Introduction: From Saint-Tropez To Sylt, And Beyond!

Introduction: From Saint-Tropez To Sylt, And Beyond!

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I’m making an effort to write as many trip reports as possible. In the past few months I’ve written reviews of trips to OmanHawaiiEurope, and the Maldives. Now it’s time for the introduction post for my next trip, which is currently underway. Ford and I are are spending all of June in Europe. While the trip isn’t terribly cohesive, I have lots of (I hope) interesting hotel and flight reviews coming.

Why we decided to travel to Europe

We tend to spend quite a bit of time in Europe in summer, for a variety of reasons. For one, when you live in Florida, it’s kind of nice to leave as the temperatures get warmer. Furthermore, most of my family lives in Germany, so I always enjoy seeing them when I have the chance.

We’re spending most of the month of June in France, Germany, Greece, and Sweden, for a variety of reasons, which I’ll get into as we get deeper into the review.

While we probably wouldn’t have otherwise planned to spend the entire month in Europe, we had a few commitments in Europe throughout the month, and flying back and forth just didn’t make much sense, especially with the current state of travel, not to mention the lack of transatlantic award availability.

One of the primary motivations for this trip is that Sylt, Germany, is one of my mom’s favorite places in the world. She has always asked us to go with her, and since she’s still alive and hanging in there (which we’re indescribably grateful for), we of course were happy to go along with that. We’re so happy we did, because Sylt is amazing… who knew?!

Sylt, Germany
Sylt, Germany

The airlines we’re flying

This series will be more hotel than airline focused, so what flight reviews can you expect?

Emirates A380 first class

The hotels we’re staying at

Given how long we’re on the ground in Europe, I’ll be publishing quite a few hotel reviews, including the following:

Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle
The Wellem Dusseldorf

In addition to hotels, in Sylt we rented an Airbnb, which was one of my first times ever renting an Airbnb, believe it or not, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on that experience.

There will be some more hotel reviews mixed in (like I said, this trip isn’t fully planned yet, and we’re partly just going with the flow), but that should give you an overview of some of the reviews to expect. As you can see, there are a good number of points hotels, and also one uber-luxury non-points hotel from a brand that I really like.

Sylt Airbnb

Bottom line

We’re in Europe for the month of June, and are having an amazing trip so far. While not all aspects of the end of the trip have been finalized yet, it’s time to get started with the trip report series, because I have a lot of content to publish. Thanks for following along, and I hope there’s something for everyone here!

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  1. Klaus H. Schilling Guest

    Sylt??
    One of my most favourite locations…..amazing air….beautiful beaches…rent a bicycle…..AND do not miss Gosch…the best fish anywhere…IF you can get a table!! If not have one of their famous fish-Brötchens with a glass of white…I am green with envy….

  2. HosFar Guest

    Keitum is the place to stay, it's old fashioned beautiful and romantic part of the island right in between Kampen and the so called city of Westerland. I spend a season there in the mid 1980 working at the Kupferkanne which is a must see while visiting this unique site.

  3. John T Guest

    Rømø.....Danish island reach with ferry from Sylt.
    Absolutely a place to visit.

  4. Greg Guest

    Why don’t you fly to KRK? It’s a beautiful city and a new Curio Collection is due to open there by the end of June. You can even fly directly from there to ORD/EWR. With LOT.

  5. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    Very curious what the sense of place of the Four Seasons Sylt is like!

  6. Leo Guest

    Please edit to read "Hotel Grande Bretagne" for your hotel in Athens ; ))

  7. BookLvr Gold

    YAY! I love your trip reports, and particularly those with your family. I have been looking at the Hotel Grande Bretagne for a future trip and weighing it vs. AirBnB options, so I will be looking forward to that review in particular.

  8. Gianni Guest

    Well, Sylt can hardly bedescribed one of the best destinations in Europe, roughly i would put it in the500th place...

  9. ArnoldB Guest

    Well from me that at first sight gets a rather tired "Europe (and even France, Greece, ...) and Emirates yet again" sigh to be honest.

    But I am very interested in your Sylt impressions, of the area and vibes mainly. And of course it's logical you want to visit your mother and plan the trip more or less around that, all the best to her.

    Still hope in one of your next trip reports you...

    Well from me that at first sight gets a rather tired "Europe (and even France, Greece, ...) and Emirates yet again" sigh to be honest.

    But I am very interested in your Sylt impressions, of the area and vibes mainly. And of course it's logical you want to visit your mother and plan the trip more or less around that, all the best to her.

    Still hope in one of your next trip reports you will visit some more exciting, off-the-beaten path locations on other continents again:

    Central/South America -> you haven't reviewed Avianca yet I believe? You could review it on your way back from Europe, although that would be quite an extra way I guess
    Africa -> Lots of awesome countries to visit still, and you could try for example Uganda Airlines A330NEO oder Rwandair from London
    Southeast Asia -> I think you mentioned that is has been quite a long time since you've been there and there are still a lot of less known places (for example Borneo has some cool hotels like the Marriott Mulu Resort & Spa )

  10. iamhere Guest

    Why fly business class within Europe? That does not make a lot of sense. Most airlines within Europe just block the middle seat for business class.

    1. LarryInNYC Diamond

      I was on a 2x2 KLM Cityhopper flight the other day where you didn't even get a blocked middle seat! But still, there was a (not bad) cold snack (90 minute flight), little or no attention is paid to your carry on luggage weight or number, and (maybe the most important this summer) you get access to priority security lines.

      My flight was a connection from a transatlantic flight and didn't cost extra but if...

      I was on a 2x2 KLM Cityhopper flight the other day where you didn't even get a blocked middle seat! But still, there was a (not bad) cold snack (90 minute flight), little or no attention is paid to your carry on luggage weight or number, and (maybe the most important this summer) you get access to priority security lines.

      My flight was a connection from a transatlantic flight and didn't cost extra but if I were redeeming, say, Virgin America points I'd be tempted to pay the extra 4.5k for business.

    2. Daniel Guest

      Haven't you realized and I have that he will not fly coach anywhere he won't even fly coach for an hour plane ride he has to take the spirit big front seat because lucky believe it or not is a princess I think he is very spoiled I read that he did not get into this from his own words this points in miles to make a lot of money but he always but he...

      Haven't you realized and I have that he will not fly coach anywhere he won't even fly coach for an hour plane ride he has to take the spirit big front seat because lucky believe it or not is a princess I think he is very spoiled I read that he did not get into this from his own words this points in miles to make a lot of money but he always but he always stays at these very expensive places and will only fly first class or business class I don't understand why he can't once just one time fly coach class overseas

  11. Alpha Golf Member

    Best to your mom...

  12. schrap2755 Guest

    Since we live between SF and Nice, I'm looking forward to experience in "our area of France"
    I've always had a pleasant lounge experience at the Library Lounge Nice and we have spent a couple wonderful weekends at the Chateau de la Messardiere! In fact, I was just in the Library Lounge a couple Saturdays ago around 730am and for the first couple hours where were only maybe 10 people total. I even asked...

    Since we live between SF and Nice, I'm looking forward to experience in "our area of France"
    I've always had a pleasant lounge experience at the Library Lounge Nice and we have spent a couple wonderful weekends at the Chateau de la Messardiere! In fact, I was just in the Library Lounge a couple Saturdays ago around 730am and for the first couple hours where were only maybe 10 people total. I even asked the attendant if this was strange -- and the answer was "it's Saturday morning, not as many people have lounge access and there's fewer flights -- wait until around 10am, it will get a lot busier!"

  13. Bob Guest

    We stayed at Hyatt Regency The Circle. It is indeed one of the best airport hotel and the location is not a bother at all. Their brioche french toast at breakfast is the best french toast we have ever had, period. We spent almost the whole May in Europe and timing wise we think it is the best time. Minimal crowd, pleasant weather and the airport situation was not as crazy or as packed as...

    We stayed at Hyatt Regency The Circle. It is indeed one of the best airport hotel and the location is not a bother at all. Their brioche french toast at breakfast is the best french toast we have ever had, period. We spent almost the whole May in Europe and timing wise we think it is the best time. Minimal crowd, pleasant weather and the airport situation was not as crazy or as packed as it is now seems like. We spent the month (chronological order) Wengen, Zurich, Ljubljana, Budapest, Vienna and Copenhagen.

  14. Felix Guest

    Hey Ben,

    can you please share your process of selecting accommodation on Sylt? Also I never found appealing airbnbs. Maybe you need to book them long in advance? Unsurprisingly, there are no points options but there are some luxurious independent properties. To my knowledge without any benefits through Virtuoso or similar. I do not understand but it seems that even in low season there is enough demand so that hotels are not motivated to...

    Hey Ben,

    can you please share your process of selecting accommodation on Sylt? Also I never found appealing airbnbs. Maybe you need to book them long in advance? Unsurprisingly, there are no points options but there are some luxurious independent properties. To my knowledge without any benefits through Virtuoso or similar. I do not understand but it seems that even in low season there is enough demand so that hotels are not motivated to join a chain.

    My parents also like the German coast. For me searching a nice place there is really annoying. Many places look outfashioned and there are no deals I get excited about.

    That is why I took a longer drive to Swinoujscie in Poland. There is a dual complex with a Radisson and a Hilton. Tried both. The Radisson was a deal on points while the cash rate was actually higher. The breakfast in the Radisson was overcrowded. The Hilton is way superior. With Hilton Diamond I got upgraded to a sea view suite. Nice treatment. Also one could order room breakfast for just 20 PLN (less than 5 bucks). Breakfast on the calm balcony was terrific.

    I would love to see that such a property would open at the German coast.

    1. Bagoly Guest

      Other than the fact that the staff speak German, and so it is appealing for monoglot Germans, what is the appeal of Sylt, over Portugal/Spain/Italy/Croatia/Greece/Iceland (the latter being cool. the rest having warm sea unlike the Baltic)
      Much the same applies to the Polish Baltic coast - I eventually worked out the appeal for Poles (it's no cheaper than say Greece) - one can drive, which means one can easily take the dog(s), and...

      Other than the fact that the staff speak German, and so it is appealing for monoglot Germans, what is the appeal of Sylt, over Portugal/Spain/Italy/Croatia/Greece/Iceland (the latter being cool. the rest having warm sea unlike the Baltic)
      Much the same applies to the Polish Baltic coast - I eventually worked out the appeal for Poles (it's no cheaper than say Greece) - one can drive, which means one can easily take the dog(s), and the mother-in-law (to babysit the kids).
      If one is not German living in Germany, or Polish living in Poland I really can't see why one would want to go to these places.
      Cornwall is another example.

  15. Marcus Guest

    Make a reservation for dinner at the rooftop Grand Bretagne. You do need a reservation and the meal likely to be a hughlight

  16. Jerry Diamond

    One day, a blogger will eventually review Roomers Baden Baden. This review will make Jerry very happy.

    1. Felix Guest

      Just look for some German blogs. There have been numerous reviews.

      I stayed at the Roomers when it used to be a Cat 4 hotel with a free night voucher (2 stay new member offer)

  17. pstm91 Diamond

    I saw your photo of the Airelles St. Tropez pool in your post yesterday and had a feeling... Excited for the reviews!

  18. Max Guest

    Do a review of the 9€-one-month-all-inclusive-train-ticket while in Germany!

    1. PaulG New Member

      At least he is not taking the train to Sylt! German twitter would go crazy ;)

  19. Deborah Guest

    Hoping you take Finnair home even if you have to pay so we can get a good review of the new product. I’m set to fly it in December and hope all of the operations problems are better by then.

  20. Never In Doubt Guest

    Mid 90s GF lived in Hamburg. Spent some fun times on the German coast near Sylt!

  21. Palmbeachbathandtennis Guest

    It’s the same temperature in ocean ridge, fl as Frankfurt.

  22. Anish Reddi Guest

    What about etihads new business class along with finair new business class and vistara business class

    FRA-AUH-DEL-LHR-HEL-ORD

  23. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

    Always appreciate how you prioritize spending time with your parents, Ben. Looking forward to the reviews as well.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Felix Guest

Hey Ben, can you please share your process of selecting accommodation on Sylt? Also I never found appealing airbnbs. Maybe you need to book them long in advance? Unsurprisingly, there are no points options but there are some luxurious independent properties. To my knowledge without any benefits through Virtuoso or similar. I do not understand but it seems that even in low season there is enough demand so that hotels are not motivated to join a chain. My parents also like the German coast. For me searching a nice place there is really annoying. Many places look outfashioned and there are no deals I get excited about. That is why I took a longer drive to Swinoujscie in Poland. There is a dual complex with a Radisson and a Hilton. Tried both. The Radisson was a deal on points while the cash rate was actually higher. The breakfast in the Radisson was overcrowded. The Hilton is way superior. With Hilton Diamond I got upgraded to a sea view suite. Nice treatment. Also one could order room breakfast for just 20 PLN (less than 5 bucks). Breakfast on the calm balcony was terrific. I would love to see that such a property would open at the German coast.

3
pstm91 Diamond

I saw your photo of the Airelles St. Tropez pool in your post yesterday and had a feeling... Excited for the reviews!

1
Max Guest

Do a review of the 9€-one-month-all-inclusive-train-ticket while in Germany!

1
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