Budget Boutique Hotels

Super-chic summer escapes where the pound still has buying power…

Want a stylish break in the sun but worried about the exchange rate? Check out these smart destinations, where your pound still has power.

THE GRAND CAFE AND ROOMS

WHY?
Surrounded by stunning forests, incredible wildlife and rugged beaches, Plett is discreetly stylish with a down-home appeal, and this bijou hotel is its most enchanting bolthole.

WHERE?
Overlooking the Keurbooms River at the eastern end of the scenic Garden Route, Plett is the summer playground of affluent city dwellers, South Africa’s version of Rock in Cornwall.

STAYING IN
Livingetc loved wafting around our vast four-poster-furnished bedroom and equally large bathroom (with its twin showers and river views). Guests can also enjoy the dip pool, terrace, and beauty treatments at the Grand Betty Salon, while the candlelit café attracts Plett’s bon ton for lunch and dinner.

STYLE STEAL
Create faded decadence with rough plaster walls, vintage red velvet chaises and huge silver candelabras.

OUT AND ABOUT
Avoid Main Beach in high season (Dec-Feb) and head for the more deserted sands of Solar or Robberg. Hit the seas for dolphin and whale watching, or pop into Monkeyland. Dress up to watch the polo or take tea at Kurland Estate, then enjoy a plate of pasta at local Italian Cornuti Al Mare.

MORE INFO
Fly to Johannesburg then on to George Airport, or drive the Garden Route from Cape Town. From £70 per person, per night (+27 44 533 3301, thegrand.co.za)

RIAD LOTUS PERLE

WHY?
To escape reality by transporting yourself somewhere totally different. And with its bustling souk, spicy tagines and fragranced gardens, Marrakech offers a sensory overload.

WHERE?
On the edge of the Medina, the rabbit warren of high- walled alleyways encircling both the souk and the atmospheric Djamaa El Fna square.

STAYING IN
Outside may be all tooting car horns and braying donkeys, but inside Riad Perle’s high doors you can kick off your shoes and settle down by the water feature with a fresh-mint tea. Riad Perle updates the ‘kasbah chic’ thing, forgoing filmy curtains and beaten brass in favour of modern monochrome decor that works neoclassic, Art Deco and colonial styles. The five suites are individually decorated, with Starck and Baccarat touches, and their evocative names (the Coco Chanel, the Gatsby, the Kennedy) should put you in the mood for some indolent afternoons.

STYLE STEAL
Add depth, interest and soul to a monochrome scheme with lush fabrics and mirrored surfaces.

OUT AND ABOUT
Haggle for bargains in the souk (everything from slippers to brass lamps), get some garden inspiration on a stroll around the Jardin Majorelle, or take a day trip to the Atlas mountains or the arty coastal city of Essaouira.

MORE INFO
Suites from £170 per night, inc breakfast and airport transfer (riadslotus.com). Sovereign Holidays offers one week in June for two for £1,360 B&B inc flights (sovereign.com).

AZUCAR

WHY?
Conceived by Habita Hotels, the avant-garde team behind Mexico’s chicest hotels, Azucar sits against a backdrop of exotic jungle, blue lagoons and sugar plantations.

WHERE?
Three hours from Veracruz, in the sedate coastal town of Monte Gordo, on Mexico’s lush Gulf coast. 바카라사이트

STAYING IN
Azucar is very much about outdoor living, with peaceful lazing guaranteed. Accommodation is made up of 20 thatched, whitewashed haciendas with pared-down, pale interiors, where bedside lighting comes from candlelit niches, and simple timber and reclaimed driftwood furnishings create a gentle rustic look. Idle away hours in the locally made hammock on your private terrace, play a spot of table footie, or simply chill on vibrant-coloured ottomans or dusky-pink cushions beside the curvy pool. Refresh yourself below the open-air rainfall shower, then enjoy a meal in the relaxed restaurant to the sounds of Cuban-American salsa. Livingetc recommends the catch of the day and the authentic, tasty tortillas.

STYLE STEAL
Achieve rustic simplicity by teaming shades of white with rough-hewn timber and natural wicker. Add warmth with faded pink or orange cotton scatter cushions and light with chunky candles.

OUT AND ABOUT
Being a beach-front property, you don’t have to trek far to find sand. If more active pursuits appeal, borrow bikes, sign up for a yoga session (and a massage) at the holistic spa, or enjoy the local scenery by going horse riding, rafting or kayaking. Investigate the 9th-century archaeological site of pre-Columbian city El Tajin, or take in the wildlife on a boat trip along the mangrove swamps. And foodies should test the Gallic artisan delicacies in the nearby town of San Rafael, too.

 

 

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