Last minute Easter escapes
Easter is almost upon us! But if you haven’t yet decided where to go for the long weekend, panic not. Our friends at Mr & Mrs Smith have five fabulous suggestions …
Douro Valley, Portugal
Style Sprawling spa retreat
Setting Dazzling Douro wine country
Perfectly positioned to take in views of the Douro Valley in all its sweeping vine-clad majesty, Aquapura hotel was once a rural, red-painted family farmhouse. Now, after a dramatic designer reinvention, it’s Portugal’s sexiest spa retreat, offering indulgent wining, dining and poolside reclining.
Easter package: Three nights bed and breakfast, welcome cocktail at the bar, 55 min easter spa treatment, wine tasting at a nearby wine estate, one lunch with aquapura wines (Easter Sunday lunch), Easter egg hunt on Sunday & late check-out. Prices from 430€ per person on a Valley Room.
Castiglion del Bosco
Style Grape estate
Setting Verdant Val d’Orcia
Castiglion del Bosco’s personal ad is enticing: 800-year old Tuscan estate with 4,000-plus acres, a Brunello winery, two restaurants and a pool seeks discerning guests for sun and friendship…
Easter Package: Three nights bed and breakfast (three night minimum stay), Sanctuary spa gift to be used on the Sunday. Aperitif at La Piazzetta, Easter lunch for two, Pasquetta brunch for two plus a guided tour of San Galgano. Rates start from €565. VALID over Easter weekend only.
Style Heart-warming historic home
Setting Great, green Northamptonshire gardens
As befits a dwelling that is over 500 years old, Fawsley Hall hotel is a mix of architectural styles, with Tudor, Georgian and Victorian aspects all present and correct. This should, by rights, look like a design nightmare but all the work has been sensitively done and this Northamptonshire boutique hotel looks comfortable in its skin, guarding, no doubt, dramatic tales from its varied history.
Easter Package: Easter Sunday: Easter egg hunt, three course Easter lunch £35 per person – children 12 years old and under half price. Easter afternoon teas: 6, 7, 8 & 9 April. VALID over Easter weekend only.
Style Candlelit aphrodisiac
Setting Caldera panorama
A boutique hotel hugging the cliffs of Santorini, the biggest island in the Cyclades, Astra Apartments and Suites is the perfect Greek island hideaway. Rooms are all high ceilings, arty ornaments and candles perched on every available surface; add in the giant his ’n’ hers shower, a four-poster bed and an outrageously comfortable sofa in the lounge area and you have a ready-made excuse for permanent room service.
Easter Package: April 15 weekend (three night minimum stay), includes special Easter breakfast, traditional Easter gift, buffet lunch by the pool on Easter Sunday.
Style Boudoir-chic Victorian townhouse
Setting Foliage-rich city fringe
This boutique hotel in Dublin is Victorian on the outside and victorious on the inside; a rather austere exterior conceals playfully cool and modern interiors and beds you’ll never want to get out of. The decadent Dylan Bar could have sprung from the combined imaginings of David Lynch and Lewis Carroll, and a night of cocktails here is a Dublin must-do. And from the Dylan’s leafy residential location, Dublin’s best bits are all within walking distance.
Easter Package: Bed & breakfast, a box of handmade Cocoa Atelier chocolates & mini Easter eggs, valet parking & WiFi. Rates from €179 per room, per night. VALID from 2-15 April 2012.