Luxury European Spring Breaks

Luxury European Spring BreaksAs the weather heats up, you can find up six cool reasons to head to Europe…

Chalet N,

Lech, Austria

When it comes to luxury ski destinations, they don’t come much more exclusive than this. Set in the glamorous resort of Lech, 1,660 metres above Oberlech, the northern-facing slopes are a great option in spring and snow coverage is usually good until late April. But whether you’re an avid skier or a hiking enthusiast, there is plenty to keep you entertained. This beautiful wooden abode is luxurious and toasty. Off-piste attractions include a swimming pool replete with an underwater sound system, two outdoor Jacuzzis with uninterrupted views of the slopes, and an underground cinema room. If you can bear to leave the chalet, ski onto the piste from the ground floor or hop into the chalet’s transfer service, by Porsche Cayanne, to try out nearby St Christoph and St Anton. There are also countless hiking and mountain trails. For the ultimate sun-meets-snow spring getaway, look no further.

Hôtel Royal,

Evian Resort, France

Drive 45km from Geneva airport and you will find yourself surrounded by breathtaking mountains, which stretch into beautifully clear skies. Located on the French bank of Lake Geneva, the Hotel Royal has been welcoming world leaders into its fold since 1905. An intrinsical part of the history of Evian and its Cachat spring, this sprawling resort has a department dedicated to planning family activities. Ski at Les Portes du Soleil, mountain bike on the Plateau de Gavot, waterski on Lake Geneva or take to the skies for a helicopter ride over Chamonix Valley: however you choose to spend your days, you’re guaranteed fresh air. This resort doesn’t just look good either, it tastes fantastic. At Les Fresques, fish from the lake and herbs from the gardens are transformed into classic and modern culinary masterpieces – all served up with magnificent lake views. Delicious.

Scarlet Hotel,

Cornwall, England

With bracing sea air and a spectacular coastline that has inspired great writers and artists for centuries, there are few places better to blow away the cobwebs this spring than Cornwall. Those seeking reassurance that not all British seaside retreats come with an overgenerous helping of kitsch need look no further than Scarlet Hotel. Perched on a cliff, commanding stunning views of the beach cove below, this five-star retreat offers an environmentally conscious, modern and utterly luxurious stay with ample countryside to enjoy. Horse ride along the sandy shores, set your own pace on a hike along the hilly coastal paths, or skim the surrounding salty waters on an exhilarating powerboat trip, the wind in your hair. If the sea air has left you feeling tired, relax in your private outdoor log-fired tub before heading to the hotel restaurant for unpretentious, fresh, seasonal fare. Who needs a TV?

Castello di Casole,

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscan idylls don’t come much grander than this castle retreat. One of the largest private estates in Italy, with 4,200 acres of rolling hills, sweeping valleys and fragrant olive groves, a stay at its Bargagli Penthouse – which took three years to perfect – is guaranteed to make you feel like royalty. Music lovers will adore it here: in spring, the hills come alive with music – from string quartets to outdoor concerts and theatre productions that take place in Castello’s ampitheatre. Enjoy long walks through the flower-strewn countryside and keep your eyes peeled for the wonderfully wild neighbours, including deer and wild boar, which live on the hotel’s Model Game Reserve. Its various restaurants use produce grown organically on site to create sumptuous dining experiences: for private feasts, have a private chef whip up mouthwatering cuisine. For a serene afternoon, take a dip in the infinity pool and massage all your stresses away under barrel-vaulted ceilings at its Essere Spa. Bliss.

La Residencia,

near Deià, Mallorca

Not only does Mallorca boast beautifully balmy spring weather but it also offers landscapes to suit every taste: from jagged mountains to beach coves and quaint rural hamlets. Surrounded by 30 acres of lush gardens and vibrant olive and citrus groves, La Residencia, on the edge of the artists’ village of Deià, provides the perfect base from which to explore the island. Formerly two manor houses, this boutique hotel, nestled within the foothills of Tramuntana Mountains, is surrounded by postcard-perfect terrain and exciting urban spaces crying out to be explored. Drive to the island’s capital, Palma, and admire the yachts in the spring sunshine before heading to Avenida Jamie III for exquisite fashion. Back at the hotel, venture up the hill trails with a picnic prepared by the ever-hospitable staff. For a different perspective on the island, take a hot air balloon or helicopter ride before unwinding at La Residencia’s award-winning spa, set on terraces heavy with the scent of fragrant herbs.

Adriana, Hvar spa Hotel,

Hvar Island, Croatia

Late spring is the perfect time to plan a romantic trip to Croatia, with the wildflowers blossoming and the sun reflecting off the sparkling Adriatic waters. This sophisticated waterfront bolthole, on the picturesque island of Hvar, is perfect for those seeking a seaside retreat in warmer European climes. You’ll want to photograph the pretty views of the town’s Venetian-era harbour, a popular port of call for yachts sailing the Adriatic. If you can drag yourself away from the hotel, Hvar’s cultural life is thriving with galleries, museums and exhibitions to keep your busy. Or rent a sailboat for the day. By night, tuck into locally sourced fare on the hotel’s roof terrace, overlooking the amber-lit town below, and let the warm, salt-infused breeze blow your cares away.