Alicia Miller
Alicia Miller


Hotels • January 2017

Six paradise-on-earth resorts

A sure-fire way to banish the January blues, says Alicia Miller, assistant editor at Sunday Times Travel Magazine, is to start plotting an escape to a dreamy hideaway that feels as though it’s at the ends of the earth. Here are six worth saving to your wishlist, as shortlisted by you in The Club’s 2016 Readers’ Awards

02 PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

Winner: Per Aquum Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

In a place where the desert-island resort is de rigueur, Per Aquum Huvafen Fushi is a particular knockout. It’s not just the Crusoe-chic villas, perched above the sea – though, complete as they are with plunge pools and, in some cases, glass floors, they are stunning. The extra wow factor comes in with the underwater spa, where you’ll be scrubbed while stingrays flit by. And there’s the 6,000-bottle wine cellar…
Club tip: Check the hotel’s pop-up events calendar to coordinate your stay with a Mariinksy Ballet performance or high-flyer chef residency.

01 Vila VITA Parc

Vila Vita Parc, Portugal

Two-Michelin-starred restaurant? Check. Endless sea views? Check. Pristine rooms, multiple pools, activities galore? Check, check, check. Vila Vita Parc is all that’s good about Portugal’s Algarve, from sun-baked beachfront to fresh seafood. Spend days playing golf, and nights sipping citrusy cocktails on the terrace of the Moroccan-inspired bar.
Club tip: This is a family resort, so for adult-only tranquillity book a secluded villa, complete with private pool.

03 Hanging Gardens of Bali

Runner-up: Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

Bali has palm-fringed beaches, sculpted rice terraces and rainbow-hued temples in spades, but you’ll forgo all of it to lie by the pool at Ubud Hanging Gardens. With two glassy tiers that appear to pour into verdant rainforest beyond, it’s seriously Instagram-worthy. So is the rest of the resort: think thatched-roof villas, coconut-scented spa treatments and jungle picnics.
Club tip: Book a private dinner at Dalem Segara temple, where you’ll have candle-lit views back to the resort – ridiculously romantic.

04 Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama, Chile

You’ll be sleeping in a desert, but hardly roughing it, as Tierra Atacama has the understated-luxe vibe nailed. The pink Atacama hills inspire the décor, with sand hues, stone and wood dressing classy-yet-natural rooms. It’s a soothing scene to relax in post a canyon hike, second only to a dip in the local thermal springs.
Club tip:
Ask at reception when the next traditional lamb barbecue will be held at the hotel’s Atacama fire pit – and make sure you’re there.

05 Daios Cove

Daios Cove, Greece

It’s all about the view at Daios Cove. Big windows and balconies open up onto panoramic water views, an infinity pool is positioned above the waves beyond, and cream-toned suites reflect the colour of the surf. And why not? When you’re perched on one of the prettiest coves in Crete, make the most of it.
Club tip: All rooms come with just-as-gorgeous views, so there’s no need to upgrade unless you need more space.

06 Calistoga Ranch

Calistoga Ranch, USA

Coddled by an oak-dotted canyon and fringed by a lake, Napa Valley’s Calistoga Ranch proves that a resort needn’t have a beach to be a stunner. Guests stay in secluded cabins, spending days drifting between the spa’s outdoor mud baths, the lakehouse restaurant, and lazy activities such as bocce ball. And this being Napa, they happily sip silky Cabernet during all of the above.
Club tip:
For the best sunset view, climb up the Valley View Trail to a table overlooking vineyards – the hotel will provide a tipple to quench your thirst.


This article has been tagged Destination, Hotels