Casa do Rio
On a vine-covered hillside in the Upper Douro, in the far north of Portugal, is the six-room Casa do Rio hotel. Porto based architects Menos é Mais, the property is part of the Quinta do Vallado winery, a long established player in the region. Here, tranquillity reigns supreme – relax in the infinity pool that overlooks the river, enjoy wine tastings, help with the harvest or take a simple boat ride. There is no formal restaurant on site but an in-house chef prepares meals using local ingredients, including vegetables from the hotel garden.
Quinta do Orgal; tel: 35.1 279 764 339; www.quintadovallado.com; rates: from €190
Set dramatically atop a ridgeline amongst Willow Creek’s 11-hectare vineyard, the 46-room Jackalope is the debut project of 29-year-old entrepreneur, Louis Li. Moody ebony hues are revealed through black-painted walls, deep-soak Japanese bath tubs, muted furnishings and an inky 30m infinity pool that overlooks the vineyard and the adjoining yoga lawn. There is Rare Hare, an immersive casual restaurant, but Doot Doot Doot could well be the hotel’s highlight: the four- or eight-course degustation menus lean heavily on Mornington Peninsula produce and are artfully prepared by chef Guy Stanaway, a former star at the luxe Aman resorts.
166 Balnarring Road; tel: 61.3 5931 2500; www.jackalopehotels.com; rates: from AUS $650
Paarl, South Africa
Owned by former magazine editor and local style guru Karen Roos, Babylonstoren, a leisurely hour’s drive east from Cape Town, ticks all our boxes for an old-fashioned yet contemporary and luxurious getaway. Its location at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains is a picturesque palette of muscular ridges and vineyard-swathed rolling hills. The masterplan comprises just 13 whitewashed cottages that slot seamlessly among the existing preserved Cape Dutch buildings that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. There is a dreamy spa; a clean-lined steel and glass wine tasting room; and Babel restaurant, which serves up farm-to-fork fare in a disused cowshed. But it’s the kitchen garden that is the star of the show, where eight acres of more than 300 edible plants are best explored in the early morning, on foot with a guide, before heading back to the restaurant to tuck into a hearty breakfast.
Klapmuts Simondium Road; tel: 27.21 863 3852; www.babylonstoren.com; rates: from £327
Mitchelton Hotel and Day Spa
It might only be an hour and a half north of Melbourne’s city centre, but arriving at Mitchelton Estate is like stepping into a bygone era, especially for its retro 1960s architecture that sits within the endless rolling grasslands of the area. And while the winery’s restaurant has always enticed visitors looking for a day out of town, Melburnians can at least now have the option of staying the night (or two) thanks to a brand new hotel. Slotting seamlessly into its surroundings, the property has views of the nearby river or the rolling vineyards, and there’s a cosy spa to round off your stay.
470 Mitchellstown Road; tel: 61.5 736 2222; mitchelton.com.au; rates: from AUD $289
Casa de Uco
Wine tasting is one thing, but sipping a first growth Malbec while wandering through a sprawling 320 acre vineyard and resort in the shadow of the Andes Mountains is quite another. Located 1,200 ft above sea level, along Argentina’s famed Mendoza wine route, the property, designed by Buenos Aires-based firm Alberto Tonconogy & Associates takes full advantage of the setting. Inside, is a calm palette of shag rugs and timber panels, while deeply set bay windows, offer views of the spectacular landscape mountain, organic kitchen garden, lake and vineyards that stretch almost to the edge of the Andes.
Route 94, Road to Manzano; tel: 54.9261 476 9831; http://casadeuco.com/en/index.php; rates: from $500
Napa Valley, USA
The 68-room Las Alcobas comprises a three-acre spread in St Helena and a grand 1905 Georgian-style pile, the latter now housing a restaurant, six guest rooms and a boardroom. The interiors by Yabu Pushelberg are warm shells lined with oak, stone sinks and marble, with the upper category rooms featuring outdoor terraces, fireplaces, and soaking tubs with views over vineyards. In the bijou Acacia House restaurant, chef Chris Cosentino works a summery touch on risotto which he pairs with sweet corn, chilled heirloom melon soup, and Cornish game hen with roasted grapes. All paired, of course, with smartly edited wine-list.
1915 Main Street; tel: 1.707 963 7000; www.lasalcobas.com; rates: from €695
Sacramonte Landscape Hotel
Ticking all the right boxes of modern escapism is this millennial getaway set in the wild sierras of Maldonado, about 30 kilometres north of Uruguay’s Punta del Este and José Ignacio. The Brazilian and Uruguayan studio MAPA Architects have gently inserted 13 spacious cabins – prefabbed in Montevideo and assembled on-site with minimal disruption to the natural terrain – into 100 hectares of grasslands, spring-water reservoirs, and vineyards. The entire front of each cabin is sheathed in one-way mirror glass which creates a simple but effective camouflage against the setting, while providing the interiors, which are lined with cool dark stone and oak wall panels, with uninterrupted views. And set on a hilltop is a farm-to-table restaurant that serves barbecued lamb, veal and wild boar.
Km 7, Camino La Guillermina; tel: 598. 9546 7676; www.sacromonte.com; rates: from $700
Douro Valley, Portugal
Framed by sun-kissed undulating vineyards and woodland, the 57-room Six Senses Douro Valley is housed in a 19th-century manor house, surrounded by a series of modern villas and a spa that offers treatments based on the antioxidant therapies of Douro Valley grapes. The low-key interiors, by New York-based Clodagh Design, have a strong sense of place with details such as distressed leather sofas, beautifully aged books and a ceiling fixture fashioned from local wine bottles. The spa experience starts in the dove grey Portuguese limestone bathrooms and continue to the 10 treatment rooms which look out over lush gardens, water sculptures and expansive views of the valley.
Quinta Vale de Abrão, 5100-758 Samodães, Lamego; tel: 35.1 254 660 600; www.sixsenses.com; Rates from: €290
Villa La Coste
Set over 600 acres of parkland, vineyards and gardens, what sets Villa La Coste apart, is an art collection that will rival some urban museums. This extends to the 28 light-filled villa suites, designed by Hong Kong based André Fu, which feature original artworks from artists like Tracy Emin, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Louise Bourgeois. There is a dreamy spa, a winery designed by Jean Nouvel and, to boot, a fine dining restaurant by chef Gérald Passedat who serves dishes using ingredients from the hotel’s organic kitchen garden designed by Louis Benech.
2750, route de la cride, 13610 Le Puy Ste Réparade; tel: 33.4 42 50 50 00; www.villalacoste.com; Rates from: €650
After making a splash with a series of remote beach getaways in Uruguay, Alexander Vik brings the same sense of style to Chile’s wine-growing regions with Vik Chile, a 22-suite property just two hours from Santiago. Inside, a palette of white and blonde wood is enhanced with woven rugs, graphic screen-printed pillows, and sculptural chairs, while floor-to-ceiling windows pull in the dramatic landscape vistas. From horseback riding to cycling and hiking, diversions here are plenty, but for the more sedate, head to the wine-infused holistic spa before settling down with a glass of cabernet sauvignon.
Millahue s/n, San Vincente de Tagua Tagua; tel: 56.9 6193 1754; www.vikchile.com; Rates from: $1,053
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Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms
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