Europe’s best holiday destinations according to the International Travels Awards 2020

January 22, 2021
Best spa in Portugal and best five-star hotel in Switzerland at the International Travel Awards 2020 Source:
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KSA Tourism Marketing has named the winners of the International Travel Awards 2020. We tell you where the most romantic place to stay in Europe is, which spa is the best in Portugal and which five-star hotel stays the hardest-to-surprise cosmopolitan.

KSA Tourism Marketing is an international marketing and PR company for the tourism industry. Since 2018, the award has been given to the best hotels, theme parks, attractions and travel companies from all over the world.

To enter the award, candidates submit an application on the company’s website. Winners are selected in several stages, which include voting by website users and evaluation by a jury.

Various aspects of the nominee’s performance are taken into account: quality of service, friendliness of the staff, ease of check-in. Whether the hotel has a swimming pool or spa is also taken into account.

40 winners were named best in various categories by the International Travel Awards 2020. The full list of winners is published on the official award website.

Portugal: a myriad of stars and the best massages

27 million tourists have chosen Portugal as their holiday destination for 2019. Due to the pandemic and closed borders, 40% fewer foreigners visited the country, but this did not prevent it from receiving high praise from tourism experts. For example, the country won 26 nominations for another prestigious award, the World Travel Awards. We told you about it in the article “Portugal has become the most comfortable place to stay in Europe”.

The reserve of the starry sky Dark Sky Alqueva won in two nominations at the International Travel Awards 2020 – as the best new place for recreation and as the best entertainment in Europe.

Dark Sky Alqueva covers about 10,000 km² in the surrounding artificial lake Alqueva. There is minimal light pollution within the reserve, so ideal conditions for observing the night sky are maintained.

Tourists can stay at one of the reserve’s hotels. The area also offers an observatory with modern telescopes, hiking and canoeing, as well as astrophotography workshops.

The Ponha Aqui o Seu Pezinho Spa offers the best spa treatments in Portugal in 2020. The centre is located in Lisbon and specialises in foot massage and reflexology.

The treatments begin with a relaxing foot bath. The massage is performed using natural essential oils. Guests are also served tea for total relaxation.

The centre provides combined massages, such as foot and hand massages. You can also come in for Indonesian, Chinese or Indian body massages.

Residence permits in Portugal for holidays and travel: Dark Sky Alqueva

The Milky Way and the zodiacal constellations in the reserve can be seen with the naked eye

Leisure and Travel Permit in Portugal: Lake Alqueva in Portugal

Artificial Lake Alqueva in the Dark Sky Nature Reserve

Residence permits in Portugal for leisure and travel: Ponha Aqui o Seu Pezinho Spa

20 minutes foot massage at Ponha Aqui o Seu Pezinho costs only 15 €

Residence permits in Portugal for holidays and travel: Dark Sky Alqueva
Leisure and Travel Permit in Portugal: Lake Alqueva in Portugal
Residence permits in Portugal for leisure and travel: Ponha Aqui o Seu Pezinho Spa

Switzerland: a holiday for the sophisticated

Le Grand Bellevue has been voted Switzerland’s best five-star hotel in 2020. It is located in Gstaad in the international ski resort of the Alps.

The hotel suites are decorated in different styles. For example, you can stay in a secluded tower, a traditional rustic chalet or a two-storey room with panoramic windows.

The hotel has two restaurants: Michelin-starred Leonard’s and the local restaurant Le Petit Chalet. Guests can choose to dine at the sushi bar, spend time at the art deco bar or taste the noble drinks of the wine cellar. It holds 9,000 bottles of wine from around the world.

Le Grand Spa covers an area of 3,000 m². There are 17 wellness areas offering a variety of thermal treatments, from steam baths to an ice fountain. The spa also features a herbal sauna, a Turkish bath and a Himalayan salt room.

The hotel has its own cinema, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a yacht club.

Hotel Le Grand Bellevue - winner of the International Travel Awards

The duplex room with panoramic windows accommodates four people. The ground floor is an open space with a living room, bedroom and dressing room, while the first floor has its own study. The windows offer views of the Swiss Alps.

Le Petit Chalet restaurant at Le Grand Bellevue, Switzerland

The local restaurant Le Petit Chalet is a traditional wooden hut in the mountains for 18 people. It serves all kinds of fondue, such as truffle fondue and goat cheese fondue.

Spa at Le Grand Bellevue, Switzerland

Le Grand Bellevue Spa offers a bath with goat's milk and honey, an Alpine salt body scrub and an aromatherapy massage.

Hotel Le Grand Bellevue - winner of the International Travel Awards
Le Petit Chalet restaurant at Le Grand Bellevue, Switzerland
Spa at Le Grand Bellevue, Switzerland

Residence permits open borders even in a pandemic

In January 2021, Russians cannot go on holiday to Portugal or Switzerland: the borders are closed because of the pandemic. But residents are allowed to return to the country at any time regardless of the epidemic restrictions. So wealthy cosmopolitans can get a residence permit for an investment and leave for holiday whenever they want.

Residence permits in Portugal are granted under one of eight investment options. The most popular option is to buy a property from €500,000 or a building under renovation for €350,000. Participants in the programme also:

  • open deposits with local banks;
  • buy shares in venture capital funds:
  • start businesses;
  • invest in Portuguese companies;
  • Financing scientific research and cultural heritage preservation projects.

From 1 July 2021, the cost of participation in the programme will increase. We talked about this and other upcoming changes in the article “Portugal will increase the price of the golden visa, but you can still get it at the old price”.

The Swiss residence permit for financially independent persons is an option for wealthy people who are prepared to live in the country for at least 183 days a year. To obtain a residence permit, you have to pay an annual chord tax from 450,000 ₣ per year.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European residence permit programmes for investment. If you want to become a resident in Portugal or Switzerland, please contact the investment programmes’ experts for advice.

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