Hidden gems

If you are looking for a boutique hotel off-the-beaten track, something a bit different for a really unique escape, take a look at our favorite hidden gems...

Altapura, Val Thorens

The magnificent Altapura is Val Thorens' first five star luxury hotel. It’s cool architecture, ski in/ski out setting in the heart of Europe's highest ski resort, access to the entire Trois Vallées, make it an ideal place for a ski vacation in style. Birch walls and furniture, brightly colored fabrics, stone bathrooms and a Mac Mini in every room - every tiny detail is stylish.

From £1,840pp based on 2 sharing a classic room for 7 nights in low season on a Half Board basis.

Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, St Lucia

With only 14 cottages & lodges, guests are ensured a relaxed and intimate stay. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat is a stunning boutique hotel set on an exclusive Estate with glorious Piton views. Set among the rainforest and famed for being the home of the Hotel Chocolat Plantation, it offers a unique experience, ideal for a few days or simply for a completely different week away.

From £1,785pp for 7 nights in a Lodge Room on a B&B basis. To travel in November.

Cap Rocat, Mallorca

Cap Rocat was once a military fortress but it has been transformed into a seriously cool boutique hotel. Located to the east of Palma, it is nestled right on the sea edge as one would expect from a structure designed to ward off invaders. Nods to its history can be seen in bullet doorknob handles and gun carriage coffee tables. Mallorca makes for a wonderful destination come Fall with typically warm sea and land temperatures.

From £2,200pp sharing a Cap Rocat Suite for 7 nights on a B&B basis.

DV Chalet Boutique Hotel & Spa, Madonna di Campiglio

An intimate and luxurious hotel in the heart of the Dolomites. The DV Chalet Boutique Hotel & Spa is a magical place for couples and families looking for a truly special ski vacation. With only 20 rooms and suites, the level of service offered is second to none. It is cozy and welcoming with décor in natural wood, warm fabrics and animal hides with a contemporary finish. The hotel has an excellent reputation for its food, with a daily changing menu.

From £1,860pp for 7 nights in low season on a Half Board basis.

E’terra, Ontario, Canada

E’terra is our little secret. Tucked away on the edge of the lake in a corner of the Bruce Peninsula surrounded by lush forest you would be forgiven for never knowing it was there. With whimsical bedrooms complete with opulent bathtubs and the most comfortable beds and fascinating artifacts gathered from around the world you’ll want to keep this lovely little bolthole your little secret too.

From £2,440pp based on 2 people sharing for 7 nights on a B&B basis.

Hotelito Desconocido, Mexico

A fabulously romantic Mexican boutique hotel set on a remote lagoon bordering the Pacific Ocean, Hotelito Desconocido is the perfect honeymoon escape. This spa resort oozes effortless style, mixing found objects such as bicycles and guitars with a barefoot luxury minimalism. In this magical setting, you can happily while away your hours spotting pelicans, down on the beach watching turtle eggs hatch, and enjoying sunset margaritas and amazing dining.

From £3,660pp for 7 nights on a Full Board basis in a Lagoon View Palafita.

Kaya Mawa, Lake Malawi

For a truly luxurious escape, head to Kaya Mawa on Likoma, a tiny island on Lake Malawi to stay in one of Kaya’s thatched cottages, all overlooking the pristine beach. Hire a quad bike and explore, snorkel in the crystal clear waters and enjoy a dhow cruise as the setting sun turns the lake to molten gold.

From £2,160 for 7 nights on a Full Board basis. For travel between 01 and 30 November 2013.

Lakaz Chamarel, Mauritius

Stay at the Lakaz Chamarel boutique hotel in South West Mauritius, a stunning hillside property away from the touristy areas of the island. This boutique hotel is located within amazing tropical gardens with lovely quirky rooms. You will see another side of Mauritius from this hotel, although it is not far from the coast so you can still enjoy the stunning Mauritian beaches and Indian Ocean.

From £1,930pp for 7 nights in a Garden Pool Suite, on a Half Board basis, between November and end of April (festive excluded).

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

With striking design and ‘heart-of-the-forest’ feel, Mashpi Lodge is a sophisticated hideaway, ideal for exploring the amazing biodiversity of the cloudforest. Suites have floor-to-ceiling windows allowing you to interact directly with nature. Open the windows and let the calls of birds and tree-frogs wash over you, or ride a silent aerial tram 2km through the forest canopy.

From £6,050 per adult and £4,450 per child under 12 for an 11 night Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary including a stay at Mashpi Lodge and a 5 night Galapagos cruise aboard the Ocean Spray.

Nihiwatu, Indonesia

One of Indonesia’s hidden gems, Nihuwatu is a small exclusive island hideaway which is the ultimate in privacy and luxury. Enjoy surfing, diving and fishing from right outside the door of the luxury villas and suites, which are tucked among the trees of this remote island. The dining options at Nihiwatu are diverse, exciting and slightly adventurous which will exceed most culinary expectations.

From £5,395pp based on 7 nights at Nihiwatu on a Full Board basis.

Rockwater Secret Cove, Canada

Tucked away on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, less than two hours from Vancouver, Rockwater offers a wonderfully off the beaten track getaway. With luxury tented suites offering panoramic water views and cozy interiors, this is the perfect place to escape for a few days or longer. Ask about the overnight kayak to a private island… just for two!

From £2,410pp based on 2 people sharing a Tented Suite for 7 nights on a Room Only basis.

Sal Salis, Western Australia

A luxurious yet ecologically minded tented camp, in the sand dunes of the Cape Range National Park just meters from the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The pristine marine environment of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is home to a myriad of life - turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and neon corals, and at the right time of year you will find true marine giants – the gentle whale shark.

From £4,070pp for 4 nights based on 2 sharing a Wilderness Tent. Includes all meals, beverages, National Park entry fees and activities.

Serenity, Kerala

Situated in the heart of rural Kerala, Serenity is a charming boutique hotel set in a rubber plantation located midway between Cochin and Thekkady. It is a delightful old plantation bungalow built in the 1920s which has been beautifully restored. The property is well located to explore small villages and beautiful plantations. Elephant rides can be organized – a fantastic family activity.

From £2,480pp for 2 weeks in Kerala, including 2 nights in a Standard room at Serenity.

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, Italy

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is a very unusual place to stay. The hotel is located in the ‘Sassi di Matera’, a system of ancient cave dwellings in the UNESCO heritage listed city of Matera. Guests sleep in atmospheric candlelit cave dwellings and take breakfast in a beautifully preserved ancient ‘Rock Church’. We recommend combining a stay here with visits to at least one of our other luxury hotels in this unspoiled corner of Italy, within easy reach of Bari airport.

From £900pp sharing a Cave Room for 3 nights on a B&B basis.

Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe

Singita Pamushana is a beautiful lodge perched on a hill within the game rich exclusive Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Southern Zimbabwe. The lodge has a very African feel as the designers incorporated local trial design. All the extensive suites have fabulous views over the reserve. Each day guests can go on game drives and guided walks with and expert guide and tracker.

From £4,270pp for 5 nights at Singita Pamushana on a Fully Inclusive basis.

The Mudhouse, Sri Lanka

The Mudhouse is set in a remote location, immersed in the countryside. It is lit at night only by oil lamps and is a magical place to drift off with only the sounds of wildlife and wake up naturally with the sunlight. This is a real back to nature experience and a very environmentally friendly one too. Relax in the hammocks in your hut and learn to cook delicious and authentic Sri Lankan meals in the electricity-free kitchen or take a boat out on the tank.

From £3,000pp as part of a family customized itinerary to Sri Lanka including a stay of 1 night at The Mudhouse on an All Inclusive basis.

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