Now that the calendar is changing over to June, it’s time to seriously start thinking about some sand. Of course, with so many tantalizing choices around the globe, selecting the right spot can prove a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, our Forbes Travel Guide editors have already done most of the (not-so) dirty work, compiling a list of the 10 best beach escapes in the world. Luxury amenities, just the right activities and guest-centered services were at the top of our list when we made our choices. Before you start planning your next exotic excursion, check out these dreamy destinations.
Ocean House, Watch Hill, R.I.
Coastal Rhode Island may not carry the same sun-drenched clout as Miami or the California Coast, but Ocean House, one of the state’s most historic properties, is definitely worth a visit. Ocean House is a replica of the original hotel that lured discerning travelers when it first opened in 1868. Modern technology updates have brought the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel up to 21st-century standards — but with the stunning scapes just outside, we don’t suspect you’ll have much need for them.
The fitness facilities at OH! Spa, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa at Ocean House, make working out a breeze. The cardio machines offer views of the Atlantic (an added motivation to keep working on your beach body, no?), and guests can also partake in complimentary spa classes such as beach boot camp or a less intense beach walk.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Calif.
At The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, enjoy sweeping panoramic ocean views from the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s location atop a 150-foot bluff in Orange County. Down below, the sands of Salt Creek Beach stand ready for you and your beach butler, who will assist with setting up your chair, plying you with drinks and snacks, and helping the kids build a sandcastle.
Surfing should be on your to-do list when you stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Book a one-on-one, two-hour surf experience to see why being one with the waves is a way of life in Dana Point.
Acqualina Resort & Spa, Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Miami may be nice, but one of our favorite beachfront hotels is located 20 minutes north of South Beach in beautiful Sunny Isles Beach. Acqualina Resort & Spa lays claim to 400 feet of Atlantic Ocean coastline, perfect for shell hunting, strolling or making yourself at home in a comfy red lounge chair.
Exclusivity has its perks — when you stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel, the only people you’ll have to share the pristine beach with will be other guests and Acqualina residents who choose to join the beach club. Translation: You won’t have to worry about party crashers ruining your relaxing day on the beach.
Montage Laguna Beach
Orange County has long been considered a haven where the world’s most beautiful people go to relax. You don’t have to buy a house in Newport Beach to live the good life: A guest room at the oceanfront Montage Laguna Beach will do just fine.
You’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon your own private beach when you explore the seaside coves and tide pools at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel. The white sands just below the resort are also worth exploring, especially since Montage Laguna Beach provides towels, chairs, snacks and sand toys to its guests.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Deep blue water and towering, tree-studded mountains add a decidedly exotic feel to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. The luxury hotel’s beachfront bungalows are, hands down, the best places to experience the stunning beauty of a St. Lucia sunset over the Caribbean Sea.
More than 100 acres of tropical rainforest and white sand beaches are at your fingertips (and toes) at this St. Lucia resort. Whether you’re an amateur diver or an experienced scuba expert, you’ll be exploring under the sea in no time with the resort’s Dive Sugar Beach program.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea puts guests as close as possible to the lapping waves of the Pacific — thanks to the brilliant U-shaped building, most guest rooms offer full ocean views.
This Maui hotel may be one of the world’s best places to be active. You can work on your fitness (and your tan) in the outdoor cardio room, rent a kayak to explore the Pacific (and maybe even spot a whale or two), or learn to Hang Ten in a private surf lesson.
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
“Ocean-view” has a whole new meaning at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. One- and two-bedroom overwater villas boast private decks and glass panels in the floor that give you a constant view of the azure water below.
The Bora Bora hotel has many places that are perfect for taking in a sunset (the resort’s private saltwater lagoon comes to mind), as well as many fine places to eat. You can do both at the on-site Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Lagoon Restaurant, where the outdoor deck is prime real estate around dusk.
You could spend an entire vacation marveling at the two white sand beaches to which this luxury resort’s guests are granted access. But, to do so would mean sacrificing a trip to the 8,000-square-foot Spa at Viceroy Anguilla, an oasis of relaxation that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.
Colorful reefs and mysterious shipwrecks come to life under the Caribbean Sea. Guests at the Anguilla hotel can explore the marvels that lie below the surface of the turquoise waters with the resort’s snorkeling and scuba excursions, activities that are popular with locals and visitors alike.
WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
The Sunshine State is home to a bevy of beach resorts. WaterColor Inn & Resort, a getaway in Santa Rosa Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast, stands out from the rest thanks to the jaw-dropping views from the relaxing guest rooms and beach chairs that pepper its shoreline property.
Pull up a chair — the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort reserves the best beachfront real estate for its guests, who may rent a “beach set” (which consists of two chairs and one umbrella) for a small daily fee. They’re by far the best seats along the Gulf.
Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
Looking out at the stunning South China Sea on Mandarin Oriental, Sanya’s private beach (complete with its own coral reef) is a favorite pastime of regular guests of the glamorous resort.
The promise of spending breezy, sunny days on the beach is what draws many visitors to the Sanya hotel. The best place to do just that is a Coral Bay Deluxe Villa, which puts you right at the edge of the gorgeous South China Sea panorama — with a private sundeck, gazebo and an infinity pool, to boot.
Photos Courtesy of Ocean House, Viceroy Hotel Group, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide