The Redbury South Beach
What’s so special?
This small gem of a hotel is tucked among its giant rivals on Collins Avenue in Miami. It only opened last year, but is already winning rave reviews – it made Condé Nast’s Traveller’s Hot List for 2014, a round-up of the world’s best new hotels. It “proves that bigger is not necessarily better”, as the magazine puts it.
How they rate it
“The edgy, playful design by Ashley Manhan includes black-and-white floor tiles and red Adirondack chairs in the central courtyard,” says Condé Nast Traveller. The interiors are unusual, with grey striped walls and red, yellow and flamingo-pink doors. “The bedrooms are big, with mirrored wardrobes, boxy Geneva alarm clocks and faux-vintage turntables with a stack of 78s.”
Work isn’t completely finished – a herb garden and bar are being added on the roof alongside the pool this summer. Guests can also visit sister hotels The Raleigh and SLS South Beach, making “this a buy-one-get-two-free combo that’s hard to beat”.
Italian restaurant Lorenzo serves sharing plates, meatballs and dishes such as gnocchi with boar ragu.
Doubles from £190. Visit www.theredbury.com, or call 00 1 305 604 1776.
St Regis Bal Harbour
What’s so special?
Situated in Bal Harbour, the richest enclave in Florida, you can expect to rub shoulders with Saudi princes, Russian oligarchs and Wall Street bankers when you stay at this particular St Regis. They are all attracted by the beautiful beach and the impeccable service.
How they rate it
This is the perfect location “for those who want a relaxing escape with the occasional dip into the South Beach scene”, says Lucie Young in The Daily Telegraph. Every inch of the hotel “oozes money… think enormous crystal chandeliers, glass walls, high ceilings – a modern take on Art Deco opulence and the days of grand old hotels”. The rooms all have ocean views and “even the smallest are the size of a small New York apartment with a bathroom you’ll want to keep”.
The service is “top notch, you are met with a glass of champagne and nothing is too complicated”. Opt for one of the beach villas and you’ll get your own butler, while The Remède spa is “one of the best on the beach”.
The food in the hotel’s J&G Grill is “excellent, well-priced, not overly fancy fare”, with dishes including black-truffle pizza or short ribs.
Prices start from £485 per night for a double room. For more information, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis, or call 00 1 305 993 3300.
A short hop to a Greek island
With direct flights now available from London, the Greek island of Santorini, with its pretty blue and white houses, is more accessible than ever, says Laura Holt in The Independent. The Grace in Imerovigli (a village in the northwest of the island) is situated on a steep cliff overlooking the island’s “star attraction: a large, partly submerged caldera that rests under the calm, blue Aegean”.
The hotel has an infinity pool with sea views (pictured), from where you can watch “some of the best sunsets on the island”, and many rooms have their own pools.
• Prices from €370 for a double (Gracehotels.com/santorini; 00 30 22860 21300).
Perivolas is a great choice if you really want peace and quiet. It is a short walk from Oia, “a tiny village where only the toll of a church bell or the chug of a fishing boat pierce the silence”.
The hotel is made up of former fishermen and farmers’ quarters converted into 17 “luxurious suites, with traditional smooth stone walls and curved cave-like ceilings”.
• Doubles cost from €420 with breakfast (Perivolas.gr; 00 30 22860 71308).
If you’d rather go self-catering, Santorini Heritage has two villas in the village of Megalochori that sleep four or six people. Mansion Sophia “features a pretty private courtyard and a Moroccan-style plunge pool”.
Mansion Kyani is “on a hilltop overlooking vineyards, with three bedrooms and an outdoor infinity pool”.
• Prices start from €290, including car rental and transfers (Santoriniheritagevillas.com; 00 30 699 4102450).