Now these are what you call great escapes
From its white-washed UNESCO Heritage towns and cobbled streets to its empty beaches, lavender fields and pine forests, the island hideaway of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea is filled with many riches. Leave your luggage at the new eco-chic Relais & Chateaux Maslina Resort, which has one of those pine forests as its backdrop and views of the sea. Six traditional stone buildings have been lovingly restored to create a boutique hotel. It’s set within Stari Grad, the oldest city on the Adriatic coast, which is filled with quaint cafes and delis. After trekking, sailing or exploring you can while away the hours in one of those cafes and enjoy a lavender ice cream.
Embrace the slow life and take a trip along the Bosphorus. Then go ashore at the new Six Senses Kocastas Mansions found on the laurel-dotted banks. Created from two yali (waterfront mansions), the hotel has just 49 rooms, and is about to open its own Turkish bath. You can explore surrounding Sariyer, which is the weekend retreat for city dwellers, or go to Sultanahmet to visit the Blue Mosque or Misir Carsisi, Istanbul’s colourful spice bazaar.