Feeling down with the winter blues and missing those hot summer days? Why not to treat yourself to some glorious sun rays and relax by the beach? Design Hotels™ top five picks, perfect for a fabulous winter escape in the sun from Europe’s hot spots to the wonders of Oz.
Enjoy the array of outdoor activities in Sagres at Memmo Baleeira, most southern tip of Europe with 300 sunny days a year, spectacular landscapes and beautiful wild nature sights. Or visit exotic Thailand’s Andaman Islands where 36 beautiful villas of the Casa de la Flora resort provide a peaceful retreat during the region’s driest months of the year. Miami meets Gran Canaria at Seaside Palm Beach Hotel, located inside an ancient palm grove, offering direct access to the vibrant life of Playa del Inglés, yet maintaining the feel of a secluded island. If you’d like to skip winter altogether, why not to take a trip down under, where summer begins in December? QT Sydney, in the heart of the Harbour City, is the perfect starting point to enjoy the hot summer temperatures. Located in the capital of Madeira, The Vine is a haven of modern luxury set in the mild climate among luscious landscapes of this picturesque region.
The Sagres peninsula is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty and stunning landscapes that will make your heart sing with plenty of action to be had for all outdoor enthusiasts. Memmo Baleeira delivers the best the region has to offer, from surfing lessons to jeep tours. There is, of course, the Kid’s Club, to keep young explorers entertained with plentiful educational and fun-packed activities. There is a lot to keep guests occupied – a restaurant that serves local food, a bar, a café and a swimming pool set against the backdrop of Martinhal Bay. And why not to use the opportunity to mix with the locals? Make the most of the beautiful nature around you and enjoy the flavours of the region. Upon arrival guests are provided with special bracelet as part of the “Living Sagres by Memmo” programme, giving them special benefits in town.
If you are looking for a tranquil retreat, the shores of Khao Lak will make an ideal destination. Casa de la Flora is uncompromisingly forward thinking in its design with the local surroundings in mind – perfect for those in search of privacy in pristine natural surroundings. The 36 private modern villas are the epitome of serenity. Most of the low-rise villas offer breathtaking sea views, private pools and a complimentary mini bar. The resort is set right on the beach and there is an infinity-edge pool for guests’ further enjoyment. Should you wish to explore the surroundings, the in-house “Dreammaker” offers day-trips and excursions to take you diving around the nearby Similan Islands or explore the unspoilt Tachai, an uninhabited island with untouched nature, only recently open for tourists.
Great Fun on Gran Canaria
Seaside Palm Beach Hotel on Gran Canaria is a clever reincarnation of Alberto Pinto’s 1970s classic . Palm Beach Hotel follows the original design concept into a new era. The Miami Beach-inspired hotel with its stylish façade and turquoise-mosaic pools is located in a 1,000-year-old palm grove and offers a cool, laid-back vibe. Gran Canaria is famous for its wide variety of micro climates, where green ravines and picturesque villages are contrasted by golden sand beaches and white sandy dunes. A third of the island is under UNESCO protection. Seaside Palm Beach is a great destination for entire family – there is a special clubhouse for kids, offering hips of fun and entertainment and for young holiday-makers. There are plenty of activities to keep guests occupied – three swimming pools, an open-air gym, golf, tennis, archery and the beach just a short walk away.
December Summer in Oz
Two of the Harbour City’s most iconic landmarks – Historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theatre provide a picturesque setting for QT Sydney. In contrast to the Northern Hemisphere countries, where winter is setting in, in Sydney summer only starts on the 1st of December, making it a great destination to skip winter altogether. Enjoy basking in the sun at the most popular beaches in the city, Bondi Beach and Manly Beach, just a short drive away. Sydney’s Hyde Park, an idyllic urban retreat for sunbathing and jogging, is also no further than a short walk from the hotel. The world-famous Sydney Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and the Centre Point Tower are some of the nearby sight to behold. Back at the hotel, the SpaQ offers a traditional men’s barber with hot shaves, customized treatments and a Hammam-inspired steam and ice room.
Adventurous and Charming Madeira
Named after the local vines used to make the world-renowned Madeira wine on this “Isle of Flowers”, The Vine serves as the perfect starting point to explore the picturesque and charming Funchal, the capital city of the island of Madeira. The region is a renowned for its hiking trails, pristine nature, mild temperatures and fertile volcanic soil. It’s also a perfect destination for sport fishing enthusiasts and marine life admirers, ideal for whale and dolphin watching. The hotel offers fantastic views of the harbor, a panoramic rooftop restaurant and a heated, open-air swimming pool to take it all in.
By Natasha Godbold