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Le Méridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa, Tarragona, Spain
Built in the 1920s and originally used as a sanatorium, this historic seaside property near Barcelona is still providing R&R - albeit of a rather different sort - more than a century later. Though the space it occupies is enormous, it offers a relatively-modest 144 rooms, helping to preserve a sense of all-pervading peace for its well-heeled guests. The spa is excellent, and parents will love the kids' club that allows them to make use of it undisturbed. Guests of all ages will get a lot out of the private beach club and rooftop pool, and activities from bikes to pedalos. The food here is far more than fuel for daily fun - with everything from sumptuous seafood buffets to authentic Spanish paella.
With the Roman ruins at Tarragona and PortAventura theme park both reachable in around 30 minutes, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to easy day trips.
Relax on the private stretch of San Salvador beach, or venture further afield with a day trip to Barcelona (1 hour by car) to see the city sights.
By plane: direct flights to Barcelona-El Prat from London (2 hours) and Edinburgh (2 hours 40 minutes). The hotel is a 40-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs €28.60 per day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
This is a perfect property for families who don't want to compromise on style, and couples in need of a relaxing retreat. Bespoke photographic prints shot throughout the hotel and displayed along corridors add character to an ordinarily dead space.
Service & Facilities
The hotel's fitness centre is large and well-equipped with weights and cardio machines, and also offers classes and personal training sessions.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Kids' club
- On-site parking
- Free Wi-Fi
If possible, opt for a premium beachfront room with terrace - wake up in a king-size bed to a view of the Mediterranean, sparkling through a floor-to-ceiling window. From exquisite linens to elegant brass lamps, fluffy robes to midcentury-style chairs made for lounging, there's a real attention to detail.
Deluxe, Premium, Grand Superior, Junior Suite, Prestige Suite, Duplex Suite, Apartment
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, air conditioning, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
A stylish gelato truck serves homemade Italian-style ice-creams and sorbets; the pistachio is especially good. During evening service, a chef prepares freshly-cooked seafood, flash-frying prawns, scallops and other morsels - all of exceptionally good quality.
La Terrassa del Mar: terrace restaurant, Mediterranean cuisine. All-day dining, open daily.
D.O. Restaurant: fine dining, modern cuisine. Dishes include seabass ceviche and paella. Open daily for dinner.