Five of the Best Winter Sun Hotels

Because we all deserve an escape

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Abi Dare, assistant editor of boutique hotel specialists i-escape,  has chosen her top hideaways for a February escape

Grand Café & Rooms, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

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Sunset G&Ts on the ocean-facing terrace, restaurant tables adorned with sparkling candelabras, beds so high you need a footstool to climb into them... everything at the Grand is done with a dash of decadence. The seven rooms come with red-velvet chairs, roll-top tubs, and sea views or private courtyards, and the location is perfect – at the end of Main Street in one of the Garden Route's main hubs, a short walk from shops, bars and the beach. The overall feel is shabby-chic meets boho world traveller, with a touch of cabaret glamour – just what you need for a memorable stay near all the action.

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Grand Cafe & Rooms, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.  Doubles from around £64, B&B

Verana, Yelapa, Mexico

This intimate boho-chic jungle retreat sits high on a hillside above the beautiful Bay of Banderas, on Mexico's Pacific coast. It's accessible only by boat and feels wonderfully secluded, yet it's only 50 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, whose airport is now served by direct flights from the UK. Rooms consist of 10 pretty handmade houses (some open-sided, with soaring palapa roofs) which spill down the lush terraces. There's also a spa, a spring-water pool, and a candlelit restaurant serving zingy Mexican food. Book cooking classes or whale-watching trips, take a picnic down to the deserted beach, or just swing in a hammock, margarita in hand, and gaze at the carpet of blue sea below.

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Verana, Yelapa, Mexico. Doubles from around £197, room only.

L'Iglesia, El Jadida, Morocco

With direct flights to Casablanca and Essaouira taking less than four hours, Morocco's Atlantic coast is ideal for a quick dose of sun not too far from home. Under-the-radar El Jadida is one of its treasures – once an important stop on the trade route to India, now a Unesco-listed town with a burgeoning arts scene and sweeping beaches. It is also home to a super-stylish place to stay in the form of L'Iglesia, which is spread across a restored Portuguese church and former consulate. Its 13 rooms have retro furnishings that range from Art Deco to mid-century modern, and Mies van der Rohe chairs sit under ornate chandeliers in the old nave, now a lounge-bar with live music and fantastic cocktails. The restaurant serves delicious French-Moroccan food; above are two huge roof terraces, a massage room in a tower, and even an outdoor bathtub for sunset soaks.

L'Iglesia, El Jadida, Morocco. Doubles from around £106, B&B

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An Lam Ninh Van Bay, near Nha Trang, Vietnam

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Hugging a swathe of golden sand and encircled by the papaya-green waters of Ninh Van Bay, this eco-chic resort is perfect for those who want beachside luxury without the guilt.  The 35 standalone villas offer an Asian twist on contemporary minimalism, with vaulted ceilings, teak walls, low-slung sofas and daybeds suspended from ropes.  The vibe is laid-back, with no pressure to do anything other than loll by the infinity pool, sip cocktails on your deck, or linger over fresh Vietnamese flavours in the waterside restaurant. If you fancy being a little more active, guided jungle walks, water sports and trips to local fishing communities can all be arranged.

An Lam Ninh Van Bay, near Nha Trang, Vietnam. Villas from around  £412, B&B, including boat transfers and butler service

Casa Mosquito, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

February is the perfect time to be in  Rio – the weather is warm, the city is abuzz with excitement ahead of this summer's Olympics, but prices have yet to shoot up. Perched above iconic Ipanema and Copacabana, close to beaches, bars and restaurants, is this leafy Franco-Brazilian retreat. White curtains billow on verandas, jazz plays softly in the background, and the nine vintage-chic rooms mix eclectic art with nods to the 50s and 60s; many have palm-potted balconies, too. The cherry on top is the rooftop terrace, with its sparkling pool, sweeping Sugarloaf views and weekend DJs – just the spot to unwind over a passionfruit caipirinha after a day on the sand.

Casa Mosquito, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Doubles from around £155,B&B

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