Euro 2016 is upon us and that means the entire world will come to a standstill to witness the footballing spectacle. An entire month of high-octane football starting from the 10th of June until the 10th of July, yayyy! Being a die-hard football fan, I can hardly contain my excitement – it just cannot come any sooner!
If you are planning on travelling to France for the Euro you might already have a clear idea of where you want to stay. You only need to search on Google and you’ll find a ton of articles informing you on where to stay for the Euro. Therefore, I’m not going to bore you with details on which hotels are close to the stadiums. Instead I will show you where the tournament’s six favourite teams will be lodging. This way, if you’re indeed in France you could visit the teams’ hotels and get pictures taken with your favourite players (if you’re lucky).[caption id="attachment_3912" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Image courtesy of UEFA[/caption]
So which team are you supporting? Do you like Germany, the reigning world champions, or France, the hosts and the favourite? Or are you a fan of Spain’s Tiki-Taka? Without further ado let’s check out where your favourite team will stay during the competition.
France – CNF Clairefontaine, Paris
[caption id="attachment_3886" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Image courtesy of CNF Clairefontaine[/caption]
The hosts and the favourites of the tournament will be based at their highly-acclaimed national football academy, the CNF Clairefontaine in Paris. It has a wonderful castle-styled residence, simply called the Residence de l’Equipe de France, which will house the players during the tournament.[caption id="attachment_3941" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Image courtesy of CNF Clairefontaine[/caption]
The training centre has six additional residences with about 200 rooms altogether and is capable of housing all of France’s men’s and women’s A and B teams simultaneously. Other services on the academy premises include a sauna, jacuzzi and a state-of-the-art rehabilitation and medical facility for the players. The academy also boasts approximately 10 different meeting rooms to aid the team in devising strategies. While this is the one accommodation on our list that cannot be booked by the public, guided tours are offered on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays while public practice sessions offer you a chance to watch the players train in person. More information can be found on their website here
Germany – Hotel Ermitage, Evian
The German Football federation, DFB, has decided to base their national team in the quaint little town of Évian-les-Bains at the four star Hotel Ermitage. The beautiful town lies on France’s border with Switzerland overlooking lake Geneva and has a sizable German speaking population. One can imagine coach Joachim Löw hopes it will provide the team the required motivation to go all the way and win yet another international tournament.
Situated at the foothills of Alps, the hotel was awarded the Earth Check label for their efforts in conserving the surrounding environment. Even though the hotel was completely refurbished at the turn of the decade, it still retains its old world charm. With a private pool, a spa and a thermal bath, the players can expect to revitalise themselves before facing their challenge for the tournament. I, for one, came to know from a friend that Singaporean girls are crazy about German footballers. So instead of showing you Marco Reus or Manuel Neuer enjoying the spa, I’ll just leave that to your imagination!
Spain – Hotel Atalante Relais Thalasso & Spa, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré
Spain will set up camp in the town of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré on the southern coast of the island of Île de Ré at the Hotel Atalante Relais Thalasso & Spa. Vicente Del Bosque, the manager, will surely be hoping for a change in his team’s (mis)fortune from the last world cup where they were eliminated in the very first round. The tranquility provided at the hotel should do them good in their preparation.
The hotel is a 4-star resort that exemplifies the town it is located in. With around 3000 people, it’s a very peaceful place tucked far away from the everyday hustle and bustle. The Spanish team players, some of whom have played in the showpiece Champions league final on the 28th of May, should enjoy the calmness and serenity the resort provides. With a beach and a vineyard just a short walk away, along with a spa and a tennis lawn, the players are at no dearth of options for stress alleviation and leisure activities.
England – Auberge du Jeu de Paume, Chantilly
England will be staying at the ultra-luxurious 5 star hotel Auberge du Jen de Paume in Chantilly and using the training facilities of the local club US Chantilly as they look to secure their first international tournament in 50 years. The expensive hotel, with about 92 rooms and a Michelin star restaurant serving some of the best french cuisine, was exclusively booked out for the English team.
The rooms of the footballers overlook the grand stables of Chantilly offering activities like horseback riding and polo. The city is also home to the Condé Museum which has the largest collection of paintings in France after the Louvre. The surrounding Chantilly forest, with its many natural attractions, will likely give the players with the necessary respite from the burden of expectations they have leading up-to kickoff, while the Edwardian style furniture and the beautiful English garden will make the players feel right at home. Who knows, staying at the hotel might actually work in the team’s favour!
Belgium – The Golf du Médoc, Bordeaux
The dark horses of the 2014 world cup, Belgium are pegged as the fifth favourite owing to their junior experience compared to the teams they’re up against, but there is a lot of talent and potential. We can only bet they’re hoping for a change of luck as they begin their preparation from the Golf du Médoc in Bordeaux.
The hotel, as the name suggests, has two golf courses nestled within the premises. It should prove popular among players who enjoy Golf as their Golf courses are ranked among the best in Continental Europe. Adjacent to the hotel are the famous vineyards of Bordeaux offering wine tasting sessions, and within a ten minute drive to the west of the hotel lies a spectacular beach. Le Spa, the onsite Spa, offers massages, reflexology and a Turkish steam-bath called the Hammam. So when you see the Red Devils storm on field for their first match you’ll know what to attribute to their rejuvenated, youthful complexion.
Italy – Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Montpellier
It goes without saying that Antonio Conte, the outgoing Italian manager, wants to leave on a high by winning the tournament before taking up reigns at Chelsea FC in August. The beginnings of his quest for the title can be traced to the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Montpellier.
The hotel is situated at the heart of Montpellier next to the city hall and provides a range of adventure sports like kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and water-skiing. While the players will refrain from attempting any of the above to avoid potential injuries prior to the tournament, they might, however, opt for sauna, squash, table tennis and the like, for recreation and revitalization purposes. Designed by the architect, Jean Nouvel, this ultra- modern hotel provides spacious rooms with plush furniture and all the latest services and facilities you might expect at a modern luxury hotel.