Here is our line-up of the hottest hotel picks for a sun drenched summer of escapades, all of our destinations mentioned are quarantine free and open to vaccinated travellers – who’s ready for a ‘hot vax summer?’
This small island is often overlooked as a summer hotspot, meaning that its quaint streets and beautiful beaches are less populated and expensive than other cities. Tucked away in the ancient city of Valetta, Casa Ellul, formerly a Victorian-period Palazzo is the perfect historic hideaway and the city’s’ first luxury boutique hotel. The property has been in the Ellul family for generations and has been lovingly restored, the neo-classical townhouse now boasts contemporary designs whilst still capturing its traditional Maltese essence. With only 9 suites, this family run hotel ensures a bespoke and highly personal service. The penthouse makes for the picture-perfect sunset, take a soak in the terrace hot tub and watch the sun drop behind the crumbling, limestone buildings. Ellul is located a stone’s throw from Valetta’s World Heritage centre and just along from Europe’s oldest functioning theatre. The city is the perfect blend of culture and modern vibrancy and nestled in-between two harbours, boat watching is preferred over people.
Perched on the cliffs of Sveti Stefan overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Villa Geba is a Balkan jewel set into a magical backdrop. Each of the 8 suites at the property are named after Greek Goddesses, all uniquely designed and exuding luxury with floor to ceiling windows opening onto the breath-taking panoramic views of the peninsula. The opulence flows outdoors to the infinity pool where you can sink into the sumptuous sunbeds and bask in the Montenegrin sun. The Muse restaurant pairs French gastronomy with local produce and with Chef Olivia Méli fusing dishes like Vanilla-Poached Lobster and Bouillabaisse this is a fine dining experience not to be missed. Although you’ll be tempted not to leave this hidden piece of paradise, there are many exceptional sights waiting to be discovered such as the pristine national parks, sacred mountains and medieval citadels.
This Italian style property overlooking Lake Lugano was formerly owned by a noble Russian family, the Von Witters, before being bought by a Swiss family and transformed into the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola in 1885. Set in a sub-tropical garden, with all 72 rooms boasting park or lake views which are best enjoyed on the south facing balconies, terraces and porches. The owners are serious art collectors, their beloved pieces are decadently displayed throughout the suites and communal spaces adding to the old school glam style. With a multitude of things to do at the hotel, such as lounging at the private lido, pampering at the spa and sweating out toxins on the clay tennis court you may need persuading to leave. Once you do the Gulf of Lugano awaits. From boat rentals to nature trails, the lake is full of endless possibilities and what better way to enjoy the Swiss mountains in all their splendour than from the Monte Bre funicular. If that doesn’t entice you, golf courses are plentiful in the region and due to its beautiful climate, it makes for some of the finest in Europe.
Opening earlier in the year The Kalesma Hotel is one of the newest to be added to Mykonos’s flourishing hotel scene. Kalesma meaning ‘to invite,’ welcomes those who wish to have an authentic Mykonian experience, with its whitewashed walls, neutral and earthy colour palette mimicking the Cycladic surroundings. The 25 suites and 2 villas all come with their own private heated pool and unobstructed view of the Agean which is the first hotel on the island to do so. The open-air living concept allows guests to make the most of the sunrise and sunset views from their private terraces and al fresco dining areas. Bringing people together through food, Pere Ubu captures the flavours of the Mediterranean through traditional mezes and wood-fired focaccia. The Aloni sunset lounge offers awe-inspiring views over Delos Island, paired with the convivial fireside and an inhouse DJ which creates an intoxicating atmosphere.