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Holiday Type / Beach and beyond

This isn't just about the best beaches, bucket and spade holidays are taken up a notch or two with our beach bliss list. Think direct access onto powder-soft sand, bath-like water and spots so quiet you can almost hear crabs scuttling and dolphins dancing. We've picked our favourite family-friendly slices of earthly paradise, places where children can plant their own coral, get up close and personal with resident turtles or go Crusoe castaway on an uninhabited island. Browse our suggested hotels and itineraries below.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

The site of a former 18th Century sugar plantation, the aptly-named Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort has attracted quite the celebrity following, counting Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow amongst its fans. And for good reason. Yes, the sand is exceedingly white and powdery, the service is genuinely superb and the location between the majestic Pitons makes this the premier address on St Lucia, but there is much more to this exceptional beachfront resort than first meets the eye. From sampling gourmet fare in the charming Great Room restaurant to expl...

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One&Only Reethi Rah

Located on one of the largest islands in the North Malé Atoll, the octopus-shaped One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives encompasses an extraordinary six kilometres of coastline. Here, in beautiful landscaping by the turquoise bays, lie discreetly placed villas, each with their own secluded piece of sugar white shore or private deck with direct access to the lagoon, boasting high, airy ceilings and generous exterior space some with private pools. Keynote for dining is island-chic. At Reethi Restaurant floor-to ceiling glass screens reveal the open-conce...

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Coral Reef Club Resort

Encased amidst twelve acres of lush tropical gardens overlooking a picturesque bay, the award-winning Coral Reef Club, Barbados is a tribute to the professionalism, creativity and vision of the O’Hara family. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the style is reminiscent of a rich colonial heritage, and has built up a loyal following from those who love the landscaped gardens and complimentary non-motorised watersports. Undoubtedly one of the main draws enticing guests to return is the focus on health and wellbeing. Set within the beaut...

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Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay, Antigua is a privately owned enclave that has raised the bar for contemporary excellence in the Caribbean, set upon a backdrop of rolling hills and lush tropical rainforest. Firstly, there’s the ravishing beach setting, where each end is dedicated either to couples or families. Then, there’s the true sense of arrival, as guests are welcomed into a magnificent open plan lobby. And not least, there are the spacious suites, with cool, calm interiors, a sitting area or bedroom that faces the sea and a private terrace or balcony, most ...

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Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

With its air of modern sophistication, this elegant beachfront resort offers flawless Four Seasons service in an exceptional location on Florida’s Palm Beach. Fringed by swaying palms, the luxury 5 star hotel features light and spacious suites with private balconies boasting views over the Atlantic Ocean, tropical gardens or expansive pool. Around the poolside, guests can choose to lounge on plush chaise longues or in private cabanas, whilst discreet attendants deliver chilled towels, fresh fruit and ice cold water. Dining options include fresh...

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Bahía del Duque

A resplendent gem on Tenerife’s Costa Adeje, this member of The Leading Hotels of the World is a luxury resort on several levels, comprising three distinct areas of accommodation. In addition to the colourful rooms and suites arranged in a horseshoe around the pools, there are the Casas Ducales. Designed by Pascua Ortega, they form a hotel within a hotel featuring Canarian-style houses with special services including those of a resident butler. The luxuriant Las Villas form the third section, complete with their own private reception and readin...

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One&Only Royal Mirage - The Palace

The Palace is a regal beachfront domain where guests will enjoy exploring the landscaped gardens resplendent with exotic flora and criss-crossed by meandering water features. Adorned with ornamental arches, individually designed guest rooms and suites are all sea facing and feature a private balcony or terrace to maximise the shimmering Gulf views. Dining within the walls of The Palace offers a taste of the Mediterranean at Olives with its casual all-day dining, and truly Moroccan influences at Tagine where lanterns, oriental rugs and quiet alc...

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Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

Flanked by towering limestone cliffs on one of the finest mile-long white sand beaches in the Langkawi UNESCO Geopark lies a resort both infinitely stylish and instantly captivating. The ambience is that of a typical Malay village, with Pavilions, Villas and Family Beach Villas woven through acres of beautifully landscaped gardens – the luxurious Beach Villas featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and a private garden with pool and reflecting pond, whilst generously sized Melaleuca Pavilions feature contemporary Malay designs. Delightful specialiti...

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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

Families and couples alike will find their ideal escape in this beachfront resort close to the Similian Islands where pristine white sand beaches melt into dazzling azure waters. All rooms have a balcony or terrace – pool access rooms allowing direct access to the outdoor lagoon pool, whilst Spa Villas feature a Jacuzzi on the balcony. Of particular appeal to families, the generously sized two bedroom pool view suites comprise separate living and dining areas, a comfy sofa and all the latest hi-tech in-room media. Multifarious dining options en...

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Six Senses Laamu

Located on privately owned Olhuveli Island in the Laamu Atoll, this impressive resort deftly blends out-and-out luxury with impeccable eco-friendly credentials. A large stretch of beachfront has been left untouched enabling guests to feel close to nature. With the emphasis on natural materials, Beach Villas have a garden and direct beach access, whilst the Water Villas are replete with a sunken bath and roof terrace. Both have a refreshing outdoor rain shower and raised dining deck for romantic meals under the stars. Chill to the relaxed sounds...

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Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

The south west coast of Mahé is the bewitching setting for this 5 star resort on the beautifully isolated Petite Anse beach, often regarded as one of the most swoonworthy bays on the island. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is a lush castaway sanctuary, offering superior service – a renowned characteristic of Four Seasons resorts – and spellbinding views of the Indian Ocean. Luxury villas and suites spill dramatically down a forested slope towards the ocean, each blending seamlessly into the Seychellois landscape and offering every indulgence fro...

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Blue Waters & The Cove Suites

Set amidst colourful gardens leading down to three secluded white sand beaches, family-owned Blue Waters, Antigua is a remarkably stylish resort, offering plenty for both families and couples. The public areas feature a pleasing blend of classic Colonial and contemporary styling with elegant white décor and architectural features that make the most of their proximity to the Caribbean Sea. Perched on a breeze-cooled bluff with ocean panoramas, The Cove presents an exclusive collection of luxuriously furnished suites and penthouses within four vi...

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