20 top hotels for late-summer sun
1 Anantara Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
Anantara’s first property in Europe opened earlier this year with 280 rooms close to the elegant seaside resort of Vilamoura. Combine lazy afternoons by the pool with a round on the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and time in the spa. There’s a strong culinary emphasis, with three restaurants and a Dining by Design concept, where guests plan a dinner with a chef and the wine guru Antonio Lopes, who was voted Portugal’s best sommelier in 2014.
Details A week’s half-board costs from £1,155pp, including flights and transfers, a £280pp saving (01244 355600, inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk)
2 12 Months Luxury Resort & Spa, Pelion, Greece
This 20-suite hotel, above the mountain village of Tsagarada, is the perfect late-season escape. Temperatures are still in the mid-twenties in September, but the unspoilt beaches and mountain roads are wonderfully quiet. Stroll into the village for coffee and cake in the main square, take in the views from the pool or indulge in a spa treatment before dinner at the Melia restaurant.
Details A week’s B&B costs from £950pp, including car hire, a saving of £275pp (020 3875 0351, fairlightjones.co.uk). Fly to Volos
3 Domes of Elounda, Crete
Save £1,800 on a week in September at this sun-drenched resort, which is above the picture-perfect Gulf of Elounda with the island of Spinalonga shimmering in the distance. Every high-spec, gleaming bedroom has an outdoor whirlpool or private pool. Plus, there are four restaurants to choose from and fantastic fish tavernas in the nearby village of Elounda.
Details A week’s B&B costs from £2,020pp, including flights and transfers, saving £1,825pp on August prices (0161 492 1357, carrier.co.uk)
4 Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Tenerife
September falls in between the summer crowds and those in search of winter sun, but temperatures hold steady and can reach 25C in October. Prices drop by about a third, making even the super-luxe Ritz-Carlton an affordable drop of luxury. The resort comes with a two Michelin-starred restaurant, a secluded beach, elegant colonial-style bedrooms and a dramatic clifftop location looking out towards La Gomera.
Details A week’s B&B costs from £1,099pp, including flights and transfers, saving about £550pp (020 3588 6120, westernoriental.com)
5 Ikos Oceania, Halkidiki, Greece
It’s no surprise to find that this beautiful 300-room resort, which has just had £24 million spent on it, is already full for September. But head there in early October and you’ll still get temperatures in the 20s, so you can linger around any of the six pools or head to the beach just across the road. It’s all-inclusive, but not as you know it — the speciality restaurants are supervised by Michelin-starred chefs and there is a list of complimentary activities, from water sports to Zumba.
Details A week’s all-inclusive, with flights and transfers, costs from £1,025pp, saving £708pp (01293 765 003, sovereign.com)
6 Ionian Emerald Resort, Kefalonia, Greece
Kefalonia basks in the mid-twenties in September, which is an ideal time for exploring some of the walking routes that criss-cross the island. The Ionian Emerald is a delightful 38-room hotel in the seaside hamlet of Karavomilos that feels traditionally Greek, with an emphasis on local dishes in the restaurant. The buzzing resort of Sami is a gentle 20-minute stroll away, along the pretty coastal path.
Details A week’s B&B costs from £846pp, including flights and transfers, saving £380pp (020 8758 4758, sunvil.co.uk)
7 Sentido Acacia Marina, Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
New for 2017 — and easy to get to with a new flight route into Comiso — the Acacia Marina, with 98 crisp, cream-and-blue bedrooms and the beach only 100m away, is the perfect spot to soak up Sicily’s reliable September sunshine. Temperatures can hit the high twenties, but cooler days are perfect for exploring the pretty streets of Marina di Ragusa or walking in the hills. Back at the hotel, tennis and cycling are on offer.
Details A week’s half-board costs from £683pp, including flights and transfers, saving £197pp (0844 4125970, thomascook.com)