With the arrival of spring, the appetite for European getaways has well and truly removed. From the quiet corner from the Costa Brava, the rolling hills of Tuscany to the cliff tops of Santorini and also the shores of Lake Como, we’ve found seven places to while away long summer days and balmy evenings.
1. For any Beach Break: Hostal de la Gavina, Costa Brava, Spain
What: Having attracted Hollywood's elite from Elizabeth Taylor to Robert De Nero, Hostal de la Gavina reopens for its 90th season on 14th April, and arriving to mark the milestone is a new infinity pool and re-imaged garden. The very first hotel in the united states to become member of Leading Hotels around the globe is the perfect place to soak up the Spanish atmosphere, with three Salvador Dalí museums, wandering along the coastal road to hidden coves and strolls through vineyards to sample Catalonian wine. Hostal en Gavina's gastronomic trail from the region (which holds 21 Michelin stars) is essential for discovering seasonal tapas.
Why: Soak up Spanish culture at Hostal de la Gavina – three Salvador Dalí museums, 21 Michelin stars within reach and uncrowded, local beaches to understand more about by foot.
Rates from: EUR280 (approx. lb239) per night for a Classic Room, including breakfast.
2. For a Luxurious Getaway: Villa d'Este, Lake Como, Italy
What: Having re-opened its doors on 3rd March, Villa d'Este is welcoming back guests because of its 150th season. 2022 will discover a prestigious calendar of events, including the official birthday celebration on 28th June, and as the best for its milestone year, the hotel will stay open through the Christmas period. A highlight of year is going to be the 'Villa d'Este Then and Now' exhibition, showcasing archive photography of iconic spots and history. Meanwhile, Villa d'Este's institutional events will also return, including Concorso d'Eleganza (20 – 22 May), Villa d'Este Wine Symposium and Villa d'Este Style Electric Yachting (17 September), also it will collaborate with Teatro Sociale di Como to showcase Italy's finest operas.
Why: Lake Como's grande dame is marking its 150th season in sensational style with evening galas, floating concerts, an electric yacht show, so that as the best because of its milestone year, the hotel's first festive season.
Rates from: EUR1,050 (approx. lb888) for a Double Classic Room per room every night, including breakfast, parking and accessibility Sporting Club facilities. Price includes VAT and service
3. For any Culinary Celebration: Villa La Massa, Tuscany, Italy
What: Having re-opened on 16th March, Villa La Massa is the perfect base from which to discover Florence, only 15-minute shuttle ride away. Throughout May, it will celebrate the city's floral symbol, the iris, offering exclusive tours of Florence's Iris Garden with panoramic views and also over 1,500 types of the flower. Alfresco painting classes and an iris tipple is going to be on offer at the hotel. Villa La Massa further celebrates the heritage of Tuscany via a number of special menus and soirées. With new Chef Stefano Ballarino at the helm, it'll co-host Four Hands Dinners in April, June and September, a lavish Italian Ferragosto feast, a fall Flavours dinner and L’Oliveto Bistrot Summer Lounge every Wednesday from June.
Why: To celebrate the colourful heritage, exquisite cuisine and glorious gardens of Tuscany, having a dedicated Iris Month experience in May and culinary celebrations hosted through the season.
Rates from: EUR520 (approx. lb470) for a Double Deluxe Room per night, including breakfast. Price also includes utilisation of the Arno SPA facilities (including gym, sauna, Turkish baths). Price includes VAT and repair. City tax excluded.
4. For any Family Getaway: Parklane Resort & Spa, Limassol, Cyprus
What: The perfect destination for families desiring a lengthier season of sunshine without a long-haul flight. Children can let their imaginations run wild within the hotel's impressive Park Kidz, with a lifesize castle and multi-activity pool including a pirate ship. Guests can fall off their little ones and go to the Kalloni spa for relaxation, with four thalassotherapy pools available (one of which replicates the salinity from the Dead Sea). Those wishing to explore Limassol's culture can tour that old town, exploring its castle, emerging foodie scene and colourful street art. Or, for a unique experience, make halloumi with local expert Mrs Loulla, that has produced traditional Cypriot cheese on her Choirokoitia farm since 2004.
Why: For a lengthy season of sunshine, fun-filled activities for children and different cultural offerings with no long-haul flight.
Rates from: EUR300 (approx. lb257) per night, including breakfast.
5. For any Sustainable Stay: Andronis Arcadia, Oia, Santorini
What: Among the island's only ultra-luxury family welcoming hotels, Andronis Arcadia is really a rare find. Families can also enjoy yoga, kids spa treatments, cooking lessons, tennis, hiking trails and photo safaris. Each one of the sugar cube villas, with soothing neutral colour palettes, ranging from 1-4 bedrooms, each boast their very own private pool, spacious living areas, local artwork and sustainable design (over 90% of the furniture is made inside the hotel using locally sourced materials). A 10-minute walk in the main pedestrian strip of Oia (possibly the world's most Instagrammed village), Andronis Arcadia sits from the crowds around the caldera edge with unobstructed sunset views and masses of space.
Why: For contemporary design lovers and families looking for space, spa and fewer crowds.
Rates from: lb425 every night for any suite.
6. For any Wellness Escape: Andronis Concept Wellness Resort, Imervogli, Santorini
What: Set on one of the highest points of Santorini, Andronis Concept blends seamlessly in to the hillside and resultantly provides the utmost of privacy – it's no wonder several Hollywood A-listers visit every summer. Each suite has an ocean-facing infinity pool, with breathtaking sunsets and sunrises when the sky turns shades of pink. A hiking path runs parallel to the property and wellness experts offer daily hikes, yoga, tennis, personal training, nutritionist-approved Greek cookery lessons, and new – CBD treatments using Ila's concentrate balm which is recognized to alleviate inflammation and numb pain brought on by trauma.
Why: A hidden, hilltop wellness escape (with blow-dry bar and new CBD spa treatments).
Rates from: lb315 every night for a suite.
7. For any Romantic Holiday: Hotel Ch^ateau du Grand-Lucé, Loire Valley, France
What: Located 30-minutes in the Le Mans 24 racetrack and less than 1h from Paris by train may be the stunning Hotel Ch^ateau du Grand-Lucé. An old country home of the Baron Jacques Pineau de Viennay, Hotel Ch^ateau was built-in 1760 and has played host to some of the greatest philosophers and minds in the Chronilogical age of Enlightenment – Voltaire, Mozart, Rousseau and Goth – in addition to nobles, writers, design teams. With vigilant attention to detail, the 45,000 square-foot Hotel Ch^ateau has 17 rooms and suites and is among the finest remaining types of French Neoclassical architecture up to now, becoming a sensational tribute to the noble provenance and rich history.
Why: Enjoy cooking classes, wine tasting and mixology classes in the undiscovered Sarthe region of Pays de La Loire.
Rates from: lb400 per night including breakfast.