Looking for some winter sun? Look no further, these last-minute get-aways are perfect for those hoping to make summer stay that little bit longer…
Words Helen Brown
Though we never expect too much from British summer now, we still miss it when it’s gone. With the nights gradually drawing in, it’s time to start thinking about a foray into sunnier spots. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few fantastic locations for a dose of winter sun. Race you to the airport…
With dramatic landscapes, rugged red mountains and arguably the best beaches in the med, Halkidiki is Greece’s best kept secret. The holiday hotspot has many pleasures to be explores, including Aristotle’s statue in Stagira and breathtaking mountainous views.
STAY: THE DANAI BEACH RESORT & VILLAS
This luxurious hideaway sits within breathtaking nature; lush Mediterranean gardens and a wide-ranging, sandy beach. Along with pristine, private beach, guests can enjoy water sports, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court, gym, yoga space and prestigious spa.
PORTO DE MÓS, WESTERN ALGARVE
Algarve is a holiday favourite, offering sandy beaches, sleepy villages, modern resorts and exciting nightlife. This landscape is a mass of sweeping sands, multicoloured cliffs, hidden caves and pretty archways. The western coast remains one of the least spoiled parts of the Algarve making it one of Europe’s most coveted holiday hotspots.
STAY: VIVENDA MIRANDA
Once a private home, Vivenda Miranda is a spectacular spot, perched atop the cliffs. Each of the 26 rooms offers a sea view, while it’s luscious garden – jutting out to the cliff edge, looks out onto the golden sands below.
THE DOLOMITES, ITALY
The district of Cortina d’Ampezzo, just two hours from Venice is an alpine haven. With flowering meadows, charming chalets and the best weather in the Alps, it’s easy to prolong that summer feeling here. The area is well known for its for outstanding natural beauty which can be enjoyed through a range of active offerings such as hiking, road biking and cable car.
STAY: CRISTALLO RESORT & SPA
With crystal chandeliers and period-style furnishings, Cristallo Resort & Spa offers a sense of a regal ‘home away from home’. Established in 1901, the hotel has previously housed a plethora of glittering high society names from Dame Shirley Bassey to Sylvester Stallone, Tina Turner and Frank Sinatra with a suite named after the late singer himself.
KOGGALA LAKE, SRI LANKA
Visitors flock to Koggala Lake for its birdlife and islands, one of which features a Buddhist temple and another with cinnamon plantation. A 90 minute boat ride will take you around the late and islands where you’ll discover small village life and Sri Lanka’s outstanding landscape.
Tri is Sri Lanka’s first truly sustainable design hotel, located on the banks of the island’s largest natural lake. The 11-suite hotel sits in harmony with its surroundings. Expect cinnamon bark-clad walls, living roofs and glass designed to bring the outdoors in. The ancient Sri Lankan practice of Ayurveda is central to the hotel’s ethos, with a major focus on yoga and wellness.
Marrakech is an exotic and captivating city with something for every visitor. With a rich heritage dating back almost 1000 years, this Unesco Heritage site is one of Morocco’s most memorable moments. It’s abuzz with vibrant market-town life where snake charmers jostle for space amongst henna tattoo artists and street vendors amidst outdoor dining terraces.
STAY: ROYAL MANSOUR
This iconic hotel, exudes luxury and epitomises Moroccan craftsmanship. Just a stone’s throw from the medina, it boasts absolute privacy as its rooms are set in 53 individual riads. Guests will enjoy three floors to themselves with a rooftop complete with pool and sun loungers.
Known for its busy beach life, postcard-perfect scenery and its affinity for luxury, Phuket is a one-stop-shop for fun in the dazzling sun. With it’s fashion-forward nightlife, deep-sea diving, swanky hotels and fabulous shopping you’ll be determined never to leave.
STAY: KATA ROCKS
This five-star luxury lifestyle resort sits high on the rocks overlooking two of Phuket’s most charming beaches. Kata Rocks comprises 34 sky villas, each boasting their own private infinity pool and living space overlooking the Andaman Sea. They also have an award-winning spa concept with the ‘Infinite Luxury Spa’ and plenty of dining options including; The Oceanfront Clubhouse and Dining on ‘The Rocks’. The unique nautical design of the villas takes inspiration from the super-yachts that visit the bay, making it the ultimate luxury destination in southern Thailand.
OMAN, MIDDLE EAST
As the Gulf’s undiscovered gem, Oman boasts a rich heritage, an abundance of natural beauty and an embracing society. It’s the perfect getaway for those looking to discover the charm of Arabia away from excess wealth.
STAY: THE CHEDI MUSCAT
The Chedi hotels are famous for their incredible Jean-Michel Gathy design and Asian zen atmosphere. The Chedi Muscat boasts a prime location on the shores the Gulf of Oman and set against the Al Hajar mountains. With 21 acres of decorated gardens, three swimming pools, tennis courts, six restaurants and a Balinese spa, it’s the ultimate Middle Eastern luxury destination.
It might be tiny, but Goa certainly packs a punch in India for its sun, seafood, Portuguese culture, baroque architecture and its beaches. With its perfect white sand and abundant yoga offering, this tranquil country is the perfect place to top up your tan and completely zone out.
STAY: THE PARK HOTEL, GOA
This chic seafront hotel is perfect for those looking for a fun getaway in the sun this winter. It is situated on Goa’s flagship beach, Calangute Beach which is a lively spot and the ultimate party playground. The hotel has 30 beautifully designed rooms that offer a stylish retreat to suit all travellers. During the day, guests can relax on the daybeds and cabanas next to the cool purple pool overlooking the ocean, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment. Below the skybar is the breezy and comfortable restaurant with direct access to the beach and to the swimming pool. As the sun goes down, savour the sight of the Chef’s specials being prepared in the open kitchen whilst enjoying the Bartender’s classics with some chilled out music.
MILAIDHOO ISLAND, MALDIVES
Sitting within the Baa Atoll Unesco site, a stay on Milaidhoo Island is a million miles from your nine to five. Set over 13 guests are just a short stroll away from incredible water-sports, fitness, spa, yoga, diving and world-class restaurants.
STAY: MILAIDHOO ISLAND MALDIVES NEW BEACH & WATER VILLAS
When it opened in December last year, Milaidhoo Island Maldives was one of the most hotly anticipated launches of the year. Now, Milaidhoo is more sought after than ever with the launch of their new Ocean Residence and Beach Residences. Guests of the Milaidhoo Residences will benefit from indoor and outdoor rain showers, a dedicated, 24-hour butler, Champagne on arrival, personal chef and a pop-up cinema experience on the deck of their villa.
ISLAND OF FÉLICITÉ, SEYCHELLES
The 652-acre Félicité Island is one of the most dramatically beautiful and unspoiled islands of the Seychelles. With its awe-inspiring shoreline, the island’s dramatic beauty makes this the perfect location for a quick spot of winter sun.
STAY: SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON
The Six Senses Zil Pasyon occupies one-third of the island – the rest is left to the beauty of nature and wildlife. The resort includes six distinctive dining venues, sport and leisure facilities, pristine beaches and an outdoor pool. Of course, a highlight of any Six Senses resort is the Six Senses Spa. Zil Pasyon’s 19,000 spa has a striking location set amongst the towering rocks and boulders of Félicité Island.