This selection of beachfront luxury hotels will have you yearning for the smell of salty air, sunscreen, and the sensation of sand beneath your toes. We’ve curated some stellar properties that each offer something unique, from luxury resorts on the Caribbean coastline to period villas on the Mediterranean. Book a stay at any of these beachfront beauties and you can be assured of a delightful return after a day of lounging in picture-postcard bliss.


    Viceroy Los Cabos

    San José del Cabo, Mexico

    Viceroy Los Cabos is a dreamy property on the Pacific coast that’s one of Cabo’s most impressive beach hotels. Designed by Mexico’s renowned modernist architect, Miguel Ángel Aragonés, the resort's elegant white-and-cream color scheme, walls of glass, and panoramic ocean views feel stylish without being ostentatious.

    The hotel is truly beachfront. You can stroll directly onto the sand from your sun lounger for long afternoon walks or a paddle in the ocean. The impressive swells in can make swimming tricky, but fear not, the Viceroy has 5 separate pools to enjoy – including 1 for families and another for adults-only on the rooftop. You have a choice of dining options at Viceroy, with the recently opened Nido our choice pick, serving Mexican cuisine with Japanese influences in a dining room shaped like a bird’s nest.

    The tartan-clad staff welcoming you to The Sanctuary paint a good picture of the proud traditions that are upheld at this esteemed beachfront hotel. It’s one of the only hotels on Kiwah Island with direct access to the beach so you do really feel that the wide stretches of sand are all for you. That’s despite being little more than 20 miles from Charleston. Combining old-world prestige with 5 golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking trails, you can enjoy an active weekend along with a sensation of history here.

    If golf isn’t your thing, hop on 2 wheels and enjoy the miles of bike trails that meander through mangrove forests right across the island. Mealtimes are a real treat at Kiawah – think poached lobster and seared filet mignon. The combination of a championship golf course next to a secluded white-sand beach makes The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort a great spot for mixing sports and relaxation.


    Montage Laguna Beach

    Laguna Beach, CA, USA

    Nestled into a hillside overlooking one of Orange County’s finest beaches, the lush gardens and colonial-era architecture at Montage Laguna Beach are suitably swanky for a luxury beach break. The ocean swells along this stretch of the Pacific are more suited to surfers than swimmers, but you can choose to participate in games of beach volleyball, paddle boarding, or laze back and enjoy the seascape from a sun lounger at the beachfront pool.

    Start the morning off with a yoga session before enjoying an alfresco breakfast surrounded by swaying palms. The excellent spa offers massages, facials, and other therapies, all with ocean views. There's nothing better after a long day in the sun than enjoying a dip in the ocean, accessible down a private coastal path directly from the hotel.

    The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort sits on more than 2 miles of pristine white-sand beach in the swanky Rio Grande area on the north shore of Puerto Rico. The resort is built on a former coconut plantation on the edge of the El Yunque National Forest, home to tropical birds and butterflies that you’ll see around the resort.

    Beach lovers will love swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking in the stunning views of the Atlantic. You can also take advantage of the resort's array of watersports, such as sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Mealtimes are special here. Choose from a casual beachfront diner to more high-end restaurants. If you’re in the mood for something local, try the coconut-crusted mahi-mahi fish with a mango-jalapeño salsa, finished with a pina colada pie. Other facilities at the resort include a Greg Norman Signature Championship golf course, a luxury spa, and a fitness center.


    Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

    Miami, Florida, USA

    The signature white-on-white design of Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is one of the area’s most distinctive and stylish beachfront stays. As you might expect from a property developed by Japanese restaurant brand Nobu, this hotel is a culinary destination in its own right. Obviously, the signature Japanese-Peruvian cuisine of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa takes center stage, but that’s just 1 of 6 restaurants here.

    Situated right on the beach, Nobu Hotel Miami Beach offers stunning ocean views, as well as easy access to the attractions along Miami Beach Boardwalk. You’re also within reach of the shopping and nightlife hot spots of South Beach, Lincoln Road, and the Wynwood Arts District.

    Waking up in an Italian villa to the sound of lapping waves and staff preparing breakfast on the terrace is impossibly romantic, but that’s what awaits you at Villa Sant'Andrea – especially in the midsummer months. Located on a small stretch of beach beneath Sicily’s popular Taormina Mare, the original villa was built in the 1830s and extended to form the hotel a century or so later.

    Lazy mornings are spent chilling around the outdoor pool enjoying the stunning views, while the spa and wellness center offers a range of treatments to help you unwind. One of southern Italy’s finest Mediterranean beaches, Spiaggia di Isola Bella, is within walking distance of the property. The charming town of Taormina is well worth a day trip exploring the Palace of the Dukes of Santo Stefano, the ruins of an Ancient Roman theatre, and simply strolling the winding streets past pastel-colored houses.


    Soneva Fushi


    If barefoot luxury is your thing, then Soneva Fushi is the beach stay for you. The whole ethos around this collection of luxury villas and suites is about appreciation of nature and sustainable enjoyment. The resort has been developed around the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and is surrounded by lush vegetation and pristine white-sand beaches. The result makes for a dreamy tropical escape.

    As a honeymoon hot spot, the staff work hard to maintain privacy. Most villas have pools – some with waterslides into the shallow sea – and all sorts of in-room dining requests and experiences are offered. Activities include snorkeling with manta rays, exploring nearby islands, and the unique experience of ziplining into dinner at their signature Flying Sauces restaurant.


    Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    As one of Rio’s most iconic and upscale beaches, Ipanema is where to be to witness beach chic and lively scenes set against a dramatic natural backdrop of Two Brothers Hill. Hotel Fasano offers all the thrills of Rio’s legendary beach culture while retaining an understated yet stylish vibe. There’s also a private beach if you’d rather keep away from the beach football games and beach touts.

    The centerpiece of the hotel is the stunning rooftop infinity pool, but all of this Philippe Starck-designed property feels like a modernist gallery. Each of the 89 guestrooms has contemporary design schemes that feel impossibly cool. Away from the beach, you can enjoy one of Brazil’s finest spas, a fitness center, and 2 excellent restaurants, namely Fasano Al Mare and Fasano Pizzaria. End your evenings enjoying a cocktail and the epic night views of Ipanema at the Sky Lounge rooftop bar.

    This immaculate 5-star property occupies a secluded stretch of coast on Maui, near the high-end resort town of Wailea. World-class golf, stunning scenery, and a range of fine dining can be found in and around the resort. The grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Maui open onto a private cove of fine and golden sand. There are moderate ocean waves to splash around in, loungers for lounging, or you could relax at any of the 3 onsite swimming pools.

    If you’re looking for watersports, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, or stand-up paddleboarding, all are freely available from resort staff waiting to serve you at the beach.


    W Barcelona

    Barcelona, Spain

    If you’re looking to combine a cultural city break with a beachfront escape, it’s hard to find a hotel anywhere in Europe that can compete with W Barcelona. A short walk from the strip of city beaches and the Old Town of Barcelona, you’ll find countless historical landmarks nearby, including Picasso Museum, Park Güell, and La Sagrada Familia cathedral.

    W hotels are renowned for their cheeky design and fun social events, which is in full effect here. With 473 rooms, it is a large hotel, although the common spaces still feel private thanks to the clever use of modernist furniture and sculptures. Beachside dining can be enjoyed at their Mediterranean tapas bar, Salt Restaurant, with more dining and partying options available within the hotel. At sunset, head to the rooftop pool that offers an incredible vantage point over Barceloneta Beach, the port, and beyond.

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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