Luxury hotels are easy to find in urban areas, but what if you want a top-of-the-line experience right on the beach? Enter the over-the-top luxury beach resort. These ultra-luxe spots have the same superb service and gorgeous facilities as their city counterparts, but also have the low-key vibe of a quintessential beach vacation.
Tucked away in a residential neighborhood along Hawaii’s Kona-Kohala Coast, this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star resort has an abundance of unique luxury amenities, from a 1.8-million gallon snorkeling pond to outdoor showers made of lava rock. The resort created its own sheltered swimming areas with native materials, so you can swim in clear Hawaiian waters. Each guest room has a view of the Pacific Ocean, thanks to the resort’s four horseshoe coves that line the beach.
Sprawled out on a hillside in southern Bali, Amanusa has 35 thatched-roof suites and exudes a palpable sense of serenity. Each suite is decked out with a private terrace and some have stunning views of the Indian Ocean, outdoor showers and private swimming pools. Head down the hillside to the Amanusa Beach Club for luxury beach lounging — snag one of the nine beach bales, each with two lounge chairs surrounded by pristine white sand.
Five-Star golf and beautiful beaches go hand-in-hand at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The resort — located on a 10,000-acre barrier island off the coast of South Carolina — is designed as an antebellum Southern estate with gracious Southern hospitality. The friendly staff can arrange for chairs, umbrellas and towels so all you have to do is walk past the luxury pool piazza to hit the sand. Want to swing your sticks? Play one of the island’s five championship courses.
For more than 140 years, this has been the crème de la crème resort on the Côte d’Azur in France, and now more than ever due to its recent renovation. With 118 rooms, suites and villas, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is private yet convenient —it’s just 15 minutes to downtown Cannes and located within the artsy town of Antibes. The service team will see to your every whim whether you decide to take a dip in the beautiful saltwater infinity-edged pool or lounge in the cabanas that line the rocky coast of the Mediterranean.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru’s 102 villas are the epitome of paradise — some branch off the jetty and jut out onto the water, while others lie on a picturesque beach. Most of the villas and bungalows have private plunge pools and the ones that don’t have the ocean as their playground. The Maldivian-style design is accented by all the modern trappings of a luxury resort such as flat-screen TVs and mini-bars.
A private isle in Fiji, Turtle Island is outfitted with just 14 cottages. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your “bure mama,” a go-to person for anything you need during your stay. Overlooking the legendary Blue Lagoon, thatched-roof cottages — known as “bures” — are exotically lavish. Each is outfitted with an open-air shower and unique Fijian artwork. Whether you rent out the entire island or just one cottage, all food, service and amenities are included in the price.
For standout views of the Pacific, a championship golf course and primo service, visit the Five-Star St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Calif. The 172-acre property has three pools and a Five-Star Mediterranean-inspired spa. A shuttle will bring you to and from the beach where your personal St. Regis butler can arrange for you to have a beach chair and umbrella, as well as a margarita (if you so desire, and we hope that you do). Done relaxing? Hike the scenic bluff trail overlooking Dana Point Harbor — keep your eyes peeled for blue whales and pods of dolphins.
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Viceroy Hotel Group, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Montage Laguna Beach