When we conjure up images of the perfect beach holiday, we often think of a tranquil hideaway which delivers some much needed rest and relaxation. However, no longer just fly-and-flop, a beach getaway can be so much more; from a romantic oasis to an opportunity to actively explore nature at its finest. But with so many destinations to choose from how do you select your perfect beach escape? From ultramodern resorts to rustic retreats, here is our top ten all-time favourite beach holidays.
One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
With a pick of 12 beaches, sprawling across six kilometres of coastline, One&Only Reethi Rah is our idea of paradise personified. This uber stylish retreat set amongst soft white sands and turquoise blue lagoons offers a tranquil setting which guarantees relaxation. If you want to explore the hidden depths of the Indian Ocean, then the PADI National Geographic dive centre will provide unspoiled views of the surrounding coral reefs and schools of exotic marine wildlife.
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua
Only accessible by boat and not a car in sight, the minute your feet touch the palm-spotted beaches of Jumby Bay, you know you have found an idyllic remote hideaway. Bask in the laid back beach vibe, soaking up the golden rays, whilst sipping on refreshing frozen daiquiris or fresh-fruit smoothies. If you seek adventure, Jumby Bay offers a host of stimulating activities; from paddle boarding and windsurfing to world-class tailored sailing excursions.
Mandarin Oriental Canouan, The Grenadines
Nestled on the tiny Canouan Island, Mandarin Oriental Canouan is framed by unspoiled seascapes and three square miles of secluded white sandy beaches. Home to one of the world's largest living coral reefs, Pink Sands offers some of the most diverse diving and snorkelling experiences in the Caribbean. Its tranquil atmosphere has made the island a favourite with billionaires wanting to escape the rat race, making it poised to become one of the most exclusive destinations across the globe.
Gansevoort, Turks & Caicos
Indulgence is always on the cards at Gansevoort, with award-winning beaches that bestow endless natural beauty, platinum white sands and the sounds of gently lapping waters. Marrying the sleek sophistication of New York and the effortless cool of the Caribbean, Gansevoort is impossible to fault. Not just a place for relaxation, Grace Beach, sitting on the doorstep of Gansevoort, plays host to the island favourite, fish fry, where you can enjoy live music and fine cuisine with a rum-filled coconut in hand.
The Brando, Fiji & French Polynesia
A firm favourite of Leonardo DiCaprio (and us too), The Brando is located on the Tetiaroa, a private atoll surrounded by untouched islands and lined with miles of pristine sandy beaches and a calm turquoise lagoon. Become fully immersed in nature, as exotic birds meander down the beach and tropical marine life is yours to explore via Polynesian outrigger canoe, paddleboards or kayaking around the surrounding private islands.
Peter Island, British Virgin Islands
With a rich and inspiring history - including visits from Christopher Columbus and Blackbeard, Peter Island is a great escape for those who want to relax or seek adventure. With five beaches to choose from, every personality is catered for. Whether you favour the romantic atmosphere of Honeymoon Beach or the active nature of Little Deadman's Beach, which offers yoga, snorkelling and scuba diving no two days need be the same.
The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, Greece
One of Greece's best kept secrets, Westin Resort Costa Navarino feels like your very own peace of paradise. Resting on a breathtaking stretch of sandy beach, surrounded by thousands of olive trees, its tranquil ambiance will whisk you way into a deep sense of relaxation. But, if you like activities, a guided eco walk, sailing the Ionian Sea or diving the depths to observe the magnificent loggerhead sea turtles will tick all the boxes.
Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita
In the heart of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has been tempting travellers far and wide for years. With its safe, crystal clear lagoons and sun-drenched beaches it's easy to see why. Four Seasons Resort Mauritius is a hive of activity, from horseback riding across the sands to undersea lagoon walks, deep-water fishing and private catamaran cruises. This resort packs a mighty punch.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia
Set amongst 100 acres of tropical rainforest and with views of the Piton Mountains, Sugar Beach makes the most of the natural surrounding beauty. The best of both worlds, guests can unwind, soaking up the sun on the sugar-soft sands, whilst sipping on refreshing cocktails and savouring delicious beachside cuisine. Whereas, adventure-seekers can explore the Caribbean Sea via Schiller water bikes or experience the underwater world of coral, sponges and sea fauna.
Cali & Cabo, Casa Del Mar & One&Only Pamilla
When one beach location isn't enough, why not try two. With Santa Monica Beach on its doorstep, Casa Del Mar offers sweeping views of the Pacific for a quintessential SoCal vibe. If the bustling boardwalk doesn't tempt you, a chilled alternative could be to master your 'duck dive' with professional surfing lessons or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the three miles of coastline. Next stop, Mexico; set on top of the stunning Baja Peninsula and along the sea of Cortez, One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos provides beachfront access to one of the only swimmable beaches in the region. Beyond bathing, aquaphiles can set sail on the resorts Catari yacht or participate in some seasonal whale watching.