Bank holiday Boltholes

Being just days away from our next batch of government-anointed time off and the last minute temptation to flee beyond the bank holiday bargains at Sainsburys…

We thought we’d recommend some perfect boutique places for a three night stay.

Domaine des Etangs

Very few hotels in the world quite like this one. It is every wine, art, food and fun loving person’s ideal retreat in the rolling Cognac countryside. The 11th-century chateau sits on an impressive is spread 2,500 acre estate with individual cottages (one with its own wine cellar), lakes (equipped with pontoons and rowing boats), tennis court, cattle, fruit and veg farm, playground, swimming pool, michelin-starred restaurant and spa. Oh and it has its very own art gallery. The chateau itself boasts seven individually decorated suites named after planets and adorned with one of its kind antiques. As well as feeling like you are in Richard Curtis film you can totally escape daily routines and crowds.


For here you would either fly to Limoges or Bordeaux

Vilamonte Farmhouse, Algarve

Debunking myths of the Algarve being a mass market bucket and spade destination, the ever so boho-chic Vilamonte Farmhouse is perfect for a couple of nights away. The simple but elegant whitewashed rooms are lined with orange trees and pink bougainvillea. They make their own olive oil and fresh bread which goes down very nicely with a glass (or two) of Portuguese wine in either of their two local restaurants. To burn off some well enjoyed pastel de natas (portuguse custard tarts) they have a small gym, yoga, tennis court and bicycles to explore nearby beaches or towns. Loungers may enjoy the choice of two swimming pools and pop up cinema nights.

For here you would fly to Faro.

The Fish, Cotswolds

Any hotel that lets you bring a dog and invites said dog to enjoy and afternoon tea gets a yes from me! This gorgeous Cotswolds country estate is set on 400 rolling acres, two hours from London. Think relaxing in the bar by a fire or roaming around the grounds before tucking in to delicious head-turning gastronomy at their restaurant Hook. Sunday lunch with all the trimmings isn’t to be missed either.

For here we suggest driving.

The One Palácio da Anunciada, Lisbon

The latest addition to the Lisbon hotel scene definitely is the ONE (awful pun) but lets go with it. Housed in a 16th-century palace in Lisbon’s most exclusive neighborhood, The One Palacio da Anunciada blends beautiful original architecture with modern amenities and facilities, as well as being walking distance to famed cobbled streets of Bairro Alto and the like. Its outdoor pool (a rarity in the city) is reason alone to book a few nights here, that and its tapas restaurant…

For here you fly to Lisbon

Plaza Athenee, Paris

The wow factor. From the moment you walk in to the lobby you know this hotels oozes glamour and sophistication. I’m slightly sold on the fact that their pastry chef was awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best gastronomic craftsmanship prize), which only one chef in Paris is awarded a year. The wine cellar and an Alain Ducasse restaurant are just an addition! The rooms are nothing short of perfection with splashes of colour and many with views of the Eiffel tower. Being located in high end fashion central it’s only natural they have a Christian Dior spa which hits the spot after a days sight seeing. And if spa-ing isn’t a relaxation of choice, might I suggest a martini in their achingly cool bar.

Eurostar or fly here (maybe even private jet if you fancy)

Katikies Santorini, Greece

Katikies, the grande dame of Santorini hotels, is everything that one is looking for on this Greek island. Hugging the iconic Caldera (a volcanic rim), with instagramable views, the property is ideal for honeymooners, romantics, friends or relatives. The headline act is the view of the Agean Sea, and the white suites with open-air dining area, sun decks and on an occasion a Jacuzzi, perform perfectly to support. The food and wine pairings are works of art and the infinity pools (plural) may lose you a few friends back home.

 Fly to Santorini or twin it with Mykonos

Posada Terra Santa, Mallorca

Luxury without the big price tag. Think manor house-turned boutique hotel. Posada Terra Santa is well hidden amid a maze of alleys and sandy coloured buildings in Palma’s Old Town. Whilst this 16th-century home is a little hard to find, the reward is a wonderfully serene leafy courtyard leading to an intimate stay. It’s modern with curios art work and trendy rooftop pool, yet retains plenty of weathered stone and wooden beams for history aficionados to admire.

Fly to Palma for this option.

Les Deux Tours, Marrakech

A long admired destination for those who want heat, culture and exotic places to stay. Situated in the city’s lush Palmeraie, Les Deux Tours in Marrakech is a stylish boutique resort of traditional-style, tartari-ceilinged villas, sitting in some of the loveliest gardens in Morocco.  When you tire of the souqs and the looky looky man, you can retreat back to your hotel and enjoy a hammam, some incredibly chic bars and two top-class restaurants, it’s the sort of place you could lose days in.


AdAstra, Florence

Another luxury option without the big price tag. This former family home has all the expected grandeur: chandeliers dangling from frescoed ceilings, glossy wooden floors and freestanding claw-foot bath tubs in every bedroom. Overlooking one of the biggest private gardens in Europe, the building adds to its heritage charms Italian design flourishes from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, and each room has its own quirks (framed scarves on the walls, faded football photographs, Lego constructions).

Fly to Bologna, Pisa or Florence.

Conservatorium, Amsterdam

Think ultra hip spa hotel that is part 19th-century landmark and part 21st-century architectural showcase. Amsterdam’s luxurious but laid-back Conservatorium hotel houses a top-tier restaurant and ever so cool holistic wellness set up. Austerely seductive suites make for indulgent city breaks, and its location is perfect for exploring.

For here it’s a quick flight to Schiphol

Not only will we ensure you are VIPd along the way but we also don’t cost anymore than going direct – it’s a win win really! If you’d like to book any of these for a last minute Bank holiday getaway please get in touch: [email protected]