The children are back at school, so it’s probably time to book a romantic weekend treat. Read our guide to four of the most romantic getaways for this season.
1. The Selman, Marrakech, Morocco
Forget boho. We’re talking Jacques Garcia interiors that are polished and velvety, even a tiny bit gauche, but with a sense of theatre that draws a sophisticated set. This is an immaculately conceived bolthole with a beautiful 80m swimming pool (that’s impressively long), flanked by day beds and neat rows of palm trees. Beyond the show-stopping pool, there are ridiculously smart stables (complete with showers!), lush paddocks for the glossy Arabian horses – which, while you can’t ride them, are a sight to behold – and cavernous Henri Chenot spa.
Yes, the king of Italian detoxing has an outpost here, so you can retreat to enjoy his rigorously effective treatments in the heat of the day. There’s a gym, saunas and steams, the obligatory hammam and a mini hair salon. The Moroccan restaurant is an Arabian Nights taste sensation that’s hard to resist, though you can undergo a cleansing diet if you wish. Few do.
Book it: Doubles from £294.
2. Casa la Siesta, Andalucia, Spain
This is a gorgeous slice of rural Spain, surrounded by crowing cockerels and patchwork green fields, but with a stretch of surf beaches and the pretty hilltop town of Vejer de la Frontera both a 15-minute drive away. Opened eight years ago by a British couple with an eye for interiors, Casa La Siesta is a seven-room bolthole (there are two more self-contained rooms in the casita next door) built from scratch. There are reclaimed tiles on the stone floors (the owner has since set up Bert & May, which sells new tiles in similar patterns from east London), white wooden ceiling beams and shutters, and lime plaster walls.
Downstairs, the open-plan living dining space is made for relaxing with squashy sofas, with an honesty bar and crackling log fire, accompanied by a salsa music soundtrack. Hours vanish as you sit reading in the lavender and lemon tree-filled garden or lazing by the pool. It’s worth eating dinner here for at least one night during your stay, when chef Connie will whip up dishes such as lamb tagine or pan-fried dorada with sweet potato gratin, followed by zingy lemon tart. At night, lights are strung up in the trees and the stars shine bright against the inky night sky.
Book it: Doubles from €200.
3. Amanruya, Bodrum, Turkey
What a wonderful start to the day. Breakfast outside under a cobalt blue sky, with delicious Turkish eggs, homemade hot bread rolls and fresh orange juice, and the distant views of the sea that soothe and calm. Bedrooms here are typically Aman in style – which means you should expect more of a mini villa than your standard hotel room, complete with vast marble bathrooms, mini swimming pool and a dining area. The palette is muted and calm, because this is a smart, grown-up bolthole with plenty of areas to rest.
But it’s the beach club that’s the real draw – situated via a long, dusty path, hidden away and private, with a smart pontoon over the ocean, a restaurant for big salad lunches followed by chocolate brownies and decked areas with giant sofas for flopping. It’s like a turbocharged Robinson Crusoe hideaway.
Book it: Original Travel offers seven nights, from £3,050pp, including flights and transfers.
4. Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany, Italy
You’d be hard pressed to find a more romantic spot, partly because the story of Borgo is an affaire du coeur itself. Fifteen years ago, the owner discovered this gorgeous Tuscan estate, an hour from Florence, on his honeymoon and bought it for his wife. They have turned it into an exquisite boutique hotel, with possibly the most entrancing gardens in Italy. The attention to beauty and detail is breathtaking; rambling roses on ancient walls, fresh flower meadows, a picture-perfect organic vegetable garden, while the views of the wrap-around, unblemished Tuscan countryside are similarly staggering. Staying here is like lolling in a luxurious house party, where no conceivable comfort is overlooked.
It’s all roaring fires – instantly lit in a thunderstorm in summer – antiques, crisp linens and Santa Maria Novella products. Spend the morning in the cookery school and sample fresh, fabulous pasta then retreat to the spa. The herbs used will have been picked an hour before, while all massages use the finest argan oil from Marrakech, blended with rose petals from the garden. Tracey, the spa manager, has healing hands,
so if you’re not already in heaven, she will ensure you are soon completely blissed out.
Book it: Doubles from €495.