Five Best: Luxury B&Bs

Bed and breakfasts that offer much more than their title implies

Relais D'Orsa, Spain

Built in the early 1900s, Relais d'Orsa is an elegant mansion in the hills above Barcelona. Round the side of the house, crumbling stone steps lead down to the small kidney-shaped pool and patio, where sun loungers face on to panoramic views. Its owner is an interior designer, and each of the five rooms has been individually decorated in rich silks and scattered with hand-picked antiques. In the wardrobes are smartly folded dressing gowns, while in the bathrooms, L'Occitane toiletries are bundled into crunchy organza bags.

Relais d'Orsa, Mont d'Orsa 35, Vallvidrera, Barcelona (00 34 93 406 94 11, www.relaisdorsa.com). Rooms cost from €230 (£164) per night. Breakfast is €18 (£13) Lucy Gillmore

Jan Harmsgat Country House, South Africa

At Jan Harmsgat Country House there's a hat stand slung with Panamas for guests to borrow, the pillows are made from local sheep's wool and the soap is tied with a sprig of rosemary from the garden. No detail has been overlooked. Judi Rebstein (once a successful film producer) and her businessman-turned-farmer husband Brin run one of the most stylish B&Bs in the Western Cape. The house was once an old farm dating back to 1723, and accommodation is in the original slave quarters, a whitewashed building with shuttered windows and thick stone walls. There are just four large rooms, with polished concrete floors scattered with Persian rugs and oil paintings in gilt frames on buffed grey walls. The rooms look out over fragrant citrus orchards and the towering Langeberg mountains.

Jan Harmsgat Country House, Swellendam 6740, South Africa (00 27 23 616 3407; www.jhghouse.com). Doubles from R1,380 (£119) including breakfast LG

Parador de la Vina, Chile

In the heart of the Colchagua valley, one of Chile's wine-producing regions, is the mustard-hued and flower-strewn Parador de la Vina. Located in the grounds of a neighbouring hacienda, surrounded by vineyards and with the Andes towering in the distance, it was originally the caretaker's lodge. Now a guesthouse run by the hacienda's owner, Cecilia Diaz, its four bedrooms are tastefully decorated in florals and thoughtfully chosen antiques. The whole place exudes a sense of laid-back charm and Cecilia is always at the ready to offer local tips on things to see and do. A further two rooms are currently in progress, as is a swimming pool, which will be ready in 2005.

Parador de la Vina, Camino Los Boldos, Santa Cruz, Chile (00 56 72 825788; www.santacruzchile.cl/parador). Double rooms start from 45,000 Chilean pesos (£40), based on two people sharing

Aoife O'Riordain

Kilgraney House, Ireland

County Carlow is not necessarily on most people's radars when it comes to a visit to Ireland, but Kilgraney House, between Carlow town and Kilkenny, is a firm favourite among weekending Dubliners. Surrounded by five acres of well-tended gardens, this gracious Georgian house, with sections dating from the 1820s, has been lovingly restored. The resulting six guest rooms are a stylish mix of old and new; Irish antiques stand beside objects inspired by the owners' extensive globetrotting. A further two suites, located in a courtyard behind the main house, have more pared-down, contemporary interiors. The nightly dinners are long drawn-out affairs around the communal black Kilkenny marble dining table. In winter, the house is only open on Friday and Saturday nights.

Double rooms start from €55 (£40) per person, based on two people sharing. Kilgraney House, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow (00 353 59 977 5283; www.kilgraneyhouse.com) AO'R

Il Convento di Santa Maria di Constantinopoli, Italy

Something of a cult address in Italy's newly trendy Puglia, Lord and Lady McAlpine's Il Convento sets the gold standard for luxurious B&Bs. The rambling 14th-century convent is half an hour's drive from the tip of the Italian heel, and the building forms the perfect gallery for the couple's enviable collections of furniture, tribal art and textiles. Guests staying in the eight bedrooms are given the run of the house, grounds and swimming pool, and dinner each night offers an array of imaginatively adapted Pugliese cuisine.

Il Convento di Santa Maria di Constantinopoli, Marittima di Diso, Puglia (00 39 0833 771206). Double rooms start from €250 (£178) per night, based on two sharing. The house is open from May until the end of October AO'R

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering