If you, like us, believe the sun, sand and skies are the primary colours of the soul, this anthology of the most enchanting beachscapes from around the world will inspire you. You’ll go with the flow, you will glow. And take back a rejuvenated spirit and some gorgeous photographs. #NoFilter needed!
Phuket is a necklace of beaches with turquoise waters, golden sands, all linked by winding coastal roads along the west coast of this 540 square kilometre island with breathtaking views. Whether you want to sample the frenetic pace of Patong or wind down in a remote location in the north, Phuket has the location for you. Most beaches feature restaurants or wandering food vendors so you don’t have to interrupt your bronzing for lunch.
Where to Stay: We choose to hideaway in stunning little Kata Noi – a cosy bay at the end of a beachy cul-de-sac. There isn’t much ‘to do’ except unwind, spend quality time with your loved one, snorkel, swim and admire the scenery.
Just off the beach is the small and luxurious Kata Rocks Resort with its minimalist vibe and spectacular views of the Andaman Sea featuring, terraced lofts, villas, and penthouses that come with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors opening onto private infinity pools.
The beaches of Koh Samui glitter with fine white sand, crystal clear water and the stories of crazy full moon parties. Fringed by nodding coconut palms and caressed by the Gulf of Thailand, they’re the definition of tropical paradise.
But not all the beaches in Koh Samui boom with party people. Most are quiet, relaxed, some almost entirely deserted and provide perfect isolation. Get a massage, have your hair braided, buy barbeque chicken or sarongs, get to know the locals or simply doze off, chill out and unwind.
Where to Stay: Four Seasons Koh Samui, set in palm trees at the back of a beautiful and quiet private beach with talcum white sands on the north-west tip is quiet, luxurious and unassuming.
With more than a dozen unique beach coves, soft with the white, powdery sand the island is famous for, Boracay beckons. Puka Shell beach, the second longest on island, covering half its northern tip, is only 800 metres in length and is covered in precious small shells and tiny white coral amulets.
Where to Stay: We love the island’s most luxurious and romantic destination, the Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa. If a picture speaks a thousand words, imagine them whispering about the sound of the clear blue waters of Puka Shell Beach, fanning out to meet the endless blue sky.
Oman’s 3000 kilometre coastline includes some of the most stunning, secluded and diverse beachscapes of the Arabian Peninsula; sandy shores, bays, islands and lagoons.
Where to Stay: The Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat sits on the shore of a beautiful beach, its feelings of privacy enhanced by a range of magnificent mountains.
Just 25 kilometres out of Muscat, Bandar Jissah is balm for your soul after the hubbub of the souks. Fly along the sweeping coastal road and plunge into the blue waters of the lagoon, surrounded by rugged rock. Step into the romantic luxury of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, with its discreet service, tranquil infinity pool and private beach. Don’t forget to photograph the view!
The Maldives earns its place on every sun chaser’s bucket list with its soft white sand, calendar of sunshine and water as clear as a blue gemstone. Soak up the sun or dive into the ocean to snorkel, surf the waves or bullet the blue sky with a parasailing adventure. The Maldives provides the perfect chance to let nature relax and rejuvenate your body and soul.
Where to Stay: We fell in love with the Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa. The Indian Ocean laps the edge of the resort which is welcoming, warm and features a range of experiences from private ocean retreats to tropical tree houses, villas all with incredible sea-views begging for a camera to capture an endless moment in time.
Bali beaches range from palm-fringed white sand coasts in the south - Kuta, Nusa Dua and Sanur - to the cliff-guarded ‘hidden’ shores of Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Dreamland and Bingin. Treat your Instagram followers to the unlikely sights of the striking black sands on the north and western shorelines that have sleepy undisturbed coves within.
Where to Stay: Jimbaran beach and bay, on the southwestern coast of the narrow isthmus connecting the mainland to the Bulkit Peninsula is where we’re most inspired to take photographs of secluded, tranquil hideaways. Choose the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay and the InterContinental Bali Resort and Spa for the perfectly peaceful holiday.
Costa Del Sol
The 160km long ‘coast of the sun’ basks in 320 days of sunshine a year and presents a bucket list of treats in the hidden coves and wild natural areas of Malaga and Costa Del Sol. Travel to Cabo de Gata National Park, Almeria and discover stunning, almost-secret beaches, pristine and mercifully undeveloped. Our favourite? It has to be Playa de los Genoveses; a horseshoe bay with shallow water, bookended by impressive cliffs. Just you and nature.
Where to Stay: Located in the spectacular Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve, Real Agua Amarga La Joya is an adults-only boutique hotel featuring sophisticated digs and panoramic views. Each spacious suite has a private terrace with sun beds and sea views, and it’s a short drive away from Playa de los Genoveses
Once a sleepy beach outpost, Tulum, 145 km south of Cancun is now a trendy but low-key escape for stylish couples. Its wide, uninterrupted stretches of pearl-white sand, the deepest of turquoise-hued waters and lounge-y beach clubs have put the Riviera Maya on the world-tourism map.
Tulum is also that rare treasure, a destination with a rich historical past. You can not only capture pristine waters and the soft white sand in your toes, but also the gorgeous Tulum ruins, a backdrop to some of the most beautiful beaches there.
Where to Stay: The best places to stay in town are Be Tulum and Coqui Coqui. They are both haute hippie combining rusticity with relaxation: a formula that keeps A-listers and in-the-know civilians coming back for more.
In Fiji you are only a short boat ride or quick helicopter flight away from a virgin beach with powdery sand, translucent water and snorkel-perfect reefs. The island of Viti Levu is where you can take a day cruise or helicopter tour to the beautiful islands and beaches. Island resorts make your dream of the perfect beach at your doorstep, come true.
Where to Stay: We love the beachfront Bure suites set right on the water’s edge offering sweeping views of the lagoon, reef and Pacific Ocean at Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca Island, Fiji, a luxurious resort on the private Yanuca Island.
The world’s honeymoon paradise features warm sapphire waters and endless silver beaches along a 330 km coastline. Fringed by lagoons created by the most beautiful coral reefs on the planet, the waters are calm and great for gentle swimming and snorkeling.
Where to Stay: You have your pick of luxurious resorts but for the ultimate in relaxation in a picture perfect setting, it doesn’t get better than the Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort and Spa. Situated on the white sand beaches of Trou d’Eau Douce Bay, the resort has been described as ‘Mauritian perfection’.