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Ten of the Best Places to get Sand between Your Toes
Whether it is hours of exhilarating water sports or a romantic moonlit dinner by the sea, everyone has their own idea of what the perfect beach vacation should comprise. No matter your preference, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts can make that dream resort getaway a reality.
With world-class resorts across the globe, guests will be spoilt for choice as they decide between Polynesian sunsets, amazing Balinese seascapes or the golden sand of the Middle East.
*Please note that this is not ranked in any particular order
1. Son Tra Peninsula, Danang
With its long, white sandy beaches and natural forests, the Son Tra Peninsula, also known as the Mythical Monkey Mountain, boasts such beauty that in the past it used to be revered by the locals as a landing place for fairies.The Son Tra Peninsula spans 4,000 hectares and is home to an array of beaches. Nestled in a private bay within the Peninsula is InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. With its magnificent views, emerald blue water, gentle sea breezes and an endless untouched beach, the resort is truly deserving of its title of Vietnam's Leading Resort in the recent World Travel Awards 2013. Guests can dine at the casual yet classy Barefoot Café and enjoy the fine tastes of a Mediterranean meal as they sink their toes into the soft, fine sand and take in the stunning views of the East Sea.
2. West Bay Lagoon, QatarWest Bay Lagoon, also known as Al Qutaifiya, is a neighbourhood in Doha, Qatar. The area houses a variety of accommodations and lifestyle options, including InterContinental Doha which is home to Doha's longest private beach. The resort is a waterfront oasis where guests can take in sweeping views of the Arabic Gulf simply by taking a relaxing stroll down the sandy white coastline.
For a unique seafood experience, visit the Fish Market where you can select your own catch of the day, and indulge in the freshest seafood specialties tailored to your taste buds.
3. Natadola Bay, Fiji
Natadola Bay is one of the South Pacific's best-kept secrets and home to Fiji's finest mainland resort, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa. With its natural white sand and lush greenery, it is no wonder the beach was voted as one of the Top 10 in the world by Forbes Magazine.
Enjoy a luxurious massage in a seaside cabana, tackle the inviting waves or dive among its colourful reefs when you stay at the resort. Guests who are more adventurous can opt to explore the deserted beaches on the far side of Navo Island.
4. Hua Hin, Thailand
Hua Hin has its roots as the official resort destination of the Thai royal family. Just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, the five kilometre long beach is now a popular getaway for Thai locals and travellers alike. A resort of prestigious Thai royal heritage, InterContinental Hua Hin Resort rests in the shadow of Khao Takiab, known locally as Chopstick Hill. The peace and tranquillity of the resort draws travellers who appreciate the chance to take a step back from everyday life and restore themselves - mind and body. Guests can regain their equilibrium through yoga sessions at the resort's beachfront with the pristine white sand between their toes.
Come evening, guests can indulge in a bountiful seaside barbeque where they can prepare their own fresh seafood dinner, or seek the assistance of the resort's renowned seafood chefs.
5. Maesato Beach, Okinawa
The Maesato Beach is famed for its rich cultural traditions, abundant coral reefs, distinctive regional foods and the natural warmth of its people.
Situated astride the Maesato Beach, ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort Hotel is Japan's southern-most resort that is prefect for an idyllic beach getaway. It offers a wide range of activities such as scuba diving, fishing and snorkelling. Guests can also choose to take a swim or relax along the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean at Maesato Beach. For an unforgettable ocean experience, participate in the Sea Walk to feel the sand under water as you're surrounded by captivating marine life. Travellers will fall in love with the natural warmth of Okinawa's people and the beauty of the island. With myriad fun-filled activities, this island getaway will make for a truly memorable family vacation.
6. Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast
Sanctuary Cove is renowned as Australia's resort-style masterplanned community. Located in the northern Gold Coast region, Sanctuary Cove combines quality residential options with world class leisure facilities.
Just minutes away from Australia's favourite theme parks in the Gold Coast, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is equipped with a beautiful one-acre beach lagoon perfect for a relaxing holiday to escape from the bustling city. Spend your day in the resort with an indulgent massage at Champions Day Spa and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing around the spectacular lagoon pool. Need a bite? Enjoy a delicious afternoon High Tea in Cove Cafe, before heading back to your pool lounge.
7. Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Al Jubail is a city in the eastern province on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia and the largest industrial city in the Middle East. In the middle of a bustling city life, there is an oasis that is InterContinental Al Jubail. Set on a private beach, the hotel overlooks the beautiful Arabian Gulf. It has its own scuba diving centre and is the ideal base to start your sail along the stunning Arabian coastline.
Upon reaching either of two pristine islands, Juraid and Jana, guests can swim and snorkel in the calm blue waters with barracudas, hamour and needlefish while taking in the vibrant shades of the coral reefs. Back at the resort, guests can unwind over dinner at the Laguna Pearl Café while they take in the majestic sunset.
8. Jimbaran Bay, Bali
Bali is a stunning island famed for its scenic views and warm hospitality. Its beaches are amongst the most famous in the world and Jimbaran Bay at InterContinental Bali Resort is often considered the island's crown jewel.
Guests can choose to explore the local culture through village tours or simply sip on a delicious cocktail on the golden sands of Bali. Nature lovers can also opt to be a part of the resort's turtle conservation efforts during their stay there. In the evening, guests can revel in a performance of Balinese dancing while dining at Taman Gita Terrace. Besides being the perfect way to end a day in Bali, it is also a great way to immerse deeper in Bali's rich tradition and culture.
9. Manzamo Cape , Okinawa
The Manzamo Cape is one of the most visited tourist spots in Okinawa. Facing the East China Sea, the Cape is famous for its elephant-trunk shaped rock formation.
Situated on the Manzamo cape, each guestroom at the ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort Hotel provides guest with captivating views of clear blue waters and white sandy beaches. Guests can kick start their day with a visit to the nearby Cape Manza. Its commanding views of gorgeous coral reefs and aqua blue waves crashing against rugged cliffs will take your breath away.
Next, a visit to the Churaumi Aquarium is a must do. Literally meaning the Beautiful Sea Aquarium, it is inhabited by over 16,000 sea creatures, including several whale sharks, and is the largest in Asia. End the day by setting sail on the resort's catamaran yacht and bask in the changing colours of the sky and sea while you reminisce on a day well spent.
11. B10. Balaclava, Mauritius
Mauritius is a resort-haven situated in the Indian Ocean. Sitting on an island offering stunning views which overlook the Bay of Balaclava, the breath-taking InterContinental Resort Mauritius is the perfect base to set off for a snorkelling or diving expedition at the beautiful Turtle Bay - or Baie aux Tortues to the locals. The resort features an outdoor infinity pool alongside the pristine white beach where children can build sandcastles with mini buckets and spades provided by the hotel while the adults take a leisurely stroll.
To end the day's activities, guests can savour the freshest seafood from the region at Segala, one of the hotel's 5-star restaurants, while they take in the spectacular view of the Indian Ocean.
For more information on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, visit http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/reservation.
About IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo® Hotels, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express® Hotels, Staybridge Suites® Hotels, Candlewood Suites® Hotels, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™Hotels & Resorts. IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 74 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet for Elites across all hotels, globally. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,600 hotels and 678,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information.
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