Inspired by Barbie – Cheerful and Colourful Retreats to Boost Your Mood!

5 August 2023

“It was like a dopamine hit every time you walked onto the Barbie set,” said Margot Robbie of the hit film, in which she plays the iconic doll herself.

Barbie is busy making cinematic waves this summer, and we have to admit: we just can’t get that dopamine-quote out of our minds! What’s not to love about cheerful, brightly-coloured surroundings that transport your mind to a happy place? A place where everyone smiles, the sun always shines, and just about anything feels possible.

What’s even better is, we know a fair few retreats that fit the ‘dopamine-hit’ brief perfectly! So if you’re ready to swap dull, dreary everyday life for something a little brighter and more beautiful, we’ve created this list especially for you.

Creative, flamboyant, and unashamedly bold, each one of these fabulous retreats has been custom-designed to inspire gasps of wonder, grins of pure delight, and sugar-coated memories that promise to last long after you’ve returned home.

(Especially since you’ll be updating your social feeds in what’ll feel like every few seconds!)

Dopamine-stays are always luxurious – can you imagine Barbie without her amazing accessories? – which means there’ll be plenty of lavish treats in store, too.

So pour a glass of bubbles, pop on those hot-pink shades, and get browsing!

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Eaton House Studio, Essex

Eaton House Studio

Tiptree, Essex, England
An outrageously creative, completely unique ‘pink paradise' to live out those fairytale dreams, for quirky large group stays in Essex.
Bedrooms: 7
Sleeps: Up to 20
£2,400 / night

The Pink Cottage

Weston-under-Lizard, Shropshire, England
An idyllic country retreat, magically secluded amongst 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland in the heart of a private Shropshire estate.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£445 (3 nights)

Halula Beach House

Newquay, Cornwall, England
A vibrant, exotic large-group retreat with Cornish-themed bedrooms and a heated outdoor swimming pool, perfectly secluded by the surfer's paradise that is Fistral Beach.
Bedrooms: 10
Sleeps: 24
£2350 (4 nights midweek)

Halula Gem

Bridgwater, Somerset, England
A seriously Instagrammable large group retreat with an epic kitchen disco and sugar-sweet interiors, set within the walls of a 13th century castle on the edge of the Quantock Hills.
Bedrooms: 6
Sleeps: 20
£3250 (2 nights weekend)


Camber Sands, East Sussex, England
Seabreeze is a uniquely striking holiday home for breezy family breaks by the sea, beautifully positioned on the vast, mesmerising golden beach at Camber Sands.
Bedrooms: 2
Sleeps: 4 (+2)
£1,510 (3nt)

Cabane Spa Vintage

Marmande, Aquitaine, France
A cute-and-quirky vintage-themed treehouse for two, with magnificent views of south-west France's beautiful Garonne Valley.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£375 / night

Wonderland House

Brighton, East Sussex, England
A movie-themed, award-winning vintage haven by Brighton seafront, complete with teacup chairs and whimsical décor for a large group break that inspires the playful children in you!
Bedrooms: 6
Sleeps: 24
£1,200 (2nts)

Nomad Xperience

Granada, Andalucia, Spain
Unleash your inner wanderer at Nomad Xperience, where four incredible, nomad-inspired glamping abodes wait on the edge of Spain's breath-taking Sierra Nevada National Park.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 2 or 4 per unit
£70 / night

Finca de Arrieta Yurts

Arrieta, Lanzarote, Spain
Luxury Lanzarote eco-yurt accommodation set within a friendly family-run finca, where nothing is too much trouble!
Bedrooms: Varies
£840 / week

Madonna Inn

San Luis Obispo, California, USA
A vividly kitsch, grandly one-of-a-kind resort just off US Route 101, where the good times roll and no two rooms are the same.
Bedrooms: 110 rooms/suites
Sleeps: Varies
£143 / night

Short House Chesil Beach

West Bexington, Dorset, England
Far from the Madding Crowd; Short House is a delightful seaside cottage on Dorset's World Heritage Jurassic Coast.
Bedrooms: 2
Sleeps: 4
£1,229 (7 nights)

Casa Chroma

Snettisham, Norfolk, England
Casa Chroma is a uniquely styled Norfolk house that's perfect for group holidays and celebrations that call for a little something extra!
Bedrooms: 9
Sleeps: 18
£3289 (7 nights)

The Armoury

North Queensferry, Fife, Scotland
A historic World War I gun emplacement complex, reimagined as a quirky and colourful retreat that overlooks the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, with stunning across-the-water views to Edinburgh.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 4

Grand Daddy Airstream Trailer Park

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Seven gleaming, individually-styled airstreams secluded at the top of Cape Town's iconic city centre hotel.
Bedrooms: 1 per airstream
Sleeps: 2 per airstream
£132 / night (2 guests B&B)

Fun Hotel Paris

Montmartre, Paris, France
Two gloriously quirky, spacious, and fully soundproofed large family suites with kiddie treats galore, at Fun Hotel in Paris Montmartre.
Bedrooms: 2 suites
£125 / night

Green Moon Lodge

Montezuma, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
A jaw-dropping Costa Rican jungle dome, created by local artists and secluded amongst lush tropical greenery, with visiting monkeys!
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£71 / night

Joseph the Multicolour Dream Coach

Hartland, Devon, England
A vibrant and cheerful single-decker retreat for romantic couples, with self-contained facilities, friendly on-site animals, and rolling Devon countryside on the doorstep.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£100 / night

Casa Canelo Circus Wagon

Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Roll up, roll up, for a Big Top-themed stay in a gloriously renovated 19th century wagon with an al fresco swimming pool, surrounded by the soaring mountains and abundant wildlife of rural Spain.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£75 / night

Kaleb the Combine

Friskney, near Skegness, Lincolnshire, England
A former combine harvester expertly transformed into a unique and quirky pet-friendly retreat, peacefully set by a scenic lake on a Lincolnshire family farm.
Bedrooms: 2
Sleeps: 2 (+2)
£120 / night

Beach Sun Retreat

Dymchurch, Kent, England
Turn a SAD face into a happy one, with year-round sunbathing both inside and out of this unique Kent-based holiday home.
Bedrooms: 9
Sleeps: 15
£780 (3 nts)

BaseCamp Bonn

Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
When it comes to BaseCamp Bonn, dispel any preconceptions about traditional campsites - this indoor campground offers some of the coolest, most creative and most extraordinary camping in the world!  
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
£65 / night

Crane Hotel Faralda

Amsterdam, Netherlands
View the beauty of Amsterdam from a unique position - a stylish and award-winning hotel at the top of a former crane!
Bedrooms: 1 per suite
Sleeps: 2 per suite
£934 / night

Tiny House Siesta

Sarasota, Florida, USA
Head to the white sands of Florida's award-winning Siesta Key Beach, for a fun and Tiny alternative to boring hotel rooms!
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
£150 /night

Cartoon Network Hotel

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
A lively, animation-themed retreat that's full of family fun, with an on-site restaurant and a heated indoor pool, conveniently located in Pennsylvania's ‘Red Rose City'.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2-4
£122 / night

V8 Hotel

Stuttgart, Germany
Welcome to V8 Hotel -  a vibrant and luxurious motor-themed retreat with a unique selection of rooms and suites, perfectly positioned in one of Germany's top car-loving locations.
Bedrooms: 26 Themed
Sleeps: Varies
£112 / night

Red Caboose

Ronks, Pennsylvania, USA
All aboard for a unique stay in the USA, with an authentic caboose car collection fresh from the Pennsylvania Railroad!
Bedrooms: 19
Sleeps: 2-6
£91 / night


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