Winter is on its way and in readiness for the imminent chill, the boutique accommodation experts at i-escape have unveiled their winter sun hotlist with some of the newest places to be added to the site to warm up.
From and Cape Town to more rustic retreats in Goa and Lanzarote, this collection of villas and casas, which are all new to the site, suit all tastes and budgets, from great value self-catering in the Canaries, to a sleek glass fronted jungle villa in Costa Rica. Prices start from £55 per night for a double room. All prices below are based on November travel.
Cape Town, South Africa – Clifton Beach Villa
Minimal jet lag and maximum return on the British pound, Cape Town is a winter sun winner. Throw in a new three story glass-fronted villa and here’s the ultimate in coastal glamour for those who want to flee winter. The city’s most beautiful beach – Clifton’s 4th – is literally on your doorstep with the villa’s gardens fronting the white sand beach. The house itself is sexy in design and practical in personality – there’s a Bose sound system, Smart TV, polished concrete floors, cool subterranean den with a retro turntable and windows looking into the swimming pool as well as a kitchen with all the bells and whistles such as Le Creuset pans, popcorn maker and Nespresso machine. Around the pool are sun loungers, large bean bags and hammocks for sunset views. Come in the early months of the year for a dose of high summer or combine with a wine route later for dreamy autumn temperatures and the grape harvest. There’s a supermarket close by, a lock-up garage for a car or its just a 15 minute Uber ride into town for the V& A Waterfront’s shops, restaurants and galleries.
Clifton Beach Villa from £667 per night, based on up to 7 sharing the 3 bedroom villa (accommodation only).
Lanzarote – Casa de la Caldera
Excellent value, peaceful location and great for both rural rambling or relaxing by the pool… the Casa de la Caldera (revamped just this year) on the edge of the village of Las Casitas, surrounded by volcanic peaks and close to white sand beaches, ticks all the boxes. Four cottages (sleeping 2-5) make up this restored finca where interiors are homely with a hint of boho – Moorish fabrics meet Balinese teak furniture and colouful tiles and throws. Guests will cherish chilled times round a pool or excursions to the beautiful nearby beaches of Papagayo and Poz. For those after an active winter break there are walking tails into the mountains from the cottages and the owner can provide maps. For those who want to avoid hill walking it’s just a few minutes’ drive to thewhitewashed hilltop town of Femés and its places to eat boasting terraces and incredible sea views. There’s also a wonderful nearby Saturday Farmers Market for stocking up on local cheeses, bread, fruit and wine.
1 bedroom cottage at Casa de la Caldera from £53 per night, based on 2 people sharing on an accommodation only basis.
Sri Lanka – Villa Don Hendrick
Once home to eminent 20th-century judge Don Hendrick Wickramarathne, this gorgeous colonial building and the acres of tropical gardens around it comprise the romantic Villa Don Hendrick with its 3 hideaway bungalows and emerald-green infinity pool. A rare find this is a relaxed and great value spot just near the lively little town of Tangalle, and 5 minutes in a tuk-tuk from beautiful coconut palmed fringed beaches. The hosts Harold and Raf have created a very special and peaceful place with complimentary bikes for exploring the quiet lanes through paddy fields and well-stoked fridges for cooling drinks on your private terrace. Breakfasts (don’t miss the papaya and vanilla jam and pancakes) are consistently reviewed by guests as their best in Sri Lanka – no easy win in a country that has amazing fruit, tea and coconut derived everything! And Harold’s home-cooked fusion dinners are not to be missed, making the best of local seafood and the island’s spices.
Rooms at Villa Don Hendrick from £92 per night, based on 2 people sharing on a B&B basis. Stay 4 pay 3 for stays in November.
Adult’s only Costa Rica – Oxygen Jungle Villas
This romantic tropical hideaway is situated in the rainforest above the wild and beautiful Playa Uvita (20 mins drive) on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast. The clue is in the name – this is a place to come and breathe, breathe in nature, views and time away from kids – yours or others. From the terrace of the restaurant you can see down to the coast while you only have to look past your nose for huge blue butterflies, toucans and hummingbirds. The 12 sleek standalone glass fronted villas add to the up-close to nature experience and there are gentle hiking trails to waterfalls and swimming holes. There’s an infinity pool with views of the jungle canopy and a couples’ spa for pampering massages.
Rooms at Oxygen Jungle Villas from £149 per night for a jungle villa on an accommodation only basis.
Goa, India – Anahata Retreat
At the quiet end of Ashwem, one of North Goa’s most popular beaches Anahata blends eco luxe rooms, healthy food and wellness activities such as yoga, tai chi, 5 rhythms dance and QiGong with potent cocktails at sunset, friendly hosts and a laid back Ibizan vibe. The 17 cottages sit among a shady coconut grove and are made up of thatched structures with exposed bamboo on stilts and suites in traditional Portuguese-style houses. With such a good restaurant here – breakfasts include Bircher muesli, tropical fruit and dosas, it’s tempting not to venture out for food, but if you do there are heaps of cafes and restaurants just a walk along the Arabian Sea front. Goa’s northern coastline also has a growing design scene and just a 5-minute walk away, Morjim Beach is home to some great little independent shops, including Jade Jagger’s boutique and charming other local places.
Rooms at Anahata Retreat from £114 per night on a B&B basis.