Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re reading this on your office computer; you’re going about life all wrong.
Why? Because summer is here everyone! You should have replaced mouse and keyboard with sunscreen and bathing suits months ago.
If you haven’t done so, don’t worry, we won’t guilt trip you (well not too much). You still have time to salvage those warm months with a getaway and be back at your desk tanned and ready for the rest of 2016.
To help you along, we’ve selected 3 great last minute holiday destinations for you to try and catch the last rays of summer.
At time of writing, most rooms in the hotels below are already booked, but there are still some available if you act fast. So don’t sit on your hands, head out there and have a great last minute summer vacation… before someone else does.
Have we fallen on our heads? Who starts a summer article with cold and dreary England? We do, and with good reason.
Summer in the English countryside has the advantage of falling in that “just right” category for temperature. That means no nasty sun burns, but most of all, it means you get to see the English countryside at its best.
If you’re after picture perfect scenery (green hills, bubbling streams, dense forests, quaint coastal towns) the County of Hampshire, especially the New Forest region, comes with our highest recommendations.
And while you’re there, the Chewton Glen is the best place to stay.
This luxury Country House Hotel & Spa delivers a quintessential British countryside experience that’s as warm and inviting as a Beatrix Potter novel.
The hotel’s 130 acres of land extend right to the edge of New Forest and the Solent coastline, so there’s plenty of woodland, parkland, and beaches to explore when you strap on your Wellingtons.
Even if you dont’ want to head out too far, the hotel’s extensive list of activities is sure to have you and everyone in the family all smiles.
Horseback riding, falconry, fly fishing, golfing or world class treatments in an award winning spa; the possibilities for fun and relaxation are so numerous that it’s impossible to do it all in one trip.
Not that there’s any pressure to do so. After all, where better to practice the art of slow living, than in this picturesque slice of the British countryside.
The rooms at the Chewton Glen are proof that the English have mastered the art of coziness. With their beautiful designs and views onto New Forest’s lush landscape; these traditionally decorated country house rooms make curling up with a book and cup of tea feel like the most luxurious activity in the world.
Courtyard Suite Living Room
Some room categories come with gorgeous contemporary designs that wouldn’t feel out of place at the heart of the city, so whatever your tastes, the hotel is more than able to cater.
Even if that includes luxury tree houses suspended 35 feet above ground.
Tree House – Exterior
Now you definitely won’t find this in London. The Chewton Glen is the only hotel in the UK where you can spend a night in a tree house with your head in the clouds. Literally in the clouds.
Located in a quiet area minutes away from the main building, the tree houses are made for romantic evenings under the stars or quality time with the family in complete peace and quiet. We guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like it before.
Tree House interior
Under floor heating and a wood burner keep you comfortable on colder nights, and in the summer, the outdoor hot tub on the terrace deck is the perfect venue for a glass of champagne and good conversation. As far as unique luxury experiences go, this one isn’t to be missed.
Paris becomes a divisive subject during the months of July and August.
Most people avoid the city during that period because the Parisians are not there. Others insist on going because they aren’t.
But the truth lies somewhere in the middle. If you’re a fan of slow travel, you’ll find no better time to visit the city. If you want bustling Paris; come at another time.
It’s not exactly a ghost town as some will say, but there’s less tourists and locals than other months. So if you’ve always wanted to indulge in the art of the flaneur without dodging 10,000 pedestrians on your way, now is the best time.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés classic café, Les Deux Magots
That being said, if you’re in town for the shopping, you should know that some of the city’s more specialized boutiques tend to be closed, as are some neighborhood restaurants too.
However, big name brands remain resolutely open to cater for the stragglers and tourists. And, if you and walk through enough alleyways, you’re sure to find some authentic French cuisine served by someone who would rather be in St Tropez or Ile de Ré.
If you want to make the most of Paris’s quiet pace, you’d do well to stay somewhere where slow living is the norm all year round. Like in a former Abbey on the Left Bank called Le Relais Christine.
Le Relais Christine is a rarity in Paris for all the right reasons.
The hotel is located on a discreet side street right in St-Germain-des Prés; the trendiest district in the city, and is only minutes away from legendary cafés, boutiques, and monuments. The best part though, is that if you don’t step outside, you’d never know it.
Le Relais Christine Outdoor
Le Relais Chrsitine Lounge
If your idea of quality time is a glass of brandy and a crackling fireplace; this little gem was made with you in mind. The Relais Christine feels more like an elegant country house than an inner city hotel and it takes some adjusting every time you step outside.
Built over the remains of an Augustinian monastery, the hotel keeps many elements of the original building intact. Breakfast is served under a magnificent vaulted roof, and the spa is a sanctuary of peace where rich exotic woods and old stone vaults combine for a sense of old world charm. It’s not the biggest well being area we’ve ever seen, but it certainly makes up for it with soul.
Le Relais Christine Junior Suite Deluxe
The rooms here run the spectrum from contemporary minimalism to the classical high ceilings and tall windows of the hotel’s étage noble. All are incredibly comfortable and offer great comfort zones to return to after a day of sightseeing. For a cosy home away from home at the heart of the city, look no further than the Relais Christine.
Le Relais Christine Beakfast Area
Sun splashed Barcelona is an all year round destination of choice. Just like in Paris many of the locals leave town from July to August, letting us tourists enjoy their city without half the traffic.
Festive souls will love the abundance of open air concerts, screenings, and shows ; while the more quiet ones will love discovering the city’s magnificent sights and architecture at their own pace.
That being said, there’s no reason why both can’t agree on staying at the Hotel Arts Barcelona.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
Towering 43 storeys over the Barceloneta beach, the beachfront hotel is one of the most recognizable structures in the city. And that’s not just because of its height. A massive Frank Gehry sculpture stands as a beacon of luxury to all those wandering the beach, holding their stare, and forcing them to wonder at how good the Hotel Arts Barcelona is…. exceptionally good, is the answer.
The Hotel Arts Barcelona has the privilege of finding itself on the quiet side of the city. Minutes away from the Passeig de Grácia and right on the Barceloneta, it’s tucked away just enough to guarantee a good night’s sleep free from the sounds of thumping basslines coming from the clubs and bars in the city center. It’s the perfect compromise.
With 6 restaurants and bars, 43 storeys, 483 rooms and 28 duplex penthouses, the size and scope of the hotel is impressive; but it’s nothing when compared to the consistency of the service. To find such professional and attentive staff in a hotel this big is a testament to the hotel’s excellent standards. Though the numbers associated to the hotel are mind blowing; you, will never be left to feel like one.
Hotel Arts Suite Living Room
3 Bedroom apartment
True to its name, you’ll be able to browse a large collection of Spanish contemporary art including paintings and sculptures within the hotel. But the true art, is the view you’ll see outside the floor to ceiling windows of your hotel room.
The brainchild of architect Bruce Graham, the hotel rooms feel like pods of comfort caught between sea and sky. Incredibly well designed, their light colors and airy atmosphere act as an extension of the beautiful vista outside your window and are an absolute joy to stay in. If you want a peaceful place to stay while Barcelona is in fiesta mode; you’ll find no better than this gem.
43- Spa Sauna