The hills high above the Costa Blanca may seem an odd place to find a little slice of South East Asian tranquillity, but five-star Barceló Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa offers just that - without the longhaul flight.

Mixing Asian styles - Balinese, Thai, Indian - the eclectic decor includes huge and impressive pieces of carved wood furniture and former palace doors. There are thatched bales (pavilions) by the endless expanse of infinity pool and the soothing sound of trickling water from streams that run between the carefully tended tropical plants.

Even the therapists in the Thai Spa have been trained at Bangkok's National School of Massage. You would think you were in Asia were it not for the glimpse of the high-rises of Benidorm in the distance and the amazingly more-ish paella served at the poolside Palapa restaurant.

Wow factor: The 3,500 sq metres of water in the gardens.

Flight time: Two hours 45 minutes.

Go: Double Deluxe rooms from £196 B&B ( Easyjet (0871 244 2366; flies to Alicante from £43.98 return.