The three destinations with some of the best options for this kind of dual break are, in my opinion, Croatia, Morocco and Mallorca.
Touring the city on foot is the best way to see the monuments and absorb the vibe so when you return to your hotel footsore and saturated with medieval, renaissance and baroque culture, you’ll really appreciate a hotel with spa facilities.
One of the highlights of my travels around Croatia was my stay in the Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik. After a hectic day on the trail of historical palaces, monasteries and churches in the Old City, it was a delight to stroll back to the spa centre in the hotel, only 5 minutes walk away from the medieval city walls.
The Wellness Centre offers a range of treatments too so if you want to take your relaxation to that next level of intensity you’ll have plenty of tempting options.
The Excelsior has been undergoing some major renovations but is due to open in its renewed splendour in Spring 2017.
If a city break in the Pearl of the Adriatic is on your bucket list and you want to combine the pampering experience of a beach holiday with the energy and culture of an urban destination, then we have a range of hotels like the Excelsior in Dubrovnik which can give you a taste of both worlds.
In my experience there is no destination where the contrast between the hustle and bustle of the streets and the calm and tranquillity of the inner sanctums of our preferred hotels is greater than in Marrakech.
Our team has carefully selected a group of hotels in the city that are outstandingly successful in wrapping their guests in an atmosphere of peace that leaves them deeply relaxed and reenergised for another day. While you’re there, make sure that you explore the souks, marvel at exotic performances in Djemaa el-Fna, and tour the fourteenth-century Islamic centre, Ali ben Youssef Medersa.
Marrakech has none of Dubrovnik’s stately elegance but its almost pathological energy and the colour of its traditions will give visitors an experience like nothing they’ve ever encountered before.
For this reason I strongly advise staying in a hotel where you can rebalance mind and body after the day’s stimulation. Luckily Marrakech is teeming with these sorts of places. One amazing city hotel with luxury spa and pool that ranks as a favourite of mine is the Es Saadi Palace. This hotel has invested its heart and soul in creating a retreat that truly takes you to another world. The lush gardens are beautifully maintained and lit with 1001 fairy lights at night evoking the mythical traditions of Morocco.
The Spa and Wellness Centre reputedly draws its energies from the one-hundred-year-old eucalyptus tree around which the building was constructed. From the indoor pool to the hydrotherapy to the private Moroccan hammams, the Es Saadi Palace is unrivalled in its ambiance.
While not as well-known as a city break destination, we recommend Palma de Mallorca to those who want to combine some culture, high end dining and evening entertainment (in the form of concerts or theatre) with the sun and sea.
There are myriad delights for visitors to this Spanish city in the Balearics. Hiring a bicycle is a fantastic way to explore the Avenida Gabriel Roca, which is lined with palm trees and marinas. You’ll also need time to visit the renowned cathedral, La Seu. which was built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries but also houses works by Gaudí and Barceló.
The Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art, the splendid Almudaina Palace and Bellver Castle are three venues to which we always send the art and history lovers.
If you do all of that then you’ll need the spa treatments and relaxation zones of your hotel to get you back up to speed for evening concerts at the Jazz Voyeur Club or La Golondrina.
An amazing city hotel with luxury spa and pool can be found at the Santa Clara Hotel and Spa. We are particularly impressed by the orange-scented water of the multi jet which, combined with the jacuzzi, hot stone beds and Turkish bath, will ease away the aches of those tired backs and feet.