Whether you’re planning on a short-haul flight to seek out some sun, or travelling further afield, we have a collection of shoreline hotels with the most luxurious amenities, attentive staff and stunning surroundings. Dive in, the water’s lovely…
W Retreat & Spa, Maldives
Cool, contemporary W Hotels were once only to be found in exciting cities. But Starwood, who own the chain, has made a rather clever move in creating W’s first beach resort on the Maldives – where else? Within just a year of opening it became one of the islands’ hottest destinations, thanks to its beautiful spa, professionalism and discretion from the superbly trained staff (a must when you’ve got A-listers flying in to get away from the stresses and strains of celebrity life) and its pristine beach location. Quite possibly one of our favourite places on earth.
W Retreat & Spa Maldives, Fesdu Island, Maldives, Tel: +960 666 2222, www.w-hotels.com
Marbella Club Hotel, Marbella
If you’re searching for the perfect sybaratic beach setting in Europe, then the legendary Marbella Club Hotel is the ideal hotel for a spot of sun-worshipping, as well as fine-food-worshipping and five-star-service-worshipping. The hotel’s glamorous past still echoes in its villas and luxurious dining spots. Down on the beach you’ll be rubbing well-tanned shoulders with some of Europe’s most influential jet-setters, while at your table for lunch at the snaking queues, but feel the need for a spot of sun, sand, sea and glamour.
Marbella Club Hotel, Bulevar Príncipe Afonso von Hohenlohe, Tel: +34 952 822 211, www.marbellaclub.com
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
There’s getting away from it all, and then there’s holidaying at Richard Branson’s Necker Island, with not a Paparazzo or beach vendor in sight. If you need your beachside retreat to be exclusive, luxurious and away from the madding crowd, then Sir Branson’s pad is just the place. If you are feeling a little more sociable, there are a few weeks every year where individual rooms are available, lending a ‘house party’ atmosphere to the luxurious proceedings. However, if you really do want some peace and quiet and don’t want to fight for the hammocks on Turtle Beach, be greedy and have the entire island and its 50 superb staff all to yourself. The price? $46,000 per night with room for up 28 of your nearest dearest friends and family.
For reservations, call: +44 208 600 0431, www.necker.com
Sandy Lane, Barbados
Don’t let the possibility of catching a glimpse of Michael Winner or Simon Cowell in their Speedos put you off Sandy Lane – arguably one of the most famous hotels in the world on one of the most pristine stretches of white sand in the world. Whilst there may be a generous sprinkling of five-star amenities (including a renowned spa and some excellent fine dining restaurants, plus a golf course or two), Sandy Lane is all about the beach. Pull up a lounger, order yourself a cold Banks’s beer, a Rum Punch or a glass of bubbly, grab a copy of Caché Barbados and watch the tourists traipse past, hoping for a sighting of the aforementioned gentlemen trotting around in their high-waisted swimwear. If you’re not within a five-metre radius of a holidaying celeb, ask for your money back.
n Sandy Lane, St James, Barbados
Tel: +1 246 444 2000, www.sandylane.com
One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
Sweep away all preconceptions of a resort holiday when booking yourself into the über-luxurious One & Only Royal Mirage. As far from the frenetic pace of the ever-expanding Dubai as one can get, One & Only has managed to create an oasis of cool refinement and peaceful calm in this desert city. Best of all is the hotel’s Givenchy Spa; dust off the sand, take one last glimpse of The Palm Island Jumeirah and give your bikini body.
One & Only Royal Mirage, Tel: +9714 399 9999,