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The best short-haul weekend hotel stays to book this summer

From the best all-inclusive and gourmet getaways to cultural destinations for literary buffs, here are some of the best weekend getaways.

By Shubhangi Dua  |  May 8, 2022
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For those wanting to take advantage of the relaxed travel restrictions and enjoy a weekend away outside of the UK, Europe is the perfect short-haul destination. Enjoy a few nights in a new destination and explore the excitement of a new city. From the best all-inclusive and gourmet getaways to cultural destinations for literary buffs, here are some of the best weekend getaways.

Best for all-inclusive: Lindos Village Resort and Spa, Rhodes in Greece

Lindos Village Resort and Spa reopened on May 1st with a brand new deluxe all-inclusive concept and will be one of few resorts in Rhodes to offer this elevated experience to adults only. This reimagined resort will offer today’s discerning traveller a sophisticated hideaway and an enviable location from which to explore the best of Rhodes to catch some early sun this spring season.

Perched on a cliff edge overlooking the Aegean Sea in the enchanting cove of Vlycha Bay, this five-star, adults-only resort is as charming as it is luxurious with whitewashed sugar-cube like architecture, impeccable personalised service, privacy for guests and awe-inspiring ocean views from each of the 190 rooms and suites. 

Shaded by cypress and lemon trees, the courtyard design, open-style terraces, sunset lounges and serene outdoor pool, recreate the feel of a secluded Greek paradise, exuding a relaxing yet sophisticated atmosphere. Adding to the authentic experience, Lindos Village Resort and Spa will reopen this spring with refreshed and locally inspired cuisine and beverage concepts, including contemporary Greek cuisine options as well as the Mediterranean classics.

Best for literary buffs: Hotel Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, Paris in France

Located in the storied Parisian neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the newly opened Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain offers an authentic taste of Paris and the perfect base for exploring the city’s popular and lesser-known sites like a local, walking or on top of the hotel’s bikes.

Surrounded by historic French architecture, the area is known to have inspired some of the world’s artistic and literary greats, from Simone de Beauvoir to Picasso, while the hotel hosted Irish beloved writer James Joyce as he finalised his seminal novel Ulysses (which turns 100 this year). Within walking distance, hotel guests can visit the Jardin du Luxembourg to soak up the springtime air, get a cultural hit at Musée d’Orsay or the Louvre, visit the iconic Notre Dame cathedral and discover the city’s most stylish shopping destination, La Samaritaine.

After exploring, guests of the hotel are invited to relax and rejuvenate minds and bodies with a tranquil treatment at Spa des Prés, the hotel’s wellbeing oasis designed to offer a sanctuary from the bustling streets of Paris.

For an indulgent feast, Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain is home to Les Parisiens, a modern take on the traditional French Bistrot by celebrated chef, Thibault Sombardier, expertly combining haute cuisine with classic French flavours. Next to the restaurant, the James Joyce bar serves refreshing apéritifs and delicious cocktails, a perfect stop for before or after dinner. Having experienced a day filled with French culture and cuisine, guests can relax in one of the hotel’s 47 rooms and suites, the very definition of contemporary sophistication, or read a good book in the cosy hotel library. 

A three-night stay costs from £1,185 (two sharing), including breakfast.

Best for foodies: Parga Beach Resort, Parga in Greece

Escape the crowds and explore the lesser-known town of Parga this year. Easily accessible from the UK, travellers can catch a direct flight from London to Aktion airport (PVK), just a short transfer to the resort.

Set directly on Valtos Beach between golden sands and crystal-clear waters, the five-star resort invites guests to discover the picturesque region on a hassle-free escape with their new ultra-all-inclusive offering. The ‘Authentic Ultra All Inclusive’ board basis allows guests to dine at all three restaurants and bars; from beachfront eatery Thálssa to brand-new seaside restaurant Alselēa, which serves up modern Mediterranean cuisine coupled with unobstructed views of Parga.

Encouraging guests to head out and explore all that the Epirus coast has to offer, the resort provides a plethora of experiences from a guided walking tour through nearby archaeological sites and sunrise kayaking adventures across the waves, to yachting trips around the picturesque island of Paxoi.

Just a short walk from the quaint town centre, the resort’s team are on hand to organise a range of off and on-site activities. After days spent exploring, indulge in rejuvenating treatments at the Blossom Wellness Center, which offers an inside out wellness experience, blending contemporary approaches with ancient Greek philosophies before retreating to the resort’s tranquil suites boasting unobstructed views of the glistening coast, colourful gardens and swimming pools.

Best for gourmet experience: CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa, Crete in Greece

CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa is located on Crete’s rugged north-eastern coast, ideal for a long weekend of authentic experiences, gourmet cuisine and soul-nourishing wellness away from the crowds of the island’s tourist hotspots.

Start the weekend by checking into one of the resort’s luxurious rooms or villas, complete with private plunge pools and enchanting sea views, before relaxing on a private swathe of beach reserved exclusively for hotel guests. The next day can be spent exploring the charming village of Plaka or taking a short boat ride to Spinalonga Island to discover Venetian and Ottoman history, and the relics left behind by a community of lepers that were exiled to the island in the 20th century. The hotel is just a short drive from Agios Nikolaos, with its bustling marina, quaint colourful houses, food markets and shops, as well as the chic port town of Elounda.

Save plenty of time to discover the delights of CAYO’s four gourmet restaurants, including Kelari, where Lefteris Lazarou – Greece’s first Michelin-starred chef – has designed a menu of traditional Greek dishes rethought with a contemporary flair. Elsewhere, Stone Beach by CAYO serves Cretan small plates and sharing platters beachside, Ambrosia is the destination for laid-back breakfasts and dinners, while Sage and Thyme serves light lunches by the pool.

Tucked away within the hotel, Armonia Spa offers a menu of wellness treatments inspired by ancient Greek wellness therapies and is home to state-of-the-art facilities including a sauna, steam room and heated hydrotherapy pool.

Kenwood Travel offers three nights in a private pool sea view room from £1,130 (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), accommodation and breakfast.

Best for outside Europe: La Maison Arabe, Morocco in Africa

Less than a four-hour flight from London, with temperatures set to reach the mid-twenties this spring, there’s never been a better time to rediscover Marrakech and all its charm.

Set in the epicentre of the medina, just a short walk from the vibrant Jemaa el-Fna square, just a stone’s throw away, lies Morocco’s first boutique riad hotel, La Maison Arabe. Once graced by royalties and dignitaries including Queen Ingrid of Denmark and Sir Winston Churchill, the 37-room property’s rich storied past is echoed throughout. Complete with intimate yet opulent Moorish settings, here, the guest experience is steeped in traditional Moroccan hospitality.

With three restaurants to choose from, La Maison Arabe also boasts a piano-jazz bar and celebrated cookery school. The very first in Marrakech, guests and locals alike can master Moroccan cooking, blending spices with ingredients freshly plucked from the vegetable gardens. Immersed in an oasis of verdant gardens, guests of both properties can relax in the ‘Espace Raha’ a traditional hammam spa. Lounge in an outdoor heated pool set amid a flower-filled courtyard before indulging in a Hammam or massage.