Sometimes you want a holiday with the best of both worlds; you want the city, rich in restaurants, culture and buzzing nightlife but you want the beach too, a place to relax and recuperate after all that exploring in the city. Well, dreams really do come true as we’ve rounded up the cities that boast beaches too, so you can sunbathe and sightsee all holiday-long.
Built into pine-clad rocks, peering out at the isle of Lokrum, Villa Dubrovnik is an ode to mid-century modernism. The view is a shimmering sweep of deep blue, suites are decorated in pared-back shades and the Old Town’s higgledy-piggledy rooftops can be glimpsed from the terraces.
Descend the steps to the Adriatic Sea and you’ll be greeted with a glamorous scene straight out of a Slim Aarons 1950s photo – bronzed bodies lie supine on brilliant white sunbeds, while the water lapping at the crags is gin-clear and as warm as a bath. It must be one of the most sublime spots on the continent, and the fact that it feels tucked away adds to the allure. A ten-minute whoosh away by speedboat, baroque buildings line Dubrovnik’s streets and, as the light fades, the golden glow renders Instagram filters obsolete.
Rio de Janerio, Brazil
An imposing art deco jewel with a long list of notable names in the guestbook, Belmond Copacabana Palace is a far cry from the minimalist aesthetic now synonymous with urban stays. The outrageously romantic interiors, all blush coloured drapes and whopping chandeliers, combined with the scent of lime and sugar wafting on the breeze, call to mind a bygone era, and bustling Copacabana Beach is moments from the door.
Come night-time, those in search of samba-fuelled frolics can immerse themselves in the thump and thrum of Rio’s club scene, though when the caipirinhas at the hotel bar are this good, who could blame you for staying put?
Cape Town, South Africa
It’s true that South Africa’s oldest city has it all: cosmopolitan pizzazz, wide-open beaches and tons of hip-as-you-like foodie hangouts. And positioned high above the undulating Atlantic, you’ll find the most marvellous spot from which to drink everything in. The clifftop Cape View Clifton residence has been impeccably thought out – light-filled spaces are layered with an abundance of natural, earthy textures, and the in-the-know team can recommend local must-dos, from the coolest coffee shop on Bree Street to the best route out to the Winelands.
Start the day with syrupy bacon-topped brioche on the sundeck, ride the cable car up to Table Mountain’s summit plateau, then spend the afternoon at the beach. The coast is notoriously gusty but the pristine bays beneath Cape View Clifton are some of the most sheltered for miles.
A short saunter from Palma’s La Seu cathedral, Portixol Hotel is boutique property in Portixol Harbour is a lesson in understated cool. Whitewashed walls lend a sense of calm, while a smattering of nautical touches echoes the waterside environs.
The bedrooms, many with shutters that open to the Mediterranean, are the ideal antidote to the sizzling Balearic sun, and at nearby Ca’n Pere Antoni beach, long stretches of golden sand beckon. Bright-eyed staff attend to your every whim, should you fancy a glass of Lanson champagne in the bar or an afternoon aboard Falcao Uno, the hotel’s own yacht.