They’re chic, sleek, and the hottest trend in travel. Annabelle Thorpe on child-free hotels.
It’s a familiar scene. A gleaming hotel terrace, a
shimmering pool. All is quiet. And then, out of nowhere, a cacophony of shrieks and splashes. Half the poolside couples look on fondly. The other half tut loudly, turn up their iPods and promise each other to find an adults-only hotel next time.
The good news, for those who wish their poolside snoozes to remain uninterrupted, is that mass-market operators and small, independent brands are focusing on child-free clients.
Thomson has rebranded its couples-only collection for 2016; there are now 250 Sensimar hotels around the world “designed with peace and quiet in mind”. Thomas Cook has gone a step farther, launching the first in a new brand of Casa Cook hotels that looks as if it should be in Wallpaper* magazine. Even classic family holiday destinations such as the Canaries are experiencing the arrival of adults-only hotels, with daily yoga classes and a focus on “wellness”.
Casa Cook, Rhodes
We don’t think it looks like your average Thomas Cook hotel either — it simply oozes style. Just a stone’s throw from the white sands of Kolymbia Beach, the 90-room hotel has communal spaces filled with vintage furniture, a minimalist outdoor living space and bedrooms opening out on to the long, swim-up pool. Dining is a relaxed affair; freshly caught fish, home-baked breads, salads created from the best local ingredients. Daily yoga and gym classes add to the hippy-chic feel.
Details A week’s half-board costs from £885pp, including flights and transfers (0844 4125970, casacook.com)
Pure Salt Hotels, Majorca
A new, Majorcan-owned, adults-only brand, Pure Salt has two openings on the island in 2016. The flagship Pure Salt Adriano opened in April, in a prime position on the cliffs above Calvia. After a top-to-toe revamp of an existing hotel, Adriano has 94 sea-view rooms, a spectacular spa and a wide range of water sports, from stand-up paddleboarding to sailing. Meanwhile, Pure Salt Garonda, a renovated property on the Playa de Palma, channels more of an urban-beach vibe, and makes a great base for exploring the island’s capital. The 149 rooms feel a touch corporate, but they’re a snip at the price.
Details B&B doubles at Adriano cost from £276 a night, and at Garonda from £126 (00 34 971 237 323, puresaltluxuryhotels.com)
Blue Jasmine, Kefalonia
This 12-suite hideaway a short walk from a quiet cove on Kefalonia’s unspoilt southern coastline is the latest addition to Simpson’s adult-only collection. Rooms are simple and chic, in shades of cobalt and coffee, while outside the bougainvillea-draped gardens and sizeable pool terrace look straight out to sea. Snacks and light lunches are served throughout the day, and there are good tavernas within walking distance.
Details A week costs from £588pp, including flights, car hire and B&B (020 8003 6557, simpsontravel.com). There are direct flights to Kefalonia from the UK
Sensimar Royal Palm, Fuerteventura
The Royal Palm opened its doors in November and is part of Thomson’s newly rebranded Sensimar collection. Although a large resort, with 334 rooms, it has a contemporary feel, with double daybeds and hammocks around the pool, and a 2,000 sq m spa. The hotel is beside a glorious beach, and the quiet pulse of Jandia, the island’s main town, is five minutes’ drive away.
Details A week’s B&B costs from £404pp, including flights and transfers (020 3451 2688, thomson.co.uk)
F Zeen, Kefalonia
F Zeen opened fully in March, bringing a new breed of “hipster hotel” to the island. The accent is on wellness and rejuvenation, with daily yoga classes, a menu of healthy Greek cuisine, and a Wellness Hub. The 28 rooms feel light and unfussy, while the outside areas host live music, outdoor cinema screenings and wine tastings.
Details B&B doubles cost from £125 a night (020 7183 5383, uniquekefalonia.com). There are direct flights to Kefalonia from the UK
Barcelo Teguise Beach, Lanzarote
Teguise Beach reopened as an adult-only resort last July — something of a find in family-focused Lanzarote. There’s a chic, playful feel to the redesign; vibrantly coloured feature walls in the restaurant, brushed-velvet bucket chairs in the bar. The beach is right outside the door, and the hotel restaurant does a good line in Canarian cuisine, alongside Med dishes.
Details A week’s half-board is from £637pp, including flights and transfers (thomascook.com)
Domes Noruz Chania, Crete
Opening on July 20, Domes Noruz is an elegant resort that is a sister property to the renowned Domes of Elounda. The beachfront location offers the chance to combine time by the sea with gentle strolls around Chania’s atmospheric old town. The 83 rooms mix clean lines with vibrant colours, and the accent is on wellness, with private yoga lessons in the pristine gardens. Many of the rooms have outdoor plunge pools.
Details Doubles cost from £186 room only (00 30 2310 810 624, domesnoruz.com)
Hotel Marigna, Ibiza
A glitzy revamp last summer repositioned Marigna as one of the hippest places to stay in Ibiza Town for couples on a budget. The 44 blue-shuttered rooms range from compact to more sizeable, with balconies overlooking the busy streets. The rooftop terrace comes with a small plunge pool that’s perfect for cooling off or soothing away the excesses of the night before.
Details B&B doubles cost from £75 a night (hotelmarignaibiza.com)