Style News

The Travel File: The World's Hottest Beach Hotels

The Travel File: The World's Hottest Beach Hotels

In need of some vitamin sea? Get your summer dose, from ivory-white tropical beaches to the remote reefs of northern Australia, these are the world’s most luxurious beach hotels.

Image: courtesy of Six Senses

The rectangular pool at El Nido Pangulasian private island resort, with sunloungers around the pool, palm trees and a view of the ocean
The rectangular pool at El Nido Pangulasian private island resort, with sunloungers around the pool, palm trees and a view of the ocean

EL NIDO PANGULASIAN, PANGULASIAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES

Off the northern coast of the Philippines’ Palawan island, where green lagoons and mangroves abound, lies Pangaluasian, a private island resort in the azure-blue waters of Bacuit bay. Play castaway against a backdrop of tropical forest and turquoise ocean with a sea-front villa from which you can tumble straight onto the sand. Known by locals as the “Island of the Sun”, visitors can enjoy both stunning sunrises and sunsets from this far-flung beach retreat. Hike along the island’s trails in the early morning to see tropical birds take flight, before spending a leisurely afternoon discovering the wonders of the marine sanctuary.



Image: courtesy of El Nido Resorts

A view from above of the Phranang Peninsula in southern Thailand, with ocean either side of a thin strip of land covered in lush tropical forest, limestone cliffs and the pavillions of the Rayavadee Resort
A view from above of the Phranang Peninsula in southern Thailand, with ocean either side of a thin strip of land covered in lush tropical forest, limestone cliffs and the pavillions of the Rayavadee Resort

RAYAVADEE, KRABI, THAILAND

Rotunda pavilions with luxe interiors are scattered among tropical gardens and coconut groves at Rayavadee, a unique resort on the edge of Krabi National Marine Park. Accessible only by private speedboat, skim across the turquoise waters of the Andaman sea to Phranang Peninsula, the secluded tropical outpost that Rayavadee calls home. Three beaches line the peninsula’s coast, where breath-taking limestone cliffs and karsts rear out of the water, pockmarked with caves and grottos begging to be explored. After a traditional morning Thai massage at the spa, spend a day at the infinity pool which seems to melt into the sea, before making your way along palm-shaded, monkey-inhabited paths to Railay beach for one of the most magical sunsets on earth.



Image: courtesy of Rayavadee

An ocean-view suite at the Six Senses Zil Payson resort on Felicite island in the Seychelles, with a draped four poster bed, velvet furnishings, a wooden ceiling and floor and wall-to-ceiling wide open doors opening onto the terrace
An ocean-view suite at the Six Senses Zil Payson resort on Felicite island in the Seychelles, with a draped four poster bed, velvet furnishings, a wooden ceiling and floor and wall-to-ceiling wide open doors opening onto the terrace

SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON, FÉLICITÉ ISLAND, SEYCHELLES

Leave the world behind at Six Senses Zil Payson, a luxurious Seychelles private escape with a hip design pedigree and commitment to sustainability. You’re in good hands with Six Senses, the spa specialists, and Zil Payson lives up to the luxe wellness brand’s pristine reputation. Set amongst dramatic granite boulders, smoothed by weather over centuries, and a powdery white beach where frangipani flowers litter the sand, the island of Felicité is a dream come true. Stay in one of the beachfront villas, among the sleekest in the Seychelles, and listen to the sound of the Indian Ocean lapping the shore while you rock gently tosleep in a hammock.



Image: courtesy of Six Senses

A view from above of the Moorish-inspired yellow-painted, domed main house at Cuixmala Resort in Mexico, with the beach and wild pacific ocean behind
A view from above of the Moorish-inspired yellow-painted, domed main house at Cuixmala Resort in Mexico, with the beach and wild pacific ocean behind

CUIXMALA, JALISCO, MEXICO

Once the private home of British billionaire James Goldsmith, Cuixmala is now one of the most luxurious beachfront hotels in the world. Set amidst lush tropical jungle in a 25,000-acre bio-reserve, the hotel opens onto miles of untouched pacific coastline. Family owned and run, Goldsmith’s daughter Alix has transformed the estate into an opulent eco-resort with a Moorish-inspired décor that attracts A-list visitors from all over the world looking for a slice of wild and secluded paradise. Get a taste for the billionaire lifestyle and book a villa (it comes with a private pool, chef and host) from which you can explore the reserve’s lagoons and forests on horseback before enjoying tequila-spiked sundowners on the beach.

Image: by Davis Gerber, courtesy of Cuixmala

The pool at Lizard Island with palm trees, sunloungers and the ocean behind
The pool at Lizard Island with palm trees, sunloungers and the ocean behind

LIZARD ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

Really get away from it all at Lizard Island, Australia’s northern-most resort and one of its most luxurious. With no mobile phone reception and patchy WiFi, it’s the perfect destination for a digital detox on the doorstep of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. The island is home to no less than 24 white sand beaches directly accessible from the hotel’s suites, which come with sweeping balconies and ocean views. Whilst the name might sound reptilian, the experience is anything but on Lizard Island. There is nothing on the island except the hotel and a research station, so prepare to gorge yourself on seclusion and understated luxury. Take a private motor boat across the blue lagoon to secret Mermaid Beach, where you can feast on a decadent picnic and snorkel amongst the reef’s marine wonders, or go out diving with the pros at Cod Hole.

Image: courtesy of Lizard Island