Feast your eyes on these fantastic holiday rentals from i-escape, specialists in hip hideaways.

Way back in 2001, Laila Ram and her university friend, Nikki Tinto, founded a website whose mission it was to uncover stylish properties around the world for independent travellers seeking exciting new experiences. Now, i-escape is the go-to travel site for those in the know.

The company’s passionate team of travellers and tech-heads makes it their business to find and book for you the most gorgeous boutique hotels, eco-lodges, safari retreats, villas and apartments.

They say: “Our award-winning booking system gives you the best of all worlds: direct dialogue with the property, free advice from our travel consultants and the best prices on the web.”

The website offers 1,500 properties in 50 countries worldwide, 360 of which are villas and apartments.

Here, we take a look at six of our favourite holiday destinations on i-escape’s books now.

Puglia, Italy

Just 300 metres from a white sandy beach, this charming 19th-century farmhouse offers 12 simple suites, a spa and delicious, seasonal, home-cooked food. Guests rave about the hotel’s gorgeous, rural location and the excellent service from a friendly and accommodating staff.

Andalucia, Spain

This rustic, self-catering eco-retreat lies at the point where the Almeria desert meets the sea. Set up by a high-flyer who escaped the rat race in Madrid, it offers a warm Spanish welcome and a slow pace of life. As such, there are no restaurants, shops or night spots in walking distance – instead, we are talking tinkling goat bells, fiery sunsets and an honesty bar by the swimming pool.

Algarve, Portugal

Children are not just tolerated but celebrated at this Portuguese cluster of rooms, suites and cabins. There is an adventure playground, a roped wooden walkway that snakes through the trees, a great swimming pool and a playroom for very small people. While your offspring busy themselves with all of that, you are supposed to sit back, relax and indulge in the seriously good food on offer. Doesn’t sound too awful, does it?

Languedoc-Roussillon, France

At this French chateau, on the other hand, children are not welcome. The boutique B&B won i-escape’s Best Adult-Only Hideaway award in 2018. The reasons for such high praise include the charming hosts, the intimate vibe (there are only five bedrooms), the exquisite breakfasts and the chateau’s impeccably stylish interiors.

Cornwall, UK

This old Edwardian hotel, situated on top of a cliff that faces the ocean, perfectly blends the needs of a family with the desires of a sophisticated holidaymaker. Children can avail themselves of a stunning schedule of holiday activities (there’s a cinema, an indoor pool, cookery classes and so much more), while parents hang out indefinitely in the Elemis spa.

Macedonia, Greece

The winner of this year’s i-escape Best Family Escape award, Ekies is a truly magical place. Whatever your age, this resort – with its fantastic food, gorgeous design, wonderful staff and idyllic beaches – promises a seriously restorative break. I-escape has some great offers on rates at the moment, too.

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By Becky Ladenburg

February 2020

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.