Three coronavirus-free retreats for when the lockdown ends
Want to escape to a world free of viral fears? Chris Carter shows where to head when the airports open
“In the post-pandemic world, the ultimate luxury is living as if the virus never existed,” say Flavia Rotondi and Alberto Brambilla on Bloomberg. Forte Village (from €890, fortevillageresort.com), a “sprawling” resort on the island of Sardinia, has gone all out to achieve that vision.
On arrival at the resort, guests will be given rapid-response antibody tests and Covid-19 swabs. “Those with favourable test results can enjoy the resort’s expansive grounds and activities – which include basketball, tennis, water slides, and a thalassotherapy spa with expansive saltwater pools – without having to wear face masks or observe any social distancing rules whatsoever.”
If the tests are positive, however, the guests will be isolated with 24-hour medical assistance “in their own private villa in a tucked-away section of the 50-hectare natural park that contains the resort”.
Conviviality on the Algarve
The Algarve has had very few cases of Covid-19; testing, tracking and tracing are up and running; and Algarvians have been pretty much sticking to the letter of the law, says Mary Lussiana in The Sunday Times. The safety measures taken at the Praia Verde Boutique Hotel (from £135, praiaverderesort.com) are also reassuring.
“My arrival began at a disinfectant tower just inside the main door.” Then, at the check-in desk, the receptionist “reached for a gun to measure my temperature – 36.1, and I was in”. Passport and key card were disinfected, and “I was asked to break the [door] seal confirming that my room had been cleaned (using ozone)”. Hotel information was available for download via smartphone. “Hurrah to the death of the room tour!”
The nearby Praia Verde beach has been reopened, although distancing rules remain in force. And despite restrictions in the hotel’s mainly al-fresco restaurant, À Terra, a “convivial atmosphere” has nevertheless been created.
The Basque country holds out
France has rapidly been getting back to normal, says Anthony Peregrine in The Daily Telegraph. Gatherings of more than ten people are still not allowed, masks should be worn in shops and on public transport, tables must be kept apart and Paris is best avoided for now. Instead, head for the Basque country. It’s “no surprise that coronavirus didn’t make much headway… [here]; not much has since the stone age”. The Romans “found it hard going in these Pyrenean parts, as did follow-up barbarians and Charlemagne. And, these days, the Basque identity still lies strong upon the land”.
Guéthary is a good choice for a village by the seaside, as is Saint-Jean-de-Luz, “with its storybook bay”. Further inland, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is “where mountain folk gather for the Monday market”.