The Five Best: Luxury hotel hideaways

Taking advantage of the surreal desert-island-castaway landscape of Anguilla (a Leeward island in the north-east Caribbean), award-winning New York architect Myron Goldfinger created his own inimitable vision of castles in the sand, in the shape of the
Covecastles resort.

1. Taking advantage of the surreal desert-island-castaway landscape of Anguilla (a Leeward island in the north-east Caribbean), award-winning New York architect Myron Goldfinger created his own inimitable vision of castles in the sand, in the shape of the Covecastles resort. These startling white, geometric beach houses on Anguilla's north shore are as much Le Corbusier-esque sculpture as they are a place to stay. Every beach house opens on to the sea, the most luxurious of which are the two Grand Villas - vast airy structures with split-level, tree-filled atriums connected by curving staircases just begging for a sashaying descent.

Beach house sleeping two, from £439 per night, room-only. Contact Covecastles, 001 264 497 6801, www.covecastles.com

2. With the hordes of tourists visiting Venice each year, it's not a destination you'd normally recommend as a place to get away from it all. But in the Cipriani, tucked away on the tiny island of Giudecca, the city has one of the most luxurious hideaways in the world. Far from the maddening crowds, this tranquil haven last year added the Casanova Spa to its already considerable charms - which include pretty gardens, an outdoor heated pool and tennis courts. If you really want to push the boat out, stay in a suite in one of the 15th century Palazzi buildings, which come with a personal butler attached. And should all that Garbo-style solitude get a bit much, you can always nip across the lagoon (incognito in designer shades obviously) on the free motor launch for a spot of sightseeing, designer label shopping or a Bellini at Harry's Bar.

Open 18 March-23 October 2005. Standard double rooms from £449 per night (low season) to £575 (high) including breakfast. Book direct on 00 39 (0) 41 520 7744, or online from www.orient-express.com

3. Parrot Cay has become a perennial favourite on the luxury island-hopping circuit. Located in a tiny corner of an uninhabited 1,000-acre island within the Turks and Caicos, in the British West Indies. Dreamt up by the duchess of design hotels, Christina Ong (owner of The Metropolitan and The Halkin hotels in London), Parrot Cay caters to those who like their holidays to come with a little healing. Possibly the poshest place to say your "oms", Shambhala is known for its five-day yoga retreats. It also has Pilates studios, Japanese baths, open-air showers and a women-only Jacuzzi garden.

Double rooms from £285 per night. Contact Parrot Cay, 001 649 946 7788, www.parrotcay.com.bz

4. The Seychelles, swanky honeymoon spot of the 1970s, is now the choice for the sybarite who likes to relax everything but their gold card. The North Island resort is possibly the most expensive, ambitious and acclaimed of the recent Indian Ocean openings. Virtually uninhabited for the last 25 years, North Island was bought by Johannesburg-based Wilderness Safaris, which specialises in low-impact, high-luxury tourism. Green-minded architects Lesley Carstens and Silvio Rech (the latter behind Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater Lodge) worked with local craftsmen to design 11 "rustic" villas each with a thatched roof, private plunge pool, marble bathroom and beach views.

Double villas from £2,190, full board. Contact Wilderness Safaris on 0027 11807 1800, www.north-island.com

5. Pantelleria, off the coast of Sicily, is closer to Tunisia than it is to Italy. This volcanic island, favoured holiday spot of such luminaries as Madonna, Sting and Julia Roberts, has a high cost of living and little in the way of hotels. What accommodation there is here tends to be rather exclusive, the most coveted of which are the "dammusi" - stone-built cottages with Arabic-style cupola roofs. Walls are constructed from lava boulders, thick enough to withstand Pantelleria's ferocious summer heat. Strictly speaking, these houses are self-catering, but come with hotel-style services such as a chef, maid and helicopter transfers, on request.

Dammuso Tramonto (sleeps four) from £1,521 per week. Contact Think Sicily on 020-7377 8518, www.thinksicily.com

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: Assistant Restaurant Manager / Sommelier

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Seasonal Placement

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Hotel Receptionists...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Poole

    £12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn