Revisit Jet Set Costa Smeralda and Saint-Tropez; Discover Portugal’s World Heritage Wine Region; or Sail Intimate Islands of the Mediterranean
Europe is the eternal summer destination. Travelers can savor Sardinia’s renowned wine and cuisine; hobnob with the social elite in Saint-Tropez; explore the untouched Douro Valley in Portugal; or sail the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Check out these classic European summer locales highlighting tried and true hotspots and under-the radar scenes, destined to become the new classics.
Sardinia, Italy: Stunning and Stylish Costa Smeralda Starwood Hotels & Resorts
This collection includes three Starwood Luxury Collection properties, Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza and Hotel Romazzino, and the five-star Sheraton Cervo Hotel. All encompass classic Sardinian architecture and style throughout, reflecting a rustic but elegant décor.
The chic and exclusive 124-guestroom Hotel Cala Di Volpe features the largest outdoor sea-water pool in Europe, and the “Total Beauty” Spa, part of the Quintessentially Pure collection of leading spas,includes the complete line of Aveda skin and hair care products. In addition, La Cave, the hotel’s impressive wine cellar, features over 400 varieties of international and Italian selections.
The 56-guestroom Hotel Pitrizza consists of a group of villas set amid the natural landscape of rocks and gardens, with the refined intimacy of an ancestral island home featuring a salt-water swimming pool carved out of natural granite rock with stunning views of the Liscia di Vacca Bay.
The 94-guestroom luxury beachfront Hotel Romazzino, surrounded by lawns and flowering gardens, is ideal for families with its multitude of water sports, bike paths, diving facilities, numerous dining options and the Toy Club, a comprehensive day care for children.
The 124-guestroom Cervo Hotel in the heart of Porto Cervo village overlooks the famous Piazzetta, steps from the marina, sport clubs, shopping promenade, luxury boutiques and exciting nightlife. Open year-round, the hotel features indoor/outdoor pools, tennis club, a myriad of dining options and meeting and business facilities. For more, visit: www.starwoodhotels.com/costasmeralda.
Saint-Tropez, France: Get the Royal Treatment at Pan Dei Palais
The epitome of luxury and glamour, Saint-Tropez is the ultimate summer hotspot on the French Riviera. Originally built in 1835 by French General Allard for his wife Princess Pan Deï, this historical mansion has been transformed into an exotic 12-room boutique hotel. Located in the coveted center of Saint-Tropez several meters from the Place des Lices, the legendary palace reignites the sumptuous era of colonial India, welcoming guests year-round to this stylish jetsetter’s haven. The architects Thomas Paturle and Michel Lefevbre and interior designer Françoise Piault, kept the spirit of the family home while updating the accommodations with every modern amenity. Guests can lounge poolside on one of the many day beds, retreat to the Turkish bath, or enjoy a meal at the hotel’s renowned restaurant serving Japanese-influenced international cuisine. For more information visit www.pandei.com.
Douro Valley, Portugal: Flow Among Ancient Vines at Aquapura Douro Valley
Summer in the Douro is a radiant panorama of undulating hills and terraced vineyards in this emerging wine region and birthplace of port. The five-star Aquapura Douro Valley is centered around a nineteenth-century manor house, with 50 rooms and suites, 21 villas, a 23,600-square-foot spa specializing in Karin Herzog and Ytsara treatments, three restaurants, wine tasting room, two bars, outdoor heated swimming pool, library, boutiques, business centre and wine cellar. Guests can visit nearby historic castles, monasteries, preserved villages, or enjoy golfing, hot air balloon flights and access to acclaimed port maker’s houses, exclusively available to Aquapura guests. Visit www.aquapurahotels.com.
Greek Islands: Get Swept Away with Variety Cruises
Stray away from those standard, touristy cruise ships and opt for a superb small ship cruise experience. Variety Cruises offers a fleet of more than 17 fully owned vessels, complete with luxury, premium and casual experiences in old-world or cosmopolitan locales throughout Greece, Turkey, the Adriatic Sea, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Its summer itineraries savor the cultural, architectural, historical and natural diversity of each port.
- AEGEAN ODYSSEY: Departing from Marina Zea in Athens, guests will enjoy seven nights in the Cycladic Islands before reaching sites of Kusadasi, Ephessus and the lesser-known islands of Patmos and Samos.
- JEWELS OF THE CYCLADES: This itinerary departing from Athens and heads southeast of mainland Greece on the M/S Galileo through a collection of islands, including Poros, Kimolos, Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, Kea and Sounion.
- CLASSICAL GREECE: Seven nights on megayachts Harmony V or Harmony G, departing from Athens or Crete. Discover the Aegean Islands, Crete and Continental Greece. Enjoy the private, convivial ship environment, fine cuisine and personalized service while sailing one of the most sought-after summer destinations. For more information visit www.varietycruises.com.