The 8 Best European Summer Destinations For 2022

The sun is high, the beaches are warm, the weather is balmy, the wine is chilled—what’s not to love about summer in Europe?

By Natasha Dragun 05/04/2022

In the coming months, as winter draws closer expect an exodus of Aussies heading to Europe for warmer climates, longer days and that sense of excitement that only travel can bring. And so, in the rush of last-minute planning for the ultimate European escape, we’ve compiled eight of the best and most luxurious destinations to add to your itinerary. Bon voyage.

Eye Candy In Corsica

Corsica may be part of France but the island is closer to Italy in many ways. Rewind a few centuries and it was under Genoan then Tuscan rule. And it’s almost swimming distance from Sardinia (just 12 kilometres). So upon arrival expect la dolce vita and joie de vivre in equal measure.

The island is surrounded by the Mediterranean but head inland to discover time-forgotten hilltop villages, like Oletta. This part of northern Corsica is home to the U Palazzu Serenu, a 17th-century palace recently restored and relaunched as Aethos Corsica. Nine suites occupy this bijou lodging, each individually designed in an earthy palette so as not to distract from the eye candy outside: sweeping views to the bay of Saint Florent’s powdery beaches.

Aethos emphasises intimate shared spaces, like the restaurant Ceci, where your meal might include Corsican goat’s cheese from a nearby cooperative, or a chilled glass of vermentinu, bottled at a neighbouring biodynamic vineyard. Your concierge can arrange a private tour of several such purveyors, perhaps in advance of a dip in one of the island’s 200 beaches, or a sunset cruise on a luxury yacht.

aethoshotels.com

 

Bond With London

London’s Old War Office has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill (his WWII HQ) to Ian Fleming (inspiring his James Bond series). Arguably the most dramatic of transformations since its 1906 erection is this year’s welcoming of Raffles London at the OWO, set to debut “late” in 2022.

Opening to the public after more than a century, the site’s hotel boasts 120 rooms and suites fashioned by New York-based designer Thierry Despont, supported by historians to preserve details like ornate mosaic floors and architectural mouldings. Several of its 11 restaurants and bars are overseen by Argentinian great Mauro Colagreco, bearing three Michelin stars for his French masterpiece, Mirazur.

raffles.com

 

Fine Drop

From Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grand Cru to Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru, France’s Burgundy region produces some of the world’s most exclusive (and expensive) wines – the aforementioned exceed approx. $30,000 a bottle.

We’re popping a cork to the Côte-d’Or’s hottest new hotel: COMO Le Montrachet. The property’s outlook is Puligny-Montrachet’s atmospheric village square, its 31 rooms and suites across four historic 18th-century buildings.

The COMO group has often collaborated with Milanese designer Paola Navone, and she has been called upon again to transform Montrachet’s spaces into the calming sanctuaries synonymous with the Singaporean hotel brand. Navone will also fashion the on-site Shambhala Retreat, this first-of-its-kind spa for France. The phased opening spans 2022 and 2023.

comohotels.com

 

Movie-star appeal

You may not have heard of Procida, but you’ve likely seen it on the big screen. This Italian island in the Bay of Naples has played a starring role in films like The Talented Mr Ripley and Il Postino. Think candy-coloured houses along narrow lanes, cafe-lined marinas, and crescent-shaped beaches where you can order an aperitivo.

While it flies under the radar, this year Procida is Italy’s Capital of Culture. The €1m (approx. $1.4m) funding accompanying the accolade has been injected into projects spanning art, urban regeneration and environmental sustainability—in all, 50 schemes involving 240 artists.

Need further motivation? Try San Michele boutique hotel, its 12 individually adorned suites draped toward the Mediterranean. You’re just metres from the water at on-site Il Pescatore restaurant, but your base in the rainbow-hued fishing village of Marina Corricella delivers other restaurants al mare, with specialties like salt-crusted sea bream and immense pizza—Naples is only 40 minutes away, after all.

Be sure to make the most of San Michele’s sister hotel on the island, La Suite, where you can splash about in a black-water pool inspired by the similarly hued beaches nearby.

sanmicheleprocida.com

Hilltop Haven

Spain’s Balearic islands are a string of pearls off the European mainland, shimmering in the Mediterranean sunlight. In 2022, the brightest gleam
comes from Menorca, where coastal coves create 50 shades of green. Kayak, dive, paddleboard … then return to your palatial digs at Es Bec D’Aguila.

This is private living to perfection. The hilltop villa sleeps 28, with sea views for all. It’s ideal for a multigenerational brood—there’s a treehouse, cinema, bunk room, hammocks and play area, not to mention endless pursuits for adults. Think daybeds by the pool, with a bar for cheeky breakfast cocktails.

Beaches lie within 10 kilometres, but you have no need to leave your cocoon. Xisco the farmer turns up every morning with a basket of organic vegetables, herbs, fresh eggs and honey, all grown or produced on Es Bec d’Aguila’s grounds. And a dedicated cook is at your disposal.

Beyond that, there’s boating, yoga, pottery workshops, massages, and your on-call concierge holds the island’s ultimate little black book.

esbecdaguila.com

Swiss Ease

Five decades ago, Henri Chenot envisioned a revolutionary new approach to health. Today, there’s a wellness “method” named after the Catalan-born biologist, psychologist and naturopath. His ultimate vision in Weggis opened just months after Chenot’s passing. But the blissful Chenot Palace Weggis on the banks of Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne honours his holistic healing vision, from novel treatments to its castle-like grounds to its soul-salving alpine outlooks.

Nine worldwide Chenot outlets span Azerbaijan to Athens, Montenegro to Morocco. But Weggis is one of only two “palaces”—a shrine to preventing, rather than curing, ills.

You don’t come here for a short caviar facial—you check in for seven science-driven days for nutritional consultations, a detox diet, mud treatments, collagen assessments and ozone therapy. As if the air wasn’t fresh enough in this part of Europe.

chenotpalaceweggis.com

Enjoy A Royal Welcome

Partridge with white truffles and cepes, squid-ink risotto a la barley topped with XO sauce and hazelnuts … Christophe Pelé’s culinary creations certainly embrace indulgences.

The chef’s degustations at Le Clarence are unabashedly French, featuring rich sauces and rare ingredients but also utilising undersung cuts of meat and
organic vegetables—all from boutique purveyors. The combination won Pelé two Michelin stars months after opening, but
his dining experience supersedes food.

First, the dining room’s antiques: think elaborate chandeliers and original tapestries, all occupying a townhouse that’s steps from Paris’s Champs-Elysées. Then the wine: showcased in the restaurant’s La Cave du Châteaux, a grandiose store stocked by the owner, Domaine Clarence Dillon—the wine dynasty helmed by Luxembourg’s Prince Robert.

le-clarence.paris

Island Idyll

Travellers to Greece dream of cruising up to a Cycladic island, anchoring and swimming ashore to be met by butlers bearing fluffy towels, ushering them to
a lunch appointment. Octopus and ouzo? Raki and saganaki? But the reality is, in most places in the archipelago, your journey is broken by incessant foot traffic. Not on Syros. And certainly not at Villa Fanya.

This five-bedroom beauty boasts its own 16-metre infinity pool and private beach, with ample outdoor dining space—meals are prepared by private chefs and served overlooking the island’s south coast. You may be far from others but you will feel connected: the villa offers a suite of private lessons: ancient philosophy, art, architecture and even Greek epistemology.

thethinkingtraveller.com

This piece is from our new Autumn Issue – on sale now. Get your copy or subscribe here, or stay up to speed with the Robb Report weekly newsletter.

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