Dig your toes into warm sand at these amazing tropical vacation spots, designed for the ultimate escape.
There’s nothing like waking up- or falling asleep – to the soothing sound of waves. Whether the roar of the Atlantic or the soft swish of the Caribbean Sea, the rhythm signals the presence of water and a beach. Imagine that early morning walk along the shore or gazing at the moon in total darkness as waves lap at your feet. Here are five hotels that couldn’t get any closer to the shore if they tried.
Moorings Village, Islamorada, Florida
Think of a coconut plantation, where 18 cottages are tucked in among a variety of palm trees and blooming hibiscus and bougainvillea add splashes of color to the greenscape. This is the Moorings Village & Spa. A top spot to book is the white Maroni House, with its lush green front yard that meets the sandy shoreline and faces the Atlantic Ocean. Sit on the big wrap-around porch with a cup of Joe and watch the sunrise. (Florida Keys’ sunrises are just as spectacular as the famed sunsets.) With just a few steps you’re on the water’s edge taking a stroll, followed by a swim or some paddleboarding. The bedroom has a king-size bed and French doors that open onto the porch, providing a dreamy view of feathery palms, beach and water. Go ahead, open the doors and feel the island breezes. The cottage’s oak-wood floors and crisp decor complement the tropical environment. Bonus: A midday siesta in one of the hammocks draped between the beach’s many palm trees is total bliss.
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, Florida
A real Florida classic, the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Northeast Florida has beachfront rooms that allow you to step out the door and right onto a wide stretch of the Atlantic shore. The rooms are exquisitely furnished with heavy wooden beds, complete with carved headboards and posts, and dressed in comforters and pillows in rich seascape tones and floral and stripe patterns. Wide moldings define the walls and ceilings and add a regal touch to the decor. The ocean rooms are so close to the Atlantic that the sound of waves will lull you to sleep.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
A low-key property on Bolongo Bay, this smaller resort is a water-sports playground. First-floor rooms open their doors onto the sand, and with a few steps you’re at the shoreline. Move between your room, the sand, the Caribbean waters and the toys—kayaks, paddleboards, aqua bikes and paddle boats. Nestled against hillside tropical foliage, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is a cool little hideaway. Rooms are decorated in sunny oranges and yellows with bamboo-inspired furniture. Bonus: At the weekly Snorkel Booze Hunt, snorkelers search for a bottle of rum staff members hid under the sea.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kapulehu, Island of Hawaii
Go for an oceanfront Superior Suite on the lower level so you can walk out through the patio and onto the beach at this Four Seasons gem. Hawaiian art and nature-inspired furnishings are well executed to create a luxurious décor reminiscent of Hawaii’s golden age (the boom years from 1893 to 1941). The beach’s fine white sand blends with black lava landscapes and Pacific blues to dazzle the eye.
Cap Juluca, Anguilla
From your perch on the patio of these Moorish-style beachfront villas, the architecture’s stark white arches frame the intense blues and greens of the beach just outside your door. Strikingly romantic and as close as you can get to the brightest sands in the Caribbean, Cap Juluca’s rooms and suites boast white walls and floors that connect with the alabaster sands just beyond. Columns, domes and more arches give this resort its intriguing aura.
Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort, Marathon, Florida
In the Florida Keys, you really have to search to find a sweeping beach, which is why a stay at the Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort is such a treat. Walk out the French doors of a two- or three-bedroom beachfront house onto the porch and savor the expansive view of sparkling white sand that leads to the Gulf of Mexico. Palm trees, lounges, a swimmer’s beach and even TJ’s Tiki Bar are right there. And the two-story beach house couldn’t be prettier. Its white walls and linens serve as a canvas for brightly colored furniture, bed accessories and accent walls boasting playful floral and sea coral patterned wallcoverings. The full kitchen allows you to brew your own coffee—or mix your own cocktails—to enjoy curled up in an Adirondack chair on the porch or the second-floor balcony.