Luxembourg City

An easy day trip from the Spangdahlem and Trier area or from the Chateau Fort in Sedan, France, Luxembourg City has a little bit of everything from upscale shopping to historical buildings, beautiful parks and all the arts.

Luxembourg City hails itself as “Little Europe” boasting the best of everything. With less than a day to explore it, we certainly weren’t able to avail ourselves of all it has to offer, but we did leave wanting more.

Getting into the main center itself would have been easy but for some construction that took us off the main road and into a maze of narrow one-way and dead-end streets in a residential district on the hill. Once we got into downtown we found our hotel and parked without any problem. Driving in Luxembourg both in the country and in the city itself was relatively easy.

Our lodging: The Hotel Albert is amazing. Many of the hotels in Luxembourg are extremely modern in their decor, but this place is quite the opposite. Perfect for couples without children or a girls’ weekend, the Hotel Albert is very elegant, beautifully decorated with fabrics and furniture from England and Italy, and has a very warm feeling. The rooms draw you in and enticed you with large comfortable chairs and lush throw blankets to sit and relax a while. Our room had fabric on the walls instead of wallpaper and large, full curtains in the same fabric. A book of Europe’s Finest Hotels (by Nicola Lecca pg 184-5) on the bedstand showcased our little Hotel Albert, a tiny building with only 15 rooms that just a few years ago had been a homeless shelter. The closet included a complimentary bottle of wine, the pillows had nice chocolates on them, and when the maids turn down the beds, they include the next day’s weather report. The large bathroom had robes, slippers, and a beautiful assortment of little toiletry samples in pretty bottles. It truly feels like a vacation.

Downstairs the sitting room is filled with large chairs and couches that envelope you as you sit down. There is a fireplace on one wall with little windowed cabinets on either side filled with chopped wood. The vases full of flowers were large and showy. Everything is warm and full of color. Behind the couch sits a long sofa table with a tray of alcohol on one end – a very nice honor bar. The colors and the way it was all tied together made it very comfortable and homey.

A lovely breakfast – room-service. I had a flavorful cappuccino and an earl grey tea. They serve a basket of fresh rolls, butter in a little silver dish, fresh fruit with yogurt that tastes homemade. The raw sugar cubes mixed in white and brown fill an old silver pitcher and the jams look delicious.
This place is worth returning to. I would come back here with my mom, a group of friends, my daughter for a mother-daughter weekend, or my whole family. Luxembourg City really offers a lot and deserves more than one day. Next time I’ll spend at least three.

The Hotel Albert has completed some renovations since my stay there adding a spa and a new restaurant.

Hotel Albert Premier
2a Rue Albert 1er
L-1117 LUXEMBOURG
Tel : +352 442 442 1
e-mail : info@albert1er.lu
web: http://www.albert1er.lu/home_uk.cfm

The City:

Web Resources:

This is a walking city with great things to see, shopping areas, and restaurants. The only glitch is the deep ravine greenspace/park that winds through it providing just a few crossing places from one side to the other. In the dark, it is easy to get turned around, so I’d suggest carrying a small city map on hand just in case.

If you are bringing the kids, the park area will provide hours offun with it’s walking trails and little stream as will the manynice playgrounds sprinkled around the city. (There’s a hugepirate ship playground near the Hotel Albert.)

Crossing from the outskirts into the main town center, you’llfind more beautiful old buildings than you can count – so many so that they eventually become quite ordinary. The shopsare nice, but not always moderately priced, in fact, most prices I saw were so high, it seemed absolutely unreal – like a child hadbeen playing with the calculator and had punched a few toomany numbers. The good thing here is that unlike Germany, most all restaurants and shops do take credit cards.

I heard French spoken predominantly, but most people also spoke English, Spanish, German, and a few others as well. Language will not impede you here.

There is a fabulous pedestrian area and shopping district with Louis Vuitton, Rolex, bookstores, big name clothing designers, chocolate shops, and more. It’s clean and fun to see even if you aren’t planning on spending much. Not all the stores here are outrageous and you’re bound to find something fun.

The many churches in the city will play their bells all just slightly off from each other, so standing near the ravine, you can hear a concert of church bells echoing across the depth. It’s beautiful as are the churches performing.

Cafe/Restaurants: Many cafes and restaurants are closed in the midday, so you will need to plan ahead.

Les Salons Namur -

This nice bakery and cafe on the main street leading to the rail station isopen into the evening and serves absolutely delicious quiches, desserts, and coffee drinks. Theservice is very good and it’s a good place to get chocolate gifts as well. The place is clean with a nice relaxed atmophere. It’s just a local place and is very child friendly. The desserts are the only pretentious things here. I ordered a beautiful Framboise Torte, a Cappuccino Creme, and a petit quiche. Our coffee and desserts were served first, and our “real food” served afterwards. That’s my kind of prioritization! The torte was amazing and my cappuccino with swirled whipped creme was served with a shortbread cookie. The quiche was also fabulous. I could have eaten more.

The Lagura.

This is a nice restaurant owned by the Hotel Albert, so hotel guests can take advantage of the complimentary taxi service, but the restaurant itself is open to anyone. I would eat here again and again. The food, atmosphere, and service are all 5 star.

The decor is completely opposite from that of the Hotel, but its modernity isn’t unsettling. The modern chic interior actually provides a warm cozy atmosphere even amidst the grey walls and black tables. White candlelight, showy white bouquets, and lush upholstered chairs livened it up.

The food is a artful play on Italian – delicious and modern filling you up, but leaving you refreshed and wanting more.

For our appertif we chose champagne pinot noir which was excellent. I had a very nice salade cesar, then for a starter: a creamy polenta with gorgonzola cheese served with a very light pesto sauce, and a rucola salad with balsalmic vinaigrette. Mom had fresh raviolis with the thinnest dough I’ve ever had – it was light like paper and not at all doughy. I had saltimbocca di pollo with some sort of potato side dish. Both were excellent. Then, the grand finale! The most delectable wine: Moscato d’Asti, a muscadelle that was so light and sweet, I could have had the whole bottle. It was wonderful. Our waiter then brought another bottle over with a glass so I could try a taste of another – the moscato di pantelleria – which truly did taste “just like fresh squeezed grapes.” For dessert our waiter recommended the Risotto de framboise y sorbet di cocos. I like risotto, but could never had imagined this. The risotto had been cooked in blackberry juice. It was exactly the color of blackberries and had fresh raspberries mixed into it. It was served warm and topped with fresh coconut sorbet and raspberry sauce. MMMMM. I’ve never had the equivalent of this dessert and I absolutely will order it again when I go back. Wow!

The Lagura Next Door
Avenue de la Faïencerie 18
L-1510 LUXEMBOURG
Tél: 26 27 67
http://www.lagura.lu



Trip ideas:

  • I took a three day weekend to see a little of France and Lux. Day one: Drove to Sedan, France and stayed in Chateau Fort, a beautiful castle in the country of France. Day two: Toured the castle, then drove 1.5 hours to Luxembourg City where we stayed at the Hotel Albert Premier. Day 3: Enjoyed a bit of Luxembourg, then headed back to the GK area – a drive of 2.5 hours. This was a great trip and an interesting combination of old country castle and big modern city.
  • An easy day trip from Spangdahlem at only an hour away.
  • 2.5 hours from the Geilenkirchen area – combine this with the Champagne region of France, the Ardenne region of Belgium and France, or the Mosel region of Germany.

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