We have some unique hidden gems in Western Europe in our sights today that deserve a place on your coveted trip planner, so we set off to Portugal, France and Spain in search of holiday heaven. Our journey starts in Portugal and a delightfully sophisticated glamping retreat that we recently featured in The Times, set in exotic gardens with an infinity pool overlooking mountains & vineyards. Next stop – la plage, and a fashionable retreat for large groups looking for a slice of French seaside sophistication. Finally we head to the urban bliss of an achingly cool architect-designed penthouse pad in one of the hippest places on earth.
Casa Fontelheira (above and main picture) is an utterly relaxing, wonderfully luxurious glamping retreat offering eight sensational safari tents for groups of up to six guests. Surrounded by exotic gardens and breath-taking panoramas, you’ll quickly feel at one with nature and at one with yourself in this superbly tranquil holiday spot. If you’ve never slept in a safari tent before, you’re in for a real treat. These safari tents all come with every creature comfort in tow, including hot water, electricity, integrated kitchens and bathrooms, and luxurious linens throughout. In fact, with their interior wood panelling, each feels more like a cosy cabin retreat! Unwind beside the beautiful heated swimming pool, where comfortable loungers invite you to relax with a favourite read or a cocktail in hand, with stunning countryside views and petiscos served daily. Or perhaps you’d prefer to arrange for a massage by the regularly visiting therapist? Either way this is one holiday you’re sure to remember.
Featured in The Guardian, The Times and style-bible Tatler, not to mention its status as a favourite setting for film crews and photographers, the simply gorgeous Beachouse has earned a reputation for instilling a fresh sense of relaxed style and tasteful elegance into the traditional French seaside holiday. This stunning wooden villa that accommodates up to sixteen guests across three very distinct and self-contained apartments has effortlessly retained its original 1920s features, instantly transporting you to a rich world of chic that’s beautifully styled with antique furnishings, retro kitchens and vintage fabrics. While your surroundings are perfectly serene and close to the beach, a short walk will take you into the energising heart of Montalivet, complete with its pedestrianised street favoured by rollerbladers, a huge, lively market and a thriving restaurant scene.
Now to the city, but not just any city; the vibrant, Gaudi-peppered metropolis that is Barcelona! Visitors to the trendsetting Catalan capital deserve something this spectacular – a penthouse apartment that comes complete with authentic Spanish design pedigree. Created by renowned architect Lluis Corbella, Urgell Apartment’s interiors have been supplied by up-and-coming design consultancy Stil – making for the absolute slickest of surroundings. Boasting spectacular views, you’ll be greeted by cool white interiors and bold black detailing inside, offset by warm wooden floors and terracotta terrace walls that give a firm nod to the best of Spanish style. There’s plenty of razor-sharp contemporary flair to be found here too, from the floating kitchen island in the centre, to sliding walls, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, and three spacious terraces that gift you with 360º views of Barcelona’s trademark splendour.