Hotel Raya

8 items in your basket : £2,200.00

Extra

A complimentary bottle of Spumante.

THIS CULT HOTEL on the island of Panarea is the ultimate in bohemian island chic – just the place for lazily rich Robinson Crusoes to hang out.

Lit by flares at dusk, Hotel Raya’s huge open rooftop bar – in pole position above the harbour with front-row views of the darkening sea and neighbouring Aeolian islands – draws a hip young crowd. It's just the place to down cocktails and watch sparks flying up into the night sky from the volcanic isle of Stromboli just across the water – turning into a late-late open air nightclub after midnight.

Everywhere  at Hotel Raya  is made for indoor-outdoor living. Rough plastered walls in tropical white are artfully mixed with Balinese sofas and art (owner Myriam Beltrani lives in Bali for much of the year). Simple rooms – some in a private enclave at the top of the hill – are accented by a pot here or a wooden mandolin there, with wooden shutters opening on to a private terrace. Staff are charmingly laidback and after a day or two here, so will you.

Swimming off the rocks

With silk gowns and flip flops waiting to be donned, a cane-shaded private terrace and a fridge stocked with bubbly, it was hard to tear ourselves away from our quarters. We surfaced later to swim off the rocks near the hotel (a pool is opening soon) and sun ourselves on a sandy spur. Fellow guests were zipping off in speedboats or tanning on the smooth rocks.

Dinner is served beneath the stars by mahogany-tanned young staff dressed (or undressed) in sarongs with bejewelled belly buttons. In a spectacular setting, Hotel Raya's terrace restaurant is dining to dine out on. The views are made in heaven (the food less so), and while this much-hyped address has just two stars, it's tailor made for cool island castaways who love laidback living.

© Room for Romance

Hotel Raya was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter

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