From bed to beach
The top 25 hotels beside the Mediterranean
1. DOMES NORUZ, CRETE: With a stunning golden beach, Domes Noruz is a new adults-only hotel with a spa and chic guestrooms in a range of categories, including Urban Retreat (four-poster beds and private plunge pools) and Sublime Loft, on two levels with an outdoor hot tub on a terrace. It’s close to the picturesque and lively town of Chania on Crete’s northwest coast. The spa uses Elemis products and has a relaxation room and a juice bar. A personal trainer is on hand for those who want a workout. Fly to Chania; domesnoruz.com.
2. SKIATHOS PRINCESS, SKIATHOS: The sea laps gently on to the long sandy beach at this tranquil hotel, where a Yogafest is held each northern summer for a week (this year from July 25 to August 1). Skiathos Princess is a great place to chill out, with simple but elegantly decorated guestrooms and balconies looking out to sea or the wellmaintained gardens. Sunloungers are provided on the beach and around a little pool by the restaurant. Cool off in the Med after a hike along the network of trails that weave through this Aegean island. Fly to Skiathos; skiathosprincess.com.
3. LICHNOS BEACH HOTEL, PARGA: On the west coast of mainland Greece, this five-star property has a long, golden shore with sunloungers and a great beach bar and bistro with olive trees and sunshades. The water of the Ionian Sea is crystal clear and the hotel is set in pretty landscaped gardens with a pool on a terrace. Diving and other water sports are available and there are good hikes nearby. The hotel can arrange boat trips to the islands of Paxi and Antipaxi. Fly to Preveza; lichnosbeach.gr.
4. PARGA BEACH RESORT: Not far from Lichnos, this hotel is on the wide sandy beach of Valtos where the water is especially calm and great for long swims. There are 80 bungalows spread out in the lush garden, with swimming pools dotted about. It’s delightfully peaceful and there are views from the beach of a castle built during Venetian times as well as of the town of Parga, about a 20- minute walk away, with its labyrinthine alleys, cafes and bars. Fly to Preveza; masthotels.gr/pargabeachhotel/en.
5. DANAI BEACH RESORT, HALKIDIKI: Poking out beneath the red and orange-hued bluffs of the Sithonia peninsula — the middle of three peninsulas that make up Halkidiki — the white sands of Danai Beach Resort feel tucked away and secret. This five-star hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, with a reputation for good service and excellent food. Its main fine-dining restaurant, curiously called The Squirrel, was recently named one of the three best in Greece. Guestrooms are colourful and opulent, some with plunge pools. The private beach is more than 300m long. Fly to Thessaloniki; danairesort.com; lhw.com.
6. AMANZOE, PORTO HELI, PELOPONNESE: On the east coast of the Peloponnese, overlooking the Aegean and the island of Spetses, Amanzoe has 38 suites, including eight new cabanas. These super-cool, minimalist pads are on a sandy beach and each comes with a private garden, swimming pool and great sunset views. Most of the resort is on a hilltop, so the cabanas (a 10-minute drive away) are particularly peaceful. The beach club has two pools, a restaurant and a little spa. Fly to Athens; amanzoe.com.
7. IKOS OLIVIA, HALKIDIKI: The white-sand beach backs on to 9ha of well-tended grounds dotted with ancient olive trees at this slick, contemporary hotel, which opened in 2015. It has four swimming pools, and a spa that uses Anne Semonin products and has its own pool, sauna and hammam. Accommodation is in a series of whitewashed bungalows. After a swim in the Gulf of Toroneos, relax on a sunlounger before dining at a Greek, Italian, French or Asian restaurant. Fly to Thessaloniki; ikosresorts.com.
8. F ZEEN RETREAT, KEFALONIA: This super-stylish new hotel has 28 chic guestrooms and faces the long sandy beach in the village of Lourdas in the south of Kefalonia. F Zeen is adults-only and comes with a spa, yoga classes and an overriding policy promoting “balance and health” based on one of the sayings of Hippocrates: “Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” Expect infinity pools, pared-down guestrooms, terrace daybeds, a wellequipped gym and water sports such as kayaking. Set in 8ha of cypress, eucalyptus and pine forest by the slopes of Mount Aenos. Fly to Kefalonia; fzeenretreat.com.
9. DOMES OF ELOUNDA, CRETE: Relax on a sunlounger on the quiet beach, next to grounds thick with ancient olive trees and well-maintained lawns that are perfect for picnics in the shade. The sheltered beach at Elounda benefits from gentle, shallow water. The hotel, popular with A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Rihanna, has super-slick guestrooms with plunge pools, day