Romania has plenty of beautiful farm buildings and a strong folk craft history, which means there are some gorgeous places to stay in rural locations. Casa Palaga is a very special wooden self-catering house, sleeping four, in deep countryside in the Maramures area, with views of the Rodna mountains and over the border into Ukraine.
Set in a clearing surrounded by trees and grass, the house is full of nice old wooden furniture. It’s booked until September, but could be good for a late summer break. From €440 (Dh2,134) a week, or €70 a night (minimum three-night stay). Or try Casa Cosma (homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p2002080), nearby, a similar wooden farmhouse, sleeping four, from €65 a night, minimum three-night stay.
With its glamorous past revived in the shape of an iconic island hotel, Sveti Stefan, now a luxurious (and super expensive) Aman resort, Montenegro has done a lot to boost the image of eastern Europe. The coastal towns of Budvar and Kotor have some smart places to stay.
Homeaway.co.uk has lots of villas with pools, and an apartment from €475 a week. It sleeps four and has a terrace with deckchairs overlooking the sea in the fishing village of Bigovo, between Budvar and Kotor. In the capital Podgorica, an hour inland, Hotel Ziya has a spa, contemporary grey rooms and an indoor pool.
In Liepaja, a small town on the Baltic coast within easy reach of quiet beaches, the people behind the LuxPod Apartment in London have a modern hi-tech apartment, called LuxHighTech. The three-bedroom pad in the old town costs €742 a week and has iPod docks, funky furniture, home cinema and a shower with music and lights. There’s also a flashier penthouse (with a hanging clear bubble chair by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio) sleeping four for €1,400 a week.
The Curonian Spit, 50km of near-deserted pale sand creating a lagoon off the Baltic coast of south-western Lithuania, is the place to head for a beach holiday. In the town of Klaipda, at its northern point, the Old Port Hotel (rooms around €149 a night in summers) avoids chintz. Palanga beach nearby has a smart white apartment for two from €55 a night through Homeaway.com
A smart manor house dating from 1766, Art Hotel Kastiel (doubles from €99) has art deco and baroque style rooms and apartments, and sits in the middle of a 300-year-old park in the pretty village of Tomasov, near Bratislava. Slovak, Hungarian, Austrian and Czech culinary influences are combined for experimental gastronomy in the dining room.
Guardian News & Media Ltd