Value Watch: Axel Hotels in Barcelona & Berlin
Photos courtesy of the Axel Hotel Berlin and Barcelona
Story by Olga Bas
The gay Axel Hotels chain, with its whimsical "hetero-friendly" branding, has two affordable, fun vacation packages for its properties in Germany and Spain.
The seven-day holiday package includes an Air Berlin flight from the U.S. to Berlin, three nights at the Axel Hotel Berlin with breakfast, flight from Berlin to Barcelona, three nights at the Axel Hotel Barcelona with breakfast, and a flight home. If traveling from New York, the package runs $1,399, from Los Angeles, $1,599. The second option sticks to Berlin and includes roundtrip airfare on an Air Berlin flight and four nights at the Axel Hotel Berlin with breakfast ($1,099 when flying from NYC, $1,299 from L.A.). All taxes and fees included.
Besides being located in thriving gay scenes, both hotels are outfitted for comfort and a measure of luxury. The Axel Hotel Barcelona, voted the Best Gay Hotel in the World by Out Traveler readers, has 66 air-conditioned and, more importantly, soundproofed rooms featuring Vitra, Kartell, and Swan furniture, a king-size bed, and city views. Every superior room has a Jacuzzi. The hotel rooftop is outfitted with a terrace, a pool, and the Sky Bar -- a lounge serving cocktails and views of the city.
The 86-room Axel Hotel Berlin, the newest of the Axel branches, also has air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms, which boast garden views. A hydro-massage shower or Jacuzzi stars in each superior room, junior suite, and suite. Nightlife can be experienced right at the hotel's Urban Bar on the ground level or at Sky Bar, the open-air top-floor lounge, offering a panoramic view of the city.
Travel tip: Make sure your passport is valid for at least 90 days from your return date as some countries (like Denmark) will not allow you to cross the border with an almost-expired passport. Others, like Indonesia, require a more extreme 180 days before expiration to enter the country. Visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html for country-by-country entry requirements.