An impressive manor house set within the Lake District’s pretty village of Ambleside, Rothay Manor boasts chic country-style décor in each individually designed room, cocooning guests with sumptuous furnishings, opulent fabrics and luxury amenities. This month, the now 23-room property reveals eight new suites in The Pavilion, completing the hotel’s extensive five-year renovation. Designed by Ben Cunliffe Architect and with interiors by Dynargh Design, The Pavilion is inspired by the Manor’s picturesque Lakes location. The new rooms are generously proportioned and come with luxurious little touches like free-standing bath tubs and twin sinks – some of which have private courtyard gardens, an outdoor hot tub, a Wansfell Pink-facing balcony, and all are dog friendly.
Well-behaved canines are catered to throughout the hotel, with many rooms providing dog beds, towels and treats. They are also welcome to dine with their families in the hotel’s casual eatery – the Brathay Room. The Manor’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant serves up a decadent menu fusing Japanese and Scandinavian style cuisine, using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. It’s headed up by Executive Chef Daniel McGeorge, who has become a household name in the UK after being named the Champion of Champions in the BBC’s popular Great British Menu just last year. There are plenty of activities for guests besides taking in the unbeatable vistas of lakes, mountains, and forests on the local guided walks. Choose from a local foraging experience to indoor rock climbing or explore further afield riding on beautiful Friesian horses.
SLH Insider Tip: Take the short walk to Todd Crag, where you will be rewarded with beautiful views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells. It’s short and steep but worth the effort.
The recently opened Hotel Villa Soro is an elegant year-round boutique hotel which has been reimagined by the Soldevila-Ferrer family, owners of two SLH Mallorcan retreats Sant Francesc Hotel Singular and Can Ferrereta. The former aristocratic villa was originally designed by prestigious architect Luis Elizalde in the late 19th century and is one of few heritage properties in San Sebastián. Its refresh maintains the spirit of the period by enhancing traditional features, including a grand central staircase, spacious guest rooms, a striking wood-panelled bar, open fireplaces and a stained-glass window from the historic chapel. The main house comprises 15 guest rooms and is home to a large guest salon complete with a roaring log-burning fire, honesty bar, and a Maison Assouline curated library.
The villa’s former stables are adjacent to the building and house a further ten rooms, some boasting their own private garden. Contemporary touches are incorporated throughout with sleek furnishings in muted tones, a variety of textured finishes and playful checkerboard bathrooms. There’s an interplay of restored antique furniture and an impressive collection of modern Spanish art by Iñigo Manterola, Jose Cháfer and Eduardo Chillida. The Eguzki Bar and Garden is the perfect place to unwind with cocktails and light nibbles.
SLH Insider Tip: The hotel takes up prime position in Barrio de Gros, giving guests a great choice of Michelin-starred restaurants (such as Arzak and Mugaritz), cult pintxos bars (including Ganbara and La Viña), local markets, and cultural institutions (from Museo San Telmo to the botanical gardens) all within walking distance.
Set on the shores of Croatia’s sparkling Istrian coast, this beachside escape combines the very best of Croatia’s past and present. As its name suggests, Palazzo Rainis Hotel & Spa is a reconstruction of the former Villa Rainis built in the style of neo-Renaissance Venetian palazzos by the Rainis family, who moved from Venice in the 19th century. The hotel’s elegant rooms – including the palatial Bel Etage suite – feature delicate wrought-iron balconies, parquet floors and sophisticated, handpicked furnishings. Choose between two wings – one with classical architecture or another which is more modern in style.
Top Croatian chef, Tom Gretić, is responsible for the menu at the fine dining restaurant Chemistry, while the Potions bar serves the best Croatian and Istrian wines, liqueurs and spirits — both names nod to the original owner’s 63-year career as a pharmacist. When you’re in the mood to explore, the charms of Novigrad await. Known for its historic fishing villages and seafood, wander down Novigrad’s centuries-old streets or soak up the lively atmosphere at the harbour where fishermen gather with the catch of the day. Take a day trip to historic Poreč, home to the famous Euphrasian Basilica and its Byzantine mosaics. The peaceful seaside destination is also the perfect complement to bustling Dubrovnik, a far more popular Croatian hot spot — visit both on your next trip to the Dalmatian Coast.
SLH Insider Tip: This corner of Croatia is a food lover’s paradise. Istria is renowned for prosciutto and excellent goat cheese, local “Boškarin” cattle, famous “fuži” pasta and, of course, the truffle. Ask the friendly hotel staff about wine tasting and truffle hunting tours.
Get swept away at Summer Senses Luxury Resort, a luxurious hilltop resort sitting above the famous Punda Beach that blends local Greek charm and hospitality with fine-dining, serene spaces and far-reaching sea views. Laid out to resemble a Greek village, the Cycladic style resort overlooks the Aegean Sea with views across to neighbouring Naxos. The hotel’s quiet outdoor spaces make for peaceful meandering from one lagoon-like swimming pool to another, while the shallow lounging pool is perfect for families with children. Relaxation is guaranteed in the resort’s contemporary rooms and suites, which feature natural materials such as wood and marble, minimal design and captivating views.
Opt to overlook the hotel’s fragrant gardens or the Aegean Sea, choose a private pool for extra luxury, or a terrace to sun bathe from your suite. Just a short stroll from the resort, Punda Beach delivers a veritably Cycladic dose of soft sand and clear water. Beyond the beaches, Paros is Greek island perfection at every turn. Explore the cobbled streets of tiny villages, watch fishing boats bob as you dine in the harbour tavernas of Piso Livadi, and soak up the many charms of Paros’ authentic atmosphere.
SLH Insider Tip: Every space at Summer Senses is luxurious, but Galazia Hytra really ups the ante. A collaboration with the Michelin-starred Hytra in Athens, the restaurant fuses the best local produce with fine dining flair, resulting in out-of-this-world Greek gastronomic enjoyment under the stars.
Guests enjoy the feeling of staying at a welcoming friend’s quintessential Hamptons home when settling into one of the five quaint yet contemporary private cottages at The Roundtree, or one of the 15 cosy rooms and suites in a century-old former barn. Better yet, book the entire Beach House, where visitors can channel the same inspiration that Amagansett’s surrounding idyllic farmland provided to its former owner, legendary American playwright Neil Simon. After a detoxing morning yoga session on the sprawling two-acre lawn, hop on an electric beach buggy towards one of the most beautiful and expansive beaches the American East Coast has to offer, surrounded by golden dunes and crashing Atlantic waves.
Post-sunbathing, the youngest Roundtree guests are encouraged to invoke their entrepreneurial skills by managing The Lemonade Stand on property. Grown-up guests can join a customised wine tour on the North Fork, home to more than 60 wineries. This pooch-friendly beachside retreat also offers canine amenities, from water bowls to a welcome doggy treat.
SLH Insider Tip: Ask the hotel team to set up a bonfire dinner on the nearby local favourite Indian Wells beach, complete with a quintessential clambake. It’s one of the most magical ways to spend an evening Out East.
Stepping into Yangshuo Jora Hotel is a little like walking into a classical Chinese painting, where nature is the star. Located in one of the most scenic spots in Yangshuo, guests are greeted by the golden radiance of sunrise backed by the mist-tipped Karst mountains every morning. The emphasis at Yangshuo Jora is on the surrounding natural beauty, offering guests a tranquil retreat from urban distractions. This area of China taps into a calmer, quieter way of life, reflected in Yangshuo Jora’s guest rooms which are styled with simplicity and sophistication, gifted with mountain vistas or Lijiang River views.
Around the hotel, there are plenty of spots to curl up with one of the hotel’s 500 books, with genres ranging from architecture, autobiography, and design to science-fiction. Advocating the concepts of ‘green and healthy’ and the use of local ingredients, Shishan Restaurant integrates Chinese culinary heritage with traditional Western and Japanese flavours, enhanced with relaxing views of the pine forest. No journey to Yangshuo would be complete without exploring its dream-like natural landscape – cycle through rice fields, past bamboo boats drifting along the river, towards the Karst limestone rock formations that this classic countryside region is most renowned for.
SLH Insider Tip: Wind down for the day at the hotel’s complimentary tea time between 8-9pm at the cosy Kong Tea Room. Accommodating only eight guests at a time, appreciate the collections of tea potteries in the room while the tea master brews tea according to guest preferences or seasonal highlights.