Perched on top of a hill like an old fort, the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa first opened in 1961 and is situated in a 600-hectare nature park overlooking the Lucca valley in Tuscany, says Phoebe Weston in the Daily Mail. The hotel is spacious, with thick carpets and ornate lighting, antique stone fireplaces and vast sofas. Its spa is “stunning”, the bedrooms “rather eye-catching” and the mountain views spectacular.
The nearby small village of Fabbriche di Vallico is home to the region’s two last chestnut mills, where you can learn all about the ancient tradition of making sweet chestnut flour. A tour of a mill can be arranged from the hotel, and you can take the flour back to the hotel to learn how to make pasta with it under the watchful eye of the head chef. It all makes for a perfect holiday for foodies.
• From €274 per night; see RenaissanceTuscany.com
Sleep in the middle of a glacier
The Sheldon Chalet is perched on an isolated granite peak within a magnificent glacier in the Alaska Range of mountains, says Jim Dobson in Forbes. The hotel is set to open this month and sleeps up to ten guests in five bedrooms, which feature “brilliant panoramas of the Alaska Range from every angle”. Guests are welcomed with Champagne and Alaskan seafood and dinners are prepared by the chalet’s chefs from local ingredients. There is a fireplace to keep the second floor warm,
and heaters are provided in each room.
The location, initially discovered by pilot Don Sheldon over 60 years ago, has previously only been accessible to experienced mountain climbers, but visitors can now enjoy “true luxury in the middle of an icy paradise retreat”, thanks to helicopter trips. You can use the chalet as a base for various activities, including helicopter tours, moonlight trekking, mountain biking and skiing, and making igloos.
• All-inclusive $2,300 per night; see SheldonChalet.com
A bungalow built over water in Belize
Belize has everything you could want for a dream holiday: “picture-perfect beaches, crystal-clear ocean waters, breathtaking landscapes and beautiful resorts”, says Julie Delahaye in the Daily Mirror. However, “there’s one luxury retreat that’s going straight to the top of our bucket lists: the jaw-dropping Casa Ventanas”.
The bungalow is built over the water, 150ft out into the ocean off the private-island resort of Cayo Espanto, and has a glass-bottomed floor from which you can watch “the tropical sea life in the turquoise waters below”.
The bungalow sits on the island’s main dock, so guests get “unspoiled ocean views, direct access to the water and even a private sailboat if you want to go for a tour of the island”.
• From £1,134 per night; APrivateIsland.com/villas/casa-ventanas/