September is a great month to travel: the school holidays are over, hotels are quieter and flights are cheaper, and the sun is still shining in many places.
But sometimes it’s hard to plan ahead; after all, it’s difficult to know what we’re planning next weekend, let alone in the next three months. And that’s why last-minute getaway deals are every busy woman’s best friend.
It means that one day you could be fighting your way through the rush hour crush and the next sipping mojitos by an infinity pool.
But the irony is that you could use up the last of your annual leave shopping around for the best late-summer deals. So we’ve scoured the web for the best last-minute getaways and put them together in this handy guide.
Whether you want to relax by the pool in Sri Lanka, take in the sights on a European city break or just hop in the car for a holiday on home turf, we’ve got you covered.
A 15th century estate in the Cotswolds
This decadent hotel and spa, which overlooks Cheltenham Racecourse, was once the lavish home of Lady Ellenborough - who lead a scandalous romantic life for a female aristocrat. The manor is surrounded by 90-acres of gardens in which to meander following afternoon tea, or head into Cheltenham town centre to rejoin the modern world where art galleries and architecture await.
From £363 per person for four nights bed & breakfast, mrandmrssmith.com
A secluded cove in Crete
Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas
Looking out over the sea from it’s hillside perch, this expansive resort offers the best of both worlds: offering complete peace in it’s own secluded cove yet only a 20-minute drive from the historical Minoan palace and Lake Voulismeni. Think candlelit beach dinners, cocktails by the infinity pool and relaxing at the Cove Club.
From £799 per person for seven nights half board including flights, destinology.co.uk
A luxury treehouse in the New Forest
Forget everything you thought you knew about treehouses because jungle living doesn't come much more luxurious then this, or much closer to home. The unique treetop studios are secluded, romantic and very well equipped for the indecisive British weather: cosy up inside by the wood burning fire or, skies permitting, hop into the hot tub on your private deck.
From £488 per person for four nights bed & breakfast, johansens.com
A traditional riad in Marrakech
Riad & Dar Amina
Marrakech is a city of bustling markets, decadent palaces and ancient traditions, and a stay at a traditional riad is a great way to immerse yourself in this rich culture. Rooms are centered around an ornamental courtyard - complete with rose-petal filled fountain and lantern-lit trees - and the roof is home to a jacuzzi and enchanting views across the city.
From £516 per person for seven nights bed & breakfast including flights, kuoni.com
A designer resort in Sri Lanka
September is the perfect time to visit Sri Lanka, known as the inter-monsoon season it sees hot weather across the country. This small, stylish resort on the south-west coast of island is the perfect place to make the most of the warmth with two pools, large private balconies and beachfront barbecues. You could be sipping mojitos by sea one minute and jetting out on a mangrove boat safari the next.
From £347 per person for seven nights bed & breakfast and $25 room credit per night, minorhotels.com
A luxury Villa in St Tropez
The holiday spirit is infectious so if you're hideaway hopes have the whole group longing for a break then this palatial villa on the Cote D'Azur sleeps 10 and comes with it's own staff: including waitress, chef and housekeeper. Just a five minute stroll through the vineyards will take you to the beach while a champagne and canape reception on arrival will set the tone for the week.
From £1,530 per person for seven nights all-inclusive, villaguru.com
A boutique New York weekend and an Arizona ranch stay
Chambers Hotel and White Stallion Ranch
Do something different in the striking Arizona scenery, whether you’re a seasoned rider or have never sat in a saddle, this authentic ranch experience is suitable for everyone. After authentic cowboy living, head to the city that never sleeps for shopping with a stay a contemporary hotel on a cosmopolitan stopover in New York.
From £1,931 per person for ten nights (three nights in New York, seven nights in Arizona) including flights and all-inclusive at the ranch, westernoriental.com
A waterfront retreat in Lake Como
Grand Hotel Cadenabbia
George Clooney and Madonna are just two of the celebrities who have homes in the mountains surrounding the lakeside. This waterfront hotel is near to the port where you can catch daily ferries to explore surrounding towns but sits in the peaceful village of Griante, perfect for al fresco evening meals and reclining by the pool.
From £716 per person for five nights half board including flights, kuoni.com
A chic rooftop hotel in Barcelona
Melia Barcelona Sky
Just 20 minutes from both Park Güell and Las Ramblas with it’s street performers and gelato stalls, this swanky property is the perfect base for a Barcelona break. Featuring a rooftop bar – with an impressive DJ list – a cabana surrounded pool and panoramic views, the hotel is a favourite of the city’s cosmopolitan crowd and is surrounded by authentic tapas bars and cocktail clubs. .
From £527 per person for five nights bed & breakfast including flights, destinology.co.uk
A safari in South Africa
Mpumalanga self-drive & Kruger safari
A safari is a magical experience and Kruger Safari Park, in the north east of South Africa, is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Home to the famed big five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo – hundreds of other mammals call its dense planes home. After picking up your car and driving the open roads to the park you’ll be able to get up close and personal on game drives before returning to an al fresco evening meal.
From £1640 per person for seven nights self-drive and safari including car hire and flights Audleytravel.com