10 Best: Chic Retreats
Lulu Townsend selects her favourite guesthouse hideaways
Le Due Matote
This 18th-century farmhouse is an exclusive little gem for those who like charm and attention to detail. Dorelan mattresses, Ortigia products and an eclectic mix of interiors blend together to create a really memorable experience.
Bossolasco is a charming town of stone houses and rose plants, and is known as the 'pearl of Langhe' for its outstanding beauty.
Details: From €120 per night.
New for 2013, Flattered Apartments are located in a charming historical building by the sea in the city of Porto. Just 50 metres from the beach, they're within walking distance of some of the region's best restaurants in a trendy district. The properties are light and airy with contemporary design and easily accessible to the airport and railway station.
Details: From €110 per night.
La Bandita Townhouse
This new hideaway and former nunnery has 12 rooms in the heart of Pienza, a beautiful Tuscan village in the Val D'Orcia. Situated between Florence and Rome in southern Tuscany, this stylish country hotel set on four acres has an infinity pool overlooking a valley and spacious guestrooms with sweeping views. Watch the world go by on the cobbled streets from your window and enjoy a glass of vino and delicious bruschetta from the wine bar.
Details: From €195 per night.
Chambres de Coco
Situated near Aubeterre sur Dronne, Chambres de Coco is the perfect escape for those looking to sleep, eat and unwind in luxury and comfort. The atmosphere is cosy and friendly, and owners Vincent, Coco and Bob the dog are very inviting hosts. There are just five rooms and suites, gardens and a terraced swimming pool.
Vincent can point you in the right direction for some great restaurants nearby, otherwise, talented chef Gareth Morgan will create your dream menu.
Details: From €95 per night.
Situated in Mells, Somerset, this new eight-room sanctuary opened its doors in February. Matt and Clare used to run one of the best pub restaurants in London. The Talbot is a breath of fresh air for locals, the media crowd and those looking for good honest food. The space is huge and the refurbishment has been more of a rebuild, resulting in bright, fresh rooms, real ale, local ciders, and lots and lots of pies, casseroles and slow-cooked food.
Details: Rates from £95 (€112) per night.
Monte do Areeiro
Located between the towns of Coruche and Almeirim, just 50 minutes from Lisbon, Monte do Areeiro is surrounded by hundreds of acres of stunning scenery, an idyllic oasis for those in search of an authentic Portuguese hideaway.
There are three cottages, each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a kitchenette and a living room with fireplace. There are also gardens and a pool, and plenty of other activities for guests to enjoy nearby.
Details: From €83 per night.
Made from two ancient houses in the historic heart of Archidona, this five-room hotel is a quirky base in southern Spain. It's full of antique tiles, surrounded by thick stone walls and wooden beams.
David and Myles have restored every room exquisitely, creating a stylish canvas dotted with amusing little touches.
Details: From €90 per night.
Built in 1200 on the town walls of Sirolo on the Conero Riviera, Locanda Rocco has just opened it doors. The seven-room boutique hotel has been extensively renovated. Owner Giorgio Tridenti welcomes his guests with open arms, warmth and smiles in true Italian style.
Small solitary beaches, natural grottos and crystal-clear waters make Sirolo one of the best locations on the whole of the Conero Riviera.
Details: From €125 per night.
Le Mas du Temps
In the heart of Province, this 200-year-old farmstead is hidden among lavender and vineyards near Mont Ventoux. There are just four rooms each with stunning views over the mountain.
Breakfast is served under a pergola covered by a wisteria and roses. There is always time for a swim, a tennis match at sundown or just to read a book under the old kaki tree in the hidden corners of the well-kept garden in this place full of magic.
Details: From €160 per night.
Sophisticated looks and timeless elegance sets Primero Primera apart from other hotels in Barcelona. This family-owned city retreat is where guests come to feel at home and part of the family. In 2011, it was completely renovated, maintaining the integrity of the original building.
Located in the district of Tres Torres, this atmospheric gem is only 10 minutes from the city centre and the Sarria district, home to bars, restaurants and some of the best shops in Barcelona.
Details: From €165 per night.
For more details on these properties, visit chicretreats.com