It’s been announced that museums in the Spanish city of Barcelona will offer free entry on Sundays from the beginning of April.
At present, the scheme applies only to the first Sunday of every month, but it’s been decided to extend it to help encourage tourism and promote Barcelona’s well-established arts tradition.
Announcing the initiative, the City’s Mayor, Jordi Hereu, also said there would be an 11 per cent increase in the budget provision for culture in 2009. “It’s at times like these, when the economy is going through a difficult patch, when a city’s will to invest in culture is put to the test; this is a fundamental policy for the Barcelona that we want to build.”
The Mayor also announced that refurbishment work on one of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings, the Meridiana dog racing track, could be finished by December this year.
A final decision on the use of the building is yet to be made, but it appears likely that it will be the new home of the Barcelona Arts Centre.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique’s Top Destination guide says Barcelona is a gem of a tourist destination – you’d better believe it! We can offer a choice of more than two dozen of the best luxury Barcelona hotels – both traditional and cutting-edge.
If there’s one upside to a downturn, it’s that the consumer suddenly has new power: it’s a buyer’s market.
Paradoxically, the eve of a recession might be just the time to consider that long-promised long weekend away because now, more than ever, those hard-pressed hotels want your business. So, in this season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and monetary meltdown, hunt around for a bargain.
Luxury hotels may not slash their rates by half, but there will be special seasonal offers and they’ll often reduce their guests’ bills in other ways such as free room upgrades, free meals or free spa treatments. The mantra is: Don’t Hesitate to Negotiate.
Many of Luxique’s selection of 60-odd luxury hotels in Paris, for instance, have special offers and packages. Le Meurice, which has a fine location on the fashionable rue de Rivoli, has a range of special offers including honeymoon and family deals as well as a Da Vinci Code package. This includes a private visit to the Louvre Museum with expert guide, a gift book about the Da Vinci Code and free access to the hotel’s sauna and fitness centre.
At another of the luxury hotels in Paris, the Plaza Athenee - located between the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower - there’s a string of special offers. They include a festive winter trip that features ice skating and a tour in a horse and carriage. Fans of Sex And The City will know that part of the last TV episode was shot at the hotel, so it’s no surprise there’s an SATC package, promising a Carrie cocktail, a chocolate shoe made by the hotel’s renowned pastry chef and a ‘must have’ shopping booklet.
Even the smaller luxury Paris hotels are urging you to enter their elegant portals. The Hotel de Vigny, part of the Relais & Chateaux group, just wants you to wallow in the romance of it all. Its special offer is for a one-night stay with champagne, flowers, buffet breakfast, gourmet dinner for two and ‘a prestigious jewel.’
By the way, one of the great attractions of Paris is a visit to the magnificent Palace of Versailles, about ten miles from the city centre. It’s been undergoing a refurbishment and the latest section to be restored is the Petit Trianon, the mini-chateau where Marie Antoinette escaped for some rest and relaxation.
The neo-classical building has been renovated to recreate its intimate atmosphere. Curators said their intention was to avoid a stuffy museum feel, making it seem instead as though the 18th century queen and her entourage had ‘just stepped away for a moment.’
by Andy Moreton