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; 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; 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; 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; 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; Doubles from $138 (£81), including breakfast

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas