Hotels for winter sun
It’s that time of year when the view from the window might best be described as ‘chilly mizzle’, and the temptation to swap it for ‘sun-kissed beach paradise’ grows stronger by the day. Here’s our collection of hotels that allow you to do just that: tropical hotspots, sunny island retreats and stylish stays in clement climes, all perfect for autumn escapes and cosy winter retreats…
Style Fortress mirage
Setting Edge of the Empty Quarter
Luxurious, remote and romantic, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort near Abu Dhabi's Liwa Oasis inhabits a staggering, sun-baked sandscape. Outside, the desert heat rages; inside is cool, calm and brimming with Middle Eastern opulence – arches twinkle with Arabic lanterns, palm-lined courtyards centre on tinkling fountains. Lounge poolside, pamper in the Anantara spa, kick up a sandstorm in a 4WD then dine under starry skies in a Bedouin tent big enough for two.
This awe-inspiring, 19th-century confection of a hotel was created by a Parisian party planner, and a chic sense of occasion carries through every hidden herb garden, secret candlelit terrace and spacious Superior Suite: each room is swathed in silks and packed with antique treasures, and the Atlas Mountain views are amazing. The most romantic touch, though, might be what isn’t there: each suite is TV- and telephone-free.
Style Italo-Arab urban retreat
Setting Private polo estate
Anyone familiar with Huvafen Fushi's attentive service and extensive facilities will know the drill: this Arabian sister property may be small but it's perfectly formed, with more spa therapies and activities than you could ever hope to try on one holiday. Watch polo on the terrace, sniff out bargains in Dubai's souks or get involved in some seriously hedonistic nightlife: just 20 minutes from the airport, Desert Palm is the perfect city-break stopover.