When I imagine the perfect hotel, I imagine a sea view. No doubt about it. What I want is that unbroken deck-of-a-boat atmosphere – the sense there’s nothing between you and the water. If you’re as particular as I am when it comes to finding the right ocean retreat, then take a look at my list of three excellent waterfront hotels.
Pompano Beach Club, Bermuda
Whenever I sit in Pompano’s Sunset Lounge – ice-cold Dark n’ Stormy in hand; jaw-dropping views out the window – I genuinely think I’ve just stepped into paradise. This is waterfront living at its best: exquisite Bermudian light reflecting off the shallow water; a coral reef glittering beneath the waves.
What I like best about the hotel is its atmosphere of classic glamour, a result of being run by the same family since the 1950s. Dress codes at dinner are still de rigueur (it’s recommended, for example, ‘that gentlemen… wear collared shirts’ when dining in the top-quality Cedar Tree Restaurant).
We at Prestige have worked hard to establish a close relationship with Bermuda – which remains a British territory, after all – and we want travellers to feel similarly at home on the island. We therefore provide VIP transfers and other services to make sure you enjoy Bermuda in its proper style.
Hotel Ola, Croatia
This hotel commands a magisterial view, with the Adriatic lying at its feet like a vast magic carpet. It even has a luxurious infinity pool on the roof, perched high on the fifth floor. Fair enough. Why stay on the ground when you could swim on a level with the gods?
Another of the hotel’s unique features is its Black Pepper restaurant, which follows the paleo philosophy: low carbs, high fat (the virtuous kind) and all-natural ingredients. The hotel even offers an Active Body workout programme, specially tailored to sports enthusiasts (I’m not sure they’d count my sofa-to-fridge routine as proper exercise…).
With several worthwhile deals on offer at the moment – including a free night’s stay and a (very tempting) complimentary bottle of wine on arrival – now may be a good time to book this lofty, sky-high hotel.
St Nicholas Bay, Crete
It’s no secret that Crete does luxury waterfront experiences like no one else: all that crisp, blue-and-white aesthetic, all that effortless sophistication, all that retsina and superlative seafood. It actually makes me jealous even thinking about it… And St Nicholas Bay – known as St Nic’s to its chums at Prestige – certainly lives up to Crete’s hefty reputation.
The real draw of the resort is its position on a headland, which provides a triple whammy of sea views (if you’re after serious luxury, book a high-end suite with its own private pool right on the seafront). A good range of bars provide entertainment well into the night, whether it’s a well-made cocktail sipped to the sound of live piano at the Astra Bar, a cold beer at the Bonatsa Jetty, or a raucous night of traditional Greek dancing at the Kafenion.