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The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions

Here, he helps one reader with a query about the entry requirements for Spain, and advises another – who finds the prospect of travelling abroad ‘overwhelming’ – on the best ways to book a staycation.

Q. We have a trip to America booked next month. My children and I had Covid last month and the Centers for Disease Control website says the U.S. accepts documentation of Covid recovery within 90 days. How do we get this? Also, we aim to fly from New York to Florida during the trip — what are the rules?

– Becky Metcalfe, via email

Strict: Visitors to America, including Miami in Florida, above, face rigorous regulations

Strict: Visitors to America, including Miami in Florida, above, face rigorous regulations

A. Ten days after you register a positive PCR test on your NHS Covid Pass, a Recovery Pass will appear automatically on it, in addition to your Covid jabs.

For travel to the U.S., you must have proof of being fully vaccinated plus having taken a negative Covid test 24 hours before travel or such a proof of recovery.

The latter could be needed as people who have recently had Covid may still give positive results beyond ten days, despite being officially in the clear.

Children under 17 travelling with vaccinated parents do not need to take tests. Within the U.S., rules vary between states. Best to check ‘Domestic Travel During COVID-19’ at cdc.gov.

Q. Will this be a cheap or pricey year to travel?

– Richard Knox, via email

A. All the indications are that travel to Europe will be extremely cheap. Return flights to Rome are as low as £20 from Stansted in February with Ryanair, which also has returns from Manchester to Seville from £53 in March and Edinburgh-Paris returns from £30 in February (ryanair.com).

All the indications are that travel to Europe will be extremely cheap this year, according to the Holiday Guru. February return flights from Edinburgh to Paris (pictured) with Ryanair cost £30

All the indications are that travel to Europe will be extremely cheap this year, according to the Holiday Guru. February return flights from Edinburgh to Paris (pictured) with Ryanair cost £30

Q. Can I enter Spain without being vaccinated?

– Edward Jenkins, via email

A. No. All visitors to Spain over 12 must be fully vaccinated and complete an online Health Control Form. See Spain’s ‘entry requirements’ at gov.uk.

Q. As we are now out of the EU, I believe when we go to a country in the Schengen Area we need our passport stamped on entry and departure.

Not getting it stamped risks not being allowed back in a country at a future date as you cannot prove you did not overstay the 90-day limit.

We have two cruises booked to Schengen Area countries next year. Will we get stamped?

– Ron Lewis, via email

A. Stamps should be given on entry/exit. Soon, however —probably within the next six months — the EU is introducing a new IT system known as the Entry/Exit System that will automatically record movements. See Entry/Exit System at ec.europa.eu. When this comes in, stamps may not be required.

The Holiday Guru helps out one reader who was forced to cancel their EasyJet flights

The Holiday Guru helps out one reader who was forced to cancel their EasyJet flights 

Q. My nerves are shattered after making an easyJet booking for Belfast-Lanzarote flights (£653) then cancelling due to my husband’s ill health. I have shown medical certificates but have only been offered a voucher for his flight and the chance to change the date of mine.

We are pensioners. I do not know if my husband will ever fly again and I would not fly without him. Can you help?

– Moyra and Patrick McSherry, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland

A. EasyJet has reviewed your situation and will provide a full refund for both fares.

Q. I am sick of taking tests, do not like bureaucratic forms and find the prospect of overseas travel overwhelming. Do you have any staycation tips?

– Sarah Silverman, via email

A. Yes: book soon. Cottages, holiday homes and hotel rooms are being snapped up. For cottages, try ruralretreats.co.uk, sykescottages.co.uk, cottages.com and originalcottages.co.uk.

For hotels it’s usually best to book direct via hotel websites, which often have the lowest prices and are often running special deals at this time of year.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email holidayplanner@dailymail.co.uk

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Cowboys and Andalucia may not seem a perfect fit. But as I saddle up in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla, a protected wilderness of rolling green hills, I start to feel like one of the celebrated bandits who once roamed the region.

Inland Andalucia is far removed from the Costa del Sol, with dozens of immense mountain ranges running through its eight provinces. With some 34 ,000 square miles of countryside (making it Spain’s second biggest region), it has many highlights, including Jaen’s Cazorla mountains, Granada’s Sierra Nevada and Malaga’s Serrania de Ronda.

But the 280-mile-long Sierra Morena that cuts through four provinces from Huelva to Jaen takes some beating. A lost pocket of rural Europe, dozens of Golden and Imperial eagles patrol its skies, while growing numbers of wolves and Iberian lynxes — the world’s rarest wildcat — stalk its woodland.

Saddle up: George Scott Rides' three and five-day wilderness escapes (pictured, file photo) promise rides ‘through spiky forests, as well as open meadows thickly clotted with wildflowers, before sleeping under the stars’

Saddle up: George Scott Rides’ three and five-day wilderness escapes (pictured, file photo) promise rides ‘through spiky forests, as well as open meadows thickly clotted with wildflowers, before sleeping under the stars’

Jon's odyssey takes him into the 280-mile-long Sierra Morena, a 'lost pocket of rural Europe'. Pictured is the region's Cascada de la Cimbarra waterfall

Jon’s odyssey takes him into the 280-mile-long Sierra Morena, a ‘lost pocket of rural Europe’. Pictured is the region’s Cascada de la Cimbarra waterfall

The Sierra Morena (or ‘Dark Range’) most likely got its name from its heavy carpet of oaks and chestnuts as well as its distinctive black rocks… although some say the name came from the region’s fabled bandits.

My adventure into these dark hills begins at the front gate of Trasierra, a historic 3,000-acre olive estate, in Cazalla de la Sierra, which has catered for everyone from royalty to supermodels over recent years.

My guide, George Scott, is the son of the owner and his three and five-day wilderness escapes promise rides ‘through spiky forests, as well as open meadows thickly clotted with wildflowers, before sleeping under the stars’.

While I’m anything but a fan of camping, George says I need not worry. ‘These are beautiful Rajasthani tents, with proper beds, cotton sheets and more,’ he promises.

They need to be, I tell him, having got used to luxuriating at his beautiful dozen-room pile, with its high white walls, vaulted ceilings and patchwork of pantile roofs.

'The Sierra Morena (or ‘Dark Range’) most likely got its name from its heavy carpet of oaks and chestnuts as well as its distinctive black rocks,' writes Jon. Pictured above is a view of the hills in the region

‘The Sierra Morena (or ‘Dark Range’) most likely got its name from its heavy carpet of oaks and chestnuts as well as its distinctive black rocks,’ writes Jon. Pictured above is a view of the hills in the region

With its all-pervading smell of jasmine and orange blossom, and hundreds of climbing roses it is not hard to imagine George’s aunt, the celebrated actress Dame Harriet Walter, walking around inspecting the gardens after her role as Winston Churchill’s wife, Clementine, in The Crown.

Just as I’m settling into a third cafe con leche, George’s mum, Charlotte — the Clementine of this Xanadu — suddenly appears with some gaiters for me. ‘Your steed awaits’ she trills rather joyfully.

It’s immediately apparent that this is not your usual holiday hack. For starters, George’s horses, a mixture of Spanish Arabian and Anglo-Arabian, are as responsive as a race car and itching for the off.

According to Jon, inland Andalucia has dozens of immense mountain ranges running through its eight provinces - such as Granada’s Sierra Nevada (pictured)

According to Jon, inland Andalucia has dozens of immense mountain ranges running through its eight provinces – such as Granada’s Sierra Nevada (pictured) 

An Iberian lynx — the world’s rarest wildcat — stalks the woodland of the Sierra Morena

One of the 'beautiful Rajasthani tents' on the George Scott Rides wilderness escape, which features 'proper beds, cotton sheets and more'

LEFT: An Iberian lynx — the world’s rarest wildcat — stalks the woodland of the Sierra Morena. RIGHT: One of the ‘beautiful Rajasthani tents’ on the George Scott Rides wilderness escape, which features ‘proper beds, cotton sheets and more’

Born into this equestrian world and schooled locally, he knows the region well and has long battled to keep open its ancient drovers paths, as well as cut many deals with fellow landowners to be able to pass through their land.

We find ourselves on winding dirt tracks through quiet and rolling woodland that’s as wild and beautiful as anywhere I’ve been in Europe.

It is incredibly peaceful, and I am soon lost in my thoughts as the hours drift by. ‘Rather like reading a book’, as George poetically describes it.

But the rides are certainly not predictable, he insists, citing a ‘sudden flight of a partridge or the slither of a snake’, so I cannot completely switch off.

And, of course, my moment comes when I’m suddenly confronted by a pair of foals that are running loose and, somewhat bizarrely, trying to give my horse a nip from behind.

Rearing up, my mount spins around and almost knocks me into a tree, leading to a ten-minute dismount as I gather my thoughts and George sends the delinquents packing with a couple of well-aimed pine cones.

Thankfully we are just a few minutes away from lunch and turn a corner to find a ruin transformed into the most welcoming site on a hot Spanish day: a shady picnic table loaded up with organic goodies from the local region.

This is stirrup cup extraordinaire, as a member of Trasierra’s team bounds over to greet us with a choice of ice cold fino, a local sparkling wine or a chilled Alhambra lager.

Jon begins and ends his trip at Trasierra, a historic 3,000-acre olive estate in the town of Cazalla de la Sierra (pictured above)

Jon begins and ends his trip at Trasierra, a historic 3,000-acre olive estate in the town of Cazalla de la Sierra (pictured above)

TRAVEL FACTS

Three-day trips with George Scott Rides, including accommodation and horses, from £1,000 (georgescottrides.com). Rooms at Trasierra (trasierra.com) from £208 per night. Ryanair (ryanair.com) London Stansted to Seville from £26 return.

To eat, there is a warm Spanish tortilla, fresh asparagus and two types of salad. A plate of cold cuts and cheeses bring up the rear.

The afternoon’s ride is merely a hop, no more than an hour, to the remarkable tented camp which sits in a shady glade surrounded by oak woodland.

The tents are equipped with crisp sheets, hot water bottles, beautiful dressing tables with mirrors and sinks, handmade soaps, fresh cologne and tea and coffee delivered every morning.

In addition, there’s a fully stocked bar and a selection of board games.

That night, after the obligatory campfire, buckets of vino and wonderful jamon Iberico, I sit outside looking at the stars and listening to nightingales.

I can get the hang of this, I think, and am rather disappointed to be heading back to Trasierra terra firma.

The final night at the ranch turns into an amazing feast — an outdoor barbecue by Gioconda, a true culinary star, who learned how to ‘fire cook’ in Argentina and helped to launch the Slow Food Movement in Spain.

The table is so perfectly set with flowers and linen, it could be a North London dinner party . . . apart from the warm spring temperature and the occasional whinny from a horse somewhere off in the dark. 

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We have waited a long time for this moment. And now the new rules on travel have kicked in, there has been a surge in bookings, with Jet2 reporting a 150 per cent increase and Skyscanner, the airline comparison website, an immediate 81 per cent rise in online enquires. British Airways Holidays said that website searches increased by 40 per cent week on week (with New York, Dubai and Barbados most popular).

Ski specialist travel agent Iglu Ski (igluski.co.uk) said enquires leapt by 90 per cent after the changes to testing rules — hardly surprising, with the cost of a trip for a family of four suddenly down by as much as £350. And with fares to Spain as low as £9 this month, £15 in April and £31 in June, according to Skyscanner, this could turn out to be a bumper year for bagging a travel bargain. Here’s our guide to some of the best holidays available — plus the latest entry requirements in Europe.

BEACH BREAKS

MALTESE MIRACLE – UNDER £100

Get set for the Med: The Blue Lagoon in Gozo, Malta. Holiday Pirates is offering a value seven-night stay at Paradise Bay Hotel Mellieha, which is set on the northern tip of the country

Get set for the Med: The Blue Lagoon in Gozo, Malta. Holiday Pirates is offering a value seven-night stay at Paradise Bay Hotel Mellieha, which is set on the northern tip of the country

Mellieha is on the northern tip of Malta and home to a 19th-century church, hiking trails, plenty of beaches, restaurants and bars.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights room-only at Paradise Bay Hotel Mellieha from £98 pp including flights on January 23 (holidaypirates.com).

SPANISH COAST – SAVE 65%

The Costa Brava is known for its beaches but also has beautiful inland towns to visit.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights room-only at HTOP Royal Beach from £159 pp, including flights on May 10. Book by January 31 (sunmaster.co.uk).

CARIBBEAN CLASSIC – SAVE 40%

Inspiring Travel Company is offering a seven-night all-inclusive stay in St Lucia from £2,359 pp. Pictured is a St Lucia beach looking out on one of the Pitons

Inspiring Travel Company is offering a seven-night all-inclusive stay in St Lucia from £2,359 pp. Pictured is a St Lucia beach looking out on one of the Pitons

It’s all go at the BodyHoliday in St Lucia, as this premium resort offers activities from water-skiing to archery.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive from £2,359 pp including flights for May 31 to August 31. Book by February 4. (inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk)

FAMILY BARGAINS

DISNEY MAGIC – SAVE 31%

With America back on the travel map, family breaks to theme parks in Florida are taking off again. Base yourself at a Walt Disney hotel to be at the heart of the action.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights for a family of four with two adults and two children, with flights and accommodation, at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort in Orlando from £3,224 (tui.co.uk).

MAKE IT MEXICO – SAVE 22%

The Canto del Sol all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has huge pools, tennis courts, a spa and watersports on the adjoining beach. Summer temperatures are in the 30s Celsius.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £3,628 all-inclusive for four, with flights (tui.co.uk).

TEMPTING TURKEY – SAVE £571

Holiday Village Turkey in Sarigerme, in the Dalaman region, is ideal for families with young children. Pictured is the nearby Sarigerme Sacred Beach

Holiday Village Turkey in Sarigerme, in the Dalaman region, is ideal for families with young children. Pictured is the nearby Sarigerme Sacred Beach

Children will love the waterslides, ten-pin bowling, ‘jump nets’ and ‘kids’ den’ rooms at Holiday Village Turkey in Sarigerme, in the Dalaman region. Free child places are available this May.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £1,113 for two adults and child up to the age of ten in May, with Gatwick flights (firstchoice.co.uk).

VILLA THRILLERS

GO FOR GRENADA

The True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada is a ten-minute drive from Grand Anse beach (pictured)

The True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada is a ten-minute drive from Grand Anse beach (pictured)

Enjoy your own two-bedroom villa with a plunge pool at the True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada, a ten-minute drive from Grand Anse beach. Hike in the rainforests, learn about the art of chocolate-making and visit a rum shack or two.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £1,365 pp B&B with Gatwick flights and transfers, for four sharing in January (tropicbreeze.co.uk).

CASH IN ON CYPRUS

Save a quarter on the usual price at Villa Aphrodite in Coral Bay, near Akamas National Park in Cyprus. It comes with a small pool and is in a peaceful spot near a fishing village with characterful tavernas.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £229 pp self-catering; flights not included (jamesvillas.co.uk).

CORFU DREAM

Adventures beckon: The rooms at Villa Vinita in Corfu, pictured, are tastefully decorated throughout

Adventures beckon: The rooms at Villa Vinita in Corfu, pictured, are tastefully decorated throughout

Villa Vinita is on a hilltop with fantastic sea views. A pool sits on a terrace and rooms are tastefully decorated throughout, with air-conditioning, wi-fi, a maid service and breakfast each day. It’s a scramble down the hill to a nearby beach.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £549 pp based on ten sharing, with London flights in April (cvvillas.com).

LUXURY FOR LESS

INDULGE IN IBIZA

A swanky new all-inclusive hotel opens on Ibiza in May — the TRS Ibiza Hotel, on the west coast, with rooftop infinity pools, a spa and cocktail bars for sunset- watching. Enjoy the opening rates while you can.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £1,254 pp all-inclusive in June, with Birmingham flights and transfers (jet2holidays.com).

SPA IN SICILY – SAVE £116

The luxury, all-inclusive Grand Palladium Sicily opened last year. Pictured is the nearby city of Cefalu

The luxury, all-inclusive Grand Palladium Sicily opened last year. Pictured is the nearby city of Cefalu

SO WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES? 

Pre-departure tests for vaccinated travellers entering the UK have been ditched. From Sunday, there is also no need to take a PCR test during the first two days after returning to Britain — or to self-isolate. But you must take a cheaper lateral flow test. Here are the rules for entry in Europe…

FRANCE: Tourists banned from entry.

SPAIN: All tourists aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated.

PORTUGAL: Must show proof of a negative Covid test if aged 11 and over.

GREECE: Need proof of a negative Covid test if aged five and over.

CROATIA: Require proof of a negative Covid test or that you are fully vaccinated if aged 12 or over.

ITALY: You must show proof that you are fully vaccinated and have recently tested negative for Covid. Children under six are exempt.

AUSTRIA: You must have had booster jab and show proof of a negative test. Children under 12 are exempt and you can get a special pass for unvaccinated children aged 12 to 15 at ski resorts.

GERMANY: Fully vaccinated Britons are allowed in; unvaccinated children require negative tests, though under fives are exempt (but must quarantine for five days).

SWITZERLAND: Must be fully vaccinated and have tested negative for Covid.

SWEDEN: Must be fully vaccinated (unless under 18) and have a negative test result (unless under 12).

HUNGARY: The unvaccinated must show a recent negative test result.

CZECH REPUBLIC: The double-jabbed need to take a PCR test; those with boosters can enter without tests. Children under 12 do not need tests if they are with vaccinated parents.

  • Check the latest entry requirements at gov.uk before making any booking.

Relax in the saunas, pools and hydromassage baths at the spa at the Grand Palladium Sicily. This luxury all-inclusive hotel, which opened last year, is great for outdoor-lovers, with hiking in nearby pine forests as well as watersports galore.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £761 pp all-inclusive, with Gatwick flights on May 1 (tui.co.uk).

CUT-PRICE BARBADOS – SAVE £50

Book ahead for later in the year and it’s possible to enjoy a week in Barbados, staying at the beachside Dover Beach Hotel, from little more than £600 per person per week. It comes with a pool, too.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £619 pp self-catering in September, with Heathrow flights. Book by midnight on January 11 (britishairways.com/barbados).

ADULTS ONLY

DOMINICAN DASH – SAVE 60% 

Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic’s eastern tip is known for its 20-mile stretch of coast on the Atlantic and Caribbean.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive at Ocean El Faro, Punta Cana, from £798 pp, including flights in May 2022 (caribbeanwarehouse.co.uk).

MADE FOR TWO – SAVE 45%

Jamaica’s Seven Mile Beach looks more appealing by the day. This is also a great base to explore the rest of Negril.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive at Couples Swept Away Negril from £1,949 pp including flights. Book for May to October 30 (caribtours.co.uk).

HOP TO CYPRUS – SAVE 23%

Temperatures endure in Cyprus better than in many other Mediterranean destinations, and a trip to Paphos promises ancient ruins, theatres and villas.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights B&B at Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites from £959 pp, including flights. Book by January 31 for April 3 – 30 (inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk).

ADVENTURE SNIPS

GRAND GALAPAGOS – SAVE 30%

Nowhere seems more remote than the Galapagos, which teem with wildlife, from giant tortoises to penguins and iguanas.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights sailing including most meals and accommodation from £1,922 pp. Book before January 17 for selected departures until October 2022. Flights excluded (intrepidtravel.com).

MOROCCAN MIRAGE – SAVE 25%

Desert, beaches, mountains and dazzling cities — there’s plenty to see in Morocco and the best way is on a tour.

HOW TO DO IT: Nine-night Casablanca to Marrakech trip from £1,019pp, including activities and some meals, on February 19. Flights excluded (gadventures.com).

MADAGASCAN MARVELS – SAVE 20%

On a visit to Madagascar, make sure to visit the lively capital of Antananarivo (pictured above)

On a visit to Madagascar, make sure to visit the lively capital of Antananarivo (pictured above) 

Women wearing clay sunblock masks in Madagascar. Explore is offering a 15-day half-board tour of the country from £2,465

Women wearing clay sunblock masks in Madagascar. Explore is offering a 15-day half-board tour of the country from £2,465

THE GREAT FLIGHTS SALE 

Here are the best short-haul deals (all returns excluding luggage):

  • London Luton to Larnaca, Cyprus, in March with Wizzair: £15.98.
  • London Stansted to Milan, Italy, with Ryanair in January: £9.98. 
  • London Stansted to Budapest, Hungary, with Ryanair in March: £15.98.
  • London Luton to Malaga, Spain, with Ryanair in March: £15.98.
  • London Luton to Athens, Greece, with Wizzair in January: £9.98.
  • London Stansted to Zagreb, Croatia, with Ryanair in January: £9.98.
  • London Stansted to Venice, Italy, with Ryanair in January: £9.98.

And the best long-haul deals (all returns excluding luggage):

  • London Gatwick to Sal, Cape Verde, with TUI in January/February: £188.
  • London Gatwick to New York JFK with JetBlue in February: £283.
  • London Gatwick to St Lucia with TUI in January/February: £270.
  • London Gatwick to Bridgetown, Barbados, with TUI in January: £279.

There’s plenty of wildlife in Madagascar and some spectacular rainforests, but a visit is also a chance to see the lively capital, Antananarivo.

HOW TO DO IT: A 15-day half-board tour from £2,465 pp, including flights on April 8 (explore.co.uk). 

CHEAP CITY BREAKS

ICELAND BOUND THREE FOR TWO

Reykjavik combines Nordic charm with plenty of modern character — and Iceland’s thrilling natural sights are near by.

HOW TO DO IT: Three nights B&B at Grandi by Center Hotels from £188 pp including flights on March 12 (holidaypirates.com).

DUTCH DELIGHT – SAVE 26%

Amsterdam’s canals, cycle paths, excellent restaurants and green spaces make it the ideal destination for a relaxing break.

HOW TO DO IT: Three nights room-only at Amstel Botel Hotel from £189 pp, including flights, on February 14 (jet2holidays.com).

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SAVE 10%

The Big Apple is back. Take in a Broadway show, the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the new Little Island park.

HOW TO DO IT: Three nights room-only at Freehand from £735pp including flights. Book for dates between May 27 and June 20. (dialaflight.com)

AMAZING SKI DEALS 

BULGARIAN BARGAIN – SAVE £266

Expect slopes running through pine forests, cosy bars and restaurants at the resort of Borovets. Base yourself at Hotel Festa Chamkoria.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £317 pp half-board, with Manchester flights/transfers in February (crystalski.co.uk).

SWISS ADVENTURE – SAVE £200

Stay in Saas-Fee to make the most of reliable high-altitude snow, great runs and the pretty mountain village. 

For enticing prices, try the simple-but-smart Allalin Apartments.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £519 pp self-catering, with Gatwick flights on January 29 (inghams.co.uk).

WINTER IN HINTER

Hinterglemm in Austria is connected to the extensive Ski Circus area. Stay at Hotel Zur Dorfschmiede in the centre.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights from £1,681 pp half-board, with Gatwick flights on February 19 (igluski.com).

THE ENTICING WORLD OF CRUISING 

SOLO IN SALZBURG

There’s no single supplement on the eight-day MS Thomas ‘Blue Danube’ from Budapest. Book for April 7 from £1,519, including flights (riviera-travel.co.uk, 01283 523431).

£662 FLY CRUISE

Save up to £300 on Marella Cruises departing between May 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023. Marella Explorer’s seven-night ‘Canarian Flavours’ January 17 sailing is from £662 pp including flights (tui.co.uk, 0800 975 4477).

CHILDREN GO FREE

Save up to 30 per cent on selected 2022 Celestyal cruises booked by March 31: children of 12 and under sail free if sharing their parents’ stateroom. Cruises include the seven-night ‘Idyllic Aegean’ from £759 pp (celestyal.com, 0800 411 8038).

MAY DEAL

Free children’s clubs and entertainment are available on Anthem of the Seas’ seven-night ‘Spain and France’ cruise, reduced to £635 pp on May 22. (cruise.co.uk, 0330 127 8218).

CHANGE AND SAVE

If previous river cruisers book a Great Rail Journeys river and rail holiday, the company will cut the fare by £300 (greatrail.com, 01904 521 936).

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If you’re in the market for a trip to Spain in 2022, forget checking into the Costa Crummy and try one of these stunning hotels instead.

Here we’ve rounded up the best new hotels in Spain for 2022, with the line up including a sensational Six Senses retreat in Ibiza, a magnificent new Club Med in Marbella, luxurious lodgings in Barcelona and Madrid and a 13th-century finca in Mallorca with infinity pools and beehives for fresh honey.

The sweet-life awaits…

Club Med Magna Marbella 

Club Med Magna Marbella will be nestled at the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountains

Club Med Magna Marbella will be nestled at the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountains 

The resort will boast 14 hectares of 'lush garden', five swimming pools including a family waterpark and adult-only Zen Zone, two restaurants - Suenos, and the Tierra Gourmet Lounge - and three bars

The resort will boast 14 hectares of ‘lush garden’, five swimming pools including a family waterpark and adult-only Zen Zone, two restaurants – Suenos, and the Tierra Gourmet Lounge – and three bars 

Magna Marbella will offer Club Med’s 'world-class' children’s clubs for all ages (from four months to 17 years of age), 'where kids will be able to enjoy Andalusian-inspired art and culture activities'

Magna Marbella will offer Club Med’s ‘world-class’ children’s clubs for all ages (from four months to 17 years of age), ‘where kids will be able to enjoy Andalusian-inspired art and culture activities’ 

Club Med Magna Marbella will be nestled at the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountains – and is set to open on May 14, 2022.

The resort will boast 14 hectares of ‘lush garden’, five swimming pools including a family waterpark and adult-only Zen Zone, two restaurants – Suenos, and the Tierra Gourmet Lounge – and three bars where guests can try local food and drinks. 

Magna Marbella will also offer Club Med’s ‘world-class’ children’s clubs for all ages (from four months to 17 years of age), ‘where kids will be able to enjoy Andalusian-inspired art and culture activities’. The Family Fun Zone, meanwhile, ‘will feature water games, a playground, mini-golf, and a zipline and offer a wide array of activities, including golf, archery, tennis, flying trapeze, and more’.

Prices start from £858pp on an all-inclusive basis. 

InterContinental Barcelona 

The InterContinental Barcelona is in the heart of the Montjuic district, a scenic hill southwest of the city

The InterContinental Barcelona is in the heart of the Montjuic district, a scenic hill southwest of the city 

Rooms at the 'sophisticated' InterContinental Barcelona start from €315 (£269)

Rooms at the ‘sophisticated’ InterContinental Barcelona start from €315 (£269)

InterContinental Barcelona’s 'elegant' 273 rooms, we're told, 'take inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea'

InterContinental Barcelona’s ‘elegant’ 273 rooms, we’re told, ‘take inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea’

The InterContinental Barcelona is in the heart of the Montjuic district, a scenic hill southwest of the city overlooking the harbour and offering stunning views of Barcelona. 

InterContinental Barcelona’s ‘elegant’ 273 rooms, we’re told, ‘take inspiration from the Mediterranean Sea and the striking architecture that the city is famous for’, offering ‘an unparalleled level of sophistication’.   

The top room is the 180 sq m (1,937 sq ft) Presidential Suite, while 17 junior suites ’embody the brand’s modern luxury philosophy’.

Rooms start from €315 (£269). 

Mett Hotel & Beach Resort, Marbella

Mett Hotel & Beach Resort is launching in Spain in early summer 2022 and will be 'located in one of Costa del Sol's most pristine stretches of beach'

Mett Hotel & Beach Resort is launching in Spain in early summer 2022 and will be ‘located in one of Costa del Sol’s most pristine stretches of beach’ 

The Resort will feature 250 'elegant and beautifully designed guest rooms and suites'

The Resort will feature 250 ‘elegant and beautifully designed guest rooms and suites’ 

Never heard of the Mett brand? It's 'positioned as relaxed luxury with a discreet service style without frills'

Never heard of the Mett brand? It’s ‘positioned as relaxed luxury with a discreet service style without frills’ 

Mett Hotel & Beach Resort is launching in Spain in early summer 2022 and will be ‘located in one of Costa del Sol’s most pristine stretches of beach, on the border of Marbella and Estepona’.

The Resort will feature 250 ‘elegant and beautifully designed guest rooms and suites, one main outdoor swimming pool… as well as a rich and varied dining scene including Folie Restaurant & Sea, suited to the traveller of today looking for his or her place to unwind and have fun’.

Never heard of the Mett brand? It’s ‘positioned as relaxed luxury with a discreet service style without frills’.

Six Senses Ibiza

This newly opened resort positions itself as 'one of the world’s most discerning destinations for today’s generation of creatives and culture seekers'

This newly opened resort positions itself as ‘one of the world’s most discerning destinations for today’s generation of creatives and culture seekers’ 

Six Senses Ibiza is located on Xarraca Bay, 'a long-hidden secret on Ibiza’s northern tip'

Six Senses Ibiza is located on Xarraca Bay, ‘a long-hidden secret on Ibiza’s northern tip’

The resort has 116 guest rooms and suites and 'one of the best wellness offerings that the Balearic island has to offer'

The resort has 116 guest rooms and suites and ‘one of the best wellness offerings that the Balearic island has to offer’

This newly opened resort is located on Xarraca Bay, ‘a long-hidden secret on Ibiza’s northern tip’. It has 116 guest rooms and suites and positions itself as ‘one of the world’s most discerning destinations for today’s generation of creatives and culture seekers’.

We’re told: ‘Six Senses Ibiza offers an authentic laid-back cool, harking back to the island’s 70’s roots. The resort has one of the best wellness offerings that the Balearic island has to offer, enabling guests to retreat into a secluded paradise and truly switch off from the outside world.’

Us? We’d book it for the main pool alone.

Ocean Drive Madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid (rooftop rendering above) is 'a new design-led, boutique hotel' opening in Madrid on February 25, 2022

Ocean Drive Madrid (rooftop rendering above) is ‘a new design-led, boutique hotel’ opening in Madrid on February 25, 2022

There are 72 rooms and according to a statement: 'Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers [and] design classics like the Eames LCW chair'

There are 72 rooms and according to a statement: ‘Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers [and] design classics like the Eames LCW chair’

Ocean Drive Madrid is ‘a new design-led, boutique hotel’ opening in Madrid on February 25,  2022, ‘that strives to truly connect its guests to the location they are staying in’.

And where’s that? Plaza de Isabel II, in front of the Opera Palace, a few steps from the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Via.

And the rooms? There are 72 and they sound swanky. According to a statement: ‘Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers [and] design classics like the Eames LCW chair. A selection of rooms also have unqiue features like a record player with vinyl records, a photo printer, and a beer tap. Those choosing a corner Deluxe room will also delight in the in-suite Taschen library for design and culture-inspired reading.’

Rooms start from €180 (£153) to €650 (£554) per night depending on room type and season, including taxes and breakfast. Visit www.oceandrivemadrid.com.

ME Barcelona

ME Barcelona, pictured, boasts that it's 'the perfect location for those looking to discover the city whilst enjoying a relaxing getaway or for those on business trips'

ME Barcelona, pictured, boasts that it’s ‘the perfect location for those looking to discover the city whilst enjoying a relaxing getaway or for those on business trips’

ME Barcelona features two Mediterranean restaurants, a huge urban garden, a rooftop bar - and rates start from £202 per night

ME Barcelona features two Mediterranean restaurants, a huge urban garden, a rooftop bar – and rates start from £202 per night

Situated in the vibrant Passeig de Gracia, next to Casa Rocamora, ME Barcelona is ‘a new social and cultural centre revolving around design’.

It features two Mediterranean restaurants serving ‘healthy, unique and sustainable dishes created with local products’; a rooftop bar with views of Placa Catalunya and Sagrada Familia, as well as 1,200 sq m (12,916 sq ft) of urban garden.

In summary? The hotel boasts that it’s ‘the perfect location for those looking to discover the city whilst enjoying a relaxing getaway or for those on business trips’.

Rates at ME Barcelona start from £202 per night. For further information, click here.

Es Raco d’Arta, Mallorca

Es Raco d’Arta is 'not a hotel', but 'a destination for transformation... a place to be inspired by genuine Mallorquin life'

Es Raco d’Arta is ‘not a hotel’, but ‘a destination for transformation… a place to be inspired by genuine Mallorquin life’

The 13th-century finca, which is nestled next to the Llevant Natural Park in a 'serene valley' and 'only a stone's throw from the Mediterranean Sea', has an ecological vineyard, 1,200 olive trees and beehives for fresh breakfast honey

The 13th-century finca, which is nestled next to the Llevant Natural Park in a ‘serene valley’ and ‘only a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea’, has an ecological vineyard, 1,200 olive trees and beehives for fresh breakfast honey

There are 34 rooms including eight suites and 21 'cottages', five of which have a private swimming pool

There are 34 rooms including eight suites and 21 ‘cottages’, five of which have a private swimming pool 

A press release from Es Raco d’Arta stresses that it is absolutely ‘not’ a hotel. With the word ‘not’ underlined.

But it’s too enticing not to include it in this hotel round-up. 

So what exactly is it? Apparently ‘a destination for transformation’. To explain further: ‘A place to be inspired by genuine Mallorquin life. A place to allow for the real and authentic to shine through. Visiting Es Raco is not a tale about “checking out”. It is about “checking in”, with self and with others.’

Not sure what that means? Some nuts and bolts. It has 34 rooms including eight suites and 21 ‘cottages’, five of which have a private swimming pool. There is also a two-bedroom house and a three-bedroom house.

The 13th-century finca (or country estate), which is nestled next to the Llevant Natural Park in a ‘serene valley’ and ‘only a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea’, has an ‘ecological vineyard, some 1,200 olive trees, 200 different fruit trees, a field of indigenous xeixa [wheat], [an] organic vegetable garden and an aromatic herbal garden’.

The statement adds: ‘We produce our own olive oil and organic xeixa flour. Adding to that we also engage in beekeeping, which means you will have fresh honey for breakfast.’

Visit en.esracodarta.com to learn more. 

The Hoxton, Barcelona 

'The Hoxton, Poblenou', pictured, will be in the exciting Poblenou area, just a 15-minute stroll from the Sagrada Familia. All the bedrooms have been created by Ennismore Design Studio

‘The Hoxton, Poblenou’, pictured, will be in the exciting Poblenou area, just a 15-minute stroll from the Sagrada Familia. All the bedrooms have been created by Ennismore Design Studio

An outpost of The Hoxton brand – called The Hoxton, Poblenou – is coming to Barcelona in spring 2022.

It’ll be located in the exciting Poblenou area and will have 240 ‘light and airy bedrooms, a stunning ground floor restaurant, bar and terrace; a shaded rooftop taqueria [Mexican restaurant] and pool; a basement events space that will host local cultural programming; and The Apartment, [a] unique and multi-functional meeting and events space, with light-flooded rooms that have views over Diagonal Avenue’.

The bedrooms, all designed by Ennismore Design Studio, will include a ‘Homey’ category – larger rooms with their own lounge spaces and kitchenettes.

The famous Sagrada Familia is just a 15-minute stroll from the hotel, and in the other direction, you’ll hit the beach, the hotel points out. 

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