50 amazing mini-moon hotels in Europe

Savvy newyleds are driving a growing trend for mini-moons, whereby the happy couple go away immediately after their wedding for a few days before honeymooning in an exotic location at a later date to save on costs. It also means they’re not tied to honeymooning in the season in which they married. 

Our experts have picked the best places to stay for newlyweds to laze about in the rosy-hued days of romance following their nuptials – or to just catch up on some much-needed sleep. From cycling around bucolic vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants with rooms, to private boat trips and private infinity pools, we’ve got all bases covered – including destinations within a direct four-hour flight and easy transfers. 

ITALY

Tuscany


Hotel Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole, Italy

Hotel Il Pellicano

Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This spring-to-autumn haven of dolce vita luxury has always been a clubbish, word-of-mouth kind of place. Now, under the dynamic management of designer Marie-Louise Sciò, the hotel has refined its service, become a Michelin-starred gourmet haven and added a spa without losing its insider cachet. The nearby town of Porto Ercole is a magnet for the Roman and Florentine yachtie set, but Il Pellicano takes its distance – standing in majestic natural seclusion amid stone pines and cypresses with breathtaking sunset views. The 50 rooms and suites are divided between the the Pompeii-red central building and the beautifully tended gardens. There’s a small but well-run spa, a tennis court and its own heated seawater pool. Be sure to order a cocktail made by Italy’s best bartender.

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£
579
per night
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Monteverdi Tuscany, Sarteano, Tuscany, Italy

Monteverdi Tuscany

Sarteano, Tuscany, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Consider it a dream project: an American lawyer falls in love with Tuscany, buys up most of a small village, and turns it into a rural idyll. His vision was spot on. While preserving the exterior façades, interior designer Ilaria Miani has brought a sense of light and modernity without sacrificing the building’s authenticity. The terraced gardens are just as charming: a lap pool is bordered by lavender bushes and fig and olive trees. In addition to the amenities (spa, restaurant, gallery, bars), there are also many events planned seasonally—a lecture by Wes Anderson before a film screening, say, or a classical concert in the village church—itineraries can also include wine tastings at local vineyards, guided tours of Etruscan ruins, and even a day in Florence. Go for room number 9 with a fireplace and stand alone bathtubs.

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£
506
per night
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Vignamaggio, Chianti, Tuscany

Vignamaggio

Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

This noble Renaissance villa sits lordly in Italian gardens and vine-clad hills, overlooking a serene landscape that (legend has it) inspired Leonardo da Vinci. Many will know it as the romantic setting for Kenneth Branagh’s film ‘Much Ado about Nothing’. It was the 14th-century home of the Mona Lisa’s ancestors and is one of the oldest wine estates in Chianti; even the villa walls have faded to a mellow Rosé. Facilities include two pools (edged with those dreamy views), tennis courts and a small spa with whirlpool tub and Turkish bath. There are hiking paths that wind through the estate’s vineyards and woodland; complimentary bikes; cooking lessons and horse riding. The restaurant enjoys heavenly views from its terrace, and its farm-to-table policy means much of the produce comes from the surrounding organic estate. Opt for a room in the Casolese farmhouse, done up in a Scandi-Tuscan style.

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£
181
per night
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il sereno, lake como, italy

Il Sereno

Lake Como, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Leading Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola is behind the hotel’s sober architecture and contemporary interiors. The building was constructed using natural materials, including stone, wood and copper, and local artisans were called in to make the custom-designed furnishings. At the centre of the main garden is an infinity pool with gazebos and sun loungers, a small sandy beach can be found down by the lake shore, plus a spa with a hot tub which overlooks the lake. Guests can rent the hotel’s two all-wood Riva motorboats, with or without a driver, while the Vaporina del Lago water limousine shuttles guests around the lake. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the 30 suites ensure beautiful views, and waterfront terraces have cushioned chairs. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves Italian dishes with a contemporary touch.

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£
755
per night
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Villa Làrio Lake Como, Lake Como, Italian Lakes, Italy

Villa Làrio Lake Como

Lake Como, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Villa Larios is secluded and private, spread out on a hillside more than 160ft above the lake, offering jaw-dropping vistas. From the lakeside road a lift descends to the main villa, which is flanked by a leafy terraced garden with infinity pool looking out over the water. From here a second lift goes down to the lakefront garden from where it’s possible to stroll into the tiny village of Pognana Lario – no tourists here, just the occasional resident strolling the front. The villa has a private jetty, and boat hire and water taxis can be organised. With only six suites, guests feel as if they have most of the place to themselves. The restaurant serves delicious, hearty homemade cooking inspired by Italy’s regions.

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£
500
per night
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Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

Lake Garda, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This exclusive hotel, set in eight-acre grounds on the western shore of Lake Garda, is located in a historic 19th-century villa which was once the home of Mussolini and his family during the Republic of Salò. Interiors have been lavishly restored and feature frescoed ceilings, Venetian mirrors and Art Nouveau lamps. The manicured gardens are home to olive, ancient oak and magnolia trees, and there’s a limonaia (tiered lemon garden) dating back to the 1800s. There’s also an outdoor heated swimming pool and a croquet green. With a staff ratio of 3:1, the service is outstanding. Tailor-made boat trips around the lake can be organised. Rooms in the main villa have original antiques and cream-coloured draperies; guesthouses are more contemporary. The two Michelin-starred restaurant serves exceptional Italian cuisine and fresh lake fish.

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£
933
per night

il san pietro di positano, amalfi coast, italy

Il San Pietro di Positano

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Carved into the sheer rock face like something out of a James Bond movie and hidden from prying eyes , il San Pietro lies a few bends in the road east of Positano. All around there is the deep, blue sea. Just about anything you could possibly wish for is on site, and for a zip up the coast, one of the hotel’s private boats will pick you up from the jetty. There is a bar with a spectacular terrace, a gourmet restaurant, fabulous terraced gardens and, on sea level, a private ‘beach’, a tennis court, spa and restaurant. The bedrooms and suites tumble down the cliff-side in a series of flower-bedecked terraces; each has its own private outside space, some of which are enormous. All have extraordinary sea vistas, some even from the bath.

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£
428
per night
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Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast

Monastero Santa Rosa

Conca dei Marini, Amalfi Coast, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

From its perch atop a sheer, rocky outcrop, just outside the quiet the village of Conca dei Marini and aloof from the day-trippers down on the coast, the Santa Rosa enjoys a magnificent location. Its creation is down to one woman, American Bianca Sharma, who bought the vast, clifftop building after spying it from a boat. She spared no expense in transforming the 17th-century monastery into a stylish and cocooning hotel, while fully respecting the building’s origins. As you would expect, there’s everything you are likely to need on site; fabulous terraced gardens with a heated infinity pool that seems suspended over the water; a huge spa (one of the biggest and best on the costiera); an outdoor gym with a view; shuttle bus service to and from Amalfi. The dining terrace – suspended high over the sea – is a supremely romantic spot for dinner. Expect superlative renditions of coastal cuisine.

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£
570
per night
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Le Sirenuse, Positano

Le Sirenuse

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Built into the steep southwest-facing side of Positano, the hotel’s oxblood-coloured facade is high enough to command excellent sea views, while being within a 10-minute walk (down lots of steps) to the resort’s dark-sand beach. An eclectic collection of antique furniture and art helps the hotel retain its atmosphere of the private home it originally was, though over time it has conjoined with neighbouring houses to become a warren of rooms and public areas on several floors. A compact pool terrace has outdoor loungers and is shaded by lemon trees. Nearly all 58 rooms are unfussy, whitewashed with tiled floors, classical prints and highly-polished, antique furniture. The Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant is about as romantic as a dining room can possibly be. Entirely lit by 400 candles it has creeper-clad walls, stiff white tablecloths and views over the twinkling lights and sea.

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£
914
per night
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Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Bellevue Syrene

Sorrento, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

A hotel in grand Italian style with a fresh, modern approach and a spectacular Vesuvius-facing location. Sorrento’s lidos, accessible via a lift, lie just below and a 10-minute walk down a narrow, cobbled lane brings you to the fishing village of Marina Grande. Inside, its cool marble hallways and dazzling white paintwork offset museum-worthy antique pieces, Murano chandeliers, modern art and photography and colourful, quirky ceramics. There’s a private bathing deck with sea access at the bottom of the cliff and a small pool with sun loungers on an upper terrace. Only two out of the 50 bedrooms miss out on sea views. The huge, sexy Suite Roccia is hewn out of solid tufa rock and features a hydrotherapy pool in the bedroom and the Suite Pompeiana comes with a vast bathroom and whirlpool tub looking out to sea.

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£
285
per night
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Relais Blu, Massa Lubrense, Campania, Italy

Relais Blu

Massa Lubrense, Sorrento, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

As a ‘get-away-from-it-all’ location, this spot close to the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula is perfect. The sweeping views that take in Capri, the wide curve of the Bay of Naples and the looming bulk of Vesuvius are extraordinary. On arrival, you may be forgiven for wondering why the place isn’t called ‘Relais White’ – but step out onto the terrace and get an eyeful of the deep blue sea that plays wraparound backdrop, and the name makes perfect sense. Wide terraces on different levels offer private corners for relaxing, while there’s an infinity pool at the top of the property, plus a small spa and a hot tub on a sea-facing terrace. Boats can be hired and if you want a day at Capitan (sic) Cook’s laid-back beach club, staff will arrange for you to be picked up in a tiny Piaggio van. All rooms have sea views and all but two have private gardens or large terraces. The Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the hotel’s highlights.

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£
212
per night
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Masseria Trapana, Puglia

Masseria Trapanà

Surbo, Puglia, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

The restoration of 16th-century Trapanà has remained faithful to the bones of the old masseria. The original taupe, tufo stone and arched ceilings are modernised through the use of glass walls, fresh flower displays, thick-pile colourful rugs, coffee-table books, snazzy Moroccan cushions and music blaring out across the main courtyard all day. Six walled gardens, verdant with cacti, ferns and more than 500 orange and lemon trees, are dotted with colourful hammocks, a fire pit and croquet lawn. The serene swimming pool is surrounded by large daybeds and shaded by plum trees – and there’s a pool phone should you require a cocktail. All rooms have arched ceilings and stone walls, which keep them cool in summer, though there are fireplaces and underfloor heating for autumnal nights. All but two have outdoor bathtubs. Expect a menu of the region’s deliciously simple cucina povera (‘peasant cooking’).

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£
214
per night
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Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy

Borgo Egnazia

Fasano, Puglia, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Constructed entirely from the local tufa stone, you could be forgiven for thinking the imposing Borgo Egnazia has history. It doesn’t: it was built from scratch. Every detail is an ode to Puglia, from the artworks based on the symbols on trulli roofs to the waft of lemons in reception. The estate is divided into three: the stately La Corte, which opens out to two tiered swimming pools; the maze-like Il Borgo (‘The Village’, with a family pool, piazza and rows of duplex townhouses); and 30 outlying villas, each with a private pool. Escape for a Vair spa treatment, learn to make orrecchiette pasta or local pottery, play tennis, golf, take up windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking or just peg out at one of the resort’s two private beaches or three outdoor pools. The five restaurants put a strong emphasis on traditional local cooking.

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£
166
per night
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Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, Sicily, Italy

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

The hotel is set on its own private stretch of beach surrounded by lush gardens. A cable car connects the seaside district to the town of Taormina. The hotel was once a private villa, and has retained the charm of a residence; it exudes classic understated elegance. Fresh, contemporary décor gives way to breathtaking vistas in communal areas. Facilities include a heated infinity pool, use of the private beach with sun loungers and parasols, and a complimentary boat cruise (mid-May to mid-September). Water sports are available too, including paddle-surfing that can be combined with yoga meditation. The hotel organises Vintage Fiat 500 and Ape Calessino tours. Most rooms have balconies or terraces with lovely views of the bay; some look onto the sub-tropical gardens.

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£
314
per night
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Monaci delle Terre Nere hotel, Mount Etna, Sicily

Monaci delle Terre Nere

Zafferana Etnea, Sicily, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

With its sapient design mix, organic food, stellar wine list and verdant grounds, Monaci delle Terre Nere appeals most of all to those in need of some rural detox. It’s halfway between Taormina and Catania, high up on the eastern skirts of Etna. Many guests go nowhere but spend their days lounging by the pool, a cool blue splash amidst citrus and olive groves. The 13 rooms in the main house and a series of outbuildings are stylish dens, some with wood-burning stoves, exposed lavastone walls and weathered ceiling beams (like the theatrical Amabile suite), others fresh and bright, with contemporary artworks playing off against Sicilian antiques. Rooms have no televisions or phones – a deliberate choice, as the experience is all about tuning into nature. Much of the food served is grown right on the estate.

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£
220
per night
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Capo d'Orso, Sardinia

Capo d’Orso

Palau, Sardinia, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This five-star hotel is relaxing and romantic, overlooking the Maddalena archipelago in Sardinia’s Gallura region which is famous for its distinctive pink granite rock. There are three beaches, including the beautiful, often deserted, Cala Selvaggia. Facilities are impressive, from the swimming pool on the rocks with five floating wooden sunbathing platforms to the well-equipped Thalasso spa with three pools, a hammam with a sea view, and dozens of treatments, many using sea water. There’s a tennis court, a nine-hole golf course, fishing trips, daily yoga, snorkelling and paddle boarding. The Delphina Express (a skippered speedboat) makes daily excursions to the archipelago and Porto Cervo (10 minutes away). There are free daily bus trips to Palau, which also has a night market. Food is a creative take on traditional Galluran recipes, such as fregola (local pasta) with clams.

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£
161
per night

FRANCE

Provence and the Cote d’Azur


Villa La Coste hotel, Provence

Villa La Coste

Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, Provence, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

This destination design hotel is as curated as the open-air art museum that envelops it. Come for peace, privacy, perfect food and organic wine on tap. The quietly contemporary architecture is fifty shades of pale, pared-down Provence. From the Villa’s heated outdoor pool on the edge of the vineyard, it is a short stroll down to the Chateau’s mirrored lake, complete with a bespoke Louise Bourgeois sculpture of a crouching spider. Provence never looked cooler than on this beguiling art trail which includes pieces by Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry. The 28 spacious, sun-drenched villa suites come with secret courtyards, terraces and picture windows framing the vineyards – the top suites boast plunge pools. The spa serves up almost edible massages of lavender, jasmine, olives and apricots. Louison, a lovely glass box suspended over a moated pool, is the signature restaurant overseen by three Michelin-starred chef Gérald Passedat.

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£
677
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Chateau Saint-Martin hotel, Vence, Cote d'Azur

Château Saint-Martin & Spa

Vence, Côte d’Azur, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

No-holds-barred elegance since the 12th century. It’s elegantly marooned above the Riviera’s hoi polloi but within striking distance of Nice, Antibes and Cannes, and just a five-minute drive from the historic centre of Vence. Staff truly know their onions, from the voiturier (who will show you a shortcut to Matisse’s final masterpiece, the nearby Chapelle du Rosaire) to the masseurs (who will offer up an informal health check in a pine-scented cabana just outside the spa). The olive-ringed infinity pool shouts: “I have truly arrived”. All guestrooms are big, and every bathroom is panelled with more marble than a Florentine chapel. For balconies and sea views upgrade to one of the 35 suites. The signature Saint-Martin restaurant serves astoundingly modern takes on Sisteron lamb, Provençal pigeon and locally-landed red mullet.

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£
242
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La Coquillade, Gargas, France

La Coquillade

Gargas, Provence, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

Few addresses cocoon guests in the peace, tranquility and perfumed lavender fields of Provence like this glamorous golden hamlet in the Luberon hills. Several hilltop villages are an easy bike ride or drive away: the ochre-coloured Roussillon, chateau-crowned Lacoste and pretty Bonnieux. The spacious estate is so well-designed that you really do feel romantically alone in your very own cottage straight off a Provence postcard. The state-of-the-art spa is outstanding, as is the BMC Cycling Centre, which rents top-of-the-range mountain and road bikes. Other facilities include tennis courts, two swimming pools and pétanque, not to mention 36 hectares of vineyards. In July and August bistro dining is around a wood-fired grill with tables beneath vine-draped pergolas – utterly magical.

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£
250
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La Reserve Ramatuelle, Côte d'Azur, France

La Réserve Ramatuelle

Côte d’Azur, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

This high-end hideaway lies within a gated enclave surrounded by woodland and countryside, just 20 minutes’ drive (but a world away) from lively St Tropez. Retro architecture and contemporary interiors create an avant-garde aesthetic that’s all the more striking for being set amidst lavender bushes and pencil-thin cypress trees. An excellent spa (with indoor pool) is hewn from the rocks beneath the hotel and offers treatments and wellness packages specialising in weight loss and better ageing. Outside there’s a pool with ample space for lounging. Complimentary transfers are available to St Tropez, Ramatuelle and the beach. Dinner proudly showcases the restaurant’s Michelin-starred stature, with every dish an edible work of art.

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£
771
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Les Prés d’Eugénie, France

Les Prés d’Eugénie

Eugénie-les-Bains, Aquitaine, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

A temple to fine living, this spa hotel on a country estate in southwest France is a once-in-a-lifetime must. Triple Michelin-starred chef Michel Guérard caters to hedonists and uber-healthy gourmets alike. The hotel has a heated outdoor pool, cookery school and bikes to borrow. But the heart-stealer is the luxurious Ferme Thermale spa sourced from Eugénie’s hot thermal springs. To stay here and not soak in a citrus milk bath by an open fire, or the spa’s signature silky white mud, would be a crime. The 20 elegant suites and 25 rooms, bejewelled with the family’s art collection, languish in the main house, which dates to 1863, and two historic outbuildings (an inn and a convent). The restaurant’s gastronomic menu includes wine from Michel’s very own chateau, four miles from the hotel.

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£
302
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La Co(o)rniche, Pyla-sur-Mer, Aquitaine

La Co(o)rniche

Pyla-sur-Mer, Aquitaine, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

This ravishing boutique getaway is the height of seaside sophistication. Philippe Starck’s bold white interior evokes local oyster farming, and Europe’s highest sand dune looms large as next-door neighbour. The public beach is a short walk – if you can drag yourself away from the impossibly stylish infinity pool with cushioned sun loungers and incredible sea views. There is a spa and reception staff can arrange boat taxis, seafaring picnics, visits to local oyster farms, bike rental and more. There are 11 spacious rooms in the main building and 18 cabins inspired by oyster fishermen cabanes in the adjoining ‘village’. Think succulent seafood platters, Arcachon oysters and other local produce for dinner.

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£
491
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Les Sources de Caudile, B
ordeaux

Les Sources de Caudalie

Léognan, Aquitaine, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

Les Sources de Caudalie is the birthplace of one of France’s staple skincare brands. The hamlet-like retreat, located on a centuries-old vineyard, is a celebration of French joie de vivre. The rustic chic buildings look as if they have been here for centuries but were in fact specially built using massive old beams, bought from abandoned historic buildings in the area. Sixty-one rooms and suites, housed across eight different ivy-covered houses, follow different styles, from rich country houses to fisherman-inspired suites. The vinotherapy spa (which uses products made with the waste from the vines) features 20 treatment rooms, an indoor spring-water pool, a whirlpool tub and a hammam. A couple of wooden platforms – one overlooking the long-form outdoor pool; the other overlooking the vines – are welcome sun traps. The culinary offering spans Michelin star to traditional bistro.

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£
205
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Château de la Treyne, Dordogne

Château de la Treyne

Dordogne, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

With an unbelievably magical setting, this turreted fairytale chateau is the belle of the ball. It has history, it has drama, it has magnificent views of the Dordogne River – and that is only the beginning. It also has a heated infinity pool, tennis court, Romanesque chapel and beautiful garden with century-old cedar trees. But what really stands out is the overwhelming graciousness, passion and enthusiasm of charismatic owner Stéphanie (an expert at crafting bespoke tourist itineraries for her guests) and her dedicated team. Several rooms have four-poster beds and striking original features: an incredible Gothic woodwork ceiling, a painted vaulted ceiling, a 14th-century spider web of exposed beams, polished Versailles parquet. Michelin-starred chef Stéphane Andrieux looks after lunch and dinner, with creative variations on a seasonal, regional cuisine.

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£
140
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The best hotels in Dordogne

Île de Ré


Hotel de Toiras, île de Ré, France

Hotel de Toiras

Saint-Martin-de-Ré, Île de Ré, France

8
Telegraph expert rating

Hôtel de Toiras has been designed with such passion for local history and unerring attention to detail that it is undoubtedly one of the island’s grandest addresses. The windows of this 17th-century shipbuilder’s residence look out on to the Unesco-protected fortifications of Saint-Martin’s harbour. Nowhere could be more convenient for bars, restaurants, boutiques and boat trips out to sea. The reception sets the royalty-chic tone straight away, with its delicate blue chinoiseries, deep-set sofas and a fireplace by which a ravishing cat purrs quietly before setting off for a scrap of fish from the kitchens. A swimming pool is open to guests in the hotel’s sister address, Villa Clarisse. Each of the rooms pays homage to a personality of the island’s history. La Table d’Olivia makes a point of serving only the freshest of local produce to complement the wine from the owners’ vineyards in Bordeaux.

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£
220
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The best hotels in Île de Ré

SPAIN

Majorca 


Cap Rocat, Majorca, Spain

Cap Rocat

Cala Blava, Majorca, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

This romantic 19th-century fortress has been transformed into a sumptuous pleasure palace. It’s around 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, right by the sea on a headland in a nature reserve at the eastern end of the sweeping Bay of Palma. The fortress, in the honey-toned local marés sandstone, was dug into the cliff at the end of the 19th century and was transformed in 2010 into the sumptuous sanctuary it is today. As the name suggests, the coastline below Cap Rocat is rocky, which means clear water that is ideal for snorkelling. When you emerge, there will be a mojito waiting for you at a sunbed next to the rocks or by the saltwater infinity pool. Afterwards, head to the spa housed in a former limestone water deposit. Opt for the Sentinel suites, which are set into the cliff away from the main buildings, with their own plunge pools and sea view from the bed.

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£
858
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Hotel Can Simoneta, Majorca

Hotel Can Simoneta

Canyamel, Majorca, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Commanding spectacular views of the Bay of Canyamel, the adult-only, five-star Can Simoneta boutique hotel enjoys a dramatic position aloft high cliffs. Comprising three historic stone-built properties, it is the ultimate romantic and tranquil hideaway by the sea. In the hotel’s gardens there is a wellness centre tucked away in the trees, as well as steam and sauna wood cabins. Aside from its own private access to Canyamel beach where it has Café Arenal, a winding stone staircase carved into the cliff gives onto a secluded cove with a natural rock pool whirlpool tub, exclusive to hotel guests. There are two swimming pools and open-air whirlpool tubs in the grounds. There are 28 individually designed bedrooms. The luxury Gran Neptuno Suite housed in a bijoux cottage has its own pool and garden.

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£
336
per night
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biniarroca, menorca, spain

Biniarroca Rural Hotel

Sant Lluis, Menorca, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

All white walls, lush bougainvillea, rustic charm and elegant styling, Biniarroca is an 18th-century farmhouse fabulously reimagined as a tranquil adults-only country retreat, just outside Mahón. Stone arches and classical statues weave through gardens to this whitewashed farmhouse, stylishly converted by a British former fashion designer without losing its country charm. There are two blissfully peaceful jade-hued pools, the largest fringed by flowers, loungers, a hammock and a low-key café-bar with shady tables. Classic rooms are mostly in the old farmhouse, and some have private terraces. A bougainvillea-draped terrace hosts the excellent restaurant, which specialises in updated Mediterranean and Menorcan cuisine using local produce and home-grown herbs and vegetables.

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Hotel Torralbenc, Menorca, Spain

Torralbenc

Cala’n Porter, Menorca, Spain

8
Telegraph expert rating

This four-star hotel is a couple of miles inland in the south-east of the island, a 10-minute drive from the airport. Traditional Menorcan dry-stone walls and olive trees set the tone for a series of white buildings dressed in natural tones and floaty fabrics. Stylishly smooth rather than full-on rustic, and on the smart side of the boho-ometer, Torralbenc is a masterclass in modern Mediterranean good taste. There is a 25-metre, unchlorinated outdoor pool and a Natura Bissé spa. There are 27 rooms distributed around the main house and several former stables or outhouses, all now transformed into light, airy spaces with beamed ceilings, chestnut furniture and sandstone floors. Bathrooms have separate showers and baths, with toiletries in tiny carafes scented with locally grown rosemary. All have terraces, many with sea views.

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£
256
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Atzaró, Santa Eularia des Riu, Ibiza, Spain

Atzaró

Santa Eularia des Riu, Ibiza, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Atzaró has set the standard for luxury agroturismos in Ibiza. The authentic elements of the 300-year-old finca have been restored (think thick white walls, natural Sabina wood beams and rustic antique furniture) while maintaining its five-star appeal. The lush 10-acre grounds are incredibly spacious, with many areas to relax. There’s the open-air spa, which has a sauna, hammam, and a menu of massages and Natura Bissé facials. And then there’s the elegant, main pool area, which features sprawling lawns dotted with daybeds. All of the rooms have teak four-poster beds with white cotton linens; many have a terrace, plunge pool and garden. Dinner, which attracts guests from all over the island, is served in the courtyard restaurant with dramatic, draping vines, palm trees and fragrant hibiscus and jasmine plants.

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133
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Ca Na Xica, Ibiza, Spain

Ca Na Xica

San Miquel de Balansat, Ibiza, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Ca Na Xica is all about luxury in a bucolic, countryside setting. The main reception house was built in the style of a traditional Spanish finca, while the pool area, restaurant and 20 rooms feel airy and tastefully contemporary. The main areas are navigable via wide paths set in the natural red gravel native to the island; many are lined with prickly pear cacti that bear red fruit late in the season. Large terraces overlooking the countryside, sweeping fields of grass, and a warm beige colour scheme – punctuated only by the crisp turquoise of the pool – ties everything together. The Premier suites are spacious and quiet, with plenty of seating and relaxation space thanks to a large lounge and private terrace – some of which offer direct access to the Ibiza countryside. A glass-fronted shower with Campos de Ibiza amenities overlooks a groomed garden of stones, bamboo and ferns.

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168
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Hotel Mas Lazuli, Costa Brava

Hotel Mas Lazuli

Pau, Catalonia, Spain

8
Telegraph expert rating

With an infinity pool, palm trees, exotic flowers and wonderful views across to the coast, this whitewashed boutique hotel is a stylish Mediterranean getaway, set amid vineyards and olive groves. It’s less than half an hour’s drive from Cadaqués, and there are numerous wineries to visit nearby. Furnishings are contemporary, with modern art on the walls including pastiches of Lichtenstein, Warhol and Mondrian. There’s also a very small spa space with a whirlpool tub and Turkish baths. Each of the 17 rooms is slightly different but all feature whitewashed walls; high, white, wood-beamed ceilings; and artfully displayed objets on shelves. The restaurant, which uses many products from the hotel’s own orchards, serves smart Catalan cuisine with Asian and French influences.

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£
176
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Hotel Castell d'Emporda, Costa Brava, Spain

Hotel Castell d’Emporda

La Bisbal, Catalonia, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

This 14th-century castle, perched on a hilltop just outside the ceramic-making town of La Bisbal, has been lovingly converted into a tasteful hotel with spectacular rural views. The Dutch owner, Albert Diks, has managed to maintain the original Rapunzel-like character of the castle while also making the whole place feel beautifully contemporary. There’s a gorgeous mix of Indian silks, Moroccan floor-tiles, Far-Eastern antiques and show-stopping glass chandeliers. Go for a room in the main castle with original rough-hewn stone walls. The hotel’s main restaurant, Drac, is a destination in itself, serving local Catalan classics with a contemporary twist. For informal lunch and snacks, there’s the Tres Margarit poolside bar with stunning views over the local countryside.

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£
86
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Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa

Malaga, Andalucia, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Finca Cortesín is an Andalusian idyll of soothing luxury where jasmine and roses scent the air. It has sweeping views down to the Mediterranean and across the countryside. The white, traditional-style complex looks like a very tastefully converted convent, or a grand Andalusian country house, but in fact the whole thing was built in the last decade. Fragrant gardens surround the two outdoor pools, which are lined with emerald tiles. One is 30-metres long with a childrens’ pool; a short stroll brings you to the more private adults-only 50-metre pool. There is another gorgeous pool at Finca Cortesín’s rather cool beach club (there is a shuttle service to run you down there). The spa features a snow cave and plunge pool. There’s a Mediterranean, Italian and raw restaurant.

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£
379
per night
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Casa La Siesta, Cadiz, Spain

Casa La Siesta

Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Casa La Siesta, tucked into rolling farmland, is seven miles from Vejer de la Frontera, a hilltop pueblo blanco (white village). This part of the Costa de la Luz is famed for its beaches, which include Conil and El Palmar – both a 20-minute drive away. When you step into the hotel it is as if you are entering into a centuries-old farmhouse, achieved through the careful sourcing of reclaimed materials and an impressive eye for design and detail. A host of activities can be arranged, including sherry bodega tours, horse-riding and cycling. Massages are available in a Mongolian-style yurt. Outside, amongst olive and fruits trees, you’ll find chill-out areas and a lawn-lined pool (heated in spring/autumn). The seven rooms, set around the courtyard, are spacious and beautifully styled. Food is central to life, where the focus is on fresh dishes based on local produce, such as ibérico ham, served with herbs and vegetables grown on-site.

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£
284
per night
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The best hotels in Andalucia

Basque Country


Akelarre, San Sebastian

Akelarre

San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Pedro Subijana’s three Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms overlooks the Bay of Biscay just outside San Sebastián. This is a place for lovers of food, wine, art and architecture. Studio Mecanismo has sourced top-quality natural materials to create sensual, spacious interiors, while panoramic windows frame the ever mutating colours and moods of the landscape and the sea to create living works of art. The smart spa, with curved walls and a calm atmosphere, has three treatment rooms and a stone pool with hydromassage jets, a marble steam room and a sauna. Rooms each have a glass wall, so all have spectacular sea views from both inside and from the slate terraces that run the length of each space. People come from all over the world to eat here. Most people choose one of the three eight-course tasting menus. Exquisite dishes include hake in seaweed steam with plankton and oyster leaf and roast suckling pig.

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£
347
per night
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The best hotels in San Sebastián

GREECE

Santorini


Perivolas, Santorini, Cyclades, Greece

Perivolas

Santorini, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

The hotel that put Oia on the map and spawned countless imitators, Perivolas is in a league of its own. Minimalist suites carved from the cliffs are almost as dazzling as the sea views It’s on the edge of Oia, poised on Santorini’s northern tip, so enjoys the celebrated sunsets without the crowds. The infinity pool is the stuff of honeymooners’ dreams. Black stone paths bursting with bright geraniums tumble down to the poolside restaurant and spa – Le Corbusier couldn’t have designed it better. Best of all, the hotel has a fleet of speedboats to whisk guests off to secret beaches, sea caves and nearby islands. Instead of classic Greek blue and white, the pale, cool ‘caves’ (rooms) are jazzed up with dashes of lilac and hot pink. The most expensive suites have their own plunge pool, steam room and private terrace.

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£
445
per night
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Katikies, Santorini

Katikies

Santorini, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

Infinity pools which blend into the sky, a candle-lit rooftop restaurant and tranquil white-washed cottages set into a cliff overlooking the volcanic Caldera and Aegean Sea make this a dreamy escape for honeymooners and romantics. The hotel’s cubist-style cottages cascade down the hillside and are interlinked by a series of bridges, steps and pools. There aren’t lots of facilities, life centres around the three infinity-edged pools here, but guests can use the A.Spa housed at its sister hotel Kirini Suites & Spa, a five-minute walk away. Each of the 34 rooms has a balcony. Rooftop candle-lit Mikrasia Restaurant has a four-course set menu of gourmet Greek fare, while the Seltz Champagne Bar offers bites like wagyu burgers and seabass ceviche. The pool bar is a lovely spot for sundowners.

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£
319
per night
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Abaton Island Resort & Spa, Hersonissos

Abaton Island Resort & Spa

Hersonissos, Crete, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

No expense has been spared in creating this sleek and classy Cycladic-style resort close to Hersonissos. The style is elegantly minimalist: low white buildings, reflected in lagoon-like water features and pools, tumble down a slope to the sea, and huge glass walls in public areas give endless sea vistas. There are two outdoor public pools, including a vast infinity pool with daybeds and wet beds. The Elemis spa is a cosy space with steam room, sauna, beauty salon and gym. A sandy cove has plenty of sun beds, although sea access, dotted with rocks, can be difficult. All rooms have balconies or terraces, and most have sea views – be sure to elect one with a private, heated, marble seawater pool. The resort has five restaurants.

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£
206
per night

Blue Palace, Elounda, Crete, Greece

Blue Palace

Elounda, Crete, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

Breathtaking views of the Cretan Sea and island of Spinalonga are a highlight of this modern, white-washed resort above a private beach. Good facilities including a spa with hammam and sauna, PADI dive centre, two tennis courts, water-sports centre, bikes and classes including yoga and pilates. Even the most basic rooms (superior bungalows) have a king-sized bed, seating area, sea view, marble bathroom and balcony. Many have private plunge pools of varying sizes. The Island Luxury Suite Sea View category is perfect for romantics: they have a four-poster bed, egg-shaped bath, patio with loungers and large pool. There are five restaurants: the best is Blue Door, a traditional Greek-style taverna set in a converted stone fisherman’s house on the water’s edge; catch of the day cooked over the grill with meze is not to be missed.

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£
207
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The best hotels in Crete

Halkidiki


Ekies All Senses, Vourvourou Bay, Halkidiki, Greece

Ekies All Senses

Vourvourou Bay, Halkidiki, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

Barefoot boho chic is the vibe at this laidback beach resort, set in striking natural surroundings overlooking a strip of sandy beach. Different architects were invited to design different areas of the hotel and there’s an Alice in Wonderland feel: parasols at the main pool are like huge lampshades; animal sculptures are dotted around the property; steps are buried in grass and lighting is imaginative. Rooms have garden or forest views. They were all created by different designers, so vary wildly in size and design – honeymooners will love the larger White suites with outdoor hot tub or the top floor, while the Penthouse Suite has a plunge-pool-sized hot tub and romantic views over the bay.The Treehouse restaurant high up in the pine trees is expensive, but worth it.

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£
216
per night
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Eagles Villas, Halkidiki, Greece

Eagles Villas

Halkidiki, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

This rather remote resort, surrounded by excellent beaches in Ouranopolis, is across a narrow bridge from sister property Eagles Palace, but has a more exclusive feel. Architects Styliandis have created a discreet complex of low stone cubes with living roofs and glass windbreaks linked by winding paths, that blend well with the scenery. Set on a steep hillside, views of the bay are breathtaking, but it’s a buggy ride (or steep walk) to the villas and restaurant near the top. The spa (shared with Eagles Palace) has a sauna, hammam, rhassoul chamber (mud baths), a salt room and a small indoor pool. There are 42 one, two or three-bedroom villas clustered on a hillside, each with a plunge pool. Lofos restaurant at the top of the resort has the best sea views.

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£
316
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The best beach hotels in Greece

PORTUGAL

The Azores


White Hotel Azores, Portugal

White

Lagoa, The Azores, Portugal

8
Telegraph expert rating

The 10 suites and striking outdoor terraces at this contemporary boutique hotel have unhindered ocean views and exude a relaxed, barefoot style of luxury. The hotel is situated in an unbeatable cliff-top location in the village of Lagoa on the Azores’ main island of Sao Miguel, a 15-minute drive from the island’s airport and the capital of Ponte Delgada. True to its name, everything from the whitewashed walls and polished concrete floors to the stone terraces surrounding the pool are brilliant white, warmed by raw wood furniture and tactile fabrics such as wool and linen. The terraces that run the length of the hotel are spectacular, whether for early-morning yoga to the sound of the waves or a cocktail by the fire pit while you watch the sunset. You can hire the hotel’s nine-metre chauffeured motor launch to explore neighbouring islands, go scuba diving or swimming in a secluded cove.

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£
174
per night
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companhia das culturas, algarve, portugal

Companhia das Culturas

Castro Marim, Algarve, Portugal

8
Telegraph expert rating

Situated on a farm on the edge of a small village in the far east of the Algarve, the location is bucolic, peaceful and far removed from traditional images of the region. The nearest beach is just under a mile away. Although all the rooms and public spaces have been adapted from former farm buildings, the style is not rural. Instead, there’s a simple, contemporary design ethos with polished concrete floors, whitewashed walls, mid-century furniture and muted colour palette. Alongside a large steam room, beautifully lit through tiny windows in the high ceiling, there’s an excellent masseuse who tailors treatments to your needs, plus an egg-shaped marble hammam. The welcoming and informed hosts offer guided walks through the farm and are passionate about local food and produce. The hotel has nine rooms and four self-catering apartments.

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£
80
per night
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Vila Joya hotel, Algarve

Vila Joya

Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

9
Telegraph expert rating

Vila Joya has the feel of a private villa and decoration follows suit, with antique furnishings and plenty of places to curl up and read. Outside, the lush gardens, filled with palms and bougainvillea, lead to the beach. The spa is superb, with Ayurvedic treatments, a steam room, hot tub and two outdoor swimming pools. Rooms vary in size and facilities. Some have a private pool or a private hot tub on the terrace. Junior suites spill out onto the garden; royal suites have a spacious sitting area with a log fire. The hotel is home to a two Michelin-starred restaurant (one of the best in Portugal): Austrian chef Dieter Koschina serves tasting menus that draws on his Central European background.

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£
281
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Farol Hotel, Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal

Farol Hotel

Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal

8
Telegraph expert rating

Like much of chic Cascais, this private villa was built in the 19th century as a summer escape by an aristocrat seeking the ocean breeze. It stands on the water’s edge, its bright white walls housing a dazzling array of bespoke rooms created by Portuguese and international fashion designers. There are cosy attic rooms and suites which have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; several also have balconies. If you book the Penthouse Suite, you will be allocated a butler and a personal chef. There is yoga in the mornings and massages available. There’s also a saltwater swimming pool between the hotel and the sea, water sport facilities nearby and hotel-organised dolphin cruises. There are two excellent dining options: The Mix serves Mediterranean dishes, while at Sushi Design, on a terrace overlooking the ocean, expect gyosas and ceviche, niguiri and hosomaki, sushi and sahsimi.

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£
147
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Sublime Comporta Country House Retreat, Comporta, Portugal

Sublime Comporta

Comporta, Alentejo, Portugal

8
Telegraph expert rating

South of Lisbon, in amongst the unspoilt sand dunes and rice fields of Comporta, lies Sublime. It’s a sleek boutique hotel filled with design-savvy details, and a breezy, welcoming atmosphere, surrounded by a 17-acre estate of Umbrella Pines and sand dunes, cork trees and wild flowers. It’s minutes away from the miles of empty, white-sand beaches and turquoise seas that make this one of Portugal’s most beautiful spots. Staff will help with restaurant bookings (try the fresh fish at Sal on a nearby beach) or riding lessons (a wonderful stables is five minutes away) across the dunes and through the foam of the sea. Otherwise, there is a spa with sauna, steam room, massage room and indoor pool. A wooden deck overlooks the outdoor pool. All 14 rooms spill out onto a private terrace and in the colder months there is a log fire.

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£
160
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CROATIA

Dubrovnik


Hotel Excelsior, Dubrovnik

Hotel Excelsior

Dubrovnik, Croatia

8
Telegraph expert rating

This historic five-star hotel is built into a hillside above the coast, overlooking the deep-blue sea and the islet of Lokrum, with with fantastic views of Dubrovnik’s medieval walls rising from the water. It’s a pleasant 10-minute walk to the Old Town. Expect cool minimalist interiors, grey walls and retro-chic furnishings: sofas, armchairs and cushions in petrol-blue, misty-pink, olive-green or mustard-yellow, potted plants and artworks featuring Dubrovnik. Down by the sea, a stone terrace with sunbeds and parasols has steps into the water for swimming. The vast spa includes a big freeform pool and whirlpools, Roman bath, Finnish sauna and theme showers. With the sparkling blue Adriatic out front, you’d do well to upgrade to Deluxe, with a sea-view balcony. Suites get stunning views onto the sea, Dubrovnik and Lokrum.

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£
123
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Villa Orsula, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Villa Orsula

Dubrovnik, Croatia

9
Telegraph expert rating

Villa Orsula is situated in a terraced garden overlooking the Adriatic and the green islet of Lokrum, a 10-minute walk along the coast from Ploče Gate, the eastern entrance into Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Built as a private residence, this 1930s Art Deco villa exudes good taste and refinement. In the lobby, three magnificent Moorish-inspired Art Deco stone arches set the mood. With just 13 rooms, it provides the sort of personalised service that only a small hotel can achieve – you’ll be treated more as a dear friend than a guest. From the fragrant garden, steep stone steps lead down to a lovely bathing platform, with sun beds, beach towels and easy access into the sea. You also have the use of the outdoor pool and spa (with indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and treatment rooms) at the neighbouring Grand Villa Argentina. The best rooms are the ones with stone balconies and sublime sea views.

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£
432
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Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Aman Sveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

9
Telegraph expert rating

Effortlessly graceful and romantic, the fortified islet of Sveti Stefan rises from the deep blue Adriatic. Two completely separate and different properties are within the complex. There is the fortified island, with 50 rooms, suites and cottages in carefully renovated old-stone buildings (open summer-only); and Villa Miločer, a 1930s villa set in gardens with eight suites (open all-year). The Aman Spa, sitting in a secluded bay backed by pinewoods, has an indoor (sea-view) pool, and offers personalised health and beauty treatments, combining movement, relaxation, nutrition and custom-made products based on locally sourced wild herbs, olive oil and honey. There are three pink pebble beaches on the mainland, and two (small-ish) outdoor pools on the island.

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£
605
per night

The best hotels in Montenegro

Contributions by Ros Belford, Annie Bennett, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, Ondine Cohane, Jade Conroy, Kiki Deere, Jane Foster, Heidi Fuller-Love, Jan Fuscoe, Lisa Gerard-Sharp, Rachel Howard, Jessica Knipe, James Litson, Trish Lorenz, Mary Lussiana, Lee Marshall, Anna Nicholas, Isabella Noble, James Palmer, Tristan Rutherford, Amanda Statham, Nicky Swallow, Rebecca Tay and Nicola Williams.

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