Two things have become apparent over the course of this Great British Summer. Number one: the aforementioned "summer" has been deeply underwhelming; one minute we're baking in glorious sunshine and the next we're ducking for cover from torrential rain. Number two: Team GB has had an absolute stormer at the Olympics and we are positively worn out from all that staying up late, cheering and becoming emotionally invested in events no one actually understands (points race of the Omnium, anyone?). In other words, we're all in desperate need of a holiday. The thought of proper sunshine, crisp bed linen, impeccable service and total relaxation is almost too much to bear. Enter, stage left, Aman resorts, some of our absolute favourite hotels around the world and many of which are perfect for a last-minute escape to the sun. Here are a few of our favourites...
Amanoi means 'peaceful place' in Vietnamese and if you're in need of relaxation this autumn, this is the hotel for you. It's perched on the isolated coastline of the Nui Chua National Park on Vietnam's east coast, surrounded by jungle-covered hills and overlooking the Vinh Hy Bay. And if you want to take getting away from it all to the next level, take the advice of Amanoi's General Manager, Sean Flakelar, and hike up to Goga Peak for spectacular views encompassing the East Sea, coastal rock formations and the southern city of Phang Rang in the distance.
Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
The sublime Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro is the private island hotel that launched a thousand dreams, so photogenic it's almost impossible to look away. As a UNESCO World Heritage site the designers have been meticulous in retaining the integrity of what has gone before, down to the door handles and window latches. And the beauty isn't only skin deep, Sveti Stefan offers a level of service synonymous with Aman, some fantastic dining options and a 21,000ft spa.
Amanyara, Turks & Caicos
While autumn in the Caribbean isn't necessarily advisable, if you're looking ahead to November then there are few better destinations for quintessential beach escapes. And the pick of the bunch hotel-wise is Amanyara in Turks and Caicos. Aside from the picture-perfect private beach there's plenty to keep guests busy, from tennis and beach volleyball to diving and watersports. The hotel's Resort Manager, Serge Ditesheim, personally recommends turtle-tagging with the hotel's own Naturalist, a truly unique experience that gives guests an insight into local island life and the life cycle of its turtles.
If you're in need of a no-expenses-spared, spoil-yourself-rotten kind of holiday then Amanzoe, nestled amongst a grove of thick-trunked, gnarled olive trees on the Peloponnese peninsula, is the perfect hotel for you. Indoors, it's all earthy colours with lots of stone and marble, leading out to your private pool overlooking the sparkling Aegean Sea. A view best admired with a cocktail in hand and, according to General Manager Sven De Broeck, Amanzoe's signature cocktail is the Hera- a potent and delicious mix of Grey Goose vodka, pomegranate liqueur, fresh pomegranate, fresh thyme and lime.
Indonesia is one of Original Travel's absolute favourite destinations - it's got culture, scenery, history, adventure and some truly drool-worthy hotels, includingAmankila on the east coast of Bali. Set on a hillside of lush greenery, Amankila's buildings mirror the nearby Karangasem palaces, giving the hyper-luxurious hotel a feeling of history and tradition. If you want to dive deeper in to Indonesian culture then Sandra Watermann, the hotel's General Manager, suggests cycling from Budakeling to Ujung taking in opulent palaces, rice fields and local villages along the way.