It’s no secret that January is prime time for booking holidays – planning a sunshine escape is the perfect antidote to the cold, dark evenings and back-to-work blues. So to help you sort out your next getaway, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest hotels for 2017. Some are new additions to our books, some are unveiling a new look, and some are classics that sell out year after year (so you’ll need to get in quick if you want to see what all the fuss is about). Grab a cup of tea and get ready to make a mental holiday wish-list…
Sani Dunes, Halkidiki
Set to open its doors in June, Sani Dunes will be another string to the Sani Resort’s already impressive bow. It’s a great option for those with teens. They’ll only take children over 12, so the hotel will have a more grown-up feel than some of the other family-friendly options in the resort but still give you access to Sani’s signature activities programme (think football, mountain biking, water-skiing and sailing). There’s also a huge infinity pool, a private stretch of white-sand beach and a sleek, adults-only spa. You’re right next to Sani’s marina, too, which puts a cluster of waterside bars and restaurants at your fingertips.
Long Beach Golf & Spa Resort, Mauritius
Mauritius is already proving a popular pick for 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s got the white sands and turquoise seas you’d expect from the Indian Ocean, but it’s also got forest-cloaked mountains, waterfalls and a fascinating melting pot of cultures to offer visitors. Head for Long Beach Golf & Spa Resort on the east coast for one of the island’s best beaches, plus first-rate family facilities. It’s especially good for teens, with a climbing wall, barbecues and tons of watersports to try.
Kirini My Mykonos Retreat & De.Light Boutique Hotel, Greece
These two Greek-island boltholes are new to our collection this year – one look at their note-perfect interiors and to-die-for views and you’ll see why we couldn’t resist.
Kirini My Mykonos Retreat definitely lives up to its name – you could hole up here for days on end, quite happily. It’s nestled above a quiet bay in the south-west of Mykonos, with sea views from every corner and a fantastic gourmet restaurant. If you did want to get out and about, pretty Mykonos Town is only a 15-minute taxi ride away.
Not far from Kirini is De.Light Boutique Hotel. Looks-wise, it’s textbook Greece – all whitewashed walls and blue shutters. Suites are roomy and all come with views of the Aegean (as do the pool and restaurant). Just across the water is the isle of Delos, supposedly the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
With a new film version of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express due out towards the end of the year, we’re predicting a spike in interest for journeys on the classic train. In the book, Hercule Poirot is travelling from Istanbul to London, but our first choice of route has to be London to Venice. After a Bellini brunch on the Belmond British Pullman, you cross the Channel and board the iconic train for your journey to Italy’s most romantic city. Fine dining, glamorous dress codes, Art Deco details – everything about this train screams luxury, making it a real once-in-a-lifetime trip (and an incredibly chic alternative to flying).
Pestana Cidadela Cascais, Portugal
Contemporary cool meets historic charm at this coastal hotel. It’s another newbie to our collection – so new, in fact, you won’t even find it on our website yet (you can secure a stay by calling one of our Travel Experts). Housed in Cascais’ old citadel fortress, the ancient walls and cobblestones have been cleverly highlighted in the hotel’s design – we love the contrast between these historic features and the modern, minimalist styling of the rooms.
The hotel describes itself as an ‘Art District’, so you’ll find studios, galleries and a dedicated Art Concierge who can arrange private tours and help you pick out a piece to take home. And if that’s not enough culture, you’re only 40 minutes’ train ride from Lisbon, one of Lonely Planet’s Top Cities of 2017. Bring on the museums and vintage trams (and custard tarts)…
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Portugal
This sprawling Algarve pad (previously the Tivoli Victoria) will become luxe brand Anantara’s first European outpost in April. We’re big fans of the chain’s hotels in Asia (the Koh Samui retreat in particular), so we’re more than a little excited for this one. Expect a handful of pools, spacious rooms and fantastic family facilities. For any golfers, you also get direct access to the home of the Portugal Masters – the fantastic, 18-hole Oceanico Victoria course.
LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives
After a makeover last year, this Maldivian island retreat is now better than ever. Our favourite addition? Beach Rouge, a Miami-style beach club above the Tiffany-blue waters of the lagoon. There’s chill-out music, there’s a lengthy cocktail menu – and after dark, there’s a floating dance floor. Burn off the mojito calories with one of the (many) activities; go traditional with yoga or tennis, or try your hand at hover-boarding and jet-surfboarding (no, we’re not entirely sure what they are either). As for where you’ll stay, our new villas for this year are Romantic Pool Water Villas and Temptation Pool Water Villas – both perch on stilts above the water and offer private pools and direct access to the lagoon.
Ritz Carlton, Abama, Tenerife
This one’s been a favourite for years, but there are a couple of big reasons to head here in 2017 – and they both involve food. Two new restaurants opened their doors at the end of last year. If you know this hotel, you’ll know it’s really big on cuisine, with three Michelin stars to its name already. One of the new restaurants, Txoko, has a Basque-inspired menu created by Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui – dishes include oysters with passion fruit pearls and anchovies with smoked cod. The other is a steakhouse named 20/20, serving prime cuts of beef (with complementary reds, of course), plus Iberian pork and grilled seafood. The best part? Both restaurants are included in the hotel’s half board package.
The food at 20/20 is amazing. The pork chop – which came from acorn-fed pigs – was the best I’d ever tasted. Helen, Product Manager
Hotel Monte Mulini, Croatia
Croatia is shaping up as one of 2017’s most popular destinations, with holidaymakers being lured in by its knockout coastal scenery and cute-as-a-button towns. It’s not all about Dubrovnik – the lesser-known north is making waves, too. Hotel Monte Mulini is set beside a quiet cove in Rovinj, an Istrian town with a touch of Venetian charm. The cobbled lanes of the old town are a 10-minute amble from the hotel, and there’s a little pebbly beach just below it. Save an evening for dinner in the atmospheric Wine Vault, where you can pick from more than 500 wines to go with your meal.
Hotel Illa d’Or, Majorca
The Hotel Illa d’Or has been a long-time favourite with our customers, and this year is no exception – rooms are being snapped up fast for summer dates. Although the hotel has a fab location on a lovely little beach, it’s the service that’s made it so popular all this time (well, that and the sea-view Gin & Tonic Corner). The hotel is family-owned and one of the few properties in Majorca to have been recognised by the Calidad Turistica for its exceptional customer service.
I’d definitely recommend upgrading to one of the sea-view balcony rooms here, as the local scenery is stunning. Sharon, Travel Expert
Forte Village, Sardinia
Sardinia has often played second fiddle to better-known islands like Crete and Ibiza, but this year we’re seeing it come into its own, especially with families. The soft sands are ideal for sandcastles, the clear waters are perfect for little swimmers, and the cuisine is famously child-friendly. Stay at Forte Village if you like all the bells and whistles. This place is completely geared up for families, with a brilliant kids’ club, a dizzying array of sports and activities, and enough restaurants to please even the fussiest of eaters.