Whilst Europe is brimming with incredibly popular cities that are nothing short of magnificent, sometimes you need to venture off the beaten path to really delve into the culture of these countries. This week we’ve gathered a selection of alternative destinations in Europe that are perfect for that ‘weekend break’ we’ve all been waiting for. Whether you fancy a UK break in the countryside or a romantic getaway in the South of France, a private residence on the island of Sylt or a waterfront palazzo in Taormina, this collection of HIP Hotels in these alternative locations are sure to win your heart.
The island of San Miguel de La Palma in Tazacorte, is possibly one of the most important agricultural areas in the Canary Islands and has one of the best climates on earth. Featuring ancient forests, pristine beaches, picturesque villages, volcanic peaks and cascading waterfalls, La Palma is unlike any of its neighbouring islands and offers travellers a breath of tranquillity. Stroll around the Santa Cruz old town that exudes traditional Canarian architecture, soak up the sun on one of their many unspoiled beaches, explore their breathtaking national parks that offer a plethora of walking trails, freshwater springs and historic volcanoes, and indulge in the island’s rich history through their captivating museums and churches. The moment you step foot onto this island, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into another world of pure paradise.
Nestled within an old sugar plantation estate lies the magnificent Hacienda de Abajo. The first hotel built in Tazacorte, this enchanting property gives you a true taste of the ancient history of the area combined with a modern taste of La Palma. Spaces are filled with museum-worthy artwork, lavish furnishings, reclaimed wooden doors and soothing colour palettes that contrast with its lush vegetation surroundings. Featuring a sauna, an outdoor heated pool, an incredible restaurant with a heavy focus on the fine art of cuisine, and vast panoramas across the ocean and banana plantations, this adults-only hotel is your perfect historical escape.
Escape to the gorgeous town of Taormina and be enchanted by its magnificently charming scenery. Located on the east coast of Sicily, this chic destination is the perfect place for those searching for a taste of Sicilian dolce vita. From its ancient ruins and dramatic viewpoints, to sweeping Ionian seascapes and Mount Etna serving as your backdrop, Taormina is the perfect place to escape to for a long weekend.
For those of you looking for the perfect stay, Hotel Villa Carlotta greets you with a flourishing botanical garden and provides the most awe-inspiring views over the Ionian Sea. This 17th-century villa was designed by Studio Area Firenze and offers some of the most incredible Italianate designs. The magnificently-designed rooms and suites, as well as their individually styled apartments, all provide private balconies and terraces to ensure you can indulge in the panoramic sea views from the comfort of your own room. Relax by the pool amongst palm trees, jasmine and cascading bougainvillaea, indulge in some fresh local produce in their Il Miraggio restaurant, breathe in that fresh Mediterranean air and immerse yourself in the history of Taormina here at Hotel Villa Carlotta.
Aarhus is one of Denmark’s most delightful and surprising cities, bursting with dynamic culture and history. Encapsulating many of the things locals love about their country, this historic city is a progressive-thinking destination with some of the most incredible pieces of modern architecture – it feels more like a cosy neighbourhood just waiting to be explored. Take a trip down to the harbour and get close up to some of its most exciting attractions, swim in the harbour baths and take a green kayak out along the coast for free! From its iconic museums and cool neighbourhoods, to its cosy coffee shops and winding cobbled streets, Aarhus is a charming place to visit for a weekend break.
We highly recommend laying your head at Villa Provence, a sensuous and cosmopolitan property boasting French flair with a Danish twist in the Jutland Province. This hidden boutique is nestled right by the Latin Quarter, the oldest preserved neighbourhood in the city, and inspires its guests with its Provençal country style and its exceptional collection of original vintage French film and advertising posters. Formed of just 39 rooms and suites, the four-poster beds and free-standing bathtubs make the spaces even more intimate. Be sure to retreat to the hotel lounge, pick and choose your desired drink and allow the staff to guide you into making the perfect cocktail!
What’s more romantic than by escaping to the place where Picasso settled with his final love? Built in the shape of a snail shell, the medieval commune of Mougins is just 15 minutes from Cannes and offers visitors a seductive combination of picturesque doorway details, colourful flowers and beautiful ancient houses. Extremely charming and completely picturesque, allow the French Riviera to serenade your perfect weekend break.
Le Manoir De L’Etang is a 19th-century manor house that boasts the most divine position, overlooking a lake covered in lotus flowers and magnificent green rolling hills. Formed of 22 rooms that offer the most sublime visions of the surrounding countryside, Egyptian cotton sheets, fine quality linens, rustic furnishings and impeccable design make the accommodations even more magical. Enjoy some local and seasonal produce in the hotel’s restaurant, sip on a glass of wine or two by the pool and soak up the tranquil atmosphere of this stunning region. Not to mention Le Manoir de L'Étang benefits from 300 days of sunshine a year!
A place full of wonders, Montenegro is a European gem just waiting to be discovered. This natural beauty on the Adriatic Coast is home to ancient walled towns, picturesque coastlines, magnificent mountains and mesmerising glacier lakes. Whilst this place might not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about a weekend getaway, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful places to explore. Montenegro is a place of marvellous surprises, exciting adventures, homely atmospheres and impressive contrasts. Not to mention the cuisine is to die for!
Set in the heart of Boka Bay, Palazzo Radomiri is an enchanting restored 18th-century mansion with the most regal waterfront surroundings. A palace in its own right, the exposed stone walls, antique baroque details and delightful furnishings make this place even more opulent. Awaken your senses with some complimentary morning yoga on the jetty, enjoy some Mediterranean-inspired dishes in their classically Moroccan-styled garden terrace, take a dip in their pool and indulge in complete serenity as you watch the sun set behind the bay. Both captivating and vast, the Boka Kotorska Bay opens its arms, inviting you to revel in its wonder.
Located in South East England, Berkshire invites you to explore its abundance of towns, villages and stunning green landscapes. The perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city (just a 40 minute drive from London), there’s a plethora of places to explore. Wander the grounds of Windsor Castle, uncover the historic gems of Newbury, enjoy a picnic on the large green water meadows in Pangbourne and discover the chocolate-box delight village of Hurley.
A perfect place to indulge in an authentic taste of the English countryside, Hurley House is an elegant and charming boutique perfect for your next weekend getaway. This former pub now masterfully turned into a multi-award-winning boutique not only offers the most intimate rooms with cosy decor and claw-foot bathtubs, but their cuisine is impeccable and cooked to perfection. Totally rustic and perfectly chic, this Berkshire retreat truly captures the essence of country living. Did someone say Sunday Roast?
Characterful, colourful and totally unique, Thessaloniki is a vibrant city just waiting to be discovered. Greece’s second largest city and brimming with multicultural history, the most outstanding architecture, spellbinding coastlines and tantalising cuisine. Explore its variety of neighbourhoods, wander through stone-paved alleys, indulge in some delicious mezzes in local hidden taverns and take in the panoramic views of the Gulf.
To top off your trip, there’s no better place to stay in than at The Trilogy House. A converted 1920’s townhouse located on one of the most vibrant and hip streets in the city, the design behind this charming boutique was inspired by the magically dynamic nature of Thessaloniki itself. The ten rooms and two apartments are minimal yet highlighted by richly vivid furnishings, the communal spaces are refreshing and the views are to die for. The aesthetic brilliance here perfectly combines with the building’s historical character. A stay at The Trilogy House is nothing short of extraordinary!
Make your way to the lesser known part of Germany and discover the utterly beautiful island of Sylt. A place brimming with pristine sandy beaches, quaint villages, over 124 miles of cycle trails and charming harbours, Sylt is home to one of the longest sand beaches in Europe and is one of its best-kept secrets. Nestled on Germany’s North Sea coast, bordering with Denmark, this stunning island is the largest of the North Frisian islands and has a plethora of places to explore – you’re never short of anything to do here!
Mimosa House is a charming place to stay to indulge in all of this island’s wonder and beauty. Just a few minute’s walk from the beach, this stunning property is nestled inside a typical Frisian house and is formed of eight individually-decorated studios and apartments. Whilst there’s no in-house restaurant, many of the studio terraces are equipped with their own grills, perfect for a summer’s evening BBQ! From its warm hospitality to its timeless design, Mimosa House offers guests a quintessential destination for the perfect Sylt vacation.
Make your way to the culturally enticing city of Paphos and discover its illustrious stories. Located on the southwest coast of Cyprus, this charming destination is perfect for both friends and families seeking the ideal beach holiday. Paphos is a place where mountains meet the sea, boasts an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is home to some of the most beautifully preserved mosaics and has a selection of incredible Mediterranean beaches. Recognised as the island of love and being home to Aphrodite's mythical birthplace, delve into its rich culture and history and be inspired by its captivating landscapes. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Cyprus has many idyllic landscape to behold!
Nestled on a private beach just moments away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tomb Of The Kings, Elysium Hotel offers the perfect mix of luxury, tranquillity and seclusion in this coastal city. Providing guests with soaring views over the Mediterranean Sea, the opulent and comfortable selection of rooms, maisonettes and garden villas make this place a perfect match for families, friends and couples alike. Elysium is home to many gourmet delights and offers guests some unforgettable dining experiences. Soak up the Grecian sun, enjoy a signature cocktail or two by the pool and dine under the stars. Don’t forget to pamper yourself in the Opium Spa for that little extra dose of luxury.
The birthplace of the RMS Titanic, Belfast is packed with some of the most incredible historic landmarks and has completely transformed into the quintessentially hip party town. Perfect for a friends weekend away, Northern Ireland’s capital has a rich cultural heritage which is reflected by its thriving visual-arts scenes, vibrant theatres, art and film festivals, and so much more. Explore the Titanic Quarter and discover its state-of-the-art museums, sip on a traditional pint or two of Guinness, enjoy some live folk and jazz music, and sample some tasty innovative dishes. There’s so much to see here, you’ll never be short of anything to do!
One of the newest members of HIP Hotels, The Malone Boutique Hotel is ready and waiting to give you that warm Irish welcome. Having opened its doors in 1945, this Victorian townhouse boasts everything from charmingly-decorated rooms and suites, to an eclectic bar and restaurant. Nestled within a tranquil tree-lines avenue in the Queen’s Quarter, its prime location places you just moments away from the centre, whilst still retaining a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Revel in the history of The Malone, soak up the relaxing ambiance in their sumptuous lobby, indulge in some of the finest local produce in the Gallery Restaurant and enjoy the ‘craic’ in The Greyhound Bar.
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