With the first glimpses of spring sunshine starting to eke their way through the last dregs of winter gloom, thoughts inevitably turn to this year’s holiday plans. Liz Simpson, editor of boutique accommodation website i-escape.com, has shared her top tips exclusively with House of Coco, revealing some of the coolest European hideaways for stylish spring escapes.
Son Jaumell, Mallorca (above)
This romantic hotel sits on the unspoilt northeast tip of Mallorca, in a gorgeous country setting with big views. The utter peacefulness of the place is its main attraction, but close behind are exceptional food, beautiful bedrooms and a sparkling pool lined with double daybeds. It’s hard to tear yourself away, but do so for an afternoon; borrow a bike, cycle down country lanes to a hidden beach, then swim in turquoise seas or bask on the golden sand with a cold beer. Heaven. Prices start from £188 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
The beaches of the Costa Smeralda are the stuff of glossy magazines, and this elegant hotel is a great base for exploring them all. Not that you’ll want to leave; we spent happy days by the pool, gazing out at fabulous views and soaking up the tranquillity, before dining on fresh seafood in the restaurant. Book a suite and you’ll get a private plunge pool, too. Prices start from £110 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
This chic hotel sits just above the loveliest beach on Corsica. Stroll through shady pine trees to 6km of golden sand and clear blue water stretching south to Sardinia. The bars and restaurants are full of beautiful people, and you can hire a speedboat to explore this magical coast. The hotel is seriously attractive too, with a cool pool, the best food on the island, and breakfasts on the terrace. A great place to do nothing at all. Prices start from £138 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
Les Hamaques, Catalonia, Spain
Walking into this bijou guesthouse, with its whitewashed walls and boho styling, is like walking into an interior design magazine. A former barn, it opens onto a peaceful garden filled with lavender and hydrangeas, and the 5 bedrooms are light and airy, with shabby-chic furnishings. It’s close to the seaside for beautiful beaches, and to vineyards for tastings, but we spent most of our time lazing in hammocks and swimming in the pretty lap pool. Great value, too. Prices start from £95 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
This sleek white sanctuary for 4-6 in the green hills of northern Crete is an ideal place to come with friends or as a family. Pristine interiors are matched with huge windows and underfloor cooling; the gorgeous pool is a godsend in Crete’s heat. There are British caretakers who can cook for you (handily, they are both chefs!), or you can self-cater in the top-spec kitchen. Prices start from £176 per night (villa only) with i-escape.com.
The peaceful, pine-scented island of Brac is an easy 45-minute ferry ride from Split, but a world away in terms of escapism. This small boutique hotel is on the edge of the main town, built from traditional Brac stone with a decked pool. All 11 rooms have spacious terraces overlooking a garden of olive trees and lavender bushes, with fabulous sea views as a backdrop, and you can self-cater or walk to wonderful seafood restaurants. Prices start from £171 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
We adore the understated luxury of this rural estate, complete with a signature scent, infinity pool and divine restaurant. It’s remarkably good value though, all things considered, so you’d be more than justified in a few spa treatments (Diamond Life Infusion Facial, anyone?). The famous Cova d’en Xoroi cliff bar nearby is the spot for sunset drinks. Prices start from £130 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
If you want plenty of pampering and style, this urban-chic waterfront hotel is your ticket. There’s an Elemis spa with therapies galore, plus an immaculate pool with perfectly rolled orange towels. The Italian food is innovative, the cocktails moreish, and the main terrace comes alive every evening to Ibiza-meets-Brazil tunes and buzzy chatter. Limassol’s clubs are quick cab ride away. Prices start from £132 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
Tranquil escapism but within 20 minutes of glamorous Cannes, this clifftop hotel is a real treat. The Riviera’s blue sea shimmers in the sun below, and the chic Moroccan interiors are some of the nicest we’ve seen. Spend peaceful, lazy days by the pool or snoozing on one of the double Balinese daybeds in the garden, then head for the restaurant; L’Or Bleu is a foodie’s dream. Prices start from £190 per room per night (accommodation only) with i-escape.com.
Seriously sexy, this beachside hotel oozes style. Sun worshippers will be in heaven stretching out on a poolside futon or chilling on the beach, a minute’s walk away. And if you’re a night owl, even better; a 10-minute taxi ride will whisk you into town for the famous club scene. Prices start from £212 per room per night (B&B) with i-escape.com.
To book any of the above properties, please visit www.i-escape.com.