Image: More Hotel, Dubrovnik, Croatia

This coming winter holidays, we may experience a different kind of travel. There may be added safety protocols to which some may feel cumbersome. It is the first time for many to travel after many months of lockdown.  The level of excitement is palpable. People want to feel free to move again. 

We have selected independent hotels to stay with your loved ones. Staying in small boutique hotels is the trend after the pandemic. We want to avoid crowds in the public areas of the hotel or resort—the more private, the better. The chosen hotels have passed new WHO safety standards for the hospitality sector to ensure you have a worry-free vacation. Here is the selection in no particular order

The Vine Hotel, Madeira, Portugal

Opened in 2008, The Vine has used winemaking Madeira as the focal point of its modern design. The use of different colors to reflect the different seasons of the year. Its 79 rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities.  

The hotel has three F&B outlets that offer a gorgeous selection of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other facilities include a rooftop swimming pool and a spa. 

Wa Ale Island Resort, Myanmar

Nestled on a cove off the Andaman Sea, Wa Ale is an eco-friendly resort, built using locally available materials. Their accommodation, composed of luxury tents, treetop villas, beach houses, and beach bungalows, harmonize with natural surroundings. 

“Barefoot Luxury Meets Bohemian Chic” is their slogan that resonates with the room interiors, the dining experience (farm-to-table menus), the activities (paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, and diving), and exploring the marine sanctuary in nearby Lampi Marine National Park. 

More Hotel, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Located on the Lapad Bay, More Hotel is a 5-star boutique hotel offering modern comforts with views of the lush green gardens or the Adriatic Sea.  Elegantly appointed rooms evoke warmth while Restaurant More offers delectable international and Mediterranean dishes.

But the spotlight belongs to Cave Bar More – a natural structure found below the hotel. Developers decided to build around the natural cave with a depth of three floors. Guests may enjoy their coffee, cocktails, or champagne in the presence of centuries-old stalactites. It’s only befitting that this outlet has won numerous accolades from TripAdvisor and CNN. 

Aressana Spa Hotel and Suites, Santorini, Greece

This 5-Star hotel, located within Fira’s bustling town, provides a peaceful ambience as soon as guests step inside. Their rooms have soft earthy tones and grey hues, echoing the tranquil atmosphere throughout its property.

Aressana Spa Hotel has an offer for their Loyalty Club members. If they book their stay directly through the hotel’s official website,  they get a whopping 20% discount. Additionally, members who avail of rejuvenating spa therapies will also get a 10% discount.    

Uga Chena Huts, Sri Lanka

Located 300 kilometers away from the Colombo Airport in Yala, Sri Lanka, Uga Chena Huts is one of the top hotels in Sri Lanka. The huts, built with exclusivity and privacy as the primary focus (which we all yearn for, during post-covid travel), blends perfectly with the surrounding wild forest. 

Adjacent to the property is the Yala National Park (YNP) – home to a range of wildlife from sloth bears to peacocks and elephants. It also has the highest density of leopards globally, making YNP nature and wildlife lovers’ Utopia. 


When this health crisis is over, it’s time to treat yourselves to personalized service in luxury boutique hotels in idyllic locations like the Mediterranean, Andaman, and Adriatic seas. The experience will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed during the holidays.

Willy Hobal /