I always like to call attention to enterprising travel marketing ideas, and a group of five hotels in the Ardennes region of northern Luxembourg have banded together to come up with a good one.
If you stay in any of their hotels, you can walk, bike or ride a motorbike between them, and the hotels will transport your luggage for you — much like a guided group walking tour would do, except you do it on your own (at less expense).
The five hotels form a rough loop about seven to 13 miles (12 to 22 km.) apart, so you can easily put together a five-day walking plan or perhaps a three-day biking trip, using any combination of the five hotels. There are about 70 miles (120 km.) of hiking paths in the area all together. The hotels offer maps and suggested routes for anything from two- to ten-day stays.
Whatever you decide, you won’t need to worry about your luggage or carrying a heavy backpack when trekking or pedaling between hotels. If it rains on the trail, you can dry your clothes for free at each hotel. And if you arrive by train, they’ll pick you up at the station.
It all makes a nice package for baby boomer travelers who like to hike or bike during the day — and then enjoy a good meal and comfortable hotel room at night.
In case your Luxembourg geography is a little fuzzy, it’s a small Grand Duchy (just under 1,000 square miles) nestled among France, Belgium, and Germany, with forested landscapes and medieval castles to explore. I used to go there quite often in the 1970s when it was the continental base for the inexpensive Icelandic and Air Bahama airlines, but I never much got outside of Luxembourg City, the capital, which sports a dramatic gorge and a busy railway station.
It sounds like I missed a lot by catching trains after typically spending one night in the capital and then heading off to France or other surrounding countries. As the hotels’ website puts it, in the Ardennes you will “discover deep forests and cross peaceful valleys. You encounter isolated mills, venerable monasteries and small villages with traditional houses. And at night you taste the local gastronomy in our family hotels, take a dip in a hot bath or Jacuzzi and relax in a restful place to sleep.”
Sign me up!
The hotels all offer packages with breakfast and four- or six-course dinners at night, plus the luggage transport. Prices start at 85 euro per person per night double occupancy at each hotel.
Thanks to James Martin, about.com’s Europe Travel Guide, for calling attention to this story. You can read his writings on Trekking Luxembourg here.
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