10 stunning hotels on Albania’s Riviera

<span>Seas and skies: La Brisa Boutique Hotel faces directly out on to the Ionian</span><span>Photograph: PR</span>
Seas and skies: La Brisa Boutique Hotel faces directly out on to the IonianPhotograph: PR

La Brisa Boutique Hotel, Dhermi

Set in one of the most picturesque villages on the Albanian Riviera, facing out on to the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, La Brisa is a chic modern hotel surrounded by lush, green mountains and fronting on to the beach. The big draw here is the rooftop infinity pool – at its best at sunset – with a second pool down at ground level; both have a terrace for drinks and dinner, with dishes focusing on fresh fish and local produce. There is a beach bar and two restaurants. Rooms are cool and contemporary, and there are good facilities for families, including a kids’ club and outdoor play area, a health spa and gym.
Doubles from £87, B&B; labrisa.al

Hotel Villa Pascucci, Durres

One of Albania’s most grandiose hotels, the Villa Pascucci is as imposing inside as out, with fluted columns and marble floors in the lobby, gilt-lined corridors with fin de siècle artwork. Rooms keep to the ornate feel with ceiling frescoes in the style of Tiepolo and Michelangelo. The bathrooms are sleek and the beds luxurious. Dinners are an elegant affair, with Italian-infused dishes, and there’s also an infinity pool with sea views.
Doubles from £139, B&B; villapascucci.com

Maritim Marina Bay Resort, Vlore

Ideal for those looking for a holiday with lively nightlife, this large resort has two restaurants and three bars, offering everything from house-smoked sausages at Bato’s Beach Club to freshly caught fish on the Mandarine restaurant terrace. The three pools – one for children – mean there’s always space for a peaceful dip, with beachside platforms as well as poolside loungers. Things heat up a little at night, with DJs, pool parties and live music on specific nights.
Doubles from £210, B&B; marinabay.al

Poda Boutique Hotel, Ksamil

A favourite with Instagrammers thanks to the Caribbean-esque beach, complete with palm trees, Ksamil is a glimpse of how Corfu might have looked 50 years ago – but development is on its way. For now, the Poda is a charming small hotel overlooking Poda Bay, with a good-sized pool and terrace restaurant, and the possibility of romantic dinners set on a jetty above the water.
Doubles from £171, B&B; podahotel.al

Rea Boutique Hotel, Himare

Set right on the waterfront in Himare, the Rea is a great base for exploring one of Albania’s prettiest seaside towns, with just seven rooms offering mountain or sea views. Breakfasts (for a small additional cost) are made with ingredients from the hotel’s garden, while the restaurant is as popular with locals as visitors. There’s no pool, but the beach is right outside the door, and the hotel is a lovely place to come back to and watch the sunset with a cold drink to hand.
Doubles from £116, B&B; reaboutiquehotel.com

Miamar Hotel, Himare

The location of the Miamar is what makes it special: set on a secluded bay, beneath a ruined castle, offering a real sense of escape. Rooms come in several sizes – some sleeping up to six – making it a good choice for families, with a separate kids’ zone pool and a private stretch of the wide sandy beach. The hotel spa offers a good range of treatments, sauna and thermal showers, while the restaurant focuses on farm-to-fork dishes using local Albanian producers, with a sushi lounge for diners looking for something a little more international.
Doubles from £173, B&B; miamar.al

Illyrian Boutique Hotel, Sarande

If you’re looking to spend a night or two in Sarande, one of Albania’s biggest and liveliest beachfront towns, the Illyrian is a great choice, with a roof-terrace bar that is a favourite with both locals and guests. Rooms are simple but genuinely comfortable, breakfasts are excellent and the staff on reception are a good source of local information and can help with booking taxis or arranging excursions. The Epidamn restaurant offers buffet-style dining and theme nights, and the hotel’s private stretch of beach guarantees a little more peace than the busy main strand.
Doubles from £95, B&B; illyrianboutiquehotel.com

Yacht Hotel, Vlore

Architecturally eye-catching, with white wrap-around balconies set against darkened glass, the Yacht is set directly on Vlore’s palm-lined promenade, with a private stretch of beach on the other side of the road. Rooms make the most of the glorious sea views with floor-to-ceiling windows, while the decked bar and restaurant, set right by the sand, is a great place for fresh seafood suppers and lazy afternoons on the oversized beanbags, between dips in the crystalline sea.
Doubles from £162, B&B; yachthotel.business.site

Priam Hotel, Vlore

Upping the ante for luxury accommodation in Vlore is the Priam, which opened its doors a couple of years ago. The room rates are so reasonable, it’s worth splashing out on a junior suite (for the princely sum of £128) for more space and a better view.
Doubles from £89, B&B; priamhotel.al

Prado Luxury Hotel, Himare

One of Albania’s new breed of chic, contemporary new-builds, the Prado has some serious style: polished wood floors and cookies-and-cream decor keep the rooms sleek and stylish without being stark, while the spa offers Balinese treatments, whirlpool baths and hot-stone massages; there’s also a well-equipped gym. Dinners at the Sushi Bar terrace combine the freshest fish with wonderful sea views, while the main restaurant serves Albanian dishes with a contemporary twist and a wide choice of local wines, growing in reputation in recent years.
Doubles from £191, B&B; pradoresort.com