10 Hot Seaside retreats
Finding chic-on-sea in Europe is tougher than you might imagine. Now that Mr & Mrs Smith hotel guides have launched their Coastlines collection online, you can just click and go
1. Bjork’s Icelandic motherland may not be the most obvious destination when planning a seaside break, but if it’s a stylish weekend escape on the ocean’s edge you crave, this contemporary hotel is as cool as they come. Modern and monochrome, it has a slick bar and restaurant and with a sister gallery around the corner, it s impressive collection of artworks spill out into the hotel itself. But a couple of tips: firstly, save up before you go; secondly, save up more than you think you’ll need. Iceland is seriously expensive, but once you come to terms with that, it promises a chic city break with lots of activities, such as dog-sleighing and snowmobiling. An adventure you’ll never forget.
From £220 to £500 for the apartment suite, breakfast not included.
2. The reception/bar area mixes traditional Spanish tiled tables and old stone floors with a profusion of silk lanterns, Moroccan ironwork and Chinese lacquerware, so the simplicity of the all-white rooms comes as a surprise. Anyone who likes their holidays sumptuous may find the beach-hut chic of Sacristia rooms on the spartan side, but minimalism can be a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the Moorish streets of this Spanish city.
€135 to €150, including breakfast.
3. This Asian and African accented finca is one of the most imaginative of the Balearic island’s new generation of hip rural retreats. Book a Zen-inspired suite with the kids or disappear a deux into a four-poster bolthole. But whatever you do, plan an alfresco dinner of modern Mediterranean in the flora-filled garden.
€240 to €480. including breakfast.
The Town House
4. An affordable oasis in the orange blossom-filled old quarter of this Costa del Sol city, the décor combines modern with antique. The cream calmness of the atrium is a soothing welcome as you find your way to your individually designed room or the Ibiza-flavoured roof terrace.
€95 to €130. including buffet breakfast.
5. Clinging to the cliff’s edge along Greece’s most prestigious swath of real estate, this all-white collection of original peasant dwellings is one of the most spectacular spots on Santorini. Loved-up couples can book one of the three recently refurbished grand suites, with your own private pool and terrace, to turn into hermits.
€195 to €850. including breakfast.
6. A block away from the seafront, an art deco exterior sets 3.14 apart from its more traditional neighbours. Playing on the theme of discovery, and the formula ‘pi’ (yes, you heard right), each of the hotel’s five floors has a look of its own. Choose from a colourful New World/Latin clash; louche, decadent Europe; purple-beaded Moorish Africa; the calming shades of Oceania; or sleek, minimalist Asia chic. The irreverence of the 3.14 compared with Cannes;’ Regency haunts, makes it more South Beach than South of France.
€120 to €1,500, plus €1.20 per person per day tax, breakfast not included.
Farol Design Hotel
7. Perched on an outcrop of rock, a few feet from the Atlantic Ocean and 40 minutes from Lisbon, this designer den is a blend of old and new – a traditional 19th-century Portuguese building with a modern extension. Of the hotel’s 34 bedrooms, ten are the creation of esteemed Portuguese fashion designers, some minimalist and all-white, others utterly OTT. The design savoir faire extends to the grounds, which ooze Café del Mar cool.
€100 to €400. includes breakfast.
8. Retreat to the alabaster chic of this five-star hotel in one of Italy’s most exclusive holiday islands. For the full rock-star experience, hole up in the Megaron Suite, a huge penthouse with its own private pool set in a Mediterranean roof garden. Otherwise, make sure you request a sea view.
€285 to €2,800. with breakfast.
9. A far cry from the chintzy traditional Brighton B&B, Square offers a sleek, alternative mini-break destination. Situated in a cheerful pastel-fronted Regency square, a gull’s swoop from the sea, the slick ‘reverse penthouse’ is bigger than your average flat!
€110 to €350. including breakfast.
10. On the smallest of these islands of Sicily, this relaxing bougainvillea-framed hideaway transforms into a hotspot by night, when the yachting set float into its private dock and anchor themselves to Raya’s tiny dancefloor.
€192 to €480. including breakfast.