Not ready to bid summer goodbye? These swoon-worthy retreats are keeping the season alive
When warm summer days give way to dreary mornings and drizzly rain, extend the season at one of these gorgeous locations, where balmy temperatures are holding out
Palazzo Fiuggi, Italy
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink… unless you’re at Palazzo Fiuggi. An hour’s drive from late-season star Rome, Palazzo is a no-brainer if you’re seeking a sun-steeped detox awash with the town’s eponymous Fiuggi spring water – said to have cured Michelangelo’s kidney stones and the ailments of countless princes and popes along the way. With the town’s healing heritage in tow, the former royal residence is today what Oprah Winfrey calls “the best wellness retreat of her life”. We get it: it’s a robe-donning daydream that’ll have you oohing and aahing over nutritionist-approved courses in the chandelier-dripping dining room, after your vitals are measured with some of the techiest wellness hardware on the planet. Rest assured, the ‘before and after’ examinations will show off the results you came here to find.
High Life says: It’s not all space-age innovation, here. Ayurvedic teachings, poolside lounging, and trips to the in-house cinema with your herbal tea all supply a totally traditional self-care fix.
Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira
Winter seems a world away in subtropical Madeira, dotted with palms and draped in bougainvillea. A 20-minute drive from the airport, Reid’s Palace is the place to stay. This Belle Époque hideaway is perched on the cliffs, west of Funchal’s harbour, and everything about this place is a step up, from its plaster-pink façade to its chequerboard-tiled terrace, where afternoon tea – and sublime scones – come with glinting sea views. Wander its lush botanical gardens, hide out in the spa, or swim in the heated saltwater pool, before dressing up for dinner at the Michelin-starred William. Its seasonal menu riffs on the island’s finest produce, from lobster to exotic fruits.
High Life says: The hotel can arrange all manner of adventures, including sunrise above the clouds – a 4x4 foray to the top of the Pico do Arieiro, with a butler to serve breakfast.
Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort
With its rolling dunes and amber-coloured sands, Fuerteventura is blessed when it comes to beaches. Halfway down the east coast, the Sheraton occupies a front-row spot on the sheltered Caleta de Fuste. It’s 60 miles off the coast of Africa, so winters are reliably balmy: perfect for a splash in the hotel’s palm-flanked pools or a sun-dappled lunch on the terrace. Children are made welcome here, not least at the friendly kids’ club, while grown-ups can retreat to the calm of the spa’s thermal pools. Back from the beach, there are epic, ochre-hued volcanic landscapes to explore, and the Atlantic-backdropped greens of Fuerteventura Golf Club are close by.
High Life says: Even the simplest rooms are spacious, with balconies overlooking the gardens, while the light-filled Duplex Suite comes with an ocean-view Jacuzzi.
Hôtel Crillon Le Brave, Provence
One of the region's premier addresses, Hôtel Crillon Le Brave is a world away from the blustery chill of northern Europe come October – a 17th-century honey-hued estate home to cobbled courtyards, blossoming herb gardens and views of lush and pleasingly uniform olive groves for days. It’s a haven for anyone that needs to shift down a few gears, offering buckets of Provençale charm and old-money sophistication. Spend the day working through your reading list at the clifftop pool or opt for an oxygen massage in the stone-walled spa, before heading out for a visit to one of the nearby lavender distilleries. Overheard by the pool: “It doesn’t get better than this, we have to come back every year.”
High Life says: Honeymooners: make sure sunset drinks and dinner at La Madeleine are on the agenda if you're after peak romance. With just 20 seats, it’s intimate to a fault, with an ever-changing menu of regional specialties and vistas that will leave you slack-jawed in awe. Plus it has an eco-responsible approach, affirmed by its 3 Écotable label.
The Lodge, Mallorca
Surrounded by 1,000-year-old olive trees and rolling lavender fields (opening image), this boutique retreat is set within an enormous 157-hectare nature reserve and feels very remote indeed. Hiking trails take you high into the Mallorcan wilderness, where vistas extend to the craggy Tramuntana mountain range and beyond, while bikes are on hand for navigating the estate or for off-piste adventures with picnics (which can be arranged). After a day’s rambling, you’ll want to head home to refuel from Michelin-starred chef Ramon Freixa’s tongue-wagging menu, where highlights include flame-fired sea bass, just-caught Sóller red prawns and suckling pig, all cooked to perfection. Suites aren’t to be sniffed at, either, delivering free-flowing spaces decked out in earthy tones and linens that look out over almond fields and the resort’s paradisiacal gardens.
High Life says: While the main infinity pool offers the resort’s most serene views, you can cycle across the site to a second, smaller but more secluded pool hidden among the olive groves.
The Miami Beach Edition
Come winter, this city basks in the sunshine – and there’s no better place to watch the world go by than Miami Beach, where 1950s Rat Pack hangout The Seville is now the Edition. Its new incarnation is a masterclass in beachfront luxury, combining mid-century glamour with some playful new additions (don’t miss the basement ice-rink and technicolour bowling alley). Rooms and suites are pared-back and beautifully considered, while honeymooners can hide out in the oceanfront bungalows. And the private beach is the best in town: a pristine stretch of sugary sand dotted with striped parasols, backed by tropical gardens and dreamy, cabana-edged pools. Tear yourself away to spot Art Deco gems in every shade of pastel, or cross Biscayne Bay to explore Miami’s agenda-setting art scene.
High Life says: Overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the hotel’s restaurants are superb. Even breakfast here is memorable: do as the locals do and order the fabulous French toast.