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
  • Get to the point
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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss