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Featured Journeys: Danube Christmas Markets

December 12, 2019| By:Rachael Weir, Five Star Alliance

Vienna Christmas Market

As the festive season is underway, Europe's Christmas Markets provide an array of local products created by artisans, sweet specialties, and plenty to explore. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're embarking on a multi-destination trip along the Danube to visit Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.

Vienna, Austria

Get in the Christmas spirit perusing stalls with handcrafted goods, while the aroma of punch and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Dating back to 1298 when Albrecht I granted the city's citizens the privilege to hold the first Krippenmarkt, Vienna is now home to an array of Christmas markets including the Viennese Dream Christmas Market in front of City Hall (shown in the photo above), Christmas Village Belvedere Palace with the backdrop of the palace, Christmas and New Year's Market at Schönbrunn Palace, and Christmas Market at Spittelberg. 

In addition to the Christmas Markets, Vienna is a destination for culture and art lovers. From palaces and regal parks, to chandier-lit coffee houses, the city offers much to explore. The Riesenrad Ferris wheel provides a birds-eye view above the Prater. 

Park Hyatt Vienna

Park Hyatt Vienna

Set within a 100-year-old building, Park Hyatt Vienna is located within the city's most exclusive shopping district. Once the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank, the Park Hyatt Vienna is part of the city's First District, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Offering some of the city's largest guest rooms and suites, travelers can rejuvenate at the tranquil Arany Spa with treatments and facials, workout in the fitness center, or swim in the indoor pool. Plus, visitors can enjoy brasserie classics and cocktails at the historic The Bank Brasserie & Bar, a drink at the whisky and cigar lounge Living Room, sip a typical Viennese coffee specialty at the Café Am Hof, or schedule afternoon tea at the Lounge.

SUITE DEAL: Book 3 nights, get the 4th Night Free! Plus, enjoy exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks.
Book and travel by December 17, 2020. Based on availability, blackout dates apply. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive breakfast daily at The Bank Brasserie, also available with Room Service, a $100 USD hotel credit per room/per stay (valid at all food and beverage outlets, Room Service, Minibar, Spa treatments, and laundry) along with in-room fresh fruits and water daily.

Book a stay at Park Hyatt Vienna

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Bratislava, Slovakia

From stands with local goodies and craft products to glowing streets, Bratislava is a festive destination with multiple Christmas Markets spread throughout the city. The Main Christmas Market is located at the Main Square with a variety of local delicacies including potato pancakes, Lokša​, and Mead, and the Old Town Christmas Market is home to thematic workshops for children, a wooden Bethlehem, and a traditional ice rink. There's also a Vegan Christmas Market and Advent at the Castle.

Along with the Christmas Markets, Bratislava is a green city and the capital of Slovakia. The Bratislava Castle features views of the neighboring countries, and plenty of history to explore in the castle's museum. The three-nave St. Martin's Cathedral is a Gothic Church and former coronation church, the Old Town Hall is the seat of the Bratislava City Museum and a 45-meter tower with panoramic views, and Michael's Gate offers travelers the opportunity to see the only preserved gate remaining of the city's fortification system. 

Hotel Chateau Amade

Hotel Chateau Amade

Set in the middle of Rye Island, Hotel Chateau Amade is an idyllic destination about 50 km/31 miles from Bratislava. The eco-chic boutique hotel offers a unique and historic destination between Vienna and Budapest. The sanctuary of peace and quiet has 30 guest rooms and suites, along with a gourmet restaurant, wellness center, and hammam. 

Book a stay at Hotel Chateau Amade

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Budapest, Hungary

With more than 10 markets in the center of the city alone, Budapest is a festive destination for travelers. The scent of cinnamon and roast chestnuts fills the air as shoppers shop authentic Hungarian wares on display in wooden huts. In addition to the markets, the Balna Budapest ice cooridor is the largest free ice rink in the city, with a panoramic backdrop of Budapest while gliding over the frozen water. Illuminated by thousands of fairy lights, the City Park Rink has the Vajdahunyad Castle for a backdrop, and the grand cafes provide an idyllic post-shopping or skating retreat. 

Beyond the festive attractions, Budapest offers much for foodies including six Michelin Star Restaurants, and the old Jewish quarter is home to a variety of Ruin Bars. Ready for some down time? Discover some of the city's many thermal baths fed by natural hot springs. 

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest Suite

Set within the city's fashionable 5th District, The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, the property is within walking distance of the main pedestrian shopping street, river Danube, and the Opera house. Amidst the rich historical heritage of the Castle District and Old Town, the property offers a tranquil setting with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and massage treatments. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used in Kupola Lounge, Kupola Bar, Dean St. Kitchen, or via room service, and one bottle of mineral water daily per person.

Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

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