There’s just something about feeling sand between your toes, a cold drink in your hand and a warm, salty breeze on your face that simply can’t be replicated at a lake house or pool. Sometimes, only a beach resort will do. Check out our list luxury getaways with just the right activities and guest-centered services that will complete your luxury experience.
Hermitage Bay, Antigua
A refreshing breath of contemporary design in the Caribbean, Hermitage Bay is blissfully free of the nostalgia that encumbers so many island resorts. The 17 hillside bungalows and 8 beach bungalows are large and cleanly decorated, with white walls, massive windows and terrific outdoor showers-with-a-view. The paths are rambling, riots of bougainvillea thrive, and an organic garden supplies the restaurant. The beach, of course, is divine.
Taking its name from ki (the Japanese word for life force or vital energy) and chic (self-evident), this bohemian paradise on the Pacific coast near Mancora is centered on endless beaches and the wild and open sea. The cuisine is meant to be energizing, there are yoga classes every day and massage therapists on call, and the six rooms are beguiling. The Himalaya Suite upstairs has the best sea views from its terrace, and an outdoor shower.
St. Regis Princeville, Hawaii
Kauai’s famous Hanalei Bay and the misty, emerald-carpeted mountains of the Na Pali Coast are the striking backdrop for just about everything that happens at this resort, whether it’s relaxing in one of the 252 guest rooms, dining at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Kauai Grill, or swimming in the seaside pool—or snorkeling or surfing in the inviting sea itself.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
Taking its name from the Khmer for “the sweethearts,” Song Saa Private Island, in the untouched Koh Rong Archipelago, is as seductive as you might imagine. Spanning two small islands, the resort comprises 27 intimate villas with private pool decks and outdoor showers, some of which as built on stilts over the water. Spa services happen not in treatment rooms but in “sanctuaries”—a hint toward the spirit of tranquility and refuge that permeates the islands.
This nine-room retreat, part of Relais & Châteaux, was built as an enclave of privacy and natural beauty, an antidote to the glitz and glam of the resorts up the coast in Punta Mita and down in Puerta Vallarta. The nine bungalows ramble down a hillside with 250 acres of Imanta-owned jungle that ends in a perfect crescent of powder-soft sand. Better still, it’s this near-empty little beach, and the restaurant that sits just behind it, that have the best views of the sun dipping into the Pacific.
Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, BrazilIs there anything sexier than a Brazilian beach? This ten-casa hideaway on the Bahian coast near the newly hippie-chic town of Trancoso answers that question with a resounding “no.” The ambience is simple but elegant, both in the restored fishermen’s homes that are now four of the individually decorated casas, and in the public spaces, such as the low-key beach lounge (created from old fishing boats), where guests relax on cushions on the deck, just inches from the powdery sand. Bored with sun-soaking? On the beach there’s volleyball, kayaks and capoeira training.