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Inspired by a shared love of the sea, our Crème de la Mer collections highlight some of the world’s most special coastal stays. This week, we’re dropping anchor at soul-stirring, secluded sunspots where you’ll feel as though you’ve got the place to yourselves…

Secluded sunspots – a travel guide

WHERE TO STAY

SANTORINI Greece
With arguably the most dramatic landscapes of all the sun-drenched Greek islands, the biggest isle in the Cyclades is formed from volcanic rock – the result of the Minoan eruption of 1,645BC which, legend has it, destroyed the city ofAtlantis. Take a hotel room facing the vast volcanic bay (the caldera) and you’re facing one of the most awe-inspiring views in the world.

Astra Suites in Santorini, Greece

Astra Suites (above) hugs Santorini’s postcard-perfect cliffs on a quiet corner of the island, its apartments all high ceilings, arty ornaments and candles perched on every available surface; Sun Rocks in Santorini, Greeceprise yourself away and sign up for one of the incredible therapeutic massages in the spa and drift off to another world entirely. Sun Rocks offers traditional whitewashed style, with several hundred steps linking the 26 scattered rooms carved out of the caldera’s basin. Romance is a given: this light-flooded retreat is so dedicated to couples and creating an atmosphere of seclusion that its Elea (‘Olive Tree’) fine-dining room has only four tables.

Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Lotion

WHAT TO PACK

Crème de la Mer’s Moisturizing Lotion

Luxuriously rich yet soft and light, you’ll find this moisture-replenishing lotion in the luggage of savvy travellers heading to deserted sunspots. It is especially ideal on holiday when temperatures rise and you want all the effects of the original nutrient-rich blend (with sea kelp, vitamins, minerals and essential oils) in a lightweight formula.
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MORE PLACES YOU’LL FIND SECLUDED SUNSPOTS

FIJI South Pacific
An archipelago of more than 320 islands, Fiji is the ultimate honeymoon-fit South Pacific playground. If deserted stretches of sand and pampering spa sessions are your holy grail, sidestep the mainland and seek out Fiji’s secluded offshore isles for rainforest hiking or snorkelling with rainbow-bright tropical fish.

Matangi Private Island Resort, FijiMatangi Private Island Resort (above) is set on a small, solar-kissed beach-blessed isle in Fiji’s tropical north-east. Modern-day castaways can expect a Robinson Crusoe experience staying in romantic treehouses, Taveuni Palms resort in Fijimassages in a seaside spa with an over-water relaxation deck, and world-class diving in Horseshoe Bay. Taveuni Palms is laid-back yet luxurious, the three spacious two-bedroom villas just remote enough to work well for sociable couples travelling together, family getaways or heavenly honeymoons. Perched on a beachfront headland, it promises great diving, snorkelling and walks through the waterfalls.

MALDIVES Indian Ocean
Conjure the most glorious paradise-island clichés – swaying palms, white sands, crystal waters – and chances are your envisaging this island nation. Connected only by speedboat and seaplane, all 1,192 of the Maldives islands are made for romantic sun-soaking by day and stargazing à deux by night.

The MaldivesPer Aquum Huvafen Fushi (above) offers you a warm, clear lagoon to swim in, one of the best house reefs to snorkel, talcum-soft sand and the world’s first underwater spa to spoil yourself in. For total seclusion,Como Shambala spa at Cocoa Island, Maldives choose a James Bond-style Ocean Bungalow with a glass-floor view onto the reef, outdoor plunge pool and panoramic sunset views. Cocoa Island has a relaxed ambience, with just 33 villas and suites – all situated over water – offering total privacy. Beautifully designed rooms ressemble Keralan boathouses with soothing white and teak interiors; only the scuba-diving and world-class Como Shambhala spa could tempt you away…

MALLORCA Spain
The biggest of the Baleares, Mallorca is a cosmopolitan destination where you can be in its history-steeped capital Palma one moment, then in a leafy mountain retreat soon after. Take in the breathstealing views from the clifftops near Cap de Formentor or brave the serpentine roads in the Tramuntana Mountains – between Valldemossa and Pollenca via Deia and Sóller it is especially scenic.

Mirabó de Valldemossa hotel, Mallorca

Mirabó de Valldemossa (above) is a 16th-century family-run olive farm near the hilltop village of Deià that’s been transformed into a boutique hotel with just nine bedrooms. Book the Porche de las OvejasCa's Xorc hotel, Marbella (‘the sheep hut’) with its the large north-west-facing window that looks across to the mediaeval town of Valldemossa for true seclusion. Ca’s Xorc near Sóller is hidden away in flower-filled gardens amid 100-year-old olive trees. Perched precariously on a hillside, with spectacular views over a mountain range and out to sea, splash about in the infinity pool and you’ll feel as though you’re swimming off the cliff edge and into the valley below.

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SMITH SKINCARE TIP-OFF

Crème de la Mer – beauty in the sun

Lightweight, yet nutritious and soothing, Crème de la Mer’s Moisturizing Lotion is essential packing for sunnier climes, but there are four other textures to choose from; get down to your nearest Crème de la Mer counter pronto, and you’ll get a free ‘Where Miracles Begin’ consultation, plus a 3ml introduction to a moisturiser of your choice*. Alternatively, enter ‘SMITH’ at checkout to receive a 3ml sample* of the new Moisturizing Lotion with your next online purchase from Crème de la Mer.

Join again soon for another travel guide, in association with Crème de la Mer.

*One 3ml sample per customer, while stocks last. Offer valid until 30th September 2012.

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