Summer is synonymous with idyllic seaside getaways and quick weekend jaunts to places that exude charm and sophistication. For some, that means sipping ice-cold rosé under the turquoise skies of Santorini, living la dolce vita in Puglia, and roaming the cobblestone streets until the sun sets in southern Spain. This summer, head to the lesser-known landscapes where super-chic hotels await with an unforgettable escape. Whether you seek a more under-the-radar French retreat, a secret Italian island hideaway, or the greatest Greek Isles additions — here are 10 of our favorite hotels to inspire your travels!
PYLA-SUR-MER, CAP FERRET, FRANCE
Dubbed the Cape Cod of France, Cap Ferret (not to be mistaken for it's flashier counterpart Cap Ferrat) is one of the best kept secrets that only the French seemingly know. The beachy headland west of Bordeaux forgoes glamour for the simpler things: surfing, fishermen’s cottages and freshly shucked oysters. Formerly a 1930s, neo-Basque hunting lodge and oyster farming house, La Co(o)rniche has since been reimagined by Cap Ferret regular and famed French designer Philippe Starck. Located in a the heart of a preserved site, the 29-room boutique boasts breathtaking views over the Bassin d'Arcachon and the dune de Pyla, the highest dune in Europe. It's the pinnacle of seaside sophistication: outside, you'll find striped lounge chairs line an infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic, while inside, bold white interiors are met with pastel clapboard walls, asymmetrical mirrors and floor-to-ceiling curtains. The hotel restaurant's views of the Dune du Pilat and Arcachon Bay are reason enough to go, but so too are its platters of fresh langoustines, clams, mussels and oysters.
PANTELLERIA ISLAND, ITALY
On Italy’s undiscovered Pantelleria Island, you'll find a sleek, sophisticated and secreted hideaway called Sikelia. Sitting high on the hill of the Italian island, just 62 miles southwest of Sicily and some 40 miles from Tunisia, the newly opened Sikelia offers a dramatic setting to say the least. Housed within porcelain-white dammusi, the island's iconic ancient stone dwellings, the 20-room boutique retreat is an atmospheric escape with effortless style. It's impeccably designed and filled with clever, luxurious details: embroidered Frette linens and sculptural Gessi fixtures nod to Italy’s knack for functional luxury, while pieces by acclaimed Italian artist Gennaro Avallone accent both the rooms and Sikelia’s common areas.
Nestled on a stunning 17 acre estate, surrounded by undulating umbrella pines and cork trees, wild sand dunes, stunning rice fields and over 60km of pristine, white-sand beaches is Sublime Comporta — a magical, unspoiled place yet to be discovered. The rooms and villas stretch across several buildings adding to the exclusivity of the hotel. It the utmost tranquility and simplicity, with deserted beaches and private lakes nearby.
CAP CORSE, CORSICA, FRANCE
Formerly the site of the legendary Le Caribou, Domaine Misíncu is an eco-luxury escape in gorgeous grounds on the northern shores of Corsica. First opening its doors in the summer of 2017, the property has given this end of the island a breath of fresh air. From plage to picturesque grounds, nature runs through Domaine Misincu. At the ‘wild’ tip of the island, Cap Corse, this seashore hideaway even has a river running through it – where outdoor yoga and Pilates take place on the banks. With a Zen-like design that soothes from the second you arrive, your only difficulty will be deciding whether to book a room, suite, pool or beach villa. This is Corsica at its best: a refined building, 2 restaurants, a natural spa, beach... Paradise is calling!
On the tiny island of Nantucket, nestled between Colonial and Quaker-style buildings in the center of town, you'll come across the chic new Greydon House, an 1850s Greek Revival mansion. The 20-room boutique hotel is dressed in creamy whites and crisp blues with accents of brass and feature seafarer paintings. The living room, peppered with low-slung vintage sofas, features a pine-topped bar for pouring classic New England libations. You'll frequently find the famed cocktail cart roaming the halls between rooms peddling pre-dinner drinks. Grab the complimentary beach bag stuffed with towels, blankets, and Beautycounter sunscreen sticks, and head to the windswept beaches for a low-key day in Nantucket.
HOTEL MONTE MULINI
An ultra-luxe property on the coast of Croatia's Istria region, the Monte Mulini is set into the hillside on one side of a bay, surrounded by lush trees, and just a short stroll from Rovinj's old town. Featuring a bold architectural concept, the light-flooded foyer area makes the most of Monte Mulini's waterfront setting with glass over three levels, and there's a strikingly large fireplace in the central atrium. Warm, earthy tones dominate in the guest rooms. The emphasis everywhere is on refined luxury. Expect flawless service, a fabulous location, a luxurious spa, exquisite rooms and exceptionally good food.
DOMES NORUZ CHANIA
CHANIA, CRETE, GREECE
A stylish, high-design Autograph Collection hotel modeled on the domes of nearby Chania's Venetian shipyard, Domes Noruz is an adults-only property set on it's own strip of sandy beach in a dreamy seaside setting. Cool, serene and contemporary, Domes Noruz Chania takes boutique luxury to the next level and beyond. The 83 super-spacious, stunning guest rooms are warm, bright and feature either an outdoor jacuzzi, a plunge pool or private pool with surreal sea views. Spend your days on comfy loungers surrounding one of two sleek pools, one pool more serene, the other more vibrant. Head to the spa to put the masseuses to the test, try yoga on the beach, canter through reimagined Med flavours in the wave-spying restaurant and enjoy sunset from your hammock. Chania’s historic digs and beautiful beaches are just a short drive away.
CANAVES OIA EPITOME
Perched above the picturesque fishing town of Ammoudi, the brand new Canaves Oia Epitome redefines Greek hospitality and is the crème de la crème of luxury in Santorini. Opening May 2018, Epitome invites you to experience life's finest things. Inspired by traditional Cycladic architecture, the hotel combines natural, earthy materials with modern design and style. Think: slate-grey walls, clean-lined pools and cacti galore. Each of the 24 super-luxe villas comes with a private plunge pool, but should you upgrade to a family villa you'll get an infinity pool with private cabanas and a terrace. Epitome's claim to fame is being the only property on the island to offer both sea and sunset views from each room! Live the life of luxury with top-tier facilities and services, including a complete fitness area, boutique, personalised butler service, champagne breakfasts and daily yoga sessions.
LECCE, PUGLIA, ITALY
Once a 17th-century house within the city walls of the unofficial capital of southern Puglia, La Fiermontina is a chic contemporary stay set amid the baroque structures of Puglia’s historic city of Lecce. A modern-day masseria that mirrors its storied surroundings, the 16-room boutique property features a gorgeous pool, an impressive art collection and divine food. All guest rooms have a gentle monastic feel to their minimalist décor, with pietra di Trani stone floors, star-pinnacled ceilings, vintage modernist furniture, and modern art (including rare pieces by Le Corbusier). Olive trees surround the swimming pool in the sculpture garden, a rarity in the old quarter and the restaurant offers a modern, light take on traditional Pugliese cuisine.
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASSACHUSETTS
The iconic Wesley Hotel in Martha's Vineyard has been reborn as Summercamp, combining both history and whimsy, with bright splashes of color inside—think eye-catching oranges plus sleek teals—and all-around camp-themed details. The name is a tribute to the Methodist camp grounds that once occupied the Oak Bluff grounds in the 19th century and is a modern revival with the fairytale gingerbread cottages that sit directly behind it. The 95-room property channels the nostalgia of your childhood summer camp, with a game room, old school canteen, and even an Instagram scavenger hunt.