Five Best: Modern seaside hotels

Where to find the most stylish rooms with a sea view, across Europe and beyond


Hotel J Sweden

Hotel J Sweden

Hotel J avoids gimmicks and sticks to providing simple comfort. The nautical decor is unfussy, with pretty woodwork, sailcloth curtains and fresh blue and white paint. The setting - surrounded by water and birch trees, and just 15 minutes by boat from Stockholm - is wonderfully soothing. And the emphasis is on relaxation, with comfy armchairs to sink into, a well-stocked honesty bar and a stash of rugs to help yourself to if you want to sprawl on the lawn. Don't be fooled, though; the laid-back vibe has been built along efficient Scandinavian lines.

Hotel J, 1 Ellensviksvagen, Nacka Strand, Stockholm (00 46 8601 3000; www.hotelj.com). Double rooms start from Skr950 (£69), including breakfast

Hotel Budir Iceland

More glacier-side than seaside, although the great swirl of sand outside Hotel Budir leads straight to the sea, this is the part of Iceland where Jules Verne set Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The hotel began as a small fish restaurant and guesthouse (Nobel prize-winning author Halldor Laxness used to write there), but burnt down a couple of years ago. Recently re-opened, the new hotel is an improved take on the old version, with 19th-century photographs and glass lamps salvaged from the flames cleverly combined with the hotel's chic, modern furniture. And, if that still doesn't tempt you, how about the chance to trot over the lava with a company called Gobbedi Gob ("clackety-clack")?

Hotel Budir, Snaefellsnes, Iceland (00 354 435 6700; www.budir.is). Double rooms start at 16,900 Iceland kronur (£129), including breakfast

The Caves Jamaica

Jake's has long been the place to stay in Jamaica, but The Caves now offers a serious alternative. Set in Negril, this collection of 10 colourful cottages and gardens is built into and around a rocky cove. If you get tired of jumping into the ocean or having anything from a watermelon cocktail to a packet of Oreo cookies delivered on demand, there's also an Aveda mini-spa to try.

The Caves, Light House Road, Negril, Jamaica (00 1 876 957 0270; www.islandoutpost.com). Cottages start from $445 (£262) per night, all-inclusive

Portixol Mallorca

With its own harbour, tiny beach and some of the island's hippest restaurants, the small bay of Portixol, 10 minutes' drive east of Mallorca's capital, Palma, is the ideal place to laze away a sunny weekend - especially if you've checked into Hotel Portixol. Another nautical, Scandinavian-style hotel, the surprise is that it's in the Mediterranean rather than Sweden. With its cute pool and a breezy, open-sided restaurant, it has long been a weekenders' favourite. But despite the clean, white-wood-and-navy decor, this is slightly racier than Hotel J, appealing more to holidaying boys from Barcelona and Brazilian models in kaftans than young Nordic media types.

Hotel Portixol, 27 Calle Sirena, Portixol, Mallorca (00 34 971 27 18 00; www.portixol.com). Double rooms start from €185 (£123), including breakfast

Deseo Mexico

Deseo ("desire" in Spanish) is sister hotel to Mexico City's trendy Habitais. Its seaside equivalent is equally hip, but just a bit more fun, as if Habita has packed up, slipped on its tiniest shorts and gone on holiday. Not the place for a quiet getaway, this pastel-coloured (mainly soft turquoise and white) den is set in Playa del Carmen, the tequila-soaked heart of the newly fashionable Riviera Maya. And, with rooms surrounding a central bar/lounge area that goes all club-like after dark, sleeping isn't usually high on the agenda. Not that most guests mind. Partying is what they come for - that and the ocean views.

Deseo, 5a Avenue y Calle 12, Playa del Carmen, Mexico (00 52 984 879 3620; www.hoteldeseo.com). Doubles from $138 (£81), including breakfast

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most