This is it. It's the first real summer in two years. Most of the world is open again to travel and people are releasing the pent-up wanderlust that accumulated from being in lockdown. For those that are fully vaccinated, what better way is there to enjoy this first summer of jet setting  than luxurious days in the Mediterranean? Whether it's a glamorous beachside holiday you're after, an aristocratic boutique stay, a Michelin-star gastronomical experience, or a wellness-led holiday, we've rounded up the best of the best when it comes to summer in the Med. Pick one, or pick them all, but what is certain is you are guaranteed a magical holiday with any of these stellar stays.

One & Only
Porto Novi, Montenegro

The One & Only in Montenegro sits at the entrance to Boka Bay, considered by many as Europe’s most fashionable modern Riviera. This is the first property in Europe for the One & Only and the hotel chain spared no detail in its creation. Like much of Montenegro, the Porto Novian landscape is a combination of jewel-toned waters, thick forests, and medieval towns, and the hotel successfully melded together the glamour of this riviera with the natural beauty that surrounds it. Situated amidst a UNESCO world heritage site, each room is a private sanctuary that brings the beauty of the hotel’s surroundings into the design, most notably through each room’s uninterrupted view of the landscape through the floor-to-ceiling windows designed to engulf guests in the outdoors, even while inside. This window to the world, along with fireplaces, private terraces or balconies, plus direct access to the gardens from some rooms, creates an all-encompassing Montenegrin experience.

Palazzo Avino
Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Palazzo Avino is a self-described Kaleidoscope because it exists to bring to life the dizzying extravagance of life on the Italian Riviera. Through its darling and contemporarily-opulent property of 33 rooms situated around a central courtyard in true Palazzo style, this hotel is a symphony of blue and gold mosaic tiles and ornate rugs of the East tied together with touches of Rococo. While the amalgamation of these elements may sound over-the-top, the property maintains its freshness through the use of balancing elements like heavy doses of stark white, which offset any possibility of becoming “too much.” Replete with a Michelin-star restaurant, world-class spa, and limousine and helicopter service, the true splendor of this property is its location perched high on a cliff--1,000 feet to be exact, above the Mediterranean.

Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel
Taormina Mare, Sicily, Italy

Sicily is a lesser-traveled European destination, but its secret splendors make it all that more spectacular for visitors. Taormina, the southern island’s most glamorous city, is one of those splendors and is host to the Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel. This hotel’s raison d’etre is to continue the legacy of grandeur of the Aristocratic family that once owned and inhabited the property, which is why each one of its 71 rooms are designed to feel like one’s own palatial space to relax and release. With its own private beach and infinity pool that overlooks the expansive azure-colored sea designed to ensure a transporting experience, there’s also adventure to be had via wine tours, shows at the Greek Theater, tours of the preserved baroque town of Noto, or water activities like stand-up-paddle boarding or sailing. Taormina itself is a town known for its sophisticated shopping and eating, so when town calls, there is a complimentary shuttle that awaits guests to whisk them within 15 minutes into the energy and excitement of the chic hilltop village above the sea.

Villa Igiea
Palermo, Italy

Palermo has just become a little more grand with the recent opening of the Villa Igiea. This historic art-nouveau palazzo which overlooks the Gulf of Palermo was built in 1900 and originally designed by Ernesto Basile. In its most recent incarnation, the renovation was overseen by Olga Polizzi Deputy Chairperson and Design Director of the property’s parent company, Rocco Forte Hotels, in collaboration with renowned architects Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen of Nicholas Haslam Studios. Rocco Forte is known for blue-chip properties such as The Savoy and Brown’s in London and the Hotel de Russie in Rome, and Polizzi has applied the Rocco Forte sensibility towards luxury hospitality to Villa Igiea and brought this property back to its original Belle Epoque glamour. Villa Igiea lives between the sea and town, making it optimal in location, with each of its rooms designed in perfect execution of modern classicism. The interior design pays great attention to detail which is seen in an abundant use of mouldings, textured wall coverings, rich dark wood floors, and smart patterns throughout. Art is integral to the hotel and hangs on the walls at every turn, and the selected pieces add to spaces rather than draw attention away from them. While Palermo may not top the list of European summer holidays, it is a town rich with history and gorgeous baroque architecture, and the opening of Villa Igiea is sure to encourage tourism to the town and to the hotel as a destination.

Paragon 700
Ostuni Puglia, Italy

The term old-world meets new-world is one that is hardly so accurate as it is with the Paragon 700 hotel. Atop its vaulted ceilings (some as high as 23 feet) sit old mouldings and distressed paints amongst fresco-like walls. Placed within this stunning backdrop are massive, white tubs sunken into the floor of rooms, sofas and headboards made custom in South Africa, antiques from India repurposed for a new life, while end tables and nightstands are the windfall from antique fairs from around the world. Every corner of this hotel has been crafted for originality, for internationalism, and for decadence. Although within this old-meets-new are undeniable classics such as exquisite food and wine, a spa that rivals any other, and indulgent excursions like the charter of the hotel’s private yacht. The highlight? The art on display is curated with discerning taste and some of the works are for sale, including pieces of furniture from around the hotel, so you can go home with a bit of the Paragon in your pocket.
La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel
Mallorca, Spain

Deia has long been a well-kept secret among the international cognoscenti, and the addition of a Belmond property to the sweet hillside village in Mallorca has only made it sweeter. With an ideal location only 35 KM from the nearest airport, this property has etched itself into the fabric of the town as a tranquil respite in line with the land within which it lives. On one side of the property are the lush mountains of the region, while the hotel itself sits within olive and citrus groves. The village of Deia is the inspiration for the activities at La Residencia where art classes and Vespa rides are on offer to mirror the artist energy of the town. The rooms are designed for cool and calm with its terracotta floors, serene white walls, and wood detail throughout and interior design highlights include four-poster beds whose posts are spirals of wood, terraces, custom woven wooden radiator covers, and private fireplaces.

Cap Rocat
Mallorca, Spain

Cap Rocat proudly claims they are the most private and secluded resort in the entire Mediterranean. While privacy and seclusion are values shared in every aspect of life at Cap Rocat, another feat they have accomplished is that of architecture. A centuries-old former fort, Cap Rocat was not an easy place to restore. The goal was to create a space that melds perfectly into the geography while also respecting the property as a Heritage Asset and National Monument as well as the Protected Natural Area within which it lives. Renovated by Antonio Obrador, who was able to consider all these delicate inputs and still create a place that astounds, has won this property the Europa Nostra Award, among others. Obrador tried to retain as much of the original architecture as possible which means the courtyards, streets, secret watch towers and battlements which were carved into the fort’s rocky structure have become the rooms in which guests stay. Imagine one room’s private infinity plunge pool that hangs over the sea, but whose connection to its room juts out of a cave-like rock formation. While the feeling of being carved out of stone is true for much of the property, the guest rooms are designed in the utmost of peace, luxury, and understated elegance.

Finca Serena Mallorca
Montuïri, Spain

Imagine 100 pristine acres in the Mallorcan countryside that sit only 15 minutes from town and the island’s famed beaches. Now imagine that on these 100 acres is a hotel retreat that caters to full immersion in wellness, cuisine, and luxury. This is the Finca Serena Mallorca. A wellness lover's paradise, this property is dotted with lavender fields and 25 acres of walking paths, which are complemented with private yoga or mindfulness classes, workouts at the state-of-the art gym, or workshops with the hotel’s chef. Not to be missed, though, is the Unico Spa, which features an indoor pool, fireplace, sauna and hammam all of which are accented with treatments with only the best of the best of products by the ultra-luxe natural beauty brand, Natura Bisse.


The Old Markets
Symi, Greece

The Old Markets in Symi transports guests to the hustle and bustle of ancient Greece while, at the same time, ensconcing them in plush luxury. Housed within a centuries-old building which has been marked as a national monument, Old Markets Hotel acts as a bridge between the old world and new. Symi was a former affluent trading town and because of its historical significance, every building in the village is protected, which means the visual landscape of Symi is one that brings visitors to another era; a living monument to a bygone Greece. The Old Markets Hotel sits at the heart of this town adjacent to Symi’s elegant harbor and while the exterior has remained the same, the interiors underwent a full restoration and renovation five years ago. During the renovation, rooms were outfitted with fine artwork and antiques while fresh updates were applied through new furniture, details, and technology which resulted in the property having a more clean and modern appeal. For unsurpassed views of the town and harbor, be sure to dine at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant.

Symi, Greece

Island minimalism is a vibe all its own which, for many, translates into a certain type of romance: the kind that is simple, clear and free. Emporio in Symi embodies all these things. Think Greek rustic chic with wide-open water views and a genuine vibe of being in your Greek family’s summer cottage. Each room features a terrace or balcony and is appointed in graceful whites and custom woods, and while many of the furnishings are antiques, there is still a refreshing quality to the pieces that have been thoughtfully chosen. It’s the kind of luxury that is relaxed and which stays true to the ease of the Symi’s personality. With only 5 rooms plus a garden cottage, this is hardly an expansive property with amenities like a spa; however, massages may be booked in advance. Where Emporio does go all out is with hospitality and food, important values to Greek culture, which make it the perfect location for an intimate wedding or event.

Porto Heli, Greece

In another breathtaking offering from the Aman group of hotels is the luxe hotel chain’s Greek outpost, Amanzoe. More than a hotel, this is a property of awe and imagination. Set deep within the countryside of Porto Heli, the Amanzoe recreates the grandeur of ancient Greece into its architecture, and rather than hotel rooms, the Amanzoe is a collection of private villas for guests to enjoy all to themselves. Each villa boasts its own private 39-foot pool which is created, along with the villa itself, in massive slabs of white stone. This use of white stone along with the columns that adorn each villa, give the buildings the feel of ancient Greek pavilions brought back to life through the Aman lens. If you have a large group, or simply enjoy the joys of excess, then perhaps a stay at Villa 20 is for you. A massive structure that looks like a city in and of itself, it was designed to look and feel like an Acropolis. Within the walls of Villa 20 are a private spa, six pools, and a myriad of places to dine including two outside barbecue areas and a classic taverna under the olive trees. Although whether in Villa 20, or any other villa on the property, a stay at Amanzoe is one that is sure to be unforgettable.

Anemomilos Boutique Hotel
Folegandros, Greece

A family-run operation with every detail of the property put together and created by hand, a process executed and managed by the owners themselves who were formerly in the construction business, the Anemomilos has made attention to detail and hospitality their mission for the past 25 years of business. They think of themselves more as hosts rather than hoteliers and take the responsibility of your perfect vacation into their own hands. Simplicity is key at the Anemomilos where the rooms are done in the traditional Greek palate of slate white and cobalt blues or pistachio green which is accented with heaving red, bougainvillea trees around the property. All this simplicity plays into the property’s main attraction: the sea. This hotel sits high on a cliff and from most of the terraces and rooms, it feels as though one is suspended over the vast, blue waters.

Kinsterna Hotel
Monemvasia, Greece

One of the most outstanding aspects of Greece is its history, and the Mediterranean nation aims to honor and preserve it at every turn. At the Kinsterna Hotel, this history is alive and well and has been lovingly brought to life for a new generation to enjoy. A former mansion and estate with a castle-like feeling, the main building of this hotel is said to date back to the Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian eras. The Kinsterna joins its former glory with the values modern demands with the end result being a property that delivers a discrete, yet rich, experience of luxury. Kinsterna consists of a central manor house which is surrounded by several small buildings and the hotel continues with the heritage of the land in the production of olive oil, wine table olives and other delicious delights on the property. Expect to see traditional details in rooms like stone walls and elegant archways, which are updated with contemporary choices of artwork and furniture selections. All of these ideas are woven together with tradition seen in the hand-made embroideries that hang on walls, herringbone-patterned reeds that decorate the wood ceilings, and custom-made headboards and lamps. Enjoy activities like horseback riding, beachgoing, or breadmaking, and when it’s time to unwind, find your way to the spa where all the treatments are made with natural, local ingredients.

Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts
Santorini, Greece

They say Santorini is a link to the Lost City of Atlantis. They also say it was born from a dream where the son of the Poseidon, Euphemus, made love to a nymph. What is for sure is that this island is made of magic. A place of myth and fantasy, allure and awe, Santori’s whitewashed buildings and blue-domed roofs have carved a place for itself as a destination of dreams. Nestled within its cliffs is the Grace Hotel from Auberge Resorts. This hotel strives to give an authentic Santorini experience, and in that sense stays in line with the island’s identity through its floor-to-ceiling white rooms which are accented with touches of blue. Almost every room at Grace Hotel is outfitted with a private heated plunge pool and with terraces and views that peer far out over the sea, a concept that is meant to create a seamless experience between the outdoors and indoors. It’s the perfect place to get lost in its visual splendor or experience authentic Santorini life such as private yacht charter, running through the island’s hills, or exploring Santorini’s ruins.

The Vasilicos, Caldera Heritage Suites
Santorini, Greece

An hotel made up of only 6 suites, the Vasilicos aims to envelop its guests with the personalized hospitality of this family-run property. Before it was a hotel, The Vasilicos was the summer holiday house for its former art collector owners and the hotel has strived to retain the feeling of a carefree family beach cottage as part of its spirit. Like most of the properties in Santorini, the hotel is pared down in its style and design, however based on its art collector provenance, Vasilicos features a curated selection of precious art throughout its walls and original, art-oriented pieces for the hotel’s details such as its tableware, keychains, and even the beach towels, all of which guests are able to purchase to take home.

The Rooster
Antiparos, Greece

Unpretentious, hidden, and luxurious in a way that embraces the earth, The Rooster is a wellness getaway unrivaled in Greece. Within the whitewashed walls for which the Greek isles are known, The Rooster has carved its own identity in a palette of neutral tones and warm tans, without deviating from the soul of Greece’s famed island architecture. Within this landscape (Antiparos is one of the most exclusive islands in Greece), The Rooster’s wellness experience combines the rawness of nature with the tenets of understated luxury through a collection of 17 villas designed with warmth, elegance, and style in mind. They achieve this soothing environment through a use of natural materials like wood, cotton and marble in textures and palettes that evoke calm. Wellness at The Rooster is more than just spa treatments; it’s about a holistic approach that considers every detail like sleep, disconnection, the elimination of stress, and the creation of deep human connection to oneself, to others, and to nature. They call this philosophy Slow Living and it is executed at every touch point, from recharging and rebalancing spa treatments to the wholesome farm-and-sea-to-table menu designed for health and balance.

Aristide Hotel
Syros, Greece

A restored mansion, the Aristide was redesigned and renovated with restrained opulence in mind. Without the glitter and gilding that is associated with this sort of period style; instead, Aristide has focused on clean and smart interpretations of old-world magnificence through modern uses of classic color palettes and the addition of contemporary flair added to its Greek Neoclassical and Art Deco designs. Expect a heavy dose of marble seen in tables, stairs, and even bathroom walls, which sit amidst walls painted in hues such as blush, sea foam, turquoise, and powder blue. This is combined with plush and textured beds and furniture while the finishing touches like mirrors, fixtures and artwork are sleek, clean and modern. With only 7 suites, a pool, a library lounge, in-room massages and only steps away from the town center, expect a transporting experience in a traditionally aristocratic neighborhood.

Hotel and Spa Des Pecheurs
Bonifacio, France (Corsica)

An exercise in pure European island refinement, this hotel sits on the exclusive Cavello Island which is located between Sardinia and Corsica. As such, the Hotel and Spa Des Pecheurs melds together French and Italian sensibilities exhibited through its haute cuisine and interior design. There is magic at this property, between the crystal blue waters and the massive rock formations, and it’s so otherworldly that the hotel and its grounds have been used in advertisements for brands like Louis Vuitton and Versace featuring celebrities like Hailey Beiber and Alicia Vikander. The Hotel and Spa Des Pecheurs is a collection of 50 rooms, each one cool and comforting with a subtle marine theme seen in details like the style and shape of the furniture (which slightly resembles those found on yachts) or the use of marine blue and white in some of the larger suites. Each and every room has a terrace from which to enjoy spectacular views of the sea and when you are ready for a dip in the water, remember to climb over the boulders that live at the water’s edge and capture yourself within the dramatic landscape for an unforgettable photo.