The world is full of beautiful beaches. Many of them are located in idyllic, out-of-the-way locations that are best reached by boat, or at least via a long walk through the underbrush. The drawback to these beaches, though, is that the accommodations are usually a tent, you have to cook your own food and the local nightlife has either wings or fur.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other beaches where you can still spend the whole day working on your tan and swimming in the ocean and the whole night dining on gourmet meals and sleeping between 1000-count sheets. Even better, these places often offer first-class resorts, expensive real estate, fashionable boutiques, celebrity-packed nightclubs, businesses that can either rent or fix exotic cars, proximity to international airports, golf courses and a yacht club or two.
When planning a summer beach holiday, it is important to bear in mind whether the beach will offer the degree of luxury that you--and the people you are traveling with--demand. However, there is really no such thing as a "luxury beach." What makes it luxurious are the amenities available locally, as well as how much it costs to enjoy them.
While most of the beaches on our list are free to enter--or at least have public sections--there is still plenty to pay for. Whether it's several million dollars for a summer house in East Hampton, Long Island, a $5,000 first-class plane ticket on Air France
to St. Tropez's Plage de Pampelonne via Nice, $500 per night for bed and breakfast at The Four Seasons Resort, Maui
on Wailea Beach, a beachside massage at Pink Sands on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, or a pair of Versace sunglasses for your morning nap on South Beach, a visit to any of our beaches won't come cheap.