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The best luxury beach hotels in the world

  • Travel 101
  • By Lisa Nightingale
  • Published 29 December 2022
  • Revised 09 March 2023

Where do we even begin with a list like this? We can all agree that luxury beach holidays are something special and being on the beach is the epitome of relaxation. Azure waters gently lapping bleached-white sands under the calming presence of warm sunshine, there’s nothing quite like it.

Whether you prefer a more peaceful, less inhabited beachside setting or your goal is for active fun in the sun, there’s something out there for your next five-star holiday. Let’s take a look at some of the best luxury beach hotels the world has to offer…

Sandy Lane, St James, Barbados

You can’t go wrong anywhere in the Caribbean for beachside opulence, and for that reason it’s almost impossible to nail down a luxury beach hotel that outshines the rest. However, Sandy Lane in Barbados is truly something extraordinary.

Positioned on the island’s west side, otherwise known as the ‘Platinum Coast’, this five-star retreat is set on an expansive beach of beautiful pink-hued coral sands, which lends itself to the subtle colour theme running throughout the hotel’s décor and amenities.

Sandy Lane is consistently recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious hotel resorts, exuding class and style like no other across its three world-renowned golf courses, four gourmet dining venues, and the award-winning Spa at Sandy Lane. 

Fun facts:

  • The Villa at Sandy Lane offers guests an elevated hotel experience, with the privacy of a secluded Caribbean hideaway yet enjoying all the world-class resort amenities the hotel has to offer
  • Sandy Lane regularly hosts A-listers from around the world including Elton John, The Beckhams and Gwyneth Paltrow. Not to mention its beach is where Jay-Z proposed to Beyoncé!

Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane

&Beyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania

It’s not a destination that initially springs to mind when thinking of luxury beach holidays, but the archipelago of Zanzibar has been enticing travellers, explorers, and traders from around the world for centuries.

The tiny Mnemba Island is a tranquil barefoot hideaway within the Mnemba Atoll and the award-winning &Beyond resort is home to just 12 beachside ‘Bandas’ for up to 24 people, offering a rustic yet luxurious stay in this exclusive paradise.

Each Banda is tucked away within the tropical forest and has been designed using artisanal skills and products such as wood carvings, thatched roofs and gorgeous glass beaded shower curtains. Larger Family Bandas are also available for two adults and two children.

Guests are encouraged to relax, unwind, and absorb the island’s natural, calm surroundings. Swim, snorkel, do yoga, and dine whenever you like – if you’re looking for a simplistic yet luxurious utopia, this is the place for you.

Fun facts:

  • Sustainability is at the core of &Beyond’s ethos with a ban on single-use plastic bottles, daily beach clean-ups, and conservation lessons to educate and enlighten
  • Zanzibar’s dry season runs from July to September and is the most popular time of year to visit, but much of the year is still a balmy 28°C to 34°C

&Beyond Mnemba Island

&Beyond Mnemba Island
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The Brando, French Polynesia

Named after none other than Hollywood icon, Marlon Brando, this romantic resort on the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa is his legacy. 7

After filming Mutiny on the Bounty, he fell in love with the island’s biodiversity and rich culture, so much so that he bought some land with the aim of preserving and protecting this barefoot paradise.

And where else than Tetiaroa? Home to an abundance of flora and fauna as well as picture-perfect scenery, it boasts impossibly white sands and glittering blue waters as far as the eye can see. 

The Brando sits on one of a dozen small islands that surround a three-mile-wide lagoon comprising 35 beautiful private villas with pools, two delectable restaurants and bars, a luxurious spa and wellness centre, tennis court, boutique, library and cultural centre, and a sparkling infinity pool.

The resort offers a vast programme of leisure pursuits from water-based sports activities like kayaking, paddleboarding and deep-sea fishing, to land-based fun such as tennis and cycling. 

Fun facts:
  • Arrive in style and luxury via a 20-minute private plane transfer from Tahiti
  • Explore the island’s fascinating wildlife on the Biologist of the Day excursions with a naturalist guide to teach you about the birds and the reef

The Brando

The Brando

Velaa Private Island, Maldives

Continuing with the private island theme but in a different tropical ocean, this five-star haven in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll is the ultimate island escape.

Presented as a ‘beyond luxury’ destination, Velaa Private Island is the real-life dream of Czech financier Jiří Šmejc and his wife, Radka, who bought the island with the aim of creating one of the most exclusive beach destinations in the world. If you're looking for a place to get engaged, it doesn't get much better than this. 

The hotel’s stunning accommodations range from family-friendly beach and pool houses, water and pool villas, and expansive luxury residences – excellent varied options for romantic getaways or lively group trips.

Three distinctive dining venues include fine dining at Aragu, teppanyaki at Tavaru, or casual all-day fare at Athiri main restaurant and Avi poolside bar and lounge.

The Spa offers a haven of relaxation with vast programme of sumptuous treatments, therapies, and classes for total rejuvenation.

For more active pursuits, Velaa Private Island is home to some of the newest, state-of-the-art water sports activities on the scene right now, including hoverboards, electric foil surfboards and Tandem Jetovator.

Fun facts:

  • Lha Velaa Kids’ Club, which was inspired and imagined by the owners’ daughter, featuring the most extensive kids’ water park in the Maldives
  • Underneath Tavaru restaurant is the hotel’s secret wine cellar with an extensive collection of more than five hundred bins

Velaa Private Island

Velaa Private Island

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

An iconic Jumeirah beach hotel that appeals to both couples and families, Atlantis, The Palm is one half of the ultimate one-stop-shop holiday destination and a glittering gem in Dubai’s crown.

This world-class resort – alongside Atlantis The Royal – rests in-between the turquoise Arabian Gulf and the twinkling skyline of Dubai city, boasting more entertainment amenities and facilities than you could fit into one holiday.

The resort features no fewer than 13 dining venues including several celebrity restaurants with menus curated by legends such as Nobu Matsuhisa and Gordon Ramsay, an eclectic range of signature restaurants as well as casual eateries that are perfect for those with children.

There are also three lively beach clubs frequently hosting internationally renowned DJs, as well as three of Dubai’s hottest and chicest bars. 

If you can think of a water sport, Atlantis, The Palm probably offers it. From non-motorised fun like kayaking and paddleboarding to adrenaline-fueled motorised activities such as jet skiing or boat tours, it has it all. Alternatively, you can just relax on Aquaventure Beach and watch the world go by.

Fun facts:

  • The hotel’s famous Aquaventure Waterpark is the largest waterpark in the world with more than 105 record-breaking attractions 
  • The Lost Chambers Aquarium is home to 65,000 marine animals and 21 fascinating exhibits to explore

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis, The Palm

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, Côte d’Azur, France

OK so it’s not technically on the beach, but the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel is without a doubt one of the world’s most luxurious beach hotels. Perched in the rocky cliffside looking out over the Mediterranean, this landmark hotel has been at the pinnacle of luxury French Riviera life for decades.

The famed, 33-foot saltwater infinity swimming pool at Club Dauphin is the hotel’s centrepiece and has been since 1939, seeing the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill lounging on its wooden deck and absorbing the mesmerising sea views.

Private seaside cabanas are the perfect place to unwind in the shade and enjoy the tranquil surroundings, while the Dauphin Lounge offers an exclusive setting to relax on a sunbed with a cocktail, before your butler prepares a gorgeous al fresco lunch especially for you and your family and friends.

Club Dauphin Poolside Grill completes the oceanside amenities, offering a delicious range of beverages, snacks, lunches, and signature seafood dishes against the backdrop of the sparkling ocean.

Fun facts:

  • For the utmost in privacy choose the exclusive Villa Rose-Pierre with its magnificent, secluded pool overlooking the sea, and take advantage of a personal 24-hour butler and full spa treatments brought right to your villa 
  • Make the most of the glamour of the French Riviera and hire the hotel’s vintage 1960s convertible to explore the region in style

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel

If you’re searching for a romantic barefoot paradise in the middle of nowhere, or an action-packed beach vacation with the whole family, there’s something perfect for you out there.

We have access to the best luxury holiday offers and can help you plan and book your next dream holiday to one of the world’s best beach hotels. Call us on 0203 816 0985 or enquire online for more info.

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