Host Story: Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa, Fundão, Portugal

Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa, Fundão, Portugal 

Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel and Spa is a historic oasis situated in Fundão, Portugal with stunning surroundings. This luxury hotel is filled with comfort, stylish interior and characterful qualities reminiscent of the building’s rich past as the ancient monastery, Convento de Nossa Senhora do Seixo.  The Convento do Seixo offers the warmest of welcomes, a pampering spa and delicious food. You definitely can’t miss the pure relaxation of the Bodhi Spa, situated in the rustic buildings of the old workshops with a host of enlivening treatments; the finery of gourmet restaurant, Pecado, where the mouth-watering dishes embrace the Portuguese palette and the restored monastery’s flawless collection of rooms, suites and villas coming to life with rich-coloured hues and a fusion of traditional architecture and contemporary design.

The boutique hotel’s General Manager, Duarte, who keeps everything running smoothly, whilst sharing a passion for making sure both himself and his diligent front team provide a superb service with attention to the smallest of details, explains that the motivation behind this stunning retreat is its monastic past.

Suite King Deluxe, Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

“The inspiration to open the Hotel was to give a new face to an old Monastery, Convento de Nossa Senhora do Seixo, from the 16th Century. This monastery was totally in ruins, and it was a shame. We wanted to bring new life to an old monastery full of legends with a special energy. With the granitic walls in the hotel, all of them have a lot of stories to tell, old stories, but now we want those walls to tell a new history, a history of happiness, relating to experiencing a stay in this old Monastery.”

Superior Double Room, Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

Surrounded by the expansive landscape of the picturesque Gardunha Mountains and encapsulated by the natural light filling the property’s spacious rooms, suites and villas, the hotel has many tales to be told. With ancient stone walls stylishly exposed and gothic-style embellishments decorating the hotel’s windows, the Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa seamlessly preserves reminders of the past, so you can truly embrace the retreat’s traditional values.

As Duarte explains; “The Convento do Seixo dazzles, maintaining a blend of styles that range from the Manueline era to the Baroque. We hope guests will begin their journey of discovery for the architectural and archaeological heritage here. In the Hotel, we have also Camellias trees that belong to the History of the Convento and the city of Fundão itself. We can also tell you more history during the visit.”

The pool area, Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

This idyllic escape presents a striking style throughout the whole property, with an individual edge like no other. Rooms such as the Deluxe King Suite 006 are the epitome of elegance with a luxurious free-standing bathtub, a sumptuous double bed and preserved features of the monastery beautifully weaved into the overall contemporary feel.

We asked Duarte if he had a favourite room in the hotel: “My favourite room is 006 our Suite King Deluxe. This room was from the Old Kitchen of the Monastery! I love the room not only because of the decoration- a relaxing bathtub in the middle- but also because of how I feel when I enter. There is a special environment.”

Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

Food

Duarte is proud of the passionate and talented team that makes the hotel’s exceptional restaurant, Pecado, a thriving success. With the sensational culinary skills of Consulting Chef, Hugo Nascimento, the Convento do Seixo’s gastronomic menu celebrates the various tastes of Fundão, whilst using delicious local produce, proving for an irresistible experience.

“Hugo Nascimento is amazing in creating dishes from the traditional Portuguese gastronomy. His main idea is that each plate we serve allows the guest to experience a truly gastronomic “travel” through the flavours and senses from our Region.”

Having asked Duarte more about the team behind the unfaultable dining experience of Pecado, it’s clear that there is a strong sense of dedication that plays a part in the hotel’s restaurant impressing guests time and time again. From the superb presentation of the many delicious dishes to the knowledgeable palette of the hotel’s resident wine connoisseur, Pecado has it all.

“We have Eduardo and João Crucho, who are the eyes of Chef Hugo Nascimento when he is not in the Hotel. Both show a passion for cooking. It is their way of life. Having been born in Beira Baixa, they know the most hidden secrets in our gastronomy. In our Restaurant, we have the waiters that are very important, because they present the dishes. João Micaelo is the Wine expert. You can talk to João about anything you need to know about wine. With an easy smile, he knows all the secrets of our gastronomy.”

Pecado, Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

Activities

Close by to the small city of Fundão, but far enough away to act as a tranquil refuge, the Convento do Seixo offers plenty to do. You can enjoy the luxurious spa facilities within the property, or venture to the historical wonder of Castelo Novo, a quaint village steeped in ancient architecture and only approximately a 20-minute drive away.

“Guests should know that our Spa therapist, Sofia de Castro, is probably the best spa therapist in our region. All the guests that have had a massage with her loved the experience. Our region also has a lot to see and to do. You can find truly authentic gems to be discovered, starting from the Historical Village of Castelo Novo, to river beaches with clear water, such as Lavacolhos, Souto da Casa and Janeiro de Cima. There is also the Schist village of Janeiro de Cima and Barroca. For cycling, there are a lot of trails in the Gardunha Mountain for you to experience. We have also hiking trails where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. With it being close to us, you should also visit the biggest mountain in Continental Portugal, Serra da Estrela. There is also Belmonte, the city of Pedro Álvares Cabral, otherwise known as the Portuguese sailor, that discovered Brazil!”

Suite King Superior, Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel & Spa

Finally, we asked Duarte why he decided to partner with Chic Retreats and what is different about us?

“I partnered with Chic Retreats because it is different. The focus is on different hotels, boutique hotels, and the market you are exploring is also different. Chic Retreats are focused on high-end customers, helping to boost sales and gain hotel visibility.

This is the perfect synergy.”

 Book Convento do Seixo Boutique Hotel and Spa now

Essential Travel Guide to Cyprus 2021

Set in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. More than just the home of halloumi cheese, Cyprus is rich in culture and fringed with picturesque beaches making it the perfect place for soaking up the summer sun whether you’re looking for total bliss and relaxation or a touch of adventure.

With scenery synonymous to paradise, historical sites fit for exploring, and warm hospitality, it comes as no surprise that Cyprus is a destination much-loved by families and couples alike. The sandy beaches of Protaras, yacht encrusted modern marina of Limassol, and ancient churches of Troodos mean there is something to fall in love with in every corner of the island, and our selection of luxury hotels is a great place to start when choosing where to stay…

Paphos

Coral Beach Hotel & Resort
Coral Beach Hotel & Resort

Coral Beach Hotel & Resort

On the southwest coast is Paphos, home to Coral Beach Hotel & Resort. It is located on the outskirts of the Akamas Peninsula, one of mother nature’s masterpieces and a World Heritage site which can be explored by horseback, boat or Jeep. While the landscape that lies beyond the hotel is there to be explored, activities within the resort mean you will never have to stray too far to find fun. While the Esthisis Spa offers unique treatments including relaxing chocolate body wraps designed to tantalise the senses, you can get creative in the art workshop where pottery making, silk painting, and children’s t-shirt painting are on the agenda. Beside the hotel is a water sports centre and scuba diving school, perfect for more action-packed afternoons. For taking a break from activities, days unwinding on the beach, or strolling along the private harbour never become tiresome.

King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort

King Evelthon
King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort

This family-friendly resort sits on the beachfront of Chlorakas Bay and ensures young children (and big kids!) of the family will be kept entertained as its home to its very own water park. The Greek, Italian, Mexican and buffet restaurants serve dishes to please every palette, and suites overlooking the Mediterranean Sea blend traditional colour palettes with contemporary living. A stay in one of the Swim-Up rooms comes with added privacy as they lead directly onto the private swim-up pool which cannot be accessed by other guests, perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Almyra Hotel

Almyra Hotel
Almyra Hotel

Clean lines, cool tones and contemporary finishes make Almyra one of the sleekest hotels on the island. Bookend your day with a treatment in the Almyraspa in the morning and a Cypriot wine tasting session hosted by the hotel’s Sommelier in the evening. In between taking a dip in one of the five freshwater pools, explore the Paphos countryside during an Almyra Unearthed Experience where you can harvest grapes, pick and press olives into oil and take a cooking lesson. Whether your room overlooks the sea or landscaped gardens, you are guaranteed to be hugged by a cool but welcoming atmosphere as Almyra celebrates laid-back luxury.

Anassa Hotel

Anassa Hotel
Anassa Hotel

Focus on wellness and relaxation at this hillside hotel. The Thalassa Spa combines healthy rituals and healing Thalassotherapy treatments to leave you feeling suitably rejuvenated. For its restorative treatments, seawater from Chrysochou Bay is pumped directly to the Spa and features heavily in the saltwater jet spray massage. After relaxing in the spa, take in the fresh air of the island by visiting the Donkey Farm in the nearby mountains which provide a breath-taking backdrop for enjoying a rustic picnic. As well as its scenery, Paphos is known for being the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, and Latchi village – which lies just outside Anassa Hotel – holds great significance in this part of history. Hike to the Baths of Aphrodite where the goddess would bathe and is said to have met Adonis, the god of beauty and desire. Before leaving, take a dip in the waters as legend has it this will provide you with eternal youth, and admire Aphrodite’s Rock where the goddess is believed to have risen from.

Limassol

Four Seasons Limassol
Four Seasons Limassol

Four Seasons

With the Four Seasons being renowned as one of the finest for luxury travel, this Limassol resort is no different as it exudes excellence from its stunning architecture to the service provided by attentive staff. While it has an impressive 295 guestrooms, the hotel sustains a sense of intimacy through personal service and attention to detail which is never compromised. From Garden Studios with private pools perfect for couples looking for a moment of escapism, to Family Beach Studios with private terraces which lead to the gardens and beach beyond, all rooms are spacious and will provide you with your own piece of paradise to retreat to after an evening enjoying the vibrant night life of the cosmopolitan town.

Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa

The accommodation at Parklane marries traditional island living with the modern luxury of a 5-star experience. Hidden among vibrant green landscaping are the one-bedroom Park Villas. Perfect for couples and spanning two floors, they boast floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private pool and furnished deck area great for lounging in the sun or enjoying al fresco dining. Yet more grandeur is found in the three-bedroom Park View Villas which can house up to six guests making them great for families or groups of friends looking rejoice in private luxury. No stay in Limassol would be complete without absorbing some local culture. Close to Parklane is the medieval Limassol Castle which houses an exhibition displaying antiques that beautifully illustrate Cyprus’ history and evolution. The hotel can also organise tours of Lefkara village, famous for its traditional lace finished with distinctive geometric patterns dating back to the 16th century. Upon returning to the hotel, enjoy date-night in The Grill steakhouse or dine casually at Dafne where authentic Greek Cypriot cuisine is on the menu.

Larnaca

Golden Bay
Golden Bay Beach Hotel

Golden Bay Beach Hotel

Larnaca is the oldest living city in Cyprus and was first inhabited 6,000 years ago. There are many sites worth visiting, including the 12th century medieval castle where sea views can be enjoyed from the rooftop, and the Salt Lake where striking sunsets and flamingos can be admired. Perhaps most significant is the Church of St Lazarus, which is built above the tomb where St Lazarus is buried and is open for visitors. Not too far from this landmark, just 15km from Larnaca International Airport, is Golden Bay. Alongside Shakespeare’s Pub which is popular among guests for watching sporting events, multiple restaurants are guaranteed to satisfy every craving. The Yacht club restaurant has a multitude of offerings from breakfast buffets at sunrise to afternoon tea by the sea and themed dinners.

Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows

Palm Beach Hotels & Bungalows
Palm Beach Hotels & Bungalows

As its name suggests, this family-friendly hotel has its own private beach lined with palm trees and is a short drive to Larnaca town and Finikoudes beach – which is loved by both locals and visitors. Among the hotel’s 228 guestrooms is a complex of Garden Studio Bungalow Suites which sit around their very own more secluded lagoon-style pool. Exotic gardens blooming with unique plants native to the island surround the hotel making the landscape as beautiful as the hotel itself.

Ayia Napa

Chrysomare Hotel 2
Chrysomare Beach Hotel & Resort

Chrysomare Beach Hotel & Resort

Wake up to views of the sea or expansive landscaped gardens in spacious yet inviting accommodation fit for unwinding in after a day at the beach. Should you wish to explore the area beyond the hotel, a short walk away you will find local shops, vibrant bars and tavernas – all you’ll need for an enjoyable evening with great company. 

Grecian Bay Hotel

Grecian Bay
Grecian Bay Hotel

Grecian Bay Hotel is a 10-minute drive to Cape Greco National Park. Sunsets here are hard to beat. Whether you dive off the rocks into crystal-clear waters or visit the modest blue-domed Agioi Anargyroi chapel, which stands proudly atop the rocks, taking in the views can often lead to a “pinch me” moment as it’s easy to believe you are in paradise here. Grecian Bay Hotel itself offers a collection of guestrooms including beachfront villas and bungalow suites. Friendly beach attendants are never too far away and serve food and refreshments throughout the day. After parasailing over the waves, visit the wellness spa which has a carefully curated menu of holistic treatments from around the world including Dead Sea Mud Wraps and Thai Massage.

Protaras

Constantinos - The Great Beach Hotel
Constantinos – The Great Beach Hotel

Constantinos The Great Beach Hotel

Protaras is a favourite among families who visit the island and is home to Constantinos The Great Beach Hotel. Recently renovated in 2018, the interior is as beautiful as the sunrises which can be seen from many guestroom balconies each morning. Enjoy fresh cuisine in abundance at the two buffet restaurants, Chinese, and Mediterranean restaurants. Days spent by the pool are often accented by daytime and evening entertainment suitable for couples and families to enjoy.

Capo Bay

Capo Bay
Capo Bay

Capo Bay is one of the most sought-after locations in Protaras as it sits beside the award-winning Fig Tree Bay, a beach popular for its soft sand and clear waters which have previously won it a place in Europe’s top 10 beach destinations. The beauty of the hotels surroundings translates inside the hotel as interiors are inspired by the sun, sea and sand. Thanks to the hotel’s recent initiative which has seen it celebrate the “art of travelling” by inviting local and international artists who celebrate Mediterranean culture to display their work in exhibitions, Capo Bay offers experiences unique as its setting.

Troodos Mountains

Casale Panayiotis
Casale Panayiotis Traditional Village Hotel & Spa

Casale Panayiotis Traditional Village Hotel & Spa

Cyprus offers more than just beachfront bliss. Immerse yourself in traditional village life with a stay at Casale Panayiotis Traditional Village Hotel & Spa, a hotel in the Troodos Mountains which allows you to strike the perfect balance between the finest luxury at the award-winning spa and living like a local by enjoying authentic cuisine and fresh produce from the hotel’s orchards. The family-run hotel is part of a restoration project designed to preserve mountain culture, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the charm of this Chic favourite as its 41 guestrooms are scattered across seven houses throughout the village and are filled with rustic luxury.

Arguably, Cyprus has it all. Water sports to entertain the most adventurous souls, laid-back living to erase the stress of modern life, and luxury hotels oozing warm Cypriot hospitality.

So, fancy a holiday?

Luxury Greek Islands you have to visit in 2021

De.Light Boutique Hotel

Greece has an undeniably natural beauty that’s profound within its collection of sun-drenched islands, each with their own unique character and charm. Steeped in history and with a landscape that captures everything from rugged coastlines to lush olive groves, this jewel in the Mediterranean has the ability to pull at the heartstrings of every visitor. 

The real beauty of Greece is that it accommodates everyone seeking a sun-kissed escape, whether you’re planning a holiday for the whole family or a romantic couples retreat – so you can guarantee that our luxury Greek Island holidays will tick every box. Whether you’re looking to spend time sinking your toes into the golden beaches of Crete, exploring the wonders of chic Santorini, or soaking up the laid-back luxe of Mykonos, you’ll find what you’re looking for with our list of Greek Island escapes. Prepare to sample the sunsets, dine on delicious local cuisine, or simply indulge in some R&R on an all-inclusive Greek Island holiday…

Santorini

Carpe Diem Exclusive Boutique Resort ( Adults Only)
Carpe Diem Exclusive Boutique Resort ( Adults Only)

If you’re looking for an escape that takes care of everything, Santorini holidays are sure to hit the spot. Famous for its picturesque setting that clings onto the rugged edge of a Volcano’s caldera, you’ll fall in love with the picture-postcard views on offer here. Its fairy-tale setting is just the beginning though, as you’ll be met by blue-domed churches, chalky white cliffs, quaint towns and historical ruins that allow you to explore all that this island has to offer.

Dining here is an experience itself, with a host of boutique restaurants dotted across the island where you can sample the freshest seafood while admiring panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. With a handful of Moet and Lobster Bars on the menu too, there’s plenty of classy venues to sip on cocktails underneath the stars. 

Venture out of our stylish hotel and you’ll discover plenty to see and do. A visit Oia is a must, where you can spend a laid-back afternoon exploring the famous clifftop town. Time it right and you’ll be able to watch the sunset before heading to a local restaurant for a romantic meal. If you love to explore, the Akrotiri Archaeological Site provides a glimpse of the past with ancient settlements and hints of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world. 

Santorini is known for its rugged landscape, but you cannot truly admire it until you take to the water. To see the island in style, hop on a boat and explore the island from its crystal-clear waters – whether you book a private catamaran, go on a caldera cruise or opt for a romantic sunset boat trip.

Crete

Nana Princess Suites, Villas & Spa

Crowned as the largest of the Greek islands (and one of the most beautiful), Crete boasts a wealth of gorgeous sandy beaches lapped by inviting azure waters, quaint harbours and lively tavernas. Along with its popular attractions, this family-friendly island also provides an abundance of luxury – especially when it comes to its resorts. 

The island capital Heraklion is sprinkled with chic boutiques and upmarket stores to wander, just a 30-minute drive from the beautiful village of Gouves – where you’ll find a host of adults-only hotels. Chania is another resort that’s popular for its deluxe hotels and villas, with the pretty Platanias Beach nearby. If secret villages, cobbled streets and bundles of history are your thing, Rethymnon Old Town is well worth a visit for its awe-inspiring ruins, with Fortezza – the biggest Venetian Castle – still standing. History lovers can also travel back in time with a visit to Spinalonga; this rocky islet is a former leper colony which houses an ancient Venetian fortress as well as an archaeological site. Or if walking is your thing, grab your boots and hike Richtis Gorge. This playground for walkers boasts a tropical vibe with bright greenery and a mesmerising waterfall, all of which has to be seen to be appreciated!

So, whether you want to spend time relaxing by the pool or exploring the all-encompassing island, Crete has the scope to become anything you want it to be. 

Rhodes

Avra Beach Hotel
Avra Beach Hotel

Rhodes is known for being one of the more popular Greek Islands, which makes it an ideal choice for luxury Greece holidays 2021. When you touch down here you’ll find a perfect blend of sunshine, beaches, history and luxury too. It’s suitable for families and couples making it a versatile option for those looking for a touch of everything. You’ll notice the glistening blue ocean and sandy beaches at first, but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find so much more.

Escape the tourist trail with a trip to Kalithea or head to Rhodes Town where you’ll stumble upon tavernas and alfresco restaurants that serve up freshly prepared seafood dishes and local delicacies; or watch the sun go down with a cold glass of wine at one of the many bars along the front. You’ll find your fair share of designer shops here too, although the island doesn’t fall short when it comes to history and sugar-cube villages that are waiting to be explored. 

Soak up the history at Rhodes Town’s Old Quarter where you can visit the opulent Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes and admire the Suleymaniye Mosque before settling down for a bite to eat. If you like to keep things adventurous, you’ll find plenty of water sports available to make a splash, or if dry ground is more your thing there’s lots of hiking trails to discover too – perfect for those who like to keep active. Prefer to keep things low key? Spend the day on the pristine beaches and take a dip in the ocean, bliss.

Kos

Michelangelo Resort and Spa
Michelangelo Resort and Spa

Positioned in the Aegean Sea, Kos serves up breath-taking scenery, impressive beaches and enough history to keep you entertained for days (or even weeks). The great thing about Kos is the way that it appeals to everyone; if you like a little peace and tranquillity, escape to one of the many hidden private coves and spend an hour or two unwinding, or for a more upbeat pace, make your way to a beach bar for a drink and some music. 

The lure of the glistening waters and sandy beaches might be enough for some, but those who like to mix up their beach days with a bit of exploration will be content too – since the island boasts a perfect blend of old meets new. Centuries-old Roman ruins and castles rub shoulders with whitewashed hamlets, pine forests and coastal hiking trails in Kos – not to mention the chic boutiques, bars and restaurants that are thrown in too. Whether you want to sightsee or saunter around the shops, there’s something for everybody here.

If you want to plan a day of entertainment that’s fit for the whole family, or simply spread your wings and visit somewhere new, book a boat trip from Kardamena to the Turkish town of Bodrum. Or if history is more your thing, head to Asklepion where you’ll find a host of ruins and even more history to explore. For a leisurely afternoon of wandering visit Kos Town, with architecture, charm and history all bundled into one, it’s a great way to escape it all for a few hours!

Mykonos

De.Light Boutique Hotel
De.Light Boutique Hotel

If you’re seeking an A-list escape where you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous, Mykonos is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch. This beautiful island delivers incredible weather with endless sunshine and golden beaches at Plati Yialos. This might be one of the smallest Greek Islands, but it certainly packs a punch.

Grab your sunglasses and spend a day relaxing on one of the island’s white-sand beaches or coves, or go for a walk along the many clifftop coast paths that wind their way across the countryside. Head to Mykonos Chora, the capital, and you’ll discover a harbour that’s packed with colour, fishing boats, and a wealth of popular restaurants that offer everything from fine-dining to options that are more suited to families – all of which offer mesmerising views of the crystal-clear ocean. Within the whitewashed villages you’ll find cobbled streets that pave the way to boutique shops and bars and beautiful buildings showcasing Grecian architecture, an example of how tradition meets modern day. 

Escape the island for a while with a boat trip to the tiny island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo. It’s an island steeped in history and well worth a visit. The main attraction on the island is the Church of Panagia Paraportiani and it won’t disappoint – its curving dome and whitewashed exterior give it real character, but its the history within it that really captures the imagination. For those who prefer nothing more than a day relaxing on the pristine white sands, then you’ve got plenty of options on this star-studded isle. 

Greece Won’t Disappoint

Greece captures it all; from the luxe of Mykonos, to the popular island of Rhodes and golden-hued beaches of Crete, you’ll have no problem finding somewhere that ticks all of your boxes – the only problem you’ll have is deciding which island to visit first! 

Feeling inspired? 

 

The Best Family Hotels in the Maldives

The thought of paradise conjures up images of crystal-clear waters, pristine white sands and palm trees that sway in the gentle breeze – and that’s exactly what you can expect when you jet off to the Maldives. Consisting of a chain of over 1,000 idyllic islands, you won’t have to look too far for sweeping beaches, calm seas and a haven of tranquillity. Endless blue skies and a laid-back island vibe make this destination an excellent choice when it comes to discovering that perfect family escape. And with plenty of relaxation and natural beauty on tap, there’s also no shortage of exciting activities to keep the younger ones entertained, too.

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a retreat that’s revered by the rich and famous. With overwater lodges that gently kiss the rippling waves of the ocean and luxury 5-star resorts available, it’s a destination that delivers an abundance of wildlife, diving experiences, fine-dining and a climate that ensures the sun never leaves the sky. So, with that perfect combination of serenity, peace and rejuvenation, it’s a destination that’s suitable for parents who are looking to recharge their batteries and children who love nothing more than making a splash in the exotic waters.

Of course, with such a wide selection of resorts to choose from, the best hotels in Maldives certainly won’t disappoint. If you’re wondering what they are, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you…

Paradise Island Resort & Spa

If you’re keen to sample the ultimate in luxury then the Paradise Island Resort & Spa really doesn’t disappoint. It encompasses everything you’d expect from a paradise island escape and more. Positioned on a secluded island, the resort is fringed by powder-white sands and an azure blue lagoon that continues for miles.

When it comes to accommodation, you’re never short of comfort and elegance throughout the complex. Offering a range of accommodation styles, including Garden and Beach Villas, Deluxe Villas, Water Villas, Lagoon Suites, Ocean Suites and Bungalows, there really is something for everyone. The rooms seamlessly blend together that feeling of class and style while nautical touches gently remind you of the world outside your door.

Every Maldives family holiday revolves around great food and this resort offers the ultimate in fine-dining. You’ll find the Bageecha Restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, or you can dine on the finest seafood at Farumathi, indulge in traditional Japanese dishes, and soak up the Italian vibe at Ristorante al Tramonto. As the sun sets, head to the bar where you can enjoy a handcrafted cocktail with a view.

For complete relaxation, you can venture to the on-site spa where you can enjoy treatments, a sauna, steam bath or a  jacuzzi. However, there’s always the option of keeping yourself and the little ones busy with some of the fun activities on offer at the resort too – including diving, water sports excursions, or you can simply take a dip in the refreshing outdoor pool.

Como Maalifushi

Nestled in an untouched corner of the Maldives, the Como Maalifushi is considered one of the best family resorts Maldives. Caressed by gentle waters and set among towering palm trees, this wonderful resort is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

The Water Villas are sure to capture your attention as they sweep out into the ocean on their own private jetty. The resort boasts a wide range of guest rooms including everything from Garden Rooms to Beach Suites, Beach Villas, Beach Houses, Residences and Water Suites. All are tastefully designed with sleek touches, modern features and an elegance that goes way beyond anything you’ve seen before.

Travelling with a family can prove challenging when it comes to dining, but the Como Maalifushi offers three restaurants – the Madi, the Tai and the Thila. They all deliver dishes that take influence from tropical produce and the fresh seafood that goes from sea to door in a matter of several paces. Don’t worry, aside from local delicacies and fresh seafood, the children will have plenty of options with pizzas and other dishes available.

The wellness centre is the place to get pampered with a variety of treatments and massages available, while the outdoor pool is the perfect spot for relaxing in the sunshine. The hotel also provides a range of experiences too, ensuring everyone can explore the wonders on offer here.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon

Experience a tropical island paradise and escape it all at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon. With the shimmering turquoise lagoon and gorgeous white sands to sink your feet into, you’re going to simply love soaking up this chic resort on your family escape.

With a total of 176 rooms, the resort delivers a variety of Deluxe Rooms from Cottages, to Water Bungalows and Villas. Recently renovated, you can expect a blend of contemporary style and airy surroundings, which compliment one another perfectly.

Dining won’t disappoint because the Feast boasts a wide variety of international dishes that will appeal to every guest, regardless of age. With live entertainment and cooking stations, it’s an experience that will leave you wanting more. There is also Sea Salt which specialises in fresh seafood, if you love nothing more than sampling the freshest dishes around. There’s also a great menu for the kids too, so you can ensure they’ll always be taken care of.

Guests can choose to unwind in the free-form outdoor pool or make their way to the spa where they can indulge in a relaxed environment and a great choice of rejuvenating treatments and massages – bliss. Finally, there’s also a gym for those who like to keep fit, although you might prefer to sink your toes into the sand and drink up that dreamy setting.

Amilla Fushi Maldives -Villas and Residences

At the Amilla Fushi Maldives Villas and Residences, you can sample true island living at its finest. This wonderful island is met by crystalline waters and limitless tranquillity, although there is plenty to keep adults and children entertained if you prefer a faster pace.

The accommodation comprises plush villas that boast spacious pools and contemporary living. The residences are perfect for families who are craving a taste of that beachfront life, with the ocean and endless blues skies just steps from their bedroom – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Families are going to love dining out while at Amilla Fushi Maldives Resort. There’s no shortage of restaurants on offer, serving Japanese fusion cuisine, grills and fresh seafood, Indian delights, pizza and a laid-back cafe where guests can enjoy light snacks and drinks. The bars are a delight at any time of the day, so whether you want to sip cocktails by the beach or listen to music under the stars, this palatial resort has it covered.

Guests can truly recharge their batteries here with the spa at hand, offering treatments and  massages that aim to relax the mind, body and soul. Those who prefer to keep active can head to the gym, although the outdoor pool has to be seen to be believed!

Things to Do In the Maldives

Surrounded by the gorgeous crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean means that reef snorkelling is a must. The exotic underwater world awaits and just a few metres from the shore, you can explore a wealth of colours and sea life that will leave you and your little divers mesmerized.

If sunsets are your thing, then a sunset cruise is an unbeatable way to round of the day. Glide across the waters while sipping a sundowner with the family and soak up the panoramas with a 360° view.

Keeping the little ones occupied is something that comes easy here, after all, the Maldives is like a giant playground. Enjoy thrilling water sports with wakeboarding, fun-tubing or jet skiing available, giving the kids (and big kids) the chance to indulge in some adrenaline-packed fun.

As you’ve guessed, the ocean plays a prominent role in life in the Maldives, so you might want to try your hand with some deep-sea fishing for the day, or perhaps a different boat cruise where you can admire the island from the water?

The Maldives is a truly magnificent destination that allows you to feel as though you really have stepped into paradise. That burst of colour from the blue ocean to the contrasting green palm trees, white sands, and glowing sunshine – it’s a special place that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed for the duration of your stay.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Luxury Hotels in Dubai

Dukes the Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Dubai is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet. The city in the desert; it’s world famous for its spectacular sights, attractions, and luxury hotels. While it’s a busy thoroughfare for travel all around the globe, it also offers plenty to the holidaymaker that wants to experience one of the world’s newest and most impressive cities. With plenty of Dubai hotels to choose from, finding the truly luxurious options is what will allow you to really enjoy what this all-encompassing city has to offer.

With extensive golden beaches that stretch for miles, to the most sought-after restaurants in the world, there really is a wide selection of things to see and do when you visit Dubai. No matter what your tastes are, you’re sure to find something to satisfy here. From stunning blue skies all year round, to city-sized shopping malls and state-of-the-art spa retreats, holidays in Dubai won’t disappoint.

With world-class chefs crafting excellent cuisine at the city’s best regarded hotels and restaurants, foodies can indulge in delectable fare from all four corners of the globe. The exclusivity of Dubai is something you will notice as soon as you land, a theme that continues throughout the city’s elegant hotels and resorts. If you’re planning Dubai holidays for 2021, discover our list of top Dubai hotels below for properties that ooze style and sophistication.

Atlantis the Palm

Atlantis the Palm in Dubai
Arguably the most impressive thing about Dubai is The Palm, a manmade spectacle situated out on the water that houses some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. One such hotel on this iconic stretch is Atlantis the Palm. This hotel is one of two top-class resorts under the Atlantis brand, and it offers guests everything you would expect when you hear the words “luxury hotel in Dubai”.

The elegant rooms and suites at Atlantis the Palm offer excellent facilities and amenities, with some serving up incredible 360o views of the beautiful sun-soaked cityscape out across the water. Other rooms provide unique views of the colourful aquarium (one of the most amazing in the world), which houses more than 65,000 marine animals.

While staying at Atlantis The Palm, guests can enjoy daytime activities including Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark – a great option if you’ve got the kids in tow (or even if you don’t!). Or, let the good times roll in the Wavehouse, with family entertainment sure to bring out your competitive streak. In terms of dining, guests can take advantage of a selection of in-house restaurants including Gordon Ramsay and Ronda Locatelli, so you can expect the highest quality. These things combined, you’re sure to experience luxury at Atlantis the Palm.

Dukes the Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Dukes the Palm, a Royal Hideaway

Another of the top Dubai hotels nestled on the Palm, is Dukes the Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel. This hotel finds itself in an exclusive position of the Palm, offering mesmerising views of the city. It features 279 Rooms and Suites, plus 285 opulent Apartments, all of which are well equipped to satisfy those seeking ultimate luxury. The really impressive parts of this hotel, however, lie in the facilities on-site.

Aside from the sun-kissed private beach on the hotel’s doorstep, there are some incredible facilities for guests to take advantage of while staying at Dukes The Palm, A Royal Hideaway. Award-winning restaurants at the hotel serve up extraordinary fare, ideal for fine-dining before heading to one of the hotel’s iconic bars, including Dukes Bar and Champagne & Tea Lounge. If the sun gets too hot on the beach, guests can cool off in the relaxing indoor swimming pool, while little ones will have entertainment on tap at the Kids Club. Whether it’s the quality service from friendly staff, or the ultimate comfort of the guest rooms, you’ll feel like total Royalty when you stay at this luxury hotel.

Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection

Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection
Situated on Dubai’s famous Jumeirah Beach, Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection is a contemporary resort that ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for all-inclusive holidays to Dubai. Within close proximity to some of the city’s top attractions, including Dubai Marina, this 5-star property allows guests to experience world-class service.

There’s no end to this hotel’s amenities, with a beautiful waterfront location, three large swimming pools, a fitness centre, a relaxing spa, four tennis courts, a kids club, plus a wide variety of indoor and alfresco restaurants to dine at. The exclusive private beach is the perfect place to relax under the warm sun or get active with splash-tastic watersports (if you prefer that to the pool), or guests can choose to unwind with a pamper-worthy treatment at the on-site Elixir Spa, instead.

You’ll be spoilt for choice by the gastronomic delights at Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, with no less than 14 amazing restaurants to indulge in; each serving up their unique takes on different cuisines from across the globe.

Celebrating a special occasion? This beautiful property is popular with couples on their honeymoon and can also cater to weddings too. Where better to tie the knot than on the pristine Jumeirah Beach?

Grand Hyatt Dubai

Grand Hyatt Dubai

Last but by no means least, the Grand Hyatt Dubai is another jewel in our treasure chest of the best luxury hotels in Dubai. This 5-star hotel is nestled amid beautiful landscaped gardens and overlooks the twinkling Dubai Creek near the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, and is complete with both indoor and outdoor pools, plenty of dining options and a list of sumptuous spa treatments and facilities.

Featuring 682 Rooms and 38 Suites, this opulent hotel can cater for every type of guest. All of the rooms are equipped with quality amenities, from luxurious linens to marble bathrooms with a spa tub and exclusive toiletries, so you can relax knowing that every detail, however big or small, is taken care of.

Those seeking a space worthy enough for Wills and Kate can check out the Prince Suite, which serves up a spectacular 176 square metres of floorspace and a king-sized bed to boot. Two-Bedroom Royal Suites are available for families, while the hotel’s One-Bedroom Suites offer stunning views across the gardens.

The Grand Hyatt Dubai has plenty to offer in the way of cuisine, with a total of 13 high-quality restaurants run by some of the best chefs in the city waiting to tantalise your taste buds – from Indian to Japanese and Singaporean food served on the hotel’s pretty alfresco terrace. Nearby guests can explore the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club and Dubai Mall, both less than a 15-minute stroll away.

Things To Do In Dubai

It’s not only the luxurious hotels that contribute towards Dubai’s world-class reputation though. While the city skyline towers beautifully over the hustle and bustle of life on the ground, it’s the adventures to be had within the city boundaries that truly make this UAE gem a place of dreams.

Mega attractions to suit the whole family include a trip to the Dubai Mall or the Mall of the Emirates, where you’ll find a shop for every want and desire, plus an abundance of entertainment too – from underwater aquariums, to ice rinks, go karting and beyond. The Wafi City is also located close by to our hotels listed above, which plays host to the famous Cleopatra’s Spa and Wellness – ideal for those that have spent a little too much time on their feet!

For those eager to soak up some of the local culture in the area, there are plenty of excellent museums nearby, ranging from the Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort, to the Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili, which both provide an in-depth glance at the history and culture of the city.

Of course, no Dubai holiday would be complete without a mention of the awe-inspiring Burj Khalifa, crowned as the world’s tallest building. This architectural wonder has floor to ceiling glass that offers panoramic views of the city from 828 metres above ground – including the iconic Atmosphere Restaurant, one of the most desirable places to dine in the sky.

Adventure seekers are in for a treat too, since there’s a never-ending list of exciting activities to embark on during your time here. Discover the shelving sands of the desert on a thrilling 4×4 safari tour, go sandboarding down the dunes, brave the world’s longest urban zipline 1,860 metres above the ground (and at a speedy 150mph), or you can even hit the slopes with 22,500 square metres of snow at Ski Dubai – yes, you read that correctly. No matter what you’re looking to get out of your luxury Dubai holidays, there’s something for everyone in this Middle Eastern metropolis.

Chic Guide To The Canary Islands

Canary Islands Image.

The Canary Islands, also known as a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, is a corner of rugged volcanic isles serving up beautiful black and white sand beaches, lush pine forests, awe-inspiring National Parks, pleasant year-round weather, plus a host of upmarket hotel resorts.

A spectacular holiday destination for the whole family, the popular Canary Islands consists of 7 main isles including the popular resorts of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria – each bringing something unique to the table.

With over 9 million tourists heading to these sun-kissed isles every year, there really is something for everyone here – whether you want to make a splash with the kid’s thanks to exhilarating watersports, fancy hiking the volcanic Mount Teide, want to admire the sleepy fishing village of La Gomera, or simply sink your toes into the Saharan-inspired sand dunes on the beach. These diverse landscapes serve up hours of fun; the hardest part is choosing which one to head to!

Top Attractions

There’s no end to the list of incredible things you can see and do in the Canary Islands, thanks to its popular tourist landmarks, medley of beaches and abundant natural beauty – but we’ve listed a few of our favourites to add to your itinerary.

Siam Park

What better way to cool down than by making a splash at one of the best water parks in the world? Situated in Costa Adeje, Siam Park is a spectacular Thai-themed water attraction that’s ideal for a fun-loving day out with the kids (big and small!). Crowned as the largest water park in Tenerife, visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to whacky waterslides, winding chutes, fast-paced rapids and lazy rivers – all set amid a tropical paradise. The perfect attraction for those who like to get their pulse racing!

Idyllic Isles

La Gomera Island boasts a much slower pace and is considered a haven for those seeking a sleepy village atmosphere. The second-smallest of the main islands, this tiny jewel in the Atlantic Ocean is sprinkled with deserted pebble beaches, volcanic mountains, dense forests and natural hiking trails worth exploring. Look out for Roque Agando, is a striking rock formation jutting out from the island.

Hit The Beach

There’s no denying that there are some truly sensational beaches to discover in the Canary Islands, which is one of the many reasons this cluster of isles is a must for winter sun holidays. From golden, shelving sand dunes to twinkling black sands and striking turquoise lagoons, there’s plenty of variety to choose from here. Some of the most popular beaches include Playa de las Teresitas in Tenerife, Corralejo in Fuerteventura, Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Papagayo in Lanzarote.

Adventurers

If you consider yourself an adventurer, Teide National Park is a must-visit when you’re in Tenerife. Mount Teide is the island’s towering active volcano – and the highest peak in Spain – which last erupted in 1909. Visit the national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can hike one of the rugged trails, or hop on a cable car to the summit.

Similarly, Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote is another unique landscape worth discovering – a top day out for history lovers.

Where To Stay

Tenerife

Royal Hideaway Corales Suites

Located on the southern end of Tenerife in beautiful La Caleta, this 5* resort offers a luxurious escape for those seeking a splash of paradise in the Canary Islands. Among the 25 best hotels in Spain according to TripAdvisor, this modern establishment boasts verdant gardens, heated salt-water pools, a relaxing wellness spa and 114 beautifully designed apartments, ideal for couples and families.

Iberostar Grand Mencey

If you’re looking for luxury, Iberostar Grand Mercey is, in fact, the only 5* hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – so you’ve come to the right place. Just 10 minutes from the buzzing city centre, this avant-garde hotel gets its name from an ancient king known as “The Mencey” – and it’s certainly fit for royalty. With bundles of history, traditional 50s-inspired colonial architecture, beautiful gardens and a state-of-the-art spa, this upmarket hotel provides a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle.

Lanzarote

H10 Suites Lanzarote Gardens

Situated in the pretty coastal resort town of Costa Teguise, the 4* H10 Suites Lanzarote Gardens is a hotel fit for fun-loving families. Not only does this hotel cater to adventurous little ones with its pirate ship Daisy Adventure and splash-tastic slides, it’s also close by to the area’s top attractions – including the famous Timanfaya National Park and the golden Playa de las Cucharas beach. Perfect for all-round fun in the year-round sun.

Elba Lanzarote Royal Village

Situated in Lanzarote’s biggest and best-loved tourist resort Playa Blanca, Elba Lanzarote Royal Village is the perfect place to whisk the family away to while on your Canary Island holidays. The 4* complex features a variety of modern Junior Suites, four quality restaurants to indulge in, plus a host of activities and amenities to take advantage of, including a splash-worthy swimming pool and sensational Thalasso Spa for those laid-back and lively moments.

Fuerteventura

Barcelo Corralejo Bay

If you’re seeking a romantic escape, the Barcelo Corralejo Bay is an adults-only retreat in the heart of Fuerteventura that’s sure to set the scene. Situated just 80m from the beautiful beach and 3km from the popular Dunas de Corralejo Natural Park, there’s plenty to see and do in and around the resort. Unwind in one of the 241 tranquil guest rooms and suites available at the resort, before discovering the wellness centre, deluxe pool area and tasty on-site Tindaya Restaurant – ideal for a week or two of serenity with your loved one.

Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace

Looking for a 5* retreat to stay at on your Fuerteventura holidays? You’re in luck, as the Iberostar Selection Fuerteventura Palace is crowned as the best hotel in tourist hot spot Playa de Jandia. In addition to direct access to the beautiful Jandia Beach, guests at this spectacular hotel can indulge in hours of entertainment, day and night, from relaxing in the luxurious heated pool, to dining in the delicious Japanese Restaurant and taking advantage of exclusive Star Prestige reserved areas. Now that’s what we call staying in style!

Gran Canaria

Taurito Princess

This family-friendly oasis is nestled in the enchanting municipality of Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria, overlooking the wonderful Taurito Beach. This all-inclusive property is a popular place to stay if you’ve got the kids in tow, thanks to its wide variety of facilities including a mini club, a children’s playground, swimming pools (one of which is guarded by a large dragon!), sports activities and more – not to mention the gastronomic delights available at the hotel restaurants. Wander the beautiful beach, discover Puerto de Mogan’s pretty marina, or whisk the kids to the exciting Lago Taurito Water Park!

Santa Catalina, A Royal Hideaway Hotel

This 5* oasis in the heart of Gran Canaria’s popular Las Palmas area isn’t short of glamour, with 204 immaculate rooms and suites, a sumptuous wellness centre and quality cuisine options amid beautiful surroundings. This classical style hotel boasts a fantastic location too, close to the stunning Doramas Park and sandy Playa de las Canteras Beach, making it a perfect base for discovering everything the capital of Gran Canaris has to offer – when you’re not cooling off in the expansive swimming pool, that is.

Feature Image by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash

Photo by Johannes Óvegur on Unsplash

Le K2: Dreaming of a White Winter?

A warm, chic chalet, a closet full of après-ski gear, and an abundance of slopes to explore… sounds idyllic, yes? Well after the year we’ve had, escaping to any of the luxurious Le K2 Hotels and Spas located in the French Alps ski-resort village of Courchevel – part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski areas in the world – will make for a refined yet relaxed holiday choice this winter.

The natural seclusion that comes with being high in the glistening snow-white mountains makes for a safe yet sumptuous stay.

LE K2 PALACE 

With a breath-taking view, high up in the majestic Alps of Courchevel, Le K2 Palace seamlessly fuses sleek sophistication with snow-clad elegance, providing exclusive and luxurious accommodation, gourmet cuisine and altitude wellness at its finest.

The discreet 30 rooms and suites, along with the six suite-chalets, look to the Himalayas as inspiration and are decked out in Tibetan-inspired décor. All of which are arranged like a lavish hamlet on the mountainside, adjacent to the village of Courchevel and with direct access to the pistes, all ensuring the stunning view over the valley can be seen from every angle.

Of course, gorgeous surroundings aren’t enough: discover Le Black Pyramid and the two-Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant Le Kintessence, where chefs Jean-Rémi Caillon and Sébastien Vauxion curate a menu filled with delectable dishes for every taste bud to enjoy. And if luxurious lounging is on your agenda, you can head to the elegant Le Winston Klub, an exclusive haven for spirit and cigar aficionados.

LE K2 ALTITUDE

Situated 1,900m above the village of Courchevel 1850, the five-star hotel Le K2 Altitude is nestled amongst the magnificent mountain peaks. Its location is where the storied history of the hotel’s collection began, built where the Capezzone family’s adventure commenced 20 years ago, and has been the pinnacle of hospitality since 2016. It nods towards a unique Tibetan concept, where customer care is of the upmost importance and its 14 rooms and 18 suites offer optimal relaxation in the most intimate of settings.

The rooms and suites themselves are designed to cocoon their guests in plush velvet and thick, sumptuous carpet, as well as blackout curtains that not only keep out light when needed, but sound too. Although, the surrounding slopes and all the cuisines at your doorstep make staying in bed all day a difficult feat.

In terms of gastronomy, Le K2 Altitude has an abundance on offer. Its two Michelin-star gourmet restaurant, Le Montgomerie, is led by chef Pieter Riedijk who crafts dishes with vibrant flavours, techniques and magical combinations, taking inspiration from the Rhône-Alpes region. Or perhaps creative Peruvian cuisine is more your thing, if so, try the contemporary offerings at L’Altiplano, a new addition to the resort. Fine dining is served at La Cima in a large, cosy and elegant lounge, with softwood and comfortable chairs. It offers flavoursome food through its clever use of produce.

You can also unwind at a bistronomic restaurant, Le Base Kamp, at the edge of the Pralong piste, which overlooks the peaks. For a nightcap, we recommend Le 1856, the decadent bar enveloped with the gentle warmth of cosy furniture and a comforting fireplace.

When you’ve enjoyed the great outdoors and warmed up in the spa, why not spend an evening in Le KBaret, with its red chairs and velvet padded walls that transforms into a cinema or stage as you wish. The space is dedicated to entertainment, and can be rented on request for an experience with friends or to celebrate a festive event.

THE GOJI SPA

When it’s time to unwind after a day on the slopes, those staying at both Le K2 Altitude and Le K2 Palace can head to the Goji Spa by Valmont where self-care takes centre stage – it boasts 500sqm and 4 rooms over 2 floors, and is associated with the Swiss brand Valmont, a specialist in high-performance anti-ageing cosmetics, ensuring excellence and expertise in skin wellbeing.

Along with the swimming pool and gym, you can explore the beautifying treatments, hot stone massages, foot reflexology and scrubs, along with the unique blend of teas in the Tea Room make unwinding as effortless as possible.

LE K2 DJOLA 

For those who like their dream destinations with a side of contemporary chic, look to the boutique 4-star hotel in Courchevel 1850, Le K2 Djola. Found in the heart of the village, its 23 rooms and Djola Duplex, offer a more intimate and unique setting to enjoy the marvellous mountains.

Le K2 Djola is the latest addition to the collection and boasts a fine juxtaposition of both action and contemplation. In relation to its elder sibling hotels, it continues the trend of Tibetan-inspired design, seen throughout the space with mandalas, Sanskrit inscriptions, wooden furniture, ecru and carmine shades that reflect the exclusive atmosphere.

Both breakfast and tea time gatherings are designed to be enjoyed in a buffet setting, and sweets and desserts are not to be overlooked – elaborated by the pastry chef Sébastien Vauxion, you’ll discover a large choice of cakes, biscuits and sweet gourmet treats, all of which can be enjoyed by the fireplace.

No ski setting is complete without a modish and comforting spa to end the day. Le K2 Djola’s wooden wellness centre is can be found on the first floor and features a sauna, hammam and large private shower to envelop your body in a much-deserved warmth. The adjoining relaxation room is perfumed with tranquil inducing aromas that make for the ideal place to enjoy a soothing cup of tea.

Staycation in the city: London

This year has allowed a lot of us to rest, reflect and relax. We’ve spent more time with family, realising how precious memories and moments mean more than material possessions. Which is why we are looking to places not far from our doorsteps to create new experiences.

London is rich and diverse. It’s home for the Chic Retreats family, however, we are constantly finding new and exciting spots to explore…

SOUTH

STAY at The Bermondsey Square Hotel 


This south-of-the-river 90-room boutique hotel is perfectly suited to meet the needs of discerning guests who are looking to relax and enjoy the local attractions whilst staying in the comfort of sleek Bermondsey accommodation, overlooking the Bermondsey Square and the weekly Antiques Market.

EAT at Seabird
Dinner and a view? Look no further than Seabird: a rooftop seafood restaurant boasting London’s longest oyster list, an impressive marble raw bar, and sprawling city landscapes. The scallop ceviche and grilled mackerel are delectable dishes that should not be overlooked.

VISIT the Tate Modern
A must is Britain’s national gallery of international modern art, The Tate Modern. It is based in the former Bankside Power Station, and currently features exhibitions from Andy Warhol and acclaimed artist Kara Walker. The new building – Switch House – is designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron and has a great open-air floor at the top with panoramic views of the city.

EAT at St. John Bakery
There are many St John Bakery postings to choose from, however, the original shop on Maltby Street remains our favourite. You simply have to taste the bakery’s best treat: the seasonal jam-filled doughnut. We recommend ordering a few for the road.

VISIT Borough Market
Located right next to London Bridge, Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, dating back to at least the 12th century. A great way to start your weekend, especially when only a short walk away from your hotel.

WALK along The Queen’s Walk
If you’ve a leisurely afternoon in mind, walk along South Bank, and in particular, The Queen’s Walk – a promenade located between Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge. You’ll pass Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The London Eye, and see plenty of the city’s juxtaposition of old and new on the other side of the river.

EAST

STAY at Town Hall + Apartments

No hotel fully envisions the new-meets-old aesthetic of London quite like Town Hall + Apartments. Every room and suite has been individually designed, and many retain the grand Edwardian period features, while others have a loft-style chic style with ample space. They feel more like a pied a terre in the city than a traditional hotel room.

EAT at Silo
Silo is more than just a no-waste restaurant. Most of the ingredients used are grown on-site in Hackney Wick or sourced locally, and prepared in the most environmentally sensitive of ways to create what they call a “pre-industrial food system”. The menu is full of culinary experiments that can be ordered as a series of sharing plates or as a six-course tasting menu. Make sure to book ahead.

SHOP on Redchurch Street
Aside from being a quaint cobbled street in London’s East End, and being steeped in 1990’s art scene history, Redchurch is home to some of the coolest independent stores around. Peruse Not Just Another Store’s underground fashion designers, Labour and Wait’s carefully selected range of vintage and modern pieces, and luxurious scents at Le Labo.

EAT at Violet
If cake is on the agenda for the day, make sure to head to Violet in Hackney. The American-inspired bakery on Wilton Way is known for its irresistible ginger molasses cake, however the seasonal cupcakes with limited-edition buttercream toppings make for the perfect take-away treat.

UNWIND at re:lax
re:lax is a Skin Studio in Hackney, dedicated to non-invasive, results-driven skincare. It focuses on creating tailor-made treatment is bespoke and tailored to the client, using high performing products that are eco-friendly and ethical. Our skin coaches are trained in a holistic way, supporting the client in maintaining healthy skin from the inside out. This method identifies the root cause to provide long-lasting results.

VISIT Columbia Flower Market
This just so happens to be one of London’s most visually appealing markets. It overflows with bucketfuls of beautiful flowers every Sunday. From 8am-3pm, the traders line the narrow street selling flowers, houseplants, herbs, bulbs and shrubs. It can get quite busy, so best to either go early if shopping seriously, or later if you fancy a stroll.

CENTRE

STAY at No.5 Maddox Street 

No.5 Maddox Street is a hotel alternative discreetly tucked behind London’s bond street. Twelve uniquely stylish apartments offer total privacy, as well as a dedicated 24-hour telephone concierge. Located amidst some of London’s most exclusive addresses, Maddox Street manages to be well connected, whilst retaining an air of quiet tranquillity.

EAT at Norma
Think you know Italian food? Think again. This new opening from the team behind The Stafford London picks apart Sardinian food as we commonly know it, and repackages it with all of its Moorish influences deliciously intact. Its Trapani-style seafood stew with fennel, chilli and saffron couscous is exemplary of the menu’s East-meets-West sensibility.

SHOP at Liberty London
Liberty London is a luxurious department store, housed in a grand Tudor-revival building on Great Marlborough Street, in the West End of London. It’s internationally known around the world for its own fabric line of playful prints, and exceptional brands on offer.

EAT at Nordic Bakery
One of our favourite Scandinavian imports, the Nordic Bakery’s cinnamon buns are best paired with a strong coffee and a too-good-to-put-down novel. For a proper fika fix, seek out a corner table at the Soho branch – dark wood surrounds imbue pared-down Scandi-style.

SHOP at Dover Street Market
The original Dover Street Market was first opened in Mayfair in 2004. Since then five other Dover Street Market stores have opened in Ginza (Tokyo), New York, Singapore, Beijing and Los Angeles, however the London outpost still remains the most famous – a must visit. Expect to find a range of brands, including luxury designers, at this cool, multi-story clothes emporium.

SIP at Attendant
Situated in a renovated Victorian loo in the middle of Fitzrovia, this quirky café is nothing if not novel. Unique location aside, their food menu is seasonal, entirely sustainable and ethically sourced. While dining in a lavatory may leave something to be desired, Attendant’s endeavours to make permaculture the next big thing is nothing to sneeze at.

WEST

STAY at The Portobello Hotel 


The Portobello Hotel is a luxurious boutique bolthole, with interiors that celebrate the bohemian spirit of Notting Hill & the Portobello Road market, with no two rooms the same, showcasing regency style with a Curious Hotels twist.

DRINK at Medlar
Medlar is our little secret at the end of the King’s Road. The food is beautifully prepared from seasonal ingredients; however, the calm and unpretentious ambience is ideal for drinking wine in the early evening, and the list has been put together with care to include a huge geographic and stylistic variety at every price point.

EAT at The Ledbury
Multi-award winning, with two Michelin stars we’ll have you know, The Ledbury comes with a reputation for being a London institution for good reason. Chef-patron Brett Graham opened the restaurant in 2005 when he was just 25. The menu champions British produce, moving on from its original noughties-style fine dining to confidently understated cuisine that is entirely its own – and there’s a well-renowned vegetarian tasting menu too.

EAT at Maître Choux
Pastry chef Joakim Prat’s South Kensington bakery is an obvious option for those with a fine sweet tooth. Known for the eclairs, you have to try the delicately designed lemon meringue iteration, or the decadent hazelnut-and-milk-chocolate creation.

WALK along The King’s Road
Made famous in the 1960’s with fashion figures such as Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood, The King’s Road makes for an enjoyable stroll for one mile. It stretches through five districts and allows you to enjoy over 300 stores, restaurants, cafés and galleries with quiet spots nestled between lively corners. Pavilion Road at the beginning is a must visit also.

VISIT the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery is a must-see on the London gallery circuit, known for contemporary art, and opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985 – initially opened in order to exhibit his collection to the public. Currently, you can view the London Grads Now. exhibition, which brings together over 150 graduating artists and more than 200 works.

Have you read our previous Journal entry? If not, check out The Chic Guide to Modern Minimalism, here. 

Featured Image by Eva Dang on Unsplash

The Chic Guide to Modern Minimalism

Location plays a large part in choosing a hotel, of course. However, if you’re anything like us, you’ll also look for a certain design aesthetic when deciding where to lay your head on vacation.

One look that never goes out of style is minimalism. A clean-line sensibility with chic fixtures and considered furnishings is just as lavish and luxurious as some of the heritage hotels out there, and to some, they want a holiday home that’s an extension of their own. For them to feel truly relaxed, refinement comes in the form of not only fine but modish, considered designed elements, and a calm and collected environment.

These peaceful options below – from the UK, and quarantine-permitting beyond – seamlessly blend components from the county they can be found in, while also demonstrating that contemporary never looked so chic…

Eden Locke, Edinburgh, Scotland 

The very trendy Eden Locke.

Right in the centre of Edinburgh’s New Town, you’ll discover Eden Locke, a bright and tranquil aparthotel set behind a grand Georgian façade. With just 72 apartments, it nods towards an intimate stay, while its décor is meticulously considered. Each living space is fitted with lush, leafy plants and a blush tropical colour palette, all while keeping a minimalist mood in mind.

You’ll find soft lighting and soothing furnishings – including an iconic Locke L-shaped sofa – and plenty of space, making it the perfect place to chill with a good book and a night cap after a busy day of exploring the city. Each apartment is an average of 30sqm, making them much roomier than any boutique hotel. From studio to suites and mezzanine apartments, there is something for every type of stay.

And to further the peace and calm, Eden Locke partners with a local wellness studio, offering one free yoga class per week. Whether you like to wake up with an energetic vinyasa, or wind down with meditation at night, they will ensure mind, body and soul are all taken care of. In a chic space, of course.

Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, Madeira, Portugal

The architecture is sleek and modern – imagine a revamped 1960s beach house.

If seclusion is what you’re after, Madeira’s Estalagem da Ponta do Sol makes for the ideal escape. It is located on the top of a cliff, and is the result of the renovation of an old “quinta.” It integrates the original building with a distinct, contemporary style, designed by architect Tiago Oliveira who enhances the splendour of an already stunning space to create an atmosphere that’s simple and relaxed, yet sophisticated.

The rooms were designed by interior designer Carvalho Araujo, who crafts a chic, cosy and comfortable mood. The decoration is minimalist, calling upon shades of black and white in order to enhance the natural surrounding beauty, that enters each room through the big panoramic glass windows. Floors of black stone are scattered with grey rugs and classic black-and-white photography on the white walls further emphasises the minimalist, monochrome look.

With the island location in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of West Africa, and the hotel set on the southwest of Madeira, Ponta do Sol offers views with cliffs reaching all the way to the horizon. A chic retreat indeed.

Gillham Vineyard Hotel, Nicosia, Cyprus

Luckily, Cyprus has opened its borders for tourism, as the Gillham Vineyard Hotel is an adult-only boutique hotel that makes luxurious minimalism look effortless. Guest have an option of 31 sleek suites, all of which overlook the vineyards on the outskirts of the beautiful village of Ilgaz, only 15 minutes from Kyrenia.

The contemporary-chic aesthetic is evident as soon as you enter, however, each suite is perfectly designed with exposed natural-wood beams protruding from the clean white walls, delicate and discreet furnishings in neutral hues and a slight pop of colour throughout. You’ll also notice the wooden floors – all slightly differing shades in each – that add a warming touch for comfort. Think mid-century modernity meets minimalist sophistication.

In the largest suite, boasting the name, Sparkling, you’ll find a large balcony with a hot tub affording uninterrupted panoramic views, and its en-suite bathroom provides a shower as well as a luxurious Jacuzzi bath – ideal for those who wish to fully unwind surrounded by clean-lined refinement.

And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also explore and experience the hotel’s ergonomically designed Wine Spa, featuring a traditional Turkish Hamam, indoor and outdoor relaxation zones, a bespoke design heated natural plunge pool, massage rooms, and a fully equipped gym. Not to mention, vino therapy – a beauty therapy process that makes use of the benefits from the grape and vine extracts where the residue of wine making (the pips and pulp) are rubbed into the skin.

Divina Suites Hotel Boutique, Menorca, Spain

Modern Menorcan architecture comes to life at the boutique hotel Divina Suites, which is home to just eight rooms. Located in the heart of Ciutadella Divina, it is surrounded by the most beautiful historical and ecclesiastical buildings on the island – perfect for those who love to explore a town or city on foot.

The building itself is a catalogued property, built in the XVII century that has been restored while making sure to conserve the most emblematic original elements by architect and interior designer Sebastià Pons. He transformed the stately residency into the chic yet comfortable suites you’ll find today.

The suites utilise the original architectural elements, like the groin vaults, the boinder, sloping ceilings or Arabic inspired windows, that make them intriguing while maintaining a clean, calm aesthetic. Crisp white walls, dark wooden floors, neutral-toned sofas, black marble bathroom fittings, all of which crafted in the highest quality materials make a stay here for a modern minimalist an exciting experience indeed.

Hotel Panache, Paris, France

When you think of Parisian hotels, you think petite rooms with antiqued fittings and lavish fabrications. Taking the classic and adding a modern, minimalist twist is Hotel Panache. The exterior is a colour-blocked monochromatic façade, that welcomes you into a sleek yet chic lobby.

Dorothée Meilichzon took the Flatiron Building in New York as inspiration, and designed the rooms with black and white prints on the walls in geometric motifs, and continues the mood with carpet patterned with slick, mini triangles. Note the amazing angular mirrors on offices and nightstands that lend the space a feel for new modernity mixed with a slight retro feel, typical of the Parisienne streets below.

For those who put health at the forefront, Hotel Panache also boasts the first gluten-free Parisian restaurant, NOGLU, whose menu is designed by Frédérique Jules. And for those who like something sweet, you can discover chocolates from La Mere de Famille, the oldest chocolate factory in Paris, in each minibar.

Looking for inspiration on winter sun destinations, click here. 

Featured Image by Pedro de Sousa on Unsplash

The Chic Country Escape To The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds spans across the counties of Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Somerset, and is picture-perfect, whatever time of year you decide to visit. With temperatures starting to drop however, escaping to this quaint little apart of the UK makes light work of weekend getaways.

Whether you like to spend your time walking and exploring the pretty towns and villages, or snuggled up on a comfy sofa reading a book with a glass of wine by your side, the Cotswolds has you covered…

Where to stay?

The Fish Hotel, Broadway

The Fish Hotel
The romantic and rustic Hilly Huts at Fish Hill, nestled into the Cotswold hillside.

The Fish’s contemporary bedrooms are located on the hillside and are spread throughout various individual buildings in the grounds. They have five Hilly Huts and three Treehouses nestled into the woodland and five shiny new Hideaway Huts – all of which help you get back to nature in the most luxurious way.

The Slaughters Country Inn, Cheltenham 

The Slaughters Country Inn

You’ll find this hotel in the heart of one of the most picturesque Cotswold villages, offering up the authentic charm of a traditional village inn: exceptional food made with local produce, large fireplaces to warm up next to and a stunning terrace for when the sun shines. The Slaughters Country Inn is the perfect location for when wellies and walks are on the agenda.

No. 131 The Promenade, Cheltenham 

No. 131 The Promenade
No.131 offers 11 stunning bedrooms in a beautifully converted Georgian townhouse.

Located in the middle of Cheltenham – labelled the cultural heart of the Cotswolds – No.131 is home to 11 rooms in a converted Georgian townhouse, fusing traditional architecture with eclectic modern design. Expect to find original features, period bathrooms, and antique finishing touches, along with statement wallpaper, industrial lighting, and original artwork from the likes of David Hockney and Banksy.

Barnsley House Hotel, Cirencester

Barnsley house hotel
Housed in a 17th-century stately manor, The Barnsley House boasts 19 boutique rooms, designed by the owner themselves, who has a keen eye for sleek sophistication. The building’s original quirks are still evident, seamlessly blending old and new. Take note: the gardens span for 11 acres, and the spa has an undeniably relaxing environment.

Where to Shop?

Stroud Farmers’ Market, Cornhill, Stroud
For a farmers’ market with celebrity attendees, try Stroud – Damien Hirst and Cath Kidston are both regulars. You’ll find everything from fresh, hot falafel served in warm pitta bread, tasty sausages, local russet apples, and the creamiest of cheeses.

The Cotswold Cheese Company, Burford
Voted Britain’s best new delicatessen in 2007 at the British Cheese Awards, The Cotswold Cheese Company store stocks 50 different varieties to try. We recommend Simon Weaver’s organic Cotswold Brie and Charles Martell’s Stinking Bishop.

Image via cotswoldcheese on Instagram.

Burford Garden Company, Burford
Originally this store was a family-run plant nursery, however, now people travel from all over to visit – there’s even a lovely café. Explore the vintage furniture, sleek children’s department, and everything and anything for the home.

Highgrove Shop, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
This gift and gardening accessories store located in Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate is prim and proper at its finest. Discover the jams and chutneys, complete with Prince of Wales fleur-de-lis packaging, which make excellent presents. For yourself, and for others.

Exploring on foot?

Chedworth’s Roman Villa, Gloucestershire
Start at the ancient monument – one of the grandest country houses of fourth century Roman Britain – and take a stroll through the millennia-old woodlands nearby. If you head down Monarch’s Way from Chedworth village and along the River Coln, you’ll eventually reach a quaint little bridge, which will lead towards footpaths back towards Chedworth.

Marshfield to Cold Ashton, Chippenham
Make Weir Lane your starting point, keep walking up the road and eventually the street gives way to Beek’s Lane, then leading to brook, and a few fanciful footpaths to choose from. Meander through the woodlands and after a few kilometres, you’ll find yourself in Cold Ashton. Stay on the path after moseying about the village and carry on straight through the valley. There, you will see an old derelict farm building to your left and, eventually, a stream will follow to the right. Turn left at Green Lane towards Marshfield High Street, bringing you back to where you started.

Castle Combe and Nettleton Mill, Wiltshire
On this circular route, start in the idyllic village of Castle Combe, and look for the public footpath that leads from there to Parsonage Wood. You’ll pass the Common Hill Plantation, discover bridges that pave the way over brooks and beech woodland, swimming with wild garlic in the spring months, and eventually Castle Combe. A pretty little village with its stone cottages, market cross and church that has lazy Sunday afternoons in mind.

Trails of Westonbirt
At the National Arboretum in Westonbirt you can discover over 2,500 tree species from all corners of the world. Inside its gates are 17 miles of trails to explore – comfortable footwear recommended. We suggest starting in the Old Arboretum and then making your way towards the Silk Wood, where you’ll find more traditional British woodland.

Where to eat?

The Coconut Tree, Cheltenham
If vibrant flavours and punchy dishes are what you crave, then opt for this elevated street food restaurant, opened in 2016 by five young Sri Lankans. Make sure to taste the traditional hopper, kotthu and devilled dishes, and wash them down with the selection of fine wines, beers and the ‘cocotails’ on offer. The Drunken Sri Lankan 3.0 comes in a vessel shaped like an elephant and is a potent creation.

Koj, Cheltenham
This eponymous Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar in Cheltenham was founded by MasterChef finalist, British-Japanese chef Andrew Kojima. Note however, they prefer to cook, rather than serve their fare raw: you’ll notice an ox-heart burger bun and grazing dishes including miso roast cod and KFC – Koj fried chicken.

Lords of The Manor, Upper Slaughter
Charles Smith, who took over in 2017, creates delicious dishes and a seven-course tasting menu that offers elegant iterations of British classics. The preserved lemon with scallops is a firm favourite, as is the whipped anchovy-and-horseradish crème fraîche with English-rose veal. Complete your meal with the intriguing goat’s-milk panna cotta with rhubarb jelly.

The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

Image via thewildrabbit.co.uk

This lovely 18th-century stone pub supports British farmers and artisan producers with its reflective menu. The award-winning kitchen, headed by Nathan Eades, creates dishes that work in tandem with the seasons to celebrate traditional British cooking with a contemporary twist.

Looking for November sun? Click here. 

Explore our Cotwalds collection of charming properties here.

Featured image by Collin Watts via Unsplash

Winter Sun: November Destinations

With travel restrictions in place, getting away for the annual summer holiday hasn’t been possible for a great number of travel enthusiasts. The staycation suddenly became the top holiday option for Brits, as temperatures temporarily soared in the UK. While being able to take a break at home may have helped to reduce stress for some people, not being able to board a plane, or sail away, has left many of us feeling cheated of a proper holiday.

A winter sun holiday is the travel experience with your name on it, especially if wintertime blues have a habit of creeping up on you. If you long to relax and unwind, and to explore a foreign destination, there’s no better time than November to get away from it all.
Between October and February, you can swap the colder climate for the balmy weather of the glorious Mediterranean. November is the perfect time to escape to romantic Italy or exotic Morocco.

What To Do And See In Italy

A winter sun holiday in Italy is just what you need to restore equilibrium to the mind, body and spirit, in November. One of the best places to visit, to get your balance back, is the stunning Tuscan city of Florence. The moderate weather in November is ideal for sightseeing. As there are fewer crowds in Florence during the winter sun season, you have more freedom to explore at your leisure. Should you, of course, want to escape to Italy for a winter sun holiday that features snow you can always head north for Turin – the gateway to the Alps.

Often referred to as ‘the cradle of the Renaissance’, Florence was the first UNESCO World Heritage site in Tuscany. It’s a magical and enchanting city filled with charming meandering cobbled streets that lead you to discover stunning Gothic architecture, historic palaces and churches, and renowned museums. Gourmands can feast on food options that are satisfyingly decadent, and enjoy a great selection of wines.

Florence’s prime attractions include the iconic Cathedral with its distinctive Brunelleschi dome that dominates the skyline, the Bell Tower by Giotto, Santa Croce Church, Piazza della Signoria, Piazzale Michelangiolo and Ponte Vecchio. If you appreciate art, a visit to the Uffizi Museum and the Accademia Gallery is also not to be missed. Every sight in the magnificent city is strikingly beautiful and leaves you mesmerised and promising yourself that you’ll return to Florence someday.

Casa Howard is a chic boutique guest house situated just a stone’s throw away from Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, in Florence’s historic centre. The beautifully furnished B&B guest rooms feature fabulous Renaissance-era details that evoke a sense of elegance and romance.

Casa Howard Florence
The stunning suite with frescoed and wood-beamed ceilings.

Alternatively, you can stay in a luxurious 19th-century villa that perfectly complements the fairytale ambience of Florence. Situated on Lake Orta’s shores, in Piedmont, Relais & Chateaux Villa Crespi offers opulence in a lavish Arabesque style. The on-site restaurant’s Mediterranean fare is equally imaginative and creative. Sleep in a canopied four-poster bed, and dream about your winter sun adventures in Florence.

Relais & Chateaux Villa Crespi
19th-century villa inspired by Middle Eastern architecture.

What To Do And See In Morocco

Those winter blues will quickly melt away on a getaway to North Africa. The heat in Morocco is often unbearable during the peak summer season, making it uncomfortable for sightseeing and exploring the magic of this amazing exotic country. However, the weather in November is still sunny and pleasantly warm.

November 18th is the annual celebration of Moroccan Independence Day. If you’re on your winter sun holiday during this national holiday, you may find historical sites and public offices closed. Colourful parades with street food vendors will more than makeup for this temporary inconvenience.

If you love medieval history, the ancient city of Fez is the perfect base for your shoulder season Moroccan adventure. Stay at the luxury boutique Hotel Sahrai for easy access to the Fes el-Bali Medina that’s filled with shops, mosques, food emporiums, art galleries and museums. You’ll feel pampered and relaxed in a chic modern guest room that features bespoke furniture and designer details. For the best breathtaking views of Fez, visit the 16th-century fort of Borj Nord.

The perfect hotel for catching some winter sun, Hotel Sahrai.
Rooftop bar with spectacular views of the large Medina; hailing from the Moroccan word for magic.

The ancient walled city of Marrakech is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. The former imperial city is a vibrant hub of activity and Morocco’s culture centre. It’s packed with ornately decorated palaces and mosques, and colourful marketplaces that you’ll want to explore.

Top places to add to your must-visit list include the beautiful botanical Jardin Majorelle, created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, the 150-room Bahia Palace, and the biggest Marrakech market – Souk Semmarine. For a true Marrakchi experience, you’ll need to do some haggling for leather goods, silverware, rugs or just about anything. The UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fna is the city’s No.1 nighttime attraction, and also where you’ll find street entertainment and genuine snake charmers.

After a full-on day exploring Marrakech’s ample charms, check into Berber Lodge for complete rest and relaxation. The rural property boasts 9 dwellings that are surrounded by olive trees, on the outskirts of the village of Oumnass. The spacious lodges feature natural materials like eucalyptus wood and wild bamboo in traditional Moroccan interiors that are simple, beautiful and stylish.

The classic lodge room at the Berber Lodge.

To enjoy optimal sunshine, Taroudant is your ultimate winter sun destination. From November to March, it’s the warmest place in all of Morocco. The authentic Berber market town is situated deep in the heart of the Souss Valley, and boasts a stunning mountainous backdrop of the High and Anti Atlas Mountains. With fewer tourists visiting at this time, you can experience Moroccan culture more fully. Trekking expeditions and bird and wildlife watching are popular activities in the local geography.

Situated on the outskirts of Taroudant, the 4-star luxe eco-retreat of Dar Al Hossoun is perfect for winter sun relaxation. Its lush garden features over 900 different desert flora species. Each of the 50 guest rooms is named after a plant and is decorated in a charming traditional Moroccan style. The tranquil haven also has a Spa, bar and restaurant.

The luxury and eco-friendly retreat designed and built by local artisans using traditional materials and techniques.

Thinking of breaking for the border on a 2020 Holiday?

Have a read of our latest journal entry for some inspiration here. 

Featured image by Victoriano via Unsplash.

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