There’s nothing like vast, twinkling waters to truly create that feeling of escape and serenity. When you can sleep, dine or relax on them; even better. From lighthouses to ships, we’ve rounded up the most unique destinations for a luxurious nautical night or two.
1. Galley gastro: M/S Henrik Ibsen, Norway
Built in 1907, the M/S Henrik Ibsen was commissioned for a company that operated in the Gothenburg archipelago. Today, the historic ship has been under full restoration and is known as ‘The King of the Telemark Canal’.
Hop aboard for a unique trip through magical Norwegian nature – the lock constructions you will glide past were considered the world’s eighth wonder when carved into mountains in the late 19th century. On board, you can enjoy first class culinary delights from M/S Hendrik’s galley while seated on the Promenade deck or cafe.
The luxury day-tour cruise ship is decorated with all of the authenticity that befits a 100-year-old craft, with old English interiors that look like they’ve stepped straight out of an Agatha Christie novel. Think 19th century antiques, red plush sofas, crystal chandeliers and brass fittings. Step back in time, soak up the surroundings and dine in style.
2. Lighthouse living: Clare Island Lighthouse, Ireland
Few destinations can offer exclusivity quite like Clare Island Lighthouse. Perched on the craggy cliffs of Clew Bay, off off Ireland’s western Atlantic coast, the lighthouse has been a nautical gem in the area for almost 200 years.
You don’t have to be a sailor to take shelter in this sanctuary any longer – the listed building has now been fully revamped into a fully catered, luxury hotel. Breathe in the sea air as you take in panoramic sea views over Achill, Westport and beyond – even the busiest mind can instantly be calmed at this refreshing haven.
3. Floating on fresh waters: Salt & Sill, Sweden
Not your typical B&B, Salt & Sill sits above the water on the glorious island of Klädesholmen, on the south side of Tjörn island. The hotel floats on concrete pontoons and offers 23 contemporary bedrooms in typical Scandi-chic Swedish design. Unique details, such as white bathrooms peppered with minute sun-yellow mosaic tiles and organic bathroom products, make your stay truly special. Some ground-level rooms even have their own ladder which leads straight into fresh Swedish waters.
Relax on the roof terrace with spectacular views of Bohuslän landscapes, taste local delicacies such as sublime Swedish herring, or indulge in the world’s first floating sauna. There’s photo opportunities aplenty as you lay back and watch the sun go down over the fjord.
4. Immerse yourself in Greek history: the Captain’s House
Located at the mouth of the draw-droppingly beautiful Ambracian Gulf, the Captain’ House dates back to 1896 and has been the home of one of cultural Preveza’s most prominent families. Situated in the heart of the old town, right by the yacht-filled marina filled with countless meze-bars and restaurants and people-watching opportunities, the Captain’s House is small but perfectly formed.
The hotels was carefully restored in 2010 – with just 9 bedrooms and is proud of it’s history – a photograph of Princess Marie Bonaparte visiting the house after the town was liberated from Turkish occupation is displayed at reception. It is also right on the doorstep of Nicopolis – just 5km away, where the ruins of the Roman victory are situated.
Explore the area on one of the hotel’s bikes available to guests, or linger over a regionally-influenced Greek breakfast. Make sure you ask for one of the rooms that looks out onto the marina for a water-filled view.