With equally-impressive histories, stunning locations and quirky accommodation to boot, these two boutique beauties have been lovingly restored into chic hotels that remain sympathetic to their past. Setting foot into these unique gems is like taking a step back in time – here's why they're our European must-stays this summer…
If rustic character and a real sense of history is what you're after, then Cap Rocat in Mallorca's Cala Blava provides all the secluded luxury you need – all in a truly dramatic setting. Ironically, this peaceful haven is a former military fortress, with some of the accommodation lovingly transformed into stunning suites from secret surveillance points set into the rock that once controlled the entrance to Palma Bay. Antonio Obrador – the hotel's Mallorcan architect-owner – has done an amazing job without altering the unique architecture or natural surrounds.
More recently added, and a favourite with Eden, is the Suite del Mar, set away from the hotel, just steps from the private beach, and complete with its own pool. Breakfast is delivered to your door in a picnic basket and dinner is a more gastronomic affair in The Fortress Restaurant, at The Sea Grill, or somewhere altogether more private.
Originally a 17th-century monastery, it's been said that Italy's Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel and Spa hovers over the Amalfi Coast like the wing of an angel. So it goes without saying that the setting here is breathtaking; the views don't get any better than this; and you should brace yourself for some epic sunsets! Accommodation has been luxuriously converted into 20 rooms and suites, with the vaulted ceilings and primary structures of the nuns' rooms and refectory carefully preserved and linked together with en-suites to create sumptuous bedrooms.
What we find particularly endearing here is the fact that each room or suite is named after an herb from Monastero Santa Rosa's garden that the nuns would have used when making medicines. The spellbinding sea views stretch out from the Conca dei Marini's fishing harbour to Amalfi beyond; and the spa is a must-visit, its treatment rooms again preserving the monastic heritage of this incredibly beautiful property.