Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
The Balearics off-season are a revelation — not least Mallorca, which begins its spring bloom in March with almond blossom making its gentle mark on the beautiful, mountainous island. Bed down at Finca Serena, a 40-acre estate enveloped in lush Mediterranean gardens, olive groves and vineyards. There are 25 calming rooms to choose from, as well as the fantastic Jacaranda restaurant with its two Michelin stars and a Unico spa to ensure you barely need to leave the grounds. Walks through the lavender fields, yoga sessions and mindfulness classes add to the tranquil vibe. If you do feel like venturing further afield, it is only 20 minutes in the car to sexy Palma. Get lost in the labrynthine old town of Mallorca’s capital, before stopping in at the Hotel Sant Francesc’s rooftop for a sundowner. Beautiful Deia is also worth the one hour drive, to see why this hilltop village has played muse to so many artists, writers and poets.
Seville, Andalusia, Spain
Seville is having a moment. The beguiling heart of Andalucia, it is a mishmash of architectures, styles and cultures that never fails to seduce. Drenched in year-round sunshine, March is a fantastic time to go, before it properly heats up and the orange blossom-lined streets start to swelter. As well as the time-worn delights of its old town and sherry culture, there are contemporary art galleries, slick new tapas spots and seafood market bars like La Cantina to try out. Our favourite place to stay is the family-owned Hacienda San Rafael, a 17th century Andalucian farmhouse, whose rooms are set around a beautiful courtyard flowing with bougainvillea and gardens strewn with wisteria. With this home from home as your base for Seville, you can have the best of both worlds — city and countryside.
Glamorous Zermatt is the highest ski resort in Europe, making this towering Swiss spot for a March ski trip. It’s a car-free village where life revolves around its dramatic main peak, the Matterhorn, and the surrounding mountains: its visitors either schuss down them, climb them or simply gaze at them. Our favourite address to stay at is the equally glamorous The Omnia: a quintessentially American mountain lodge reimagined for the Swiss Alps. Enjoying a one of a kind location, perched like an eagle’s nest over Zermatt, The Omnia has epic views over the Matterhorn, luxurious rooms and a lift that whooshes you through the cliffside to connect you with the main square and the ski lifts. When you are not chasing powder, stop in for lunch at Chez Vrony — it’s a local institution with more than 100 years of tradition and family history under its belt. For apres-ski we love the legendary Champagne Bar (formally known as Teehäuschen Flora, which you hit on the descent from Sunnegga back down to Zermatt. It’s the ideal way to end your skiing day, before you head back to the hotel and freshen up for dinner at Spycher.
Read our Full Insider’s Guide to Zermatt here.
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is calling this spring with its palatial lodgings, kaleidoscopic colours and pulsing bazaars filled with vibrant fabrics and gems. March is an especially special time to visit the ‘Pink City’, since Holi season — a festival of light and colour — takes place. Stay at The Johri, a boutique hotel tranasformed from a 19th century merchant’s haveli in the Jewellers’ district where scalloped edges archways mingle with antiques and Pichwai artworks. It has five generous suites whose colour palettes are inspired by the jewels they are named after — we love the Neelam, which is guided by all things sapphire. Combine it with a booking at the fabulously maximalist Villa Palladio, a recently opened country estate which takes its design cues from the grand hotels of a bygone era. From your two bases, you can explore Jaipur’s exceptional sights: from the Hawa Mahal, a pink sandstone palace with 953 tiny windows called jharokhas; the Green Gate at the City Palace, which represents spring and is in homage to Lord Ganesha; and the Water Palace, Jal Mahal, which floats in the middle of a lake.
The Mexican state of Oaxaca is the central American destination everyone is talking about: with its slew of designers, artisans, food culture and art scene — as well as the heady mix of city, coastline, heritage and tradition. Start your journey in Oaxaca City at Hotel Escondido Oaxaca, which combines old world architecture and local artisanal touches, as well as a Piedmontese menu in the restaurant. Spend your days sampling its top-notch streetfood, its textile history as well as new art hubs such as Toro Galeria. When it comes to drinking, it is all about mezcal, so make time to taste its endless varieties in bars such as La Mezcaloteca and In Situ. Next, head to the coast and hunker down in Hotel Escondido on an unspoilt stretch of Pacific coastal beach near to Puerto Escondido. In early spring, the weather is perfect.