Sometimes only the best will do whether you are planning a special romantic break, birthday celebration or luxury family holiday, we highlight some of the finest hotels in Europe and North Africa, under 5 Hours flying time that you can enjoy without spending a day on a plane or experiencing jet lag. We asked Melissa Barker, owner of Travelbeam Luxury Hotels to recommend a selection of luxury short haul holidays.
Four Seasons Marrakech / Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Enjoy a twin centre break here and it is an experience you will always remember. Four Seasons offers a wonderful resort-style oasis featuring low rise accommodation surrounded by tranquil grounds filled with floating pavilions, lovely pool areas and atmospheric courtyards. Jump in a taxi and you are only five minutes away from the Medina, where you can enjoy an array of cultural sights or bag a bargain in the vibrant souks. Less than an hour’s drive from heady Marrakech Kasbah Tamadot, owned by Sir Richard Branson, is set on its own in the midst of the stunning snow-capped Atlas Mountains. A unique hidden gem, this boutique hotel is characterised by rose petal-filled fountains and a chilled-out ambience that’s seeps into skin within minutes of arriving. Kasbah offers exciting experiences such as cinema nights under the stars, dinner on the moonlit rooftop or for a truly special day in the mountains try mule trekking, horse riding, walking or quad biking.
Borgo Egnazia, Italy
Built in the style of an Apulian village with a contemporary twist, this slick new resort nestles amidst olive trees, jasmines and flowers and is crafted from natural stone giving it a dreamy and tranquil atmosphere. Rooms and suites are boutique styled in natural hues in the main hotel or in townhouse style dwellings in the village area. Restaurants are superb from the relaxed alfresco pizzeria to the Due Camini gourmet restaurant with its well-stocked wine cellar. Budding master chefs can learn how to cook up a heavenly pasta sauce in the cookery school. For a great day out, hire a bike to cycle along the stone alleyways in resort or visit the nearby UNESCO site Alberobello.
Columbia Beach Resort – Cyprus
There is something undeniably magical about this hotel, beyond the scenery and the attention to detail at every turn. Guests return year after year to relax by the huge palm-fringed pool, enjoy the fine dining at the divine Bacchus restaurant or to use the small but perfectly formed spa. The sea is perfect for swimming and at the water-sports centre Yannis will teach you how to sail around the lovely sheltered bay one of the best on the island for boating. I would highly recommend taking a trip out on a self-drive speedboat. What an experience to see this beautiful part of Cyprus from the sea as the sea spray flew and the wind whistled by!
Tagor’ Villas at Abama Golf & Spa Resort, Tenerife
The height of luxury, these select “Villa” rooms occupy an exclusive row of accommodation located away from the main hotel which is just for adults. Nestled amidst lush Bali-esque gardens, these very private rooms have access to a pool just for Tagor’ and offer an oasis of calm and seclusion. Special privileges include the option to breakfast in the intimate ocean-front El Mirador restaurant, complimentary food amenities, water, soft drinks, wine and beer by the pool all day (08:00 – 20:00) and exclusive airport lounge access on your return. Also a fantastic Tagor’ perk is the keys to your own golf buggy which is such a fun way to jet around the resort.
Anassa – Cyprus
Situated close to the remote Akamas Peninsula, Anassa exudes charm and is ideal for those seeking space and a total switch-off. The resort feels like it exists in its own little world of perfectly manicured lawns, gorgeous ocean views and incredible restaurants. I would definitely recommend hiring Anassa’s luxury yacht and crew for a private cruise along the coast which is a landscape of dramatic gorges, secret bays and rare wild flowers. The hotel will arrange a picnic for you, and you can drop anchor at a deserted beach for snorkelling. Also excellent is the off-road 4×4 excursion including a visit to the turtle breeding station at Lara Bay.
Disclosure: The Luxe List received payment for publishing this feature and was produced by us in collaboration with Travelbeam. The editorial staff of The Luxe List had no role in writing the content.