Sorted out your Easter weekend plans? No? Tsk tsk. We’ve done the hard work for all you time-short, plan-lacking escape-seekers by rounding up short-break destinations for the fast approaching long weekend. We’ve still got plenty of romantic hotels with Easter availability (but probably not for long): below are 10 of our favourites.
Be it country comforts, a city fix, a spot of sun or some mountain-top fun you’re after, take your pick from this carefully chosen bunch of long-weekend legends, from riads in Morocco to hip London love nests. After all, breakfast in bed and lazy lie-ins are what bank holidays are all about…
What? Spa-toting sanctuary
Where? The Cotswolds, UK
How we do love to be beside the C-side… Head to über-cool country house Cowley Manor where the spa’s the star, to indulge in the multiple indulgent treatments on offer using bespoke product line, Green & Spring. Massage at the manor has a certain ring to it: opt for the hot stone treatment for maximum muscular relaxation. With not one, but two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor) on the estate, you’ll kick yourself if don’t leave time for a swim, too.
Get a room! From £295 a night.
What? Hip hispanic hotspot
Slap-bang central in Barcelona sits this artsy Asian-inspired hotel. Its laid-back luxury is all down to the well thought-out interiors dotted with antiques. Bedrooms are sleek and pared-back, but retain personality with interesting artworks and designer furniture, giving them an architect’s studio feel. You’ll want to stay in, but fold-up bikes beckon for exploring this charismatic city. One of Barcelona’s most trendy hangouts is the Pulitzer’s own rooftop terrace, home to a heavenly cocktail list – the martinis alone will motivate you for the cycle back to base.
Get a room! From £176 a night.
LE PALAIS PAYSAN
What? Sun-blessed rural bolthole
Set in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, a 40-minute drive from Marrakech, the landscape surrounding this Moroccan country retreat lends itself to exhilarating activities. Get in touch with your inner adventurer and take to the hills on foot, on horseback or even on the hotel’s mountain bikes. After working up an appetite, amble out to the candlelit terrace and admire the terrain you’ve trekked while tucking in to some delicious Mediterranean-Moroccan fare prepared for you by chef Ahmad.
Get a room! From £140 a night.
BAUDON DE MAUNY
What? Design-savvy flâneur digs
Where? Montpellier, France
This grand townhouse has a central but discreet location, tucked away down a secluded side-street and just minutes from the Musée Fabre – home to an impressive centuries-spanning art collection. With five lord-of-the-manor-sized bedrooms that have period details and modern pizzazz aplenty, glamorous Baudon de Mauny is the perfect city bolthole: right at the heart of Montpellier, best explored on foot and close to many of the city’s culinary hotspots. Bon appetit!
Get a room! From £128 a night.
HOTEL DE NELL
What? French Zen den
Ultra-contemporary, minimal decor; great location; oodles of French ooh là là: Hôtel de Nell is an on-point Parisian pièd-à-terre from which to explore the city. In the lively ninth but pleasingly off the tourist track, it’s the perfect retreat in the evenings to unwind, wine and dine. The hotel’s restaurant La Régalade Conservatoire has a local following and is worthy of its gourmet reputation: chef Bruno Doucet’s team serves mouthwatering bistronomy whipped up with produce picked from the local market daily. Desserts are particularly memorable: you’ll love the poached pear with almond mousse and anise crumble.
Get a room! From £202 a night.
THE AMPERSAND HOTEL
What? Creative city-centre stay
There’s something fantastical about the Ampersand, with its whimsical Alice in Wonderland colour schemes; it also serves up one of London’s best afternoon teas – the mini Victoria sponge cakes are to die for. NY-style basement eaterie and cocktail bar Apero mixes a mean aperitif to focus the tastebuds on its tasty Italo-Med sharing platters, and rooms are bright and beautiful. On your well-heeled Kensington doorstep await some of London’s most memorable museums (including the V&A and the Natural History Museum). Should you have completed your cultural quota for the day, there is always time for a little retail therapy: Knightsbridge is minutes away, so you may as well say a little ‘hello’ to Harrods or Harvey Nichols.
Get a room! From £163 a night (when you pay in advance).
What? Rad coastal eco-retreat
The Scarlet’s mood-enhancing eco-design merges indoors and outdoors with large glass windows and walls. Tranquility, wellness and relaxation are all on the cards at this ocean-facing adults-only hotel – did someone say ‘couple’s retreat’? Watch the sun set and sip an apéritif from the round, red log-fired hot tubs that sit atop the cliffs in front of the hotel. In the morning you can start slow at one of the free yoga classes, but by afternoon you may tempted to take to the seas and get your heart racing either with a wild swim or a surf lesson. Of course you could always continue slow and lie still while you submit to a supercharged spa session…
Get a room! From £265 a night.
DAR LES CIGOGNES
What? Gourmet-loving getaway
With celebrity architect Charles Boccara on board, the owners have put two riads together to create a Moorish masterpiece. Jetsetters now flock to the boutique hotel, not just to admire the meticulous renovations but to delight in the outstanding home-prepared cuisine on offer. The hotel has recently published its own cookbook, and they have an on-site cookery school where chefs impart their top tips with guests. The menu changes daily, depending on what’s available at the market. Make melt-in-the-mouth memories with slow-cooked spicy chicken tagine and fluffy, flavour-infused couscous, or buy the cookbook and emulate your experience back on home turf.
Get a room! From £147 a night
THE CHURCH STREET TOWNHOUSE
What? Historic playzone
Take a step back in time and stay in this lovingly restored grade II-listed townhouse at the heart of bard-boasting Stratford-upon-Avon. But don’t be fooled: this is no olde-worlde time-warp – the mood’s more member’s club than creaky floorboards. Soak up the Shakespearean offerings with a trip to the theatre and peek in on the playwright’s birthplace on Henley Street. Back at your converted coaching inn, find a cosy spot to curl up in, tuck into relaxed gastro-fare and hearty breakfasts from chef Richard Hancox, or prop up the lively bar with the devoted local crowd.
Get a room! From £130 a night
What? Sun-blessed hilltop bolthole
Set in the stunning Sollér Valley, this 18th-century Mallorquin farmhouse is surrounded by olive groves and lemon trees. At the end of the garden path, you’ll find the hotel’s infinity pool: dive in and you’ll feel as though you’re swimming off the hillside and into the blue. Amble from bench to bench between the overflowing flowerbeds, or seek out a secluded spot between the trees where you can dine al fresco at romantic wrought-iron tables. Fresh Mediterranean dishes are enhanced by the delicious olive oil produced on the farm – staff will proudly explain the entire process to you.
Get a room! From £213 a night.
Find hotels with Easter availability, or browse the Smith hotels collection for more long-weekend ideas…
*Copy compiled by Georgina Conroy