Lådfabriken, West Sweden
We’d call Lådfabriken a homestay, but as you’re in trendy West Sweden, this translates as staying in a quirky renovated factory set up by ex-advertising gurus who realised the power of switching off. And this is certainly the place to do it. With just four rooms, you get a very personalised service from the hands-on owners who will help you plan your day and even ask what you’d like for dinner (the cuisine is based around the day’s catch so expect fish soup, lobster and crayfish).
Lådfabriken is also the ideal spot place to tune in to the glorious seascapes that surround the hotel. Shimmer over the calm water on a kayak, swim from sandy coves or hike around the rocky archipelago. There are views, fresh air and nature in abundance and you’ll totally understand why the Ad Men quit the city life.
Palacio Marmoles, Seville
At Palacio Marmoles, we predict that you’ll indulge in the age-old traveller daydream – whether it would be possible to simply up-sticks and start up a new life in a new city. There’s something about the bright, high-ceilinged apartments, situated around a leafy courtyard, located in the heart of Seville’s old town that is so liveable.
By contrast, the original frescoes on the wall speak of Marmoles’ grand heritage and the rooftop terrace is ideal for aperitifs with its dizzying view on to the cathedral and the Giraldi Tower. What’s even more alluring are Marmoles’ owners, a Spanish family who will welcome you into their fold and arm you with practical tips for your trip in Seville. You’ll feel right at home.
Palazzo Bozzi Corso, Lecce
Fancy staying in a 18th century palazzo? You can live like a king in this historic building in Lecce, Puglia which breathes ancestry through its vaulted ceilings, marble fireplaces and mosaic flooring. Even more interesting is the story that the interiors tell via the owner’s colourful history. An Italian family of note, the Filali’s had connections with a wide range of cultural icons including cubist artist Leger, the boxer and Hollywood actor Enzo Fiermonte and Yoko Ono and John Lennon.
This is portrayed through artwork scattered around the property, giving you a real sense of place. The family even own their own art gallery, which you can have a guided tour of. Afterwards, cool off at nearby sister property La Fiermonte in their pool surrounded by olive groves.
Kapsaliana Village, Crete
Centred around an ancient olive press, Kapasalina, located in rural inland Crete was once a thriving village. Now, several years of painstaking restoration sees Kapsaliana in a new incarnation – as a boutique hotel, hewn from golden stone and oozing tranquillity from its cobbled streets, terracotta roofs and endless olive groves. The olive press still sits at its heart surrounded by vast clay pots – a monument to the building’s past glory.
Now the order of the day is very much relaxation, around the stunning pool, the nearby sandy beaches and lingering over long dinners of organic Greek tasting menus drizzled with their own olive oil.
Speak to the team about any of these properties or to hear about some of our other secret stays.
Real Holidays Recommends…. Our Secret Stays
We’re always on the lookout for authentic and original stays. Read about four Real Holidays’ in-the-know properties and why we like them.