You’ll often hear Saranda is an upcoming beach destination on the Mediterranean but in fact, Saranda has been bustling with tourists for decades. It’s the most popular holiday destination in Albania thanks to its coastal location, warm summer days and affordable hotels and restaurants.
However, finding a good boutique hotel in Saranda isn’t easy. Saranda hotels and resorts have developed in a haphazard way over the years. There hasn’t been much in the way of government regulation so hotels (and residential buildings) have kind of popped up wherever someone could find some land. The result hasn’t been great but things have gotten better in recent years.
Some of the worst offending, illegally constructed buildings have been demolished, especially in Ksamil, just south of Saranda. Things are looking up and you’ll now find plenty of nice seaside hotels in Saranda and the surrounding beach towns. This includes a growing number of luxury and boutique hotels, all independently owned and run by locals. Standards are slowly improving and if you’re open to trying somewhere different, Saranda and the Albanian Riviera is a great option.
Boutique Hotels Saranda
The best boutique hotels in Saranda are Buza Boutique Hotel, Demi Hotel and the GEM Hotel. They’re all in a similar area of Saranda and which you go for will really come down to price and the exact location you prefer. You can’t go wrong with either of these hotels.
Buza Boutique Hotel
Buza is my top pick for Saranda. The quality, design, service and location are all exceptional. With the seaside location, you have direct access to a private beach as well as the hotel pool. You have an in-house bar and restaurant and great service all round. The beachside rooms have incredible views over the water towards Corfu and the city plus unbeatable evening sunsets. Read more…
The Demi Hotel is similar to Buza although in a slightly better location, within walking distance to Saranda Old Town. The hotel restaurant sits directly on the water and you can order drinks while sitting on your beach lounge. The rooms are stylish minimalist and larger than most in Saranda. The Demi is a long-time favourite in the area. Read more…
Gem Hotel and Residences
Gem Hotel is set back just far enough from the beach to avoid the noise of the main boulevard but close enough that the beach and city centre is still a short walk away. Views from the terrace are incredible and the larger rooms are family-friendly. Read more…
Other Hotels in Saranda
If neither of the top three hotels takes your fancy or if they’re not in your budget, you should be able to find a good deal at one of these hotels.
- Hotel Magllara – This is the best hotel in Saranda city centre. You’ll have restaurants and cafes at your doorstep, easy access to the main city beach and historical sites. Hotel Magllara is especially good if you’re travelling by bus in Albania and don’t want to be too far from the walkable city sights.
- Onira Luxury Rooms – Also well located near the city centre, Onira is a relatively new and modern hotel, kept exceptionally clean by the small team. Great value and highly reviewed.
- Rustemi – For something a little different and off the beaten path, Rustemi is a small family hotel, high on the hill above Saranda. It’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a beach holiday but to see the cultural sights of Saranda and visit the surrounding attractions, this apartment hotel is great value for money.
- Ami Mar Hotel – You’ll find incredible views and a modern style at this hotel, set back a couple of hundred metres from Mango Beach. The hotel is new and very clean. An excellent choice if you have your own car.
- Titania Hotel – Right on the waterfront in the city centre, Titania is perfect if you want to be close to the port for access to or from Corfu. It’s well worth it for the rooftop breakfast alone.
- Hotel Sole – A highly reviewed hotel with its own pool as well as being walking distance to three popular beaches.
White Residence Luxury Apartments
While I understand you’re probably looking to stay in a boutique hotel, you might want to consider staying in a luxury apartment in Saranda.
The White Residence is the best of Saranda’s apartments, located directly on the waterfront away from the high-rises of the city centre. Its position means you have unobstructed sunset views from the living room and balcony. It really can’t be beaten. The apartment is very modern and the small kitchen will allow you to prepare meals in between jaunts to the beach. Click here to book.
Apartment stays are the most common way to holiday in Saranda and worth considering for your next trip.
As a resort city, many of Saranda’s hotels are simply designed with distance to the beach being the most sought after feature. The boutique hotels in Saranda, at least those mentioned above, are well above average, with at least some thought going into the design and fixtures.
While in Saranda be sure to visit nearby beach towns Ksamil, Himara and Dhermi, take the short trip to Blue Eye natural spring and a day trip to Gjirokastra is well worth it. Also, make time to head up to Saranda’s castle at sunset for incredible views reaching the Greek island of Corfu.