Spread across a tree-swathed mountainside, Vivood Landscape Hotel teams stark minimalism with the rugged beauty of the Guadalest Valley. True to its name, the adults-only hotel was designed to make guests feel in tune with the land, with each standalone cabin tucked between trees and the timeworn stone of the mountainside. In the suites, the minimalist design only strengthens the pacifying power of the view, which begins at the foot of your bed and stretches to the opposite hills. It’s a scene capable of quietening the busiest minds, and bodies will soon follow after a session in the spa, an ultra-modern retreat inspired by the ancient art of Ayurveda.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £85.96 (€102), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast: for €17 a head, you’ll have free reign over the Continental buffet and hot dishes from the à la carte menu, including fluffy omelettes, poached eggs and avocado on toast.
Since opening, the hotel has collected over a dozen awards (both national and international), earning kudos for its innovative architecture and respect for nature.
Storm Gloria did a number on the hotel’s pool and spa areas – not a nice way to ring in 2020. Treatment rooms are still open, but the other spa areas and pool will be closed for repairs until the end of February 2020.
At the hotel
Yoga studio, free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, tea and coffee kit, free bottled water and Rituals bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Valley views are this hotel’s bread and butter – every room has oversize windows spanning an entire wall of the bedroom. If you’re partial to a private terrace and alfresco hot tub, swing for one of the Pool Suites. Decorated in a darker palette, the Pool Villas are spread over two floors and have spacious terraces, private plunge pools and outdoor showers. It’s worth noting that some of the Double Suites are higher up the hill, putting them slightly further from the restaurant, pools and spa. On the flip side, the lofty views more than make up for the slight slog required to reach them.
There are two outdoor infinity pools and a third, heated pool in the window-walled spa. The outdoor pools are particularly atmospheric at dusk, when the water is often stained pink and marmalade by the sunset.
Vivood’s valley-straddling views are quick to bring on states of bliss – something that only spurred the designers on when it came to the spa. Inspired by the ancient art of Ayurveda but making the most of modern science, the Vivood Spa teams rugged nature with cutting-edge design. There's a hammam, sauna, glass-walled thalassotherapy circuit, floatation tank and 16 treatment rooms, four of which can accomodate couples. For the full experience, try the signature Five Elements treatment, based on the namesake pillars of Ayurveda: earth, water, air, fire and aether. You’ll tour the sauna, plunge pools, hammam and thalassotherapy circuit, being slathered with a mango scrub and skin-softening mud in between. After passing through a set of glass-walled showers suspended over the mountainside, you’ll end with a soothing session in the saltwater floatation tank.
Pack your hiking, biking and yoga gear. On the other hand, the villas have projectors that are hooked up to Netflix – an invitation for loungewear if ever we heard one.
All of the common areas are wheelchair accessible, as is one of the Double Suites.
This one’s for over-16s only, making for placid days and romantic nights.
Request a table as close to the the valley-facing window as you can get.
Dressed-down minimalism with a splash of colour.
Vivood Panoramic Restaurant occupies an open-plan dining room with windows running its entire length, placing the valley centre stage. The look is lean and industrial, with metal tables meeting steel beams and monochrome décor, contrasting with the untamed greenery outside. The kitchen draws its produce from local farms, orchards and waters, championing a farm-to-table approach inspired by simpler times. Expect plenty of local seafood and meat, often barbecued or slow-cooked until it falls from the bone at the slightest touch. There are plenty of options for vegetarians, too, and an emphasis on healthy, balanced dishes that pack a flavoursome punch. Lighter bites like poke bowls and sandwiches can be ordered from the poolside lounge.
The bar is in the poolside lounge, a striking space clad in metal panelling and strewn with suave modernist furniture. The floor-to-ceiling windows make sundowners a real highlight – we wouldn't blame you if you chose to arrive a few hours early to secure a choice spot…
Breakfast is on offer from 8am to 11am; lunch from 1pm to 4pm; and dinner from 8pm to 11pm (food is served until 10.30pm).
Room service is available during restaurant hours. If you’re in a Pool Villa, you can have breakfast delivered to your terrace.
The hotel is spread across a tree-swathed mountainside in the Guadalest Valley, around an hour from Alicante (but a far cry from its hustle and bustle).
The best place to touch down is Alicante Airport, which can be reached directly from London Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester and many other European hubs. It takes just over an hour to drive from the airport to the hotel; transfers can be arranged for €130 each way.
Having your own set of wheels will certainly come in handy, particularly if you’re planning a day trip to the coast (the charming seaside town of Altea can be reached in 30 minutes). There’s free parking at the hotel, and staff in golf buggies can ferry you up and down the hill.
Worth getting out of bed for
At Vivood, waking up is as painless as it gets. You can roll over, pick up a remote and raise your blinds at the touch of a button, revealing the Guadalest Valley in all its sunbathed glory. If you’re feeling sprightly, join a class in the yoga studio or head out on an instructor-led trail run, making the most of the paths snaking over the mountainside. After breakfast, you could hike around the reservoir or take a dip in its emerald waters (they’re deep and chilly, so you may want to give it a miss outside of summer). On your return, restore weary limbs in the sleek Vivood Spa, where you could easily while away the whole afternoon.
If you’re keen to explore the coastline, set your sights on the whitewashed town of Altea, a 30-minute drive from the hotel. A world away from some of Alicante’s larger resort towns, Altea has a historic centre overlooked by the Parroquia De Nuestra Señora Del Consuelo, a regally decorated church famous for its blue-and-white tiled dome. The old town’s cobbled streets are often too steep and narrow for cars, which makes for pleasant strolling. Once you’ve had your fill, head down to the beachfront, where there’s a promenade populated with seaside cafés and bars. Back at the hotel, you can rent mountain bikes, a great way to head for the hills or reach nearby villages, most of which are charming and quintessentially Spanish. The front-desk staff will be able to point you towards their favourites.
There’s not much in the local area that’s on a par with the hotel’s restaurant. If you’re set on eating out, try the charming seaside town of Altea, a 30-minute drive away.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hillside retreat in Spain and unpacked their trail-running gear, a full account of their Guadalest Valley getaway will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Vivood Landscape Hotel in Alicante…
There’s nothing like a view of sunbathed hills to start the day. At Vivood Landscape Hotel, the suites double as viewing platforms, looking onto the rolling green of the Guadalest Valley, hemmed in by rocky peaks that glow in the morning light. To reveal this scene of rugged splendour, you need only pick up a remote and raise the blinds – without ever leaving your bed. And, if you decide you’re not yet ready to actually get up, you can effect a swift curtain call and go straight back to sleep.
This marriage of nature and design is at the heart of what this hotel is all about. The suites’ cabin-like architecture meant they could be installed with minimal effect on the landscape, and has the added boon of making them feel particularly peaceful and private. The spa looks positively space-age with its monochromatic colour scheme and angular design, but is equally inspired by earthly elements and the 5,000-year-old art of ayurveda. The restaurant, too, is bold and industrial in looks, but a glance at the menu reveals the chef’s preference for slow cooking, rustic barbecues and healthy, balanced cuisine. Fill your mornings with yoga and trail runs, or skip to the Rioja and poke bowls by the pool.
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