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Top 10 Boutique Beach Breaks
Mr & Mrs Smith Into/In need of a relaxing beach getaway? Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith round up 10 of the world's most stylish shoreside stays...
Luna2 Private Hotel, Bali
La Reserve Paris Make like the cream of Straits society and hightail it to Capella Singapore, a grand sweep of a hotel on Singapore's sun-kissed Sentosa Island.
1: Best for surf chic: The Modern Honolulu, Honolulu, United States
Set near world-famous Waikiki Beach, the Modern Honolulu brings boutique hotel attitude to surfing paradise Hawaii. Broken surfboards even star above the reception desk in this hip haunt, which accessorises its 353 bright, white rooms with local touches such as ukuleles and tropical-patterned sarongs. The charm doesn't stop there, with a clutch of cool bars, a nightclub and a see-and-be-seen restaurant, where Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto whips up Japanese-fusion dishes. Take a surf class or show off your big-wave moves, then kick back with a Lomi Lomi massage in the spa or a cocktail at the Sunset Pool bar.
2: Best for laid-back lounging: The Boatshed, Auckland, New Zealand
Just a 35-minute ferry ride from central Auckland, The Boatshed, Waiheke Island offers chilled-out beaches and must-visit wineries. A laid-back getaway perched above Little Oneroa beach, it's our top tip for soaking up the serenity. With only seven suites, and shared living/dining areas including a sea-view terrace, it's an intimate yet sociable hotel. Nautical details rule, from oars to telescopes and lifebelts, with Boatshed Suites and a three-storey Lighthouse boudoir working the seaside theme. Lunch and dinner cost extra, but are worth it, or hire a Mini Moke Tog for exploring the island in style.
3: Best for treehouse trysts: Matangi Private Island Resort, Fiji Islands, Fiji
Fiji may be close to NZ, but you'll feel a world away as you rock up by boat at bijou, beach-blessed Matangi Islandin the jungle-lush north-east (reached via a short flight from capital Nadi). Romantic Treehouse boudoirs at 12-room Matangi Private Island Resort ensure your holiday stays on a natural high, or opt for thatched Beachfront Bures nearer the shore. White sand is the go here, with loungers for lazing and turquoise seas for diving amid renowned soft coral sites. With poolside dining and an overwater spa, it's tempting to stay put, but make time for a picnic on heavenly Horseshoe Bay.
4: Best for castaway chilling: Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Cast yourself away at just-remote-enough Wilson Island in the Great Barrier Reef, a tiny cay promising pristine sand and shoreside glamping (that's pampered camping for the uninitiated). With just six smart tents and a communal Longhouse where the chef whips up seafood feasts, you'll feel far from the madding crowd. Access is by plane to Gladstone Airport, then a boat from Heron Island, so pack light and expect solar-powered showers. Once here it's all about barefoot luxe - swim, snorkel, ramble on the reefs, play bocce or watch turtles hatch. Then settle back with a pina colada under the stars.
5: Best for family fun: Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, Sagres, Portugal
For travelling with a troupe in Europe, it's hard to beat Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel in the beach-strewn Algarve, in Portugal's south-west. Sandwiched between the beach and a national park, this 38-room, glass-enhanced hideaway in the fishing port of Sagres has coastal cool written all over it. The Martinhal Village villas are ideal for families, boasting three bedrooms and handy kitchens. The Beach Club will keep the kids entertained while you enjoy the indulgent day spa. Cue a posse of pools, tennis courts and turf-based sports facilities, as well as watersports from kayaking to kitesurfing and bikes and sail-powered go-karts on land.
6: Best for romantic adventures: Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand
Touting three white-sand beaches fringed by dramatic cliffs, Rayavadee boutique hotel in Krabi, in south-west Thailand, ups the romance ante. With island-hopping, sea kayaking, scuba and snorkelling up for grabs, there's plenty to please water babes, as well as tropical gardens for lounging on terra firma. There are 98 one- and two-bed pavilions and four beachfront villas, with the Spa Pavilion a top pick if you fancy your own outdoor Jacuzzi. Your only stress will be choosing between the four multi-culti restaurants, but don't miss cocktails in the exotic limestone Grotto, perfect for sea-view sips with your toes in the sand. Cool off in the lagoon-licked infinity pool or escape to scenic Phranang Beach.
7: Best for budget boutique: The Last House, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is back on the map as a beguiling getaway for those in the know. With palm-lined beaches, crowd-free surf spots and culture a-go-go (think vibrant temples, colonial forts and verdant tea plantations), there's loads to distract you on this tropical island, plus delicious local food and magical festivals. For an airy retreat right on the beach, check into The Last House budget-boutique hotel in Tangalle, which owes its breezy interiors to legendary Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Offering just six rooms, it's a private affair, with gourmet treats served up by chef Ananda, washed down with BYO drinks.
8: Best for a sociable setting: Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Slap bang on mountain-backed Nha Trang Beach, in south Vietnam, Nha Trang hotel Evason Ana Mandara is all about easy living. Balancing seaside bliss and local life (it's the only beach resort in town), it offers shoreside seclusion by day and buzzy socialising at night. Choose between garden, sea or beachfront views in the 74 rooms, all with private terraces. The Six Senses Spa will satisfy pleasure-seekers; action hounds will prefer speedboat trips to nearby islands, parasailing, jetskiing and waterskiing, with snorkelling and diving below the waves. Two generous pools and an expansive beach round out the fun.
9: Best for intimate getaways: Salt House, Cornwall, United Kingdom
OK, so the UK may not be your first port of call for a beach holiday, but if you're visiting England you'll love arty, surf-friendly St Ives in sun-kissed, south-western Cornwall. Luxury-laden Salt House is a boutique B&B on the edge of town, with just two light-filled rooms and seductive sea vistas. Floor-to-ceiling glass makes the most of the bay panoramas, with balconies for enjoying cooked or Continental breakfast. It's just a 10-minute walk on the coastal path to button-cute St Ives, home to Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth sculpture gallery, as well as a clutch of surf-lapped beaches.
10: Best for beach club action: Karma Kandara, Bali, Indonesia
Gazing over the Indian Ocean from its cliffside eyrie on the south-western Bukit Peninsula, Karma Kandara hotel in Bali embraces the beach below. Luckily, there's an inclinator for descending to Nammos Beach Club, where non-motorised watersports are free and there's a mellow veranda restaurant. Ideal for quaffing cocktails, it also plays host to DJ-fuelled full-moon parties. Up above, 46 supersized pool villas beckon, along with a sea-view spa. Children will love Karma Kids' Club and the pleasing pool; adults can while away time at Med eatery di Mare, the Temple Lounge & Bar, and the Enomatic wine dispenser.
To book any of Mr & Mrs Smith's stylish 900+ boutique hotels and holiday houses visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 0800 896 671. Smith guests enjoy exclusive extras at all stays.
Source: MSN NZ
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