4 Cities to Discover in 2017 with Marriott Hotels

Posted on 24 Jan 2017 Posted in  Travel
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4 Cities to Discover in 2017 - Budapest

Now the winter months are here and the temperature has dropped considerably, you might already be thinking about booking your next holiday. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Marriott hotels to highlight hotels and locations you might not have thought of, but may just make your year.

All of the suggestions below are part of the Marriott Hotels group meaning you can get up to 3% cashback when you book. It’s also worth considering becoming a Marriott member if you travel regularly, you get slightly less cashback, but earn reward points on your booking too.

Santiago, Chile – Renaissance Santiago Hotel

Santiago City View


Now is the perfect time to visit the up and coming capital city of Santiago in Chile. If you’re looking to explore South America, it’s a great location to experience the local Latin-American culture and explore, with the Andes just 35 miles away.

When to go
Santiago’s seasons are essentially the opposite of the UK’s. For summers street festivals and adventures in the countryside, you’ll want to visit between December-February, making it a great escape for the winter.

If you want to visit the city and head on for a bit of skiing in El Plomo foothills afterwards, you’ll need to fly out in our summer, around July.

To make the journey more bearable you can now take a flight from London Heathrow, with British Airways.

However, if you’re outside of London, or want to reduce the cost of travel you can get 1 stop flights from Birmingham and Manchester too.

The city has a modern bus system and metro, so it can be worth investing in a tarjeta bip, the Santiago equivalent of an oyster card.

Where to stay
The Renaissance Santiago hotel is on the North-East side of the city, a 15 miniute drive from the city centre and should you fancy a spot of skiing after your trip, the local ski-resort is just 1 hour, 20 minutes away (according to Google Maps).

It’s situated in one of the most fashionable areas of the city, close to the financial district (if you’re away on business), with a whole host of shopping and dining available locally.

Bar Area

While you’re there
One of the key draws of Marriott’s Renaissance brand of hotels is their Navigators (which acts like concierge). These specially selected members of the hotel team, will act as the perfect guide to find the hidden gems of the city.

Chile is known for wine and Pisco (a grape brandy), we recommending finding a good spot and sipping in the view and with a glass of Pisco.

To see the whole city in all it’s glory, don’t miss the Cerro San Cristóbal; a hill located in the centre of Santiago. You can ride up with ease in a modern tram or catch the old funicular and travel in style.

Budapest, Hungary – Boscolo Budapest Hotel/Courtyard Budapest City Centre

Danube River View

When to go
May to August, will be the warmest times to visit the Hungarian Capital, with August offering the best of local events. On 20th August, St Stephen’s day is celebrated in glorious fashion with fireworks set off from Gellert Hill over the river Danube. The Parlament building is spectacular every day, but the fireworks add a little something special. August also see’s many people visit for the Sziget musical festival.

If not summer then, Autumn and Winter also make for great times to visit the city. You can catch the Oktoberfest beer festivals or visit the famous Christmas markets in December.

Direct flights toFerenc Liszt International Airport are relatively inexpensive, typically between £100-£200 and about 2 ½ hours to get there.

Getting around Budapest is relatively easy, with 4 metro lines, and 34 tram lines you can usually walk and take public transport. If cycling’s your thing then why not us a Bubi Bike, available from 112 docking stations throughout the city.

Not to be forgotten is travelling by boat, with ferries along the Danube a great way to see the city from a different perspective.

Where to stay

For a luxurious stay we recommend the Boscolo Budapest Hotel, part of the Autograph Collection.
Mirroring the historic grandeur of Budapest, the 5-star Boscolo Budapest is within the 19th century New York Palace. The Palace is located at the centre of Budapest, just walking distance from many of the capital’s main attractions; including Hungarian State Opera House 17 minutes’ walk away.

This is the epitome of luxury living with Italian furniture, chandeliers and marble floors. The café within the hotel, the New York Café, has been voted the most beautiful café in the world by multiple publications.


If you’re travelling with work or looking for a more affordable option with all the mod-cons you could desire, the Courtyard Budapest City Centre hotel will be a great option. Right in the centre of down, not far from the Boscolo, the Courtyard offers high-speed internet, parking and certified meeting planner for all your business or leisure needs. If you’re looking to use up some energy the hotel even includes a fitness centre.

While you’re there
In a city with a rich history, there’s stunning architecture at every corner and the Hungarian Houses of Parliament embodies this, with a combination of gothic, baroque and renaissance styles. Right on the edge of the Danube river, you can’t help but be reminded of Westminister and the Hungarian houses of parliament are at least as impressive.

The city is a “hot bed” of thermal springs with a near 125 in total. Visiting one of the baths is a must, some of the best include: Széchenyi, Lukács, Rudas, Király and Gellért.

Romkocsma or “ruin pub” make the most of ruin buildings and are a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike; if you’re looking to experience the Budapest night life or just go out for a drink after a bite to eat then you really must try this latest trend.

Barcelona, Spain – AC Hotel Barcelona Forum

Sagrada Familia


When to go
Barcelona is hottest in July and August, making it a great time to go if you’re planning on heading to the beach. However, this is when it’s at it’s most busiest, so we would recommend late spring and early autumn for pleasant weather whilst avoiding the crowds.

Getting to Barcelona is normally easy from the UK, with flights from London affordable and taking approximately 2 hours, flying into El Prat Airport.

Whilst exploring Barcelona you’ll most likely want to use the Metro, which covers all the main attractions in the city. It’s worth planning your days around what you want to do within each area. For example, the Gothic quarter is close to the harbour area and good shopping spots.

Barcelona has so many attractions and landmarks, that it’s actually a city where you might consider a bus-tour. If you take a tour early in your trip, you can work out the areas and sites that you want to see more of and roughly where they are in the city.

Where to stay
The AC Hotel Barcelona Forum is right at the end of the beach and a short walk from the Forum metro station, where you can get the Metro straight in to the centre of town, making it perfect for your city break trip.

No matter what side of the hotel your room is situated, there are great views. One side overlooks the city, and makes for a spectacular view at night, the other side looks out to sea.

If you’re visiting on business, you’ll be right at home with the hotel at the heart of the fast-developing business district of the city. The accessibility is a major draw too, with the Metro right next door and parking on site too.

After a long day, you can take a dip in the pool overlooking the city and coastline or visit the fitness centre.


While you’re there
Barcelona is packed with things to do no matter your interests.

You don’t need to have an interest in religion, art, or architecture to be bowled over by the mesmerising Sagrada Familia. The detail and unique design inside and out are something to behold; it really does need to be seen to be believed. As you would expect, it does pull in the crowds making it essential to either get there early or book ahead; preferably both.

Below is an image from inside the Sagrada Familia, with it's supporting pillars inspired by the trunk and branches of trees, it creates a unique, kaleidoscopic lighting effect.

As well as the Sagrada Familia, there are a whole host of Gaudi buildings to see and enjoy but if that’s not your thing why not head to the beach or Barcelona Football Stadium and museum? Football fans can bask in delight of one of the best teams in the beautiful game. With a museum devoted to the club and tickets easy to get either online or once you get there.

Berlin, Germany – Moxy Hotels


When to go
Summer is without doubt the best time to visit Berlin, with plenty of events going on and temperatures in the high 20’s. Don’t rule out winter though, although much colder the Christmas markets give a different atmosphere to the city.

Berlin has two main airports, both not too far from the centre. Tegel is the closest but you won’t feel like you’ve made a grave error flying in to Schonefeld.

Once in Berlin you’ll want to use the train system; the U-Bahn or for areas a bit further out, the S-Bahn. On Friday’s and Saturday’s the U-Bahn is open all night long, perfect if you’ll be visiting some of Berlin’s famous bars and clubs. If you’re travelling light, you can even catch the S-Bahn to and from the airport.

Where to stay
The MOXY Berlin Ostbahnhof is an affordable boutique hotel, fitting right in to Berlin’s alternative art community and underground scene. The hotel is equipped with all tech you need with “furiously fast” free wi-fi and computers available at no extra cost for the hotels visitors.

Situated on Berlin’s main train line and close to Berlin’s famous night clubs and venues, this is a great location for a weekend break but travel links and tech access make it a good business option, should you be looking for something different.

While you’re there
Berlin is great for history lovers and party go-ers a like, with plenty in-between. Probably the two most recognisable of Berlin’s attractions are the Brandenburg gate and Berlin Wall. Both are worth a visit and you will see parts of the Berlin wall across the city. In 2016, the Berlin Wall Museum opened and now offers a good way to find out more about the history of the city and how it was split in two.

The nightlife in Berlin is not to be missed; whether you’re in to craft beers pubs, techno clubs or jazz bars; Berlin has a diverse nightlife to suit all tastes. With the hotel right on the train line and trains running late on the weekends, the Moxy makes for a perfect hub for your adventures.

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This article is sponsored by Marriott hotels.

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