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Summer Breaks by the Water
Summer Breaks by the Water

Coastal towns and cities have always been popular tourist destinations, thanks to their proximity to beaches and oceans. However, during the summer months, these areas can get quite busy.

Instead of a typical beach break, why not try one of these water-side alternatives for your next holiday?


Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland, and home to one of Europe’s largest lakes, Lake Geneva. There are plenty of water sports to be enjoyed here, from pedalo boats to water skiing, but the star attraction is Geneva’s iconic landmark, the Jet d’Eau. The Jet d’Eau is a huge water fountain, shooting jets of water 140 meters into the sky, and can be seen across the entire city.

Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva is the perfect place to stay during your trip to Geneva. It is home to three gourmet restaurants, each overlooking the lake, giving stunning views of the waterfront. Its central location also means you are situated just a short walk away from the Jet d’Eau, as well as the Old Town, city centre and Les Bains de Pâquis, Lake Geneva’s public bath house and sauna where you can soak up the sun all year round.


Surfing is normally associated with the sea, but German city Munich is home to three man-made standing waves that have become well-established surfing spots. The most popular, and most difficult, is Eisbachwelle, in Munich’s famous park, The English Garden (Englischer Garten). While the Eisbachwelle is for experienced surfers only, a gentler wave sits further down the Isar river at Flosslände in Thalkirchen where amateurs can practise their moves.

It’s not just the standing waves that make The English Garden an attraction worth seeing, however. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, even larger than New York’s Central Park, and is home to Munich’s Chinese Tower, and the city’s second largest beer garden. You will find both locals and tourists relaxing throughout the park and swimming in the water when the weather is nice.

Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich is based just 750 meters away from The English Garden, and within easy walking distance to several other Munich attractions, including a range of luxury shops, from big designers to independent boutiques. Start your day off in the hotel’s luxury spa, the ultimate way to relax, and end it in the Jahreszeiten bar, one of Munich’s best kept secrets.


For those who want to visit Croatia and experience the benefits of being by the water without compromising on culture, Croatia offers the best of both worlds. Bordering with Italy and Slovenia, the Istria region is heavily influenced by European art and history. There are hundreds of beautiful coastal towns in the region, easily accessible by car, but standouts include Pula, home to a well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, Rovinj, and popular seaside resort Umag.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Istria is the perfect base to explore Istria. Situated in the Umag countryside, it offers a private beach allowing you to relax and sunbathe in peace and quiet. The area has excellent road links, making it easy to rent a car and visit all that Istria has to offer.

Further inland, are the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park. Home to stunning waterfalls, colour-changing lakes, and karst canyons. Ensure you make a trip to these outstanding areas of natural beauty during your stay and discover the hiking trails across the parks.


In the centre of Germany’s second biggest city Hamburg, is Lake Alster; an artificial lake spanning 1.6 sq km. Despite its city location, a visit to the lake feels as far away from city life as you can get. It is surrounded by beautiful greenery, with a path running around the entire lake should you wish to walk or cycle around it, or simply sit back and enjoy the view – at sunset, the lake and sky lights up in beautiful golds and reds.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars located around the lake. Hotel Atlantic Kempinski sits directly on Lake Alster, offering five-star luxury with a view. Enjoy our champagne brunch overlooking the lake, or try our famous signature dish, the Lobster Bisque, which has remained popular with locals and tourists since 1909.

Away from the lake, Hamburg offers plenty of attractions, including more than 50 museums throughout the city.


China’s capital city, Beijing, offers plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining and exciting nightlife, but outside the city are a number of scenic areas, meaning plenty of green spaces to explore and absorb the sunshine and views.

Yanqi Lake in Huairou District, is only an hour outside of central Beijing, it combines waterfront views with fun activities and excellent restaurants. An afternoon strolling along the lake’s tree-lined paths, watching rare birds and native wildlife, is one of the most relaxing ways to spend your time at Yanqi Lake. There is also a pavilion on the lake where you can admire the views and watch the sunset.

For those who enjoy being on the water, the lake offers activities such as sightseeing boat trips, dragon boat rides or even water skiing. There is also an amusement park where you can try ziplining, rock-climbing and bumper cars.

Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing located on the south shore, or Yanqi Hotel Managed by Kempinski on the west shore are the perfect bases for exploring this area. The hotels are also ideally located for visiting several of the region’s most famous sights, including the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, Hongluo Buddhist Temple, and Baiquan Mountain.

If you are planning a trip to any of the water-side locations above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Kempinski team, we’d love to help you plan your time away.

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