No matter how breathtaking your hotel’s pool may be, it is no replacement for a stretch of pristine white sand. Whether you are a water sports enthusiast or prefer to gaze at the ocean from a distance, there is something uniquely calming about waking to the sound of the surf and staring out to a blue horizon. Our members found the following three hotels to have the most superlative beaches.
1. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Kohala Coast, Hawaii
At first glance, Mauna Kea’s concrete architecture can make it seem like a typical boxy beach resort. But regular visitors know it most certainly is not. Built in 1965 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, this was the first terraced, open-air structure of its kind — often copied, never replicated. With lush grounds and an extraordinary art collection, the 252-room resort overlooks an exquisite beach on the rugged Kohala Coast. Waking up to breakfast on your own private lanai, it’s easy to imagine you’ve traveled back to when Mauna Kea first opened. Room rates may then have been $43 a night, but the resort was — and still is — the most glamorous place to stay on the Big Island.
Best throwback cocktail for a throwback hotel: the Mauna Kea bee’s knees, with muddled basil, Botanist gin, hive honey and housemade lemon sour.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
2. Belmond Cap Juluca
Maundays Bay, Anguilla
Set on its own 180-acre peninsula at the southern tip of Anguilla, Belmond Cap Juluca boasts an extraordinary mile-long stretch of powdery sand backed by the property’s whitewashed Moorish archways and domes. While all rooms feature oceanfront terraces, it is the spacious beachfront villas and suites that offer the most direct access to the crystalline water. The protected bay is perfect for waterskiing, windsurfing and sea kayaking. Catamarans and sailboats are available for lessons or charter. For true indulgence, book an alfresco treatment in one of the spa’s beach cabanas. The property is currently closed for a $121 million renovation, which will reduce the total number of accommodations to 108 and enhance both the rooms and spa. The resort is set to reopen on November 17, 2018.
Belmond Cap Juluca
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Nestled between a marine national park and a nature reserve, Amanyara overlooks a half-mile stretch of white sand on the western shore of Providenciales. From here, guests can access some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean or explore pristine coral reefs by snorkeling directly from the beach. Alternatively, the stunning coast can be explored by kayak, paddleboard and catamaran. Ocean-facing teakwood pavilions have direct pathways to the beach, where you can dig your toes into the sand while enjoying dinner attended by a private butler.