What's so special
Plenty of hotels promise to help you get away from it all', but not many deliver quite as well on that promise as the Burgh Island Hotel. Twice a day, you're cut off from the world by the high tide. But where better to be marooned than in a beautiful Art Deco hotel?
How they rate it
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"This time-warp, ocean-liner-styled hotel has an impressive list of alumni: Winston Churchill, Noel Coward and Agatha Christie all visited in its post-war heyday," says Suzy Bennett in The Daily Telegraph. "The 1930s billiards room and swimming lagoon lends it a distinctly James Bond-esque air." There are a few drawbacks: the bedrooms are "on the small side, with double beds rather than kings, and the bathrooms are a real squeeze". The hotel is an art deco masterpiece, but it hasn't been fully brought up to date "there are no televisions in the rooms and the wi-fi is patchy". So when booking, pay for a "more spacious" suite with a lounge.
"Dinner is a strictly black-tie affair", with a menu that "couldn't get more local: the lobsters and crabs are the same that peck at swimmers' toes in the lagoon".
Rates start from £310 a night, including breakfast, dinner, parking at the mainland car park and transfers to and from the island. For more information visitwww.burghisland.com, or call 01548-810514.
The Cary Arms
What's so special
This boutique inn', run by the de Savary family, enjoys a spectacular location on the south Devon coast. Nestling in a tranquil spot above the beach at Babbacombe Bay, you'd never guess the busy seaside town of Torquay is just minutes away. All eight rooms offer sea views, and there are four cottages for hire.
How they rate it
You know that idealised image of an English inn you have in your head, with a cosy bar, friendly staff, and crisp, clean, comfortable rooms? That's pretty much exactly what the Cary Arms offers only with better decor (the rooms are straight out of a White Company catalogue), and the added bonus of being right on the seafront. There are plenty of coastal and forest walks nearby for outdoors types (you can bring the dog too, if you're so inclined) or you can just relax on your terrace with a drink, watching the sunset.
The inn serves high-quality gastropub fare, with locally caught fish regularly featuring on the menu.
From October 1 to March 31, a two-night winter gastro escape', including breakfast and a three-course dinner at the Michelin-starred Elephant in Torquay, costs from £430. See www.caryarms.co.uk, or call 01803-327110.
The world's most expensive holiday resort
A private island resort has taken the top spot as the world's most expensive hotel, reports Helen Collis in the Daily Mail. Prices start from £40,000 a night for a stay at Calivigny island in the Caribbean. But what do you get for your money?
"The 81-acre private island, located just off Grenada, boasts postcard views," says Collis. "Surrounded by serene tropical seas and golden, sandy beaches, the island caters for billionaire moguls and 20 friends who will each have their own extravagant secluded villa."
It has over 140,000 sq ft of living space, with "various formal and casual dining areas, full hair and beauty salon, fully staffed five-star kitchen, gym and boathouse that comes with its own submarine". As you would expect, the decor is lavish, with marble flooring, vaulted ceilings, French windows, Persian carpets and interiors by designers Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier. Outside there are six private beaches to choose from.
"Every suite has a unique design, with a sunken Jacuzzi or a loft-style bedroom gallery. Every guest suite is richly appointed, spacious, and comfortable, with exquisitely appointed en-suite bathrooms, private entrances and views of the island and ocean beyond." And, unsurprisingly perhaps, given the price, there's a private boat or aeroplane to take you to and from your private paradise. See www.calivigny-island.com or call 00 48 607 4040 64.
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