When you’re on your second margarita before noon, nothing kills the adult vibe faster than kids screaming and splashing around in a pool nearby. Yes, we love kids here, but sometimes you just want to go somewhere cognac is served in Baccarat crystal and tables are dressed in French linens.
Kid-free zones exist for a reason, and these are some of our favorites.
La Réserve Ramatuelle, Provence, France
Setting: Minutes away from the beach clubs of Saint-Tropez
It’s the antidote to the thrum of St Tropez and the noise of the South of France. Welcome to La Réserve Ramatuelle. Hiding behind a blanket of umbrella pines, this hotel, sitting moments away from the sea, is a handsome world of terracotta-roofed houses, artful displays of ceramics, Assouline coffee-table books and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to spectacular sea views. But the absolute highlight of the hotel has got to be its sundeck, which hugs a 100-foot-long swimming pool, and the spa, set against the gentle whoosh of the mistral and the sea sparkling below. That’s the charm of La Réserve Ramatuelle:It’s a discreet little oasis that feels worlds away, and you couldn’t ask for a more adult space!
Finca Cortesin, Costa del Sol, Spain
Setting: A few miles inland from the Mediterranean with a top-rated golf course
Taking its design cues from traditional Spanish farmhouses, and built around interior courtyards, the Finca Cortesin is no ordinary bolthole. For a start, there is the location of it, right on the Costa del Sol. Then, of course, there is its imposing architecture that’s part Moorish courtyard and part Alhambra palace. Everything at the hotel is huge:the wooden doors, the flagstones salvaged from Portuguese monasteries, the corridors and the 16th-century life-size oil paintings of Spanish nobility that line those corridors and other spaces. The theme of brilliantly spacious interiors continues at the hotel’s three restaurants and spa with an indoor saltwater pool (there are two outdoor ones too), while the rooms, dressed in rustic farm furniture, are made for lounging. You’ll find everything here for a great holiday…except kids of course.
Istoria Hotel, Perivolos, Greece
Setting: A departure from the whitewashed hotels of Oia
Santorini is not short of Instagrammable hotels, but this former mansion of eccentric socialite Christina Tassou is a different side of the island. It’s set away from the hotel-clogged western caldera, in the southeastern corner of Santorini,and a short walk to Perivolos beach, with its stretch of black sand and clear water. The hotel is also all modern Greek chic, dressed in materials that echo the volcanic landscape- think muted colours, accents of blue in a nod to the Aegean and a gorgeous black slate pool and sunken bar making for the heart of the hotel. This is a haven of tranquility, disturbed only, perhaps, by the nightly delivery of a treat- a drink, some sweets, a fruit- by the friendliness of staff.
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Nizwa, Oman
Setting: Up in the Al Hajar Mountains 2000 metres above sea level
Travelers often give it the title of the most stunning hotel in the Middle East, and we feel inclined to agree. After all, it’s not every day you come across a hotel 2000m above sea level, and spectacularly perched on the edge of a canyon with soul-stirring views of the rugged Hajar Mountains. The bold design alone is a reason to visit, but throw in the remoteness of it, 90 miles southwest of Muscat, and the scenic adventures through the ancient villages around, and you’ve got a winning hand for a holiday to remember. The absence of any sign of modern life is also enchanting, while the views across the ancient mountains makes a stay here a ritual more than an experience.
Capella Ubud, Bali
Setting: Deep in the jungle of the Keliki Valley, Ubud
In one word…Dreamy. That’s how we’d describe this hotel playfully imagined by Bill Bensley. The Bangkok-based designer is not short of visionary hotels to his name, but his latest outpost, a Dutch-style tented camp out in the rainforest of Ubud, might just be his most impressive yet. Think a romantic surround of stone-built homes, moss-dusted shrines and lush rice paddies, personalised service, plenty of facilities and all manner of memorable experiences. The rooms are equally playful and jungle-tangled with ornate woodwork, patterned local textiles, large private decks and salt-water plunge pools. In his words:
“Too many hotels take themselves too seriously, and what is the point of that? I want folks to laugh, learn, and remember where they have been.”
And we again feel inclined to agree…