Nestled within 46 hectares of Côtes de Provence AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) vines in Provence, UP – Ultimate Provence Hôtel is a slow living, sun-soaked retreat just a short drive from chic Saint-Tropez. Designed by the architects Humbert & Poyet, its bedrooms and suites mirror a Mediterranean setting, with a soothing palette of tones that conjure sea, earth and lavender fields. Sleek mid-century furniture, steel framed windows and poured concrete flooring create an ultra-sophisticated urban feel throughout the common spaces.
Outside, luxuriate by the swimming pool against a backdrop of olive trees or indulge in a glass of Ultimate Provence’s signature Rosé under the tented terrace-lounge. The hotel makes its own organic wines from home-grown Syrah grapes from its vineyards. End a day of exploration by getting comfortable in the winery’s sommelier-staffed bar and Bistronomic restaurant, for a tasting of some of the Côtes de Provence’s finest offerings.
SLH Insider Tip: Just outside the hotel’s estate the Lac des Escarcets makes a perfect picnicking spot within a spectacular nature reserve. Drink in the pastorally picturesque Provençal landscape, with a bottle of the hotel’s award-winning organic rosé wine to hand. It is also an idyllic spot for bird-watching among the scented pine trees.
Tucked away behind Chania’s iconic Venetian harbour, Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa epitomises old world glamour. A beautifully restored 17th-century Venetian mansion that belonged to Giovanni Delfino, an Italian knight, it’s clear why the same family have held onto it for six generations since 1835. With its enviable location right in the heart of Chania’s historic centre, far-reaching ocean views, and warm Greek hospitality, this is a boutique hotel that brings together the very best of Crete. The pride and passion of the Delfino family permeates throughout the hotel – original stone walls and elegant marble floors are the backdrop to handpicked Italian furnishings and antiques in its characterful rooms and suites, and each pebble in the courtyard has painstakingly been placed by hand.
Its rooms come in varying modern or traditional styles, with balconies and terraces offering Old Town street or harbour views. The Romantic Suite is made for couples, which has a large whirlpool bathtub and mezzanine bedroom, or the Ottoman Suite with its own hammam. Start the morning with an authentic Cretan breakfast spread of homemade bread, freshly baked pies, fruit, yoghurt and honey, ready for a day exploring the Old Town’s brightly coloured buildings, shops and cafés just moments from your door.
SLH Insider Tip: The sea is the star of the show here – and the best place to take in the view is from the hotel’s elegant rooftop garden with a bar and whirlpool tub. Take in the soul-stirring skyline, across the pastel-coloured Old Town to the twinkling lights of the harbour and the endless blue horizon, then sip on a cocktail as the sun goes down.
On its own 350-acre island connected to the mainland only via a wooden bridge, Isle of Eriska Hotel and Spa is the ultimate rural retreat. This grand countryside house is the perfect antidote to urban life, offering guests a completely unique opportunity to truly get away from it all. With spectacular views of the surrounding gardens, an array of outdoor activities and Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains on the doorstep, it’s a destination to be enjoyed year-round. The Scottish baronial-style hotel subtly blends old with new, housing designer rooms and luxury suites which exude elegance and warmth with contemporary interiors made from the finest fabrics and materials.
Meanwhile, adventures await in the hotel grounds and beyond for all ages – try your hand at falconry and archery, get lost in the wilderness on a wildlife walk, or tee off amid epic scenery at The Dragons Tooth Golf Course in Ballachulish. End the day at the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, one of only ten Michelin-starred venues in Scotland. Reserve a table in the conservatory which boasts views from under the boughs of an ancient oak tree planted the year the house was built.
SLH Insider Tip: A short walk up the hill from the main hotel, Isle of Eriska’s Hilltop Reserves come with incredible views over Loch Creran and onto the beautiful island of Lismore and beyond.
With sweeping views over the Bay of Tunis, Maison Dedine is a seaside hotel like no other. Once the home to an adventurous painter and sailor affectionately nicknamed “Dedine” who designed the property himself, it’s a love letter to the ocean, and his children who refurbished the residence into the five-bedroom hotel gave their names to some of the suites. Located next to the Tunisian Presidential Palace in the upmarket area of Carthage, its extensive collection of Tunisian art throughout the hotel reflects the owner’s vision of paying tribute to the culture’s heritage and creating a hideaway with a contemporary look and feel.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and an infinity pool put the panoramic blue horizon centre stage. Add generous living room spaces in the rich navy tones of Hallou and artisanal antique chairs from Bada, and it feels like a cosy cocoon for couples where the sound of silence is broken only by bird song. Meals are also something to look forward at Maison Dedine, where you can sit down to exceptional Tunisian and international gastronomy with a spell-binding setting, bolstered by the owner’s background as one of Tunisia’s leading catering companies.
SLH Insider Tip: Explore the quirky art galleries of nearby town Sidi Bou Said, a long-established boho haven for adventurers, storytellers and artists including the likes of André Gide and Henri Matisse. The main street, Rue Habib Thameur, is lined with shops, boutiques, galleries and eateries.