Seaside fans – rejoice. We’ve handpicked six coastal hotels to book for a spectacular ocean vacation.
1. Cotommatae 1810, Greece
Stepping onto Hydra is like going back in time; the Greek Saronic island is dotted with stone architecture, snaking cobbled streets and zero cars (transport is limited to donkeys, mules and taxi boats).
Stylish boutique hotel Cotommatae 1810 pays homage to the island’s rich history, with its cosy 19th century exterior housing an elegantly modern interior. Its central, harbourside location makes it a great base and the busy fishing boats land their finest catches virtually on the doorstep.
If it’s beaches you’re looking for, you’ll find many of the pebble variety around the island. Try Limnióniza – a secluded pretty stretch easily reached by taxi boat.
2. Rathmullan House, Ireland
Head to the Irish coastline for a seaside destination brimming with natural beauty. Coastal hotels don’t get much better than Rathmullan House – its location marks the beginning of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
You’ll find one of Donegal’s most beautiful beaches on the doorstep. The two miles of golden sands are perfect for a lazy stroll, horseriding or (if you’re brave enough) a cool dip in Lough Swilling. For more tender mortals, the hotel’s heated indoor pool will do the trick.
Coastal adventures are the catch of the day: charter a boat, spend time fishing, go dolphin-spotting or surf the waves – the coastline is your oyster.
3. Auberge Saint Pierre, France
The island of Le Mont Saint Michel is one of France’s most notable tourist destinations thanks to its glorious gothic architecture and UNESCO heritage status. Just 1km from mainland France, where Brittany meets Normandy, the tiny island has a population of only 44.
Auberge Saint Pierre (one of a handful of hotels on Mont St Michel) is tucked among the island’s medieval architecture, full of charm and rustic character.
4. Strand Hotel Fevik, Norway
Think seaside holidays and you might head south but Scandinavia’s coast is an unspoiled wilderness.
Southern Norway’s Strand Hotel Fevik has stunning views of the ocean and is known widely as an idyllic holiday resort (literary legend Roald Dahl – who had Norwegian heritage – loved going there).
The hotel is something of a rare architectural gem. Built in 1937, it is one of a few in Norway built and preserved in Functionalist style.
5. Moy House, Ireland
If you’re looking for a peaceful break by the ocean, you’ll find it at Moy House; a snug hotel offering refuge on Ireland’s western seaboard.
The 19th century property impresses with stunning views of Lahinch Bay and has 15 acres of estate to explore. Don’t miss the intimate restaurant – it’s won a cabinetful of awards for local gastronomical gems such as Burren smoked salmon and Doolin seafood (not forgetting sunset views).
Tear yourself away from the Atlantic views and you’ll find plenty of coastal adventures: explore the Ailwee caves, the magnificent cliffs of Moher and nearby Aran Islands.