There are a number of properties in our collection that stand out, in my mind, from your average holiday resort. Many of our most discerning guests are thrilled by the opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of the daily grind behind for the peace and serenity of these very special rural hotels.
Character & Comfort: Our Highly Recommended Rural Retreats
At Prestige Holidays we pride ourselves on matching each and every one of our clients with their dream holiday location. Looking for a family-friendly all-inclusive? We’ve got you covered. Searching for a five-star, adult-only seaside escape? We’ve got exactly what you’re looking for. But if you’re yearning for a rural retreat that offers something a little bit special… now that’s where we really come into our own.
When you think of the Canary Islands, you probably picture the arid, volcanic landscapes that are prevalent on Tenerife and Lanzarote. The island of La Palma, however, is swathed in lush, prehistoric laurel forest. In 2002 the entire island was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, making it a paradise for walkers and nature lovers [link to Jan BP].
Unlike its Canarian neighbours, La Palma is not dependent on tourism. In fact, many of its inhabitants still make a living by farming its fertile soil for bananas, which grow abundantly on this wet and warm island.
“Rural La Palma is the perfect place to practice your Spanish and really immerse yourself in local life.”
For Cosy and Quirky Seclusion: Dona Arminda
There is nowhere better to envelop yourself in the serenity of La Palma’s countryside than Dona Arminda. I have a soft spot for this traditional Canarian farmhouse, which has just six guest rooms under its swooping tiled roof. All of the rooms have been lovingly decorated with antiques as if in a home, not a hotel.
If you’re looking for a place to simply get away from it all, Dona Arminda is one of our top recommendations. Set in the midst of banana plantations and fruit trees, it offers a kind of peace and quiet that is hard to match. Delicious homemade pastries are served at breakfast on the panoramic terrace, which makes a great place in the day to curl up with a book or take a break from the outdoor swimming pool.
For Old-World Opulence: Hacienda de Abajo
While Dona Arminda is the embodiment of the humble finca, those seeking a little more splendour will not be disappointed by Hotel Hacienda de Abajo. The hotel occupies the buildings of a seventeenth-century sugar estate in the historic town of Tazacorte. 400 years ago the estate was the centre of a bustling sugar trade with the West Indies, Andalusia and Flanders. Today guests can gaze out from the Casa Principal de Tazacorte (main house) over the banana plantations to the ocean at the horizon.
Time and again our clients are wooed by its stunning interiors, which perfectly blend cool, contemporary colours with museum-standard artwork and antiques. All accoutrements are on offer at the Hacienda, from a spa with a sauna and Jacuzzi to a fine-dining restaurant that has hosted the likes of Manolo Blahnik, who calls the island his home.
It is hard not to be seduced by the heady sunshine and Mediterranean flavours of Sicily when you visit the island for the first time. While I love to get active and explore its historic gems when I visit the Baroque towns of Ortigia, Ragusa and Scicli, sometimes all you need for the perfect relaxing break is a stay in an authentic agriturismo tucked away from the rest of the world and all of its distractions.
“Gourmands and oenophiles are in their element in Sicily, where food and wine is a way of life.”
For a Oenophile Escape: La Foresteria Planeta
Set at the elevated heart of a rolling estate of the finest Sicilian vineyards, La Foresteria Planeta is any food and wine connoisseur’s dream holiday location. Today the Planeta brand is one of Sicily’s largest wine producers. Originally set up to provide accommodation for the estate’s wine trade guests, this gorgeous property offers a slice of Sicilian bella vita for discerning travellers.
The laidback, contemporary design of the property and the fact that there are just 14 rooms gives it an intimate and informal atmosphere, like a large, friendly house. From gourmet cooking classes to exclusive wine experiences at the Planeta Ulmo winery, there are few reasons to want to leave the estate during your break.
For an Agriturismo Experience: Mandranova
Seeking a property that will allow you to soak up Sicilian sun (and olive oil) while still offering a great location for sightseeing? Look no further than Mandranova. This country house sits within an olive farm – providing the ultimate agriturismo experience for those seeking rural bliss – that is located just 20 minutes from the impressive Greek temples at Agrigento.
What our clients like most about this property are its special rustic touches. For example, the gebbia, an agricultural irrigation tank, has been upcycled into a bijou swimming pool. We always suggest that guests take advantage of an offer to tour the olive farm, which will further your understanding of the growing and production process of this Italian staple.