If you were asked to describe your dream holiday in one sentence, would the words well-being, wining and dining, and interiors to make you weak at the knees all feature in your answer? Same here. We’ve rounded up five of the world’s finest hotels serving just that – serenity, shut-eye and style in spades.
ION ADVENTURE HOTEL, ICELAND
Adventurous in both name and nature, the Ion Adventure Hotel in Iceland has everything you could hope for in a Nordic getaway. A dramatic cantilevered box, jutting out into the surrounding lava fields makes a strong statement as a hotel exterior, with the internal perspective of this design providing expansive views across endless landscape. Decor is stylish and minimal with a focus on natural materials and locally made textiles, whilst the hotel’s award winning eco-friendly principles are said to make this place a sleek, efficiently-run ship. It’s additional forte is the ability to offer organised, regional experiences in everything from geothermal hot spring hikes to riding across black sand beaches on horseback. So if a trek across a glacier is your scene, then the good news is you’ll find it here. The even better news is that you’ll also find all the TLC your body requires upon return – slipping into the hotel’s naturally heated pool for a soul restoring soak beneath the Northern Lights is sure to be an unparalleled experience.
OLEA ZAKYNTHOS RESORT, GREECE
Nothing says ‘pause’ more than a sun drenched break, and with sunshine pretty much guaranteed, Greece is a great option. The Olea Zakynthos retreat can cater for every other possible whim. A cool, calming colour palette lies behind this hotel’s stylish and seductive facade. A series of crisp, stately boxes in concrete, alongside a curvaceous swimming pool means there’s more than a hint of 1970s LA here. And with an all suite approach to accommodation, this is far from your budget break option. But if it’s luxe you’re looking for then this place it seems, can provide just that. Rooms are the ultimate in tranquil, cocooning simplicity – the use of mango wood and natural finishes compliment the light, airy linens and tactile textiles and allow the colours of the sky and streaming sunlight to take centre stage. An abundance of internal plant life adds to the sense of wellbeing and that’s even before you’ve had a chance to indulge in some restorative treatments at the hotel’s opulent spa. And with your own private daybed in the suites’ adjoining outside spaces leading directly into the glorious pool, it seems like this place is what the hashtag #holidaygoals was made for.
EL FENN, MARRAKECH
The city of Marrakech is both mysterious and magical. The epicentre of the city, known as the Medina, throngs with squirrelled riads, the equivalent of our boutique hotel style accommodation. And while these hidden jewels – hidden, because here a tiny, unassuming doorway can often give way to unforeseen splendour – are wonderful examples of exquisite Moroccan architecture, there can be little doubt that El Fenn is the jewel in the city’s crown. Little wonder that US Vogue chose this location for their editorial shoot with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, soaking in a bathtub filled with rose petals.
Polished plaster is the surface used throughout the hotel, and appearing in a myriad of colours for everything from walls to headboards, it provides the perfect backdrop to a mixture of bespoke and vintage furniture, giving the space an eclectic feel. The sexy and sophisticated selection of colours chosen for each of the hotel’s individually decorated suites is only marginally pipped at the style post by the private terrace setup these rooms have got going on, complete with their own private plunge pools. All in all, sheer decadence seems a fairly accurate description for this spot. Oh, and one more word; hammam.
HOTEL EL PALAUET, BARCELONA
Barcelona is a city famed for it’s nightlife and exuberant culture. El Palauet, a gem in art nouveau form, is its perfect, calm, Catalan counterpart for when the time to kick back comes around. Rooms decorated almost entirely in sharp whites allow the original frescoes to sing out from every corner of the impressive, high-ceilinged rooms. And with each suite assigned its own personal assistant to help you plan paso a paso your journey through all of the cultural must-see-and-dos that the city has on offer, this hotel is a savvy choice too. In addition, El Palauet also hosts an impressive chill out area on its rooftop terrace boasting a sauna, massage room and jacuzzi, with an all day bar and snack service bringing the cherry on top.
CHABLÉ YUCATAN RESORT, MEXICO
Want to really get away from it all? The Chablé Yucatan resort in Mexico provides an exceedingly exotic escape. Highly acclaimed for its dining experiences, the hotel is proud to sit amongst the world’s best restaurants, as well as possessing a clutch of awards for both its architecture and design. However the natural, awe-inspiring beauty of this resort, set in the actual Mayan jungle, is its real virtue and subsequently speaks for itself. Choose from casitas nestled amid verdant gardens or the plush extravagance of the Royal Villa complete with outdoor shower and private cabin spa (on second thoughts, best to leave that one until your lottery win arrives.)
With an ethos of ‘redefining wellness’ it seems that a few tranquil days spent here doing little more than rocking in a hammock certainly wouldn’t do any of us a bit of harm, (though it may do untold damage to the purse strings).