If you are someone who likes to spend their vacation around the sun, sand and surf then this post is going to be really exciting as we decided to spend a lot of time in researching and putting together the most beautiful sandy beach getaways in the world.
We decided to purposely eliminate beach hotels and resorts that were located on rocky or manmade harbors and confine our list to beach hotels that had real sand and were located pretty near to the shore. Our research involved studying numerous lists and reviews from all over the world and then using a number of filters such as customer reviews, awards, rating and overall facilities in determining which beach hotels make our final cut.
Here is our list of the top 22 beach hotels in the world with no order of importance.
Montenegro, Adriatic Sea
Lord George Byron once termed Montenegro as “the most beautiful encounter between land and sea” and the Aman Sveti Stefan beach hotel is the perfect hotel for tourists to stay at and experience the beauty of Montenegro. The hotel gives guests a fantastic view of the Adriatic Sea and allows guests to spend their time between the beautiful beaches, preserved forests and the amazing mountains.
The Sveti Stefan has a rich history. Part of the hotel is located on a small island, which used to be a fortified village (first mentioned in 1442), originally built to defend against the Adriatic sea pirates and the Ottoman military by the Pastrovich family (Saint Stephen was their patron saint). And Villa Miločer (built between 1934 and 1936) is the former home of the Serbian Queen Marija Karađorđević.Instagram
The hotel is located just a stone’s throw away from the beach and has a number of suites that give guests a beautiful view of the sea.
Greece, Mediterranean Sea
Greece is known for being one of the best places in the world to catch up on a beach vacation and Crete has a number of spectacular beaches. While there are a number of famous hotels to choose from, tucked away from the usual spotlight is the Ammos Hotel located in a quiet spot that most tourists have not heard about.Instagram
The hotel is often referred to as an island located within an island and has an extremely tranquil feel to it. The hotel was designed by head architect Elisa Manola and has an extremely modern and unique feel to it while at the same time retaining a lot of the Greek culture and heritage.
The pricing for a suite at the hotel is around € 100 per night and it is always advisable to book in advance as this hotel has one of the highest ratings for repeat booking from customers who have had an awesome time on previous occasions. The hotel is extremely close to the beach and also has a great pool for those who prefer to have a cocktail and have some fun in the pool.
Thailand, South China Sea
Thailand, the Land of Smiles has some of the best beaches and small islands in the world. Places like Koh Samui, Krabi and Phuket generally tend to be the hotspots for tourists and not many venture to a place like Ko Pha Ngan. If you have time on your hands and want to avoid the usual touristy Thai places, then a visit to Ko Pha Ngan will bring you to one of the most secluded beaches in Thailand and that’s where you will find the fantastic Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort.Instagram
This is one of the most affordable beach hotels on this list, you can book a large suite for around € 350-400 per night, while saving some money with generous discounts from booking.com.
The rooms are extremely big, with the smallest starting at 80 square meters. Tourists who decide to visit these remote beaches generally want to soak up some time in the sun and enjoy some quiet time with their partner. The hotel staff are always present to cater to guests needs such as setting up a dinner on the beach or bringing them cocktails at the pool. However they will stay out of your way and ensure that you have your privacy and feel like you have the beach all to yourself.
Zanzibar, Tanzania, Indian Ocean
When most people plan a beach vacation, Tanzania does not come to mind because it has generally been known for its Serengeti. However just 25 kilometers from the Tanzania mainland, is the beautiful island of Zanzibar that has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Africa. Tourists will be able to take a ferry or a short plan ride from the capital of Dar Es Salaam to reach Zanzibar. The Baraza Resort is easily one of the best and most beautiful resorts in Zanzibar and uses a mix of Indian, Arabic and Swahili design to give the hotel an extremely unique feel to it.
The resort is located on the beautiful Bwejuu beach which has earned a reputation for being the most beautiful beach on the Zanzibar island.Instagram
Due to negative media reports surrounding terrorist attacks, political coups, corruption charges and crime, many people don’t think they can have a relaxing beach vacation in Africa. Tanzania is definitely one of the safer locations and the Baraza Resort in Zanzibar is a great place to have a unique African beach vacation.
Prices start at € 700 for one night all-inclusive stay in a small villa, all villas have ocean view.
French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean
This was the Godfather’s beloved private island that he fell in love with. Marlon Brando used the Tetiaroa as a vacation spot from 1967 before he decided to collaborate with Richard Bailey and turn the private island into a fantast resort in 1999. Bailey runs a big hospitality group that operates a number of beach hotels.
This luxury resort in the French Polynesia is known as the Brando Resort and proceeds from the business side of the resort is used to support the Tetiaroa Society that works to fund a number of research projects on the island.
The island still maintains its pristine beauty and the combination of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches provides guests with a relaxing environment that helps them forget the stress of their daily lives. Tetiaroa was often used as a resting place by Tahitian royalty and a number of ancient temples built by the Polynesians can still been seen on the island. The Brando management has done a great job in ensuring that their guests get to experience royal treatment and a wide range of luxury services.
Prices start at € 2000-2500 per night, and with booking.com promotions you can book the property with huge discounts if booking in advance.
Thailand, South China Sea
Ko Samui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. This popular tourist hub is filled with a long list of hotels, beach villas and resorts and it becomes pretty hard to decide which one you should stay in.
We would suggest that you check in at the Buri Rasa Village because of its uniqueness and its contemporary suites that combine modernity with ancient Thai history. The word Buri means village and the owner has tried to create a culture and ambience that gives guests a feel of a rustic Thai village located on the beautiful beach of Chaweng. The hotel was built in 2005 and continues to be well maintained and stands out as Chaweng beach is surrounded by hotels and restaurants that have a very modern outlook to it.Instagram
Guests who are concerned about the noise and hustle of Chaweng beach, need not be worried when staying at the Buri Rasa as it is located in a much more secluded spot on the beach. The hotel offers guests with a number of benefits including a relaxing experience at the special Nam Thai Spa, fantastic Thai cuisine and rooms at affordable prices. Hotel policy requires housekeeping to clean the rooms and suites twice every day to ensure that your rooms are always clean and tidy.
The cheapest rooms cost from € 225, others are more than € 500 a night.
Sri-Lanka, Indian Ocean
When most tourists visit Sri Lanka and want to spend time at the beach, they are usually directed to Bentota or Negombo. The small tourist town of Mirissa is not as well known to the average tourist but is quite popular amongst surfers as Mirissa has two surfing points that are pretty famous in the surfing community. It takes about 2.30 hours to travel from Colombo to Mirissa and one of the best places to stay and experience luxury at its best is at the Casa Colombo Mirissa hotel. This is a brand new hotel that was launched in 2015 and is a little more expensive than the other hotels located in Mirissa.Instagram
Those who are interested in a little bit of Sri Lankan history will find it fascinating to know that this little stretch of coastline was devastated during the 2004 Tsunami that wiped out a number of establishments. The new Casa Colombo Mirissa hotel is a symbolic in the sense that the town of Mirissa has recovered from that tragedy and is happy to welcome tourists once again.
The cheapest rooms cost € 300 to 400, including the 31.4% tax and breakfast. Master suites will cost you € 600, but if you book early you could save up to 25%.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
The Maldives is without a doubt one of the best places to have a fantastic beach vacation and these little islands are densely populated with hotels, villas and beach houses with just about every one of them claiming to provide guests with a luxury experience. Guests who visit the Maldives must be willing to spend as it is indeed a very costly place to vacation. If you are looking to experience luxury at its finest and be treated like royalty, then you must book yourself into the Cheval Blanc Randheli.
This luxury hotel is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and was designed by the world famous architect Jean-Michel Gathy who managed to once again come up with a brilliant design that makes the Cheval Blanc Randheli standout from the rest.
Jean-Michel Gathy has built a reputation for himself by designing some unique masterpieces at hotels around the world including the infinity pool on the three towers of the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and the three parallel 30m pools at The Setai in Miami. When Gathy was called to design the Randheli one of the key features he wanted to implement was to make sure the rooms were extremely spacious. The size of each suite at the hotel is 130 square meters and provides guests with great views of the beautiful ocean.
One bedroom water villas (240 sq.m.) cost from around € 3000 and the largest villas (300 - 350 sq.m.) are available for € 6500-7500. Those prices do not include 23.2% VAT, $ 6 Environment fee, and $ 1170 transfer fee.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
This beautiful resort is located about 30 kms from the Male International Airport and can be reached in around 40 minutes by speedboat. The resort is a mini-island by itself and offers guests complete privacy allowing them to enjoy a pristine environment that will provide them with a relaxing vacation.Instagram
Coco Prive is an extremely small resort that offers personalized service and can hold a maximum of 12 guests at a time. It is always good to book well in advance as the resort is often booked by one large family or a group of guests who want their own private island. The hotel has a total of six beach facing luxury villas and guests can also enjoy a Jacuzzi, an infinity pool and a cocktail bar. Guests looking to seclude themselves from the outside world, will enjoy spending time on a 14 hectare private island but must also be prepared to pay a high tariff as booking a resort in Coco Prive is a costly affair but one that will never be forgotten.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
Coca Island by Como is located on a beautiful private island in the Maldives offering guests a vacation spot that is tranquil and service that will make them feel well taken care off. The hotel has been designed by its owner Christina Ong, who is well known in the hospitality and fashion industry. She paid special attention to the light, water and sky combination in making every decision that dealt with the architecture of the resort. Como offers guests a total of 33 over the water suites that give guests an extremely unforgettable experience.Instagram
Guests have awesome views of the Indian Ocean and can also use the private sun decks to sunbathe, read a book or just relax and experience life on a private island. Guests who would like to take their relaxing experience to the next level are invited to visit the special Como Shambhala spa that provides a number of Asian therapies that will invigorate your body and de-stress you.Instagram
The suites are € 1100 - 1500 per night, and the villas are up to € 1700. Add the 12% tax, $ 6.00 Environment fee, 11.2% service charge, and $ 308 transfer fee to the basic price.
Turkey, Mediterranean Sea
Vacationing in the Mediterranean is a dream for millions of tourists as they get to enjoy the beautiful climate, pristine beaches and experience a different culture. A great place to fulfil that dream is by booking yourself into the D-Hotel Maris in Turkey. This hotel has been around for a while but the owners decided in 2013 to invest heavily and give the entire hotel a makeover. The makeover was completed towards the end of 2015 and the hotel is expected to open to guests by the end of April 2016. During the makeover process, the new designers were delighted to work with this property as it gave them a unique opportunity to design something special as five different beaches surround the property.
D-Hotel Maris has a tie up with Bodyism, a company based out of London that specializes in helping guests to stay fit and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Bodyism helps D-Hotel Maris guests to achieve a clean and lean lifestyle and also has a number of additional services such as teaching guests how to swim, surf, and play tennis as well as a number of additional training programs.Instagram
Superior rooms with mountain view can be booked for € 550 per night, and the sea view suites will cost you in excess of € 1000. Get the lowest prices for this hotel with booking.com secret deals, you'll have to register an account for that.
Greece, Aegean Sea
The owner Alexandra Efstathiadou used to spend her childhood holidays in the region of Halkidiki in Greece and when she had the opportunity to own her own resort in Vourvourou Bay in Sithonia, she jumped at the chance.
The resort is promoted as a family friend resort and Alexandra has made the resort unique by getting a number of local designers and architects to contribute and work on designing a resort that offers guests the comforts of the 21st century but still gives them a touch of ancient Greece.
The hotel is located between a pine tree forest and a beautiful beach making it a great spot for kids to have fun and for parents to relax and spend some quality time on the beach relaxing. Ekies also has a great spa therapy center that provides holistic treatment that will leave guests feeling refreshed and recharged. The spa takes a lot of its ingredients from the herbal gardens that are located on the property.
Standard double rooms cost around € 200 and the large suites are around € 400 per night.
Philippines, South China Sea
The Philippines is one the most popular destinations in Asia and Palawan is a favorite with tourists. The new Pangulasian luxury resort which is eco friendly has been getting a lot of rave reviews by traveler bloggers and guests who have stayed at the property.
The resort is located in Bacuit Bay, El Nido which is often referred to as the ‘Island of the Sun’. The El Nindo resort is located right on the beach and has 42 villas that has a typical Filipino ambience to it. The views of the sunrise and sunset from the resort are spectacular and so is the 750 meters of white sandy beaches.Instagram
This friendly resort is not priced on the lower side. The hotel was designed by a number of local designers and architects who wanted to create a resort that was eco friendly and maintained the pristine environment. So one can expect to find soft lights on the premises that are warm white in order not to disturb the sea turtles that come to shore to lay their eggs.
Prices start at € 650, also you'll have to pay 12% VAT, and 10% service charge. The airport shuttle is free of charge though.
Goa, India, Arabian Sea
When people speak about the best beaches in India, the state of Goa is invariably mentioned as Goa is a tourist haven and one of the few places in India which has not been completely urbanized.
During peak season, accommodation in Goa can get extremely expensive and Elsewhere... is one such expensive accommodation but not as expensive as some of the other hotels featured on this list. The Elsewhere... house can be booked for around $350 per night during peak season.
One of the best features of Elsewhere... is that it offers guests the privacy of having a quiet beach to themselves, something that is extremely hard to find in Goa considering the amount of tourists.Instagram
The property has been owned by a single family since 1886 and maintains a traditional Goan ambience. Guests should not expect luxury amenities like they do at a five star property but will enjoy Goan hospitality and get to live in an Old Portuguese colony. The owners maintain the property really well but have no plans in expanding or promoting the place aggressively as they have a lot of returning clientele.
Booking the house could be difficult as it is usually booked well in advance and due to its size cannot accommodate a large number of guests. However if you do manage to book Elsewhere..., you will have a great experience as a number of travellers from around the world, including a few celebrities visit the Elsewhere... property to have a quiet and undisturbed vacation.
Mexico, Gulf of Mexico
Hotel Esencia or Lodge Esencia is a modern and contemporary styled Mexican resort that has proven to be a great hit with tourists. The hotel is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen and is right next to the Xpu-Ha bay of the Mayan Riviera.
While there are many resorts on Xpu-Ha bay, Esencia is located away from most of these establishments, keeping guests away from the hustle and bustle caused by the usual tourist crowd. The hotel was designed to reflect the Mexican way of life in the 1950s but has been fitted with all the modern amenities that 21st century travelers have become accustomed with.
The principal home is the biggest room on the property and is surrounded by a total of 29 villas and suites. The hotel is owned by Kevin Wendle, a U.S entrepreneur who invested a lot of money during the last couple of years to improve the overall facilities of the hotel. One of those improvements included upgrading the hotel Wi-Fi facilities which now covers all parts of the property. The owner has plans to expand the hotel and will also add more design to each of the rooms and include a lot more amenities for guests to enjoy.Instagram
Suites cost from around € 600, and this price does not include the 19% taxes, and 10% service charge.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
Gili Lankanfushi is situated in a beautiful lagoon in the Maldives and follows an eco friendly policy that says ‘no news and no shoes’. Guests will have to take a speedboat from the capital Male and once they reach the hotel, staff will immediately greet them and inform them about this policy. The idea is to help guests relax on the beautiful white sandy beaches and forget about the outside world while they spend their time at the resort. The property is quite large when compared to most of the other resorts in the Maldives and allows guests to have a quiet time be it in their water villas or while taking a quiet stroll across the property.
The Island tends to be very popular with honeymooners or couples looking to spice up their relationship. The hotel is very accommodating in putting together a package that makes the honeymoon experience unforgettable.
The average price per night of a villa suite is € 1200, but this doesn't cover the 23.2% tax, $ 6.00 environment fee, and $ 228 transfer fee.
Fiji, Pacific Ocean
This beautiful resort in Fiji is named after the well known oceanographic explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau. Cousteau comes from a French family of explorers as his father and sister also have a passion for diving. Fiji has amazingly clear waters and is known for its exotic marine life which made it an ideal destination for Cousteau to setup a luxury resort on Savusavu, which is the northern Fijian island of Vanua Levu.
While the resort offers a number of luxury amenities, it is famous for its diving center which offers some great packages. The hotel offers beginner courses for those wanting to dive and has a number of dive sites that guests can visit.
Antigua, Caribbean Sea
A list of the top 22 beach hotels in the world will not be complete it if did not feature at least one resort from the beautiful Caribbean islands. The resort that we must mention is Jumby Bay located on Jumby Bay Island and is a private resort that very few tourists get to hear off.Instagram
The island has a lot of history to it as it was first discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. A group of villa and home owners have joined forces to launch a number of preservation initiatives in order to protect the island and its indigenous species.
Jumby Bay is not your typical luxury hotel but instead is made up of a number of houses that have their own unique theme.
Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Seychelles is one of the most beautiful islands on the planet but it is pretty secluded and tends to get overlooked when one searches for a beach vacation. However if you like to travel and experience something out of the ordinary then a trip to the Seychelles must be part of your travel plans.
While there are a number of beach villas and luxury hotels in the Seychelles, North Island must get special mention because great measures have been taken to preserve the ecosystem and natural beauty of the island. Guests will be able to enjoy the luxury of the hotel while vacationing in paradise with the white sandy beaches, the clear blue waters and the marine life in the region.Instagram
The North Island luxury resort got a lot of attention in 2011 after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to honeymoon at the resort.
Greece, Aegean Sea
Greece has its fair share of fantastic hotels and luxury resorts but there are also quite a few unique hotels that promote a completely different concept. One of these hotels is Silver Island Yoga which is located on a private island that is owned by the Christie family since the last 55 years.Instagram
As the name suggests, the island focuses on Yoga and helping guests relax, meditation and feel revitalized. This private island is spread across 60 acres and the owners have done a great job in maintaining the island and preserving its ecosystem. The owners like to keep things small and simple and hence the island has just 5 rooms that have a unique but typical Greek feel to it. The island can host up to 10 people at a time and guests are encouraged to book early.
All of the rooms provide guests with a great view of either the Island grounds or the Aegean Sea.Instagram
If you are looking to forget about the fast paced city life, then Silver Island Yoga is just the place to be as it relies on solar power and recycles its water which is then used for the gardens. The hotel also provides its guest toiletries that are biodegradable and guests are encouraged to follow the hotels conservation initiative.
The hotel conducts a yoga class in the morning and one in the evening which generally lasts for around 2 hours each. Some of the best yoga instructions are hired to provide guests with yoga training and keys on how they can live in peace and abundance.
The hotel also focuses on providing vegetarian meals and tends to use most of its ingredients from the local suppliers.
Vietnam, South China Sea / East Vietnam Sea
When most tourists want to spend a beach vacation in South Asia they tend to go with the most popular beach spots like Langkawi, Phuket or Bali. However if you would like to do something different, then you must look at vacationing in Vietnam and spending some time at the beautiful Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.Instagram
This luxury resort does not get a lot of publicity because is it remotely located and can only be accessed via water. If you are looking for a secluded and private beach holiday, then this resort is just the place to be. The resort has both beach facing and over water villas and each one of them has their own private pool.
The hotel rooms are designed to reflect the Vietnamese culture and there are a number of different styles of accommodation to choose from. These include villas and suites, specialty villas and suites which have a private infinity pool that lets you look out at the ocean and gives you an incredible relaxing feeling.
Pool villas cost € 700 to 750, large family villas will cost you € 1000, and the largest villas are € 2500 per night. Add the 10% VAT, and 5% service charge to the price. If you book this hotel early with booking.com you could save up to 20%.
Cambodia, South China Sea
Cambodia relies heavily on the tourism industry and over the past few years a number of top hotels and resorts have opened up. One such resort is the Song Saa resort which is located about 20 minutes from the Sihanoukville Port.
The private island is owned by Rory and Melita Hunter who fell in love with Cambodia many years ago when they honeymooned in the country. They decided to buy a private island and develop a luxury spa hotel that offers guests tranquility and luxury that exceeds their expectations.
Melita Hunter has a background in interior designing and used her experience to give each of the rooms a unique feel to it. Rory has a lot of experience in marketing and operations and ensures that the hotel and its staff always provide guests with the best possible experience. The couple is very keen on conservation and preservation and have hired a number of marine biologists who are part of the staff.
The Song Saa was one of the first luxury resorts to open in Cambodia and has a top spa that offers a wide variety of packages ranging from traditional Buddhist blessing events, spa packages designed to cover a 5 or 7 day vacation, yoga classes, massages and meditation.Instagram
The Song Saa and its staff follow a motto of ‘metta bhavana’ which in English is translated as loving kindness. While the white beaches, clear blue water and pristine environment of the island is sufficient to help guests unwind from their hectic city life, guests are encouraged to try the facilities at the spa which are designed to impart healing, blessings and stillness to guests.Instagram
The villas are € 1000 - 4000 per night, all taxes are included in the price, and airport transfer is complimentary.
Some of the research, articles and reviews that helped us finalize our list include the top 20 beach hotels featured by Trip Advisor, the Readers Choice Awards based on Conde Nast Travelers list of the top world hotels, the world’s best rated hotels according to the Daily Mail Online, Conde Nast Travelers list of the secret European beach hotels, the Boutique Hotel Awards, World Luxury Hotel awards and the Smith Hotel Awards.
Some of the other sources we looked at included a non conventional list of beach hotels put together by the Town and Country magazine, the International Traveler Magazine and website which put together a great list of the top hotels around the world, list of top beach hotels published by Costal Living, and finally the list of hotels that featured in the World Travel Awards.