elle chic shack awards 2007
This is the second of ELLE's annual awards, in which we celebrate the growing trend for staying in small, individual retreats. This year's winners, voted for by our expert panel, include everything from a colonial house in Laos to a lakeside lodge in Finland. So relax and let our team show you their favourite chic shacks...
Mr & Mrs Smith
13 Hotel Vigilius, Italy
This dramatic contemporary lodge in the South Tyrol is perched on the mountainside and is only accessible by cable car. There are two restaurants: choose from South Tyrolean dishes or Mediterranean cuisine.
Vigilijoch Mountain, Lana, Italy. Enq (00 30 047) 355 6600; vigilius.it. Doubles from £205, B&B, including cable-car rides and use of the lifts at Viglijoch, Mr & Mrs Smith, enq mrandmrssmith.com
14 Hotel Raya, Aeolian islands
The Raya is set on the beautiful island of Panarea, and when you arrive by boat you're whisked up to the hotel by gold buggy. The hotel is split into three levels – the uppermost avery is a scenic 10-minute walk from reception. It sounds like a bit of a treck, but it's worth it for the amazing views. The 36 rooms are perfect, airy and comfortable. One of my favourite spots is the restaurant – fantastically intimate with superb food.
Vida S Pietro, Panarea, Italy. Enq (00 39 090) 983013; hotelraya.it Doubles from £162, B&B.
15 La Sommita, Italy
Converted from a 16th-century palace in Puglia, La Sommita has only 10 rooms and a real secret-hideaway feel, with lots of white and domed ceilings. The food is simply but beautifully served in a very groovy dining room.
Via Scipione Petrarolo 7, Ostuni, Italy. Enq (00 39 083) 30 5925; lasommita.relaisculti.com. Doubles from £165, B&B.