If your dream is to escape to an exotic tropical location with pristine beaches, where you can bask in the sun or immerse yourself in crisp, blue, ocean waters then this list is what you are looking for. There are so many fabulous beaches on this planet, your definition of “the best” may depend whether you plan on engaging in array of water sports, or lounging on the beach sipping a fruity cocktail. For some travelers, the perfect beach trip consists of white sand and blue waters and for others, a family-friendly atmosphere defines a beach's excellence. In truth, there isn't one ideal strip of sand that would suit everyone.
Your own sun-drenched islet afloat in turquoise waters, fringed with talcum-soft sand and studded with swaying palms. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. You can have all of the above — plus five beaches, three hiking trails and all the food and drink you can consume — at this private-island resort lying south of St. Vincent, north of Grenada and smack in the center of paradise. It requires effort to reach the 135-acre outpost. What should be a quick hop from Miami turns out to be a 10-hour odyssey necessitating two planes, a golf cart and a boat but all is forgotten the instant you glimpse Palm’s cinematically stunning profile and the retinue gathered on the dock to receive you. You’ll rouse yourself for nothing more strenuous than an ocean dip or afternoon tea on the terrace. And when you’re offered what is surely the world’s freshest water coconut, plucked from one of the island’s 1,852 palms and laced with rum, you’ll eagerly accept, raising a grateful toast to Johnny Coconut and his Caribbean dream.
The Reefs Resort & Club is an iconic paradise. This Bermuda hotel has been welcoming guests since 1947, with a family-owned history and the utmost in dedicated hospitality. Classic island style meets contemporary sophistication in The Reefs Resort & Club’s luxury accommodations and amenities. Built atop limestone cliffs and situated right on the scenic Bermuda beachfront, the guest rooms and suites all face west, affording magnificent views of the sunsets. Ranging from standard rooms, to condos and full cottages, the choices for your stay are varied and can suit virtually any number of guests. Top notch features are present throughout all the resort’s accommodations, including private patios and balconies, separate seating areas, whirlpool bathtubs, and flat-panel televisions for in-room entertainment. Slip into an even more indulgent sanctuary at La Serena Spa, which in addition to its spectacular ocean views, offers personalized treatments and services from acclaimed spa professionals. Whether you choose a Warm Bamboo Massage or Exotic Coconut Polish to undo your travel stress, rest assured that The Reefs Resort & Club has just the antidote you need.
Those who’ve stayed at Four Seasons hotels around the world should know that the name means the best of everything, and the Bora Bora resort is certainly no exception. This is one of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the South Pacific, with prices to match, so those who are price-conscious should probably look elsewhere. The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is also one of the world’s largest overwater bungalow hotels, featuring 100 such bungalows along with 21 beach villas that are just as nice. While it is expensive, the list of things that come included in the room price is extremely long, so guests definitely feel like they are being well taken care of and are not constantly encountering new fees. Perfect for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, the resort offers huge bungalows with great privacy features. Every attempt has been made to bridge the gap between the natural outdoor world and the comforts and convenience of a luxury suite to create a world that is both at one with nature but also incredibly indulgent.
Beautiful old world elegance meets contemporary comfort at this boutique resort with exceptional service. In coconut groves by a white sand beach, this Nevis plantation house has the relaxed informality of a private country estate but oozes the charm of its origins. It’s also the island’s only resort plantation located directly on the beach. From the croquet lawn and 18th Century Great House to the avenue of palm trees leading to the sparkling sea, this is a step back in time to a more gracious past, with all the 21st Century comforts you would expect. There are three different dining experiences for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The elegant cottage-style rooms are dotted throughout the gardens and Superior Rooms are in semi-detached cottages with Deluxe Garden Suites also having a separate living room with sofa bed. Lower Deluxe Junior Suites have an ocean view terrace and Upper Premier Junior Suites have a balcony with premium ocean views.
Qualia is an exclusive five star resort nestled on the secluded, northern-most tip of Hamilton Island surrounded by all the splendor of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a truly special place where everything has been meticulously considered to relax the mind yet completely spoil the senses. From one bedroom free-standing pavilions to the privacy of a secluded retreat, the resort offers three types of accommodation to suit your individual taste. Set amongst native Eucalypts, each pavilion has been handcrafted from the finest imported and local timber and stone. Leeward Pavilions give you a serene outlook of both the Island and the Coral Sea. They boast a private sundeck, which is the perfect place to capture the warmth of the sun during the day and amazing sunsets at dusk. Windward Pavilions give expansive views of the Coral Sea and Whitsundays. The beautifully appointed pavilions feature a living room, separate bedroom with a king bed, ensuite bathroom and a private plunge pool. The Beach House is the ultimate secluded hideaway offering a main bedroom with ensuite, spacious entertaining area, a 10-person dining room, a private full-size swimming pool, as well as a separate guesthouse.
If you want visual drama and a killer view from anywhere you sit, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect place than Capella Ixtapa on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The resort is built into a cliff so steep that you have to ride a funicular to get to and from many of the rooms. You look out at rocky outcrops and islets, with the sounds of waves crashing below you as you soak in your plunge pool. It’s “your plunge pool” because no matter which room you book, you are sure to have a furnished balcony with its own pool. These spacious balconies lead past doors that can be opened all the way into large rooms with all the luxe amenities and then some. The showpiece restaurant here is A Mares, with a formal four–course dinner menu arrangement in an elegant setting. Each course offers several rotating choices—an assortment of meat, fish and fowl presented with flair—accompanied by an impressive wine list. At the other end of the scale is the Las Rocas Seafood Market, which is an open–air, catch–of–the–day restaurant located at the bottom of the cliff, right above the waves and boulders.
In the Mexican Caribbean exists a luxe sanctuary called Banyan Tree Mayakoba. This other worldly paradise harmoniously blends superb luxury with its lush natural surroundings, all on the Riviera Maya coast. The Mayakoba development area provides a sense of seclusion and quiet respite along with what is normally considered one of the world’s most popular stretches of shore. This, combined with the tradition and reputation of Banyan Tree and its Eastern-inspired elegance, makes for an unparalleled retreat. Accommodations are set in private pool villas, each remarkably decorated with handcrafted Mayan furnishings, and outfitted with ultra-modern amenities, giving you the best of both worlds. The freestanding villas are ultra-spacious in layout, and boast individual landscaped gardens, private outdoor terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor bathtubs, and sparkling private infinity pools. Stay well-connected with iPod docks, flat-panel televisions, wireless Internet access, and direct dial phones – although you may just find yourself enjoying the unadulterated bliss.
Conrad Maldives boasts the Maldives’ most iconic restaurant. Venture 16 feet below the ocean to dine at one of the world’s most extraordinary venues, with 180° views of marine life through its glass walls and arched glass roof. The two islands that make up the resort are quite distinct. A 500 yard timber footbridge connects the main hub of Rangalifinolhu with the smaller Rangali Island; ideal if you’re seeking a tranquil escape with access to the facilities of the larger island. On Rangalifinolhu, the atmosphere is cool and lively, and inspired venues range from a cinema under the stars to a cheese and wine bar. And almost every type of cuisine is covered here, from the eight show kitchens at the sand-floored Atoll Market to the Koko Grill – an exclusive, candlelit Japanese live cooking venue on the beach. Accommodation is split over the two islands: spacious Beach Villas and Deluxe Beach Villas with private plunge pool on Rangalifinolhu Island and a range of water villas off Rangali Island. If you’re planning a pampering escape, the Retreat Water Villas have a separate private treatment room.
A resort of exceptional quality and style, Blue Palace Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for those seeking natural beauty, deluxe accommodations, the finest cuisine, and a world-class spa. Terra-cotta-colored stone walls, mature palm and olive trees, and the endless blues of the 106 private pools and the serene waters of the Cretan Pelagos, blend together to create an extraordinary masterpiece. Blue Palace is composed of small units of stylish and spacious bungalows and suites as well as three magnificent private villas. All bungalows, suites, and villas enjoy magnificent sea views and are luxuriously furnished with marble-lined bathrooms. Just 2 miles away from the village of Elounda, this elegant resort overlooks the sparkling blue waters and sits opposite the isle of Spinalonga with its medieval fortress. Two bars and five restaurants offer a wide range of exquisite choices, ranging from International cuisine to poolside snacks. Situated right by the beach is The Elounda Spa which promotes relaxation in the most inspiring environment.
When you’re looking for a luxurious tropical island hideaway you may have to go way out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and the Seychelles are indeed a long way from pretty much everywhere. The Banyan Tree resort here occupies a privileged location on the shores of Mahé Island’s stunning Intendance Bay, and really, the unspoiled seclusion of the setting — a cluster of lush, villa-dotted hills rising from that famous Seychellois white sand and warm crystalline water — is more than enough reward for a few extra miles of air travel. Even for the rarified world of Seychelles resorts, villas here are exceedingly private. Decorated in a colonial style, each one comes with a private plunge pool and a breezy open-air veranda. They’re scattered widely across the property, hidden from prying eyes but open to the views. As enticing as it is to hang out by the ocean, the poolside scene may be even better. The beach here, though gorgeous, is a bit less subdued than it looks, especially given the strong currents at play, while the long infinity pool, set on a deck high above the bay, is about as civilized as can be.