It's been a dreary, wet couple of weeks in the UK. For those of us reluctant to say goodbye to summer; the good news is, it doesn't have to end.
Destinations offering fantastic late summer sun packages are plentiful, particularly in parts of the world where September and October averages are still in the 20's and 30's, with a warm sea delightful for swimming. And the benefits of traveling now are immense: prices are lower, fewer people competing for sun loungers and sunshine without the burn.
Right now it's an ideal getaway for those of us who aren't quite ready to part with summer yet. These are our top picks:
Turkey: D Resort Grand Azur
This is a hotel that really distinguishes itself from the rest in Marmaris. For one, it's the only non-all inclusive in the area, so the standards are higher. Indeed, everything from the setting to the atmosphere (live jazz music over dinner), a secluded beach surrounded by white sand and mountains as well as breathtaking views of the sea and the Blue Flagged Beach from your breakfast table, all give this one a very personal and luxurious touch. It's a stunning, newly renovated property which is far and away the most stylish resort in all of Marmaris. Ideally situated between two mountain ranges with views of the beautiful coastline, D-Resort Grand Azur exudes architectural style with its sleek, curving profile, nestled in exotic gardens and just steps from a magnificent beach with imported white sand. The hotel is brilliantly located only a short distance from town and offers plenty to do: a well-equipped gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, flood-lit tennis courts and water-sports facilities on the beach. The Azur spa sauna, steam room, Turkish bath and solarium offers a wide range of massage and health treatments to leave you feeling very glad you came.
Signature from Thomas Cook - 7 nights in Turkey from £525 per person based on two adults sharing Staying in a Land View Double Room at the 5 star D-Resort Grand Azur in Marmaris on a half board basis, flying from London Gatwick on 15th October 2015
www.thomascook.com, or call 0844 412 5970 or visit your nearest Thomas Cook or Co-operative Travel
Greece: Domes of Elounda
Exactly like nothing else, Domes of Elounda combines the very best of Mediterranean style in an elegant, sophisticated setting. Still sunny and warm through October, this is a fashionable retreat a luxurious feel, the resort offers lavish comfort amidst spell-binding views of a sparkling Aegean sea. Based in Elounda, Crete, Domes of Elounda is located in the hotspot of Greece, a long-time A-list secret beloved by those seeking a restful reprieve amidst incredible natural beauty. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Rihanna and Lady Gaga are all regulars to this former fishing village which offers unsurpassed views and buckets of charm. Every suite, villa or residence comes with an outdoor heated Jacuzzi or a private swimming pool. Offering breath-taking views, the chic and stylish interiors go toe to toe with the spectacular natural beauty that surrounds it.
5 Nights Stay from £1,254.50 in Crete based on two adults sharing staying in the Open Plan Suite Sea View Room with Outdoor Jacuzzi at the 5 star hotel Domes of Elounda on a half board basis, flying from Gatwick on the 14th of October with Easy Jet. Book online at http://www.domesofelounda.com/rates-reservations
Spain: La Escondida
Hot air ballooning over the Spanish mountains, a leisurely horse ride ending with a chef prepared picnic beside a languid stream, honey direct from the comb dripping on to freshly baked scones, beautifully designed rooms, luxurious linens, all surrounded by acres of almond groves.....Is this the most romantic hotel in Spain? Recently named one of Spain's top boutique hotels by Mr and Mrs Smith, La Escondida is a stylish and exceptionally beautiful hotel, and a far cry from the over-crowded Spanish resorts.
Owned by former England footballer and manager Terry Venables, in the mountains north of Alicante amidst 500 acres of olive and almond groves, it's a rich combination of rustic Spanish charm and luxurious living. There are riding lessons for all levels of abilities, an indoor swimming heated pool with a lovely spa and a full range of treatments, two stunning terraces and an outdoor pool set in manicured gardens. There is also a jogging track around property's 500 acres; hiking and mountain biking in the National Park, extraordinary bird life, and golfing which can be arranged at a nearby golf course. It's also only 30 minutes from the beach should you fancy a dip in the sea.
www.hotelescondida.com rooms start from £140 per night including breakfast and VAT in October
Thailand: Kata Rocks
Kata Rocks is a fantastic destination for late summer sun offering great weather, stunning surroundings and some of the best pricing you're likely to find all year. Newly opened in November of last year, Kata Rocks is a stylish Phuket hotel offering a minimalist vibe, a really stunning spa, 'Sky Villas' private infinity pools, fabulous Andaman sea views and a spectacular location. There are 43 one, two, three and four-bedroom sky villas stacked across the hillside - big, bright and beautiful, they come with fully-fitted kitchens, living and dining areas, and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors opening onto private infinity pools, each of which is a minimum of seven-metres long.
Luxury hotel Kata Rocks www.katarocks.com 1 Bedroom Sky Villa with ocean view and private pool is only £380 in October vs £850 in peak season in December.
Maldives: Loama Resorts
Whilst the Maldives is a popular well–trodden destination all year long, this new, luxury hotel really stands out. Hot, dry weather returns to the Maldives as the wet season ends in October. Expect long days of brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the high 20°Cs - low 30°Cs. Accessible only by seaplane, Loama is located on the most secluded inhabited island in the Maldives. Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili is a 105-room luxurious island getaway set amidst a natural tapestry of sun-kissed lagoons, palm-fringed beaches and picture-perfect panoramas, spread over 100 hectares of pristine coral reef within the Raa Atoll. The Resort embodies the spirit of the true Maldives with its quiet rustic charm, idyllic beauty and exuberant culture, anchored firmly in the rich heritage of the island. A unique combination of barefoot luxury and rich Maldivian heritage, this teardrop-shaped private island that was once the playground of ancient kings; away from many of the other bustling tourist resorts the Maldives are famous for, this is a resort with an accent firmly on privacy.
Luxury Hotel Loama Resort www.loamahotelsandresorts.com. Ocean view room for 5 nights starting from £2,089 from the 1st of October