spa weekend in Alsace is truly an advert for luxury travel for less in the heart of Europe.
Flying to Basel from Manchester, our plan is to retrace my twenty year old self’s footsteps through quaint medieval villages in Alsace, dip in the thermal baths of Freiburg in Germany, and relax at a spa in the Vosges.
Our luxury spa weekend in Alsace for less
So let’s get the practical stuff out of the way first. Here’s how we managed this trip for just over £100 each.
My last scene of #Eguisheim #alsace. This scene typifies the gorgeous village with its ancient rampart walls, crumbling edifices and tiny, crooked houses. I swear goblins and leprechauns would be at home here! It reminds me of the days when I lived here and cycled daily through the vineyards to go to class often arriving soaked thanks to a sudden downpour. Summer wines were the next though when each village would host its own wine festival and wine would flow
As it is my first trip back to Alsace since I was a student here over twenty years ago, I wanted to enjoy it in luxury. I was looking for four or five spa type properties when researching potential hotels.
These are surprisingly easy to find for a reasonable price in this part of Europe, but if you are signed up to Hotels.com‘s hotel rewards programme, you can use their hotel comparison tool to compare prices AND earn free nights. As you will see, we bagged ourselves some real bargains.
Friday night – Hotel Club Airport, Basel: France
We arrived late so an hotel 4km from the airport was ideal. This hotel is super cool and has a swimming pool for an early morning dip. We paid just £11.01 having redeemed one free hotels.com voucher (beware many places in Europe apply taxes separately and these must be paid directly to the hotel.)
This hotel is so new it gleams. Hallways are adorned with intriguing portraits of young and old from around the world, there’s a funky bar serving cocktails and snacks, and a rather fabulous swimming pool. This hotel is a mega bargain even without the voucher, but hurry as it has only recently opened and prices may well rise as it becomes more established.
How nice is that pool? Unfortunately, I only bloody well slept in and didn’t get the chance to use it which is a real shame as it was empty! Nothing better than a pool to yourself.
Saturday night – Dorint an Den Thermen Freiburg
I was planning a night in my old stomping ground of Colmar but happened to stumble upon the Dorint an den Thermen Spa hotel in the border town of Freiburg, Germany. This hotel looks too good to be true, nestled in the heart of a forest on the outskirts of Freiburg, with a fabulous thermal spa, jets galore and modern rooms with balconies. Applying another voucher of £89.42, left us just £8.63 to pay.
BEWARE: We were disappointed to discover that entry to the Thermal Baths is not included in the room rate and costs an additional €20 each for use of all the facilities. This is not made clear on the Hotels.com website but having raised this with Hotels.com they immediately issued an apology and a £15 credit towards our next stay. Customer service indeed!
That said, the hotel really is gorgeous surrounded as it is by woodland and with big picture windows allowing you to truly bring the forest indoors. The decor is very boutique style with a fabulous chillout room complete with log fire to warm you.
Surprisingly, the bar menu is somewhat limited, and not especially healthy, which is bizarre considering this hotel markets itself as a health and rehabilitation centre.
I would still recommend it but forwarned is forearmed!
Sunday night – Les Violettes Hotel and Spa, France
A short drive away, over the border in France, is the little hamlet of Jungholz in the foothills of the Vosges. You would be forgiven for mistakenly believing you were in Austria with onion dome churches the focal point of every village lining the roadsides.
It’s just a short drive to some of the prettiest towns on the ‘Route du Vin’ in Alsace. In less than thirty minutes you can be in Colmar, Eguisheim or Turckheim where you can indulge in wine tastings, hikes to imposing cliff side castles or simply enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafe squares overlooking postcard perfect vistas. We chose Les Violettes Hotel and Spa costing just £10.60 after redeeming a voucher for £106.
This hotel is a real treasure, nestled in the lower Vosges overlooking a miniature lake and picturesque church. By night we experienced moody, cloudy skies and torrential rain with refreshing droplets creating decorations on the windows. By day, glorious sunshine greeted us as we raced off to the spa to laze in the salt room (said to cleanse the respiratory system), the Finnish sauna, lanconium, and aromatherapy rooms.
A fabulous atrium connects the indoor pool to the outdoor pool via a waterside gateway and manicured lawns and flower beds decorate the gardens. I could almost feel the stress oozing out of my shoulders as I enjoyed scents of rose and incense wafting through the spa.
The service is absolutely fabulous and if you are lucky you may be treated to an impromptu tasting session of the ‘Eaux de Vie’ of the region. These are schnapps style drinks in a variety of flavours so don’t get too carried away as you may regret it!
The lowdown for our hotels
The table below shows the exact payments for each property including the value of the hotel vouchers we redeemed.
|Hotel||Cost||Voucher redeemed||Outstanding payment including taxes||Local Taxes|
|Airport Club Hotel||£77.39||£74.04||£11.09||€2.21|
|Dorint an Den Thermen||£91.63||£89.42||£8.63||€6.25|
|Les Violettes Hotel et Spa||£106||£106||£10.60||€4.24|
The total price for hotels was £30.32 bringing the cost for our entire trip to £206.72. Our loyalty to Hotels.com has paid off to the tune of £269.46. What a result!
What’s more we aren’t restricted to specific hotel chains and earn one night free in every ten. Who could want more from an hotel search engine facility that rewards you with free rooms?
How is that for three nights, three countries and just £206.73 for flights and hotels? The standards at each of the hotels were fabulous giving us a luxury spa weekend in Alsace for a bargain!
Have your say?
Maybe you have visited this region and have your own personal favourite spa hotels, or maybe you have some top travel tips for things to do in Alsace. We would love to hear from you so feel free to drop us a line or comment in the box below.