Top 5 Secret Spots for a Weekend Away with Mensos Concierge
We believe in making the most of our weekends, so we asked Mensos Concierge Director, Suzy Small, for a run down of her Top 5 Secret Escapes For The Weekend.
Much like Brummells, Mensos Concierge has a passion for finding the exquisite, but instead of fine fragrance and niche beauty products, Mensos Concierge specialises in curating bespoke travel experiences to suit any route and any budget.
Whether you’re after the ultimate weekend retreat, a unique dining experience, the honeymoon of a lifetime or simply hiking off the beaten track, Mensos Concierge will sort it.
And, remember to pack your favourite travel essentials. We’ve pulled together some of our favourites below.
Now get out there!
Sublime Comporta, nr Comporta, PORTUGAL
"...you could be there in under 4 hours from London and yet Comporta feels a world away."
According to The Sunday Times ‘Style’ magazine, “2017 is the summer Portugal’s jet-set secret becomes your new Mykonos/Saint Trop/Montauk”. It’s also surprisingly easy to get to, perfect for a weekend jaunt when you can face a little extra travel time. In fact, you could be there in under 4 hours from London and yet Comporta feels a world away from likely anywhere you’ve been before. You’ll be staying in Sublime Comporta (and yes, it is fairly sublime) just out of town; a contemporary country retreat set within 17 hectares of fragrant pine forest. There’s a rim-flow pool, sumptuous spa with indoor pool and a restaurant that doesn’t disappoint with excellent, local cuisine. You’re also a short drive from some of Portugal’s best beaches, Carvalhal and Pego, or use the hotel bikes to explore the sleepy fishing villages nearby. Choose between crisp, white bedrooms and suites in the main house or guest houses in the grounds, or upgrade to one of the hotel’s Cabana Suites. As part of a villa, these boast decked terraces and plunge pools to give you the ultimate luxury in total seclusion.
Locanda Rossa, Capalbio, ITALY
The Maremma coast on Italy’s western shores seems to be one of the best kept secrets in travel. Unspoilt, white sand beaches lie a mere 30 minutes’ drive away from Locanda Rossa, a striking Tuscan farmhouse with sentry-like olive trees which surround their pristine pool and huge bedrooms with a nod to urban chic. Explore the crystal-clear waters on the cape of Argentario for the day or, if you’re a keen diver, head further afield to Giglio Island (one of seven islands that form the Tuscan Archipelago National Park). Once you’ve exhausted your shopping in glamorous nearby Porto Ercole and tired of the rolling countryside explored by electric bike, you can return to your Tuscan retreat. Relax and unwind in the spa and Turkish bath or take a good book to lie by one of the hotel’s three pools – either way, this is a place of serenity and a short jaunt from London. Flights to Rome take under 2 and a half hours, hop in a rental car and you’ll be at Locanda Rossa within the hour.
Corral del Rey, Seville
We recommend a weekend jaunt to the city that never sleeps. Our guests stay at Corral del Rey; a restored 300-year-old casa palacio that preserves Roman marble pillars alongside medieval wooden doorways, found in Seville’s old quarter. Lie by their rooftop plunge pool to escape the hustle and bustle, taking in the views over the city and onto the streets below. Their downstairs restaurant is open for all day dining and you can enjoy after-dinner drinks at the Mahoot bar, but we’d imagine you won’t spend much time at the hotel, instead heading out into the bright lights to explore. If you’re into your food, then a visit to nearby Michelin-starred Abantal is a necessity. This contemporary dining space has been kept clear of clutter to focus all the attention on the food. Expect traditional dishes with a modern twist; marinated pork shoulder comes with truffled pumpkin cream, lime and grapefruit, grouper (an intimidating saltwater fish) is served with Iberian pork dewlap and snow peas. And be sure to leave room for dessert. The white chocolate mousse stuffed mango cannelloni with a lemon grass soup will surely tempt those taste buds.
Salt & Sill, Tjorn
Less than an hours’ drive north of Gothenburg, Salt & Sill is Sweden’s first floating hotel located on the island of Klädesholmen. Boasting uninterrupted sea views over Bohuslan’s outer archipelago, you would be staying in your very own two-storey house, built on floating pontoons. You can even roll out your own ladder right into the Skagerrak in some rooms. The harbour is teeming with nearly half of all Sweden’s herring so you can expect amazing seafood at the hotel and in the nearest town, an 8-minute drive away. Relax in their floating sauna and relaxation area, make use of the hotel bicycles to explore and book a few hours of kayaking one morning to blow those workplace cobwebs away. Gothenburg is in fact only a short 2-hour flight away from London, making Sweden in surprisingly easy reach for a unique weekend away.
Villa Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik
One of our favourite hideaways, Villa Dubrovnik sits atop its stunning cliffside location with glorious sea views and a sumptuous spa to book. With James Bond-style boat transfers into Dubrovnik Town, you can access the action as easy as you can retain blissful peace and quiet, away from the summer crowds. With its sleek rooms and wonderfully atmospheric restaurant, the hotel itself has it all. A cool rooftop bar and large indoor pool would be enough for most, but it also boasts beach access and sea views from the bedrooms. Just what one needs to feel away from it all. When you fancy a spot of culture or a change of restaurant, you can hop onto the short vaporetto speedboat ride into one of Europe’s best preserved medieval walled cities (it also happens to be a UNESCO-world heritage site but also surprises with cool beach bars with daybeds). Less than 3 hours from London, Dubrovnik is the answer for the perfect long weekend retreat.
Contributor: Suzy Small
Suzy Small is Director of luxury travel company Mensos Concierge which creates bespoke travel experiences whatever the budget. Visit the team at mensosconcierge.co.uk