Dreaming of a luxe tropical escape? Whether you’re looking for a sprawling resort mere steps from the water or a swanky villa amid the jungle, these are the hotels to know.
Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Indonesia
This swish all-suite hotel is a popular spot for good reason: there’s its prime location, smack bang on Double Six Beach and just minutes from the main stretch of sand in Seminyak – but what’s inside is also worth celebrating. Filled with sleek teak furnishings, most rooms have private balconies overlooking the 120-metre pool below, while the marble-clad, 1920s-inspired restaurant serves up premium-grade wagyu and jumbo tiger prawns straight from the grill.
The biggest selling point is the 1700-square-metre rooftop bar where an infinity pond surrounds sunken circular pods that seat up to eight. Early risers take coffee up here to watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean, returning hours later to enjoy one of the island’s jaw-dropping sunsets with a spiced-rum sangria in hand.
Beach Club, Australia
A place to get lost among all that white sand, aquamarine water and flourishing greenery, the Beach Club on Hamilton Island’s northern coastline debuted in 1999 and has been a go-to for honeymooners ever since. Although close to many of the island’s restaurants, it feels like a world unto itself; the sense of total escape is boosted by the 18-and-over policy, making it a hit with kid-free travellers.
The 57 coastal-chic rooms have recently been refurbished, bathed in soothing hues of ecru and navy to amplify views of the Coral Sea from the balconies and private terraces. Other perks include VIP airport transfers and complimentary use of watersports gear including catamarans and paddleboards.
Andara Resort Villas, Thailand
Sprawled over the lush hillside above Phuket’s Kamala Beach, Andara’s 64 suites and villas feature airy living areas bedecked in warm, polished wood. The largest – clocking in at 2630 square metres with seven ensuite bedrooms – has a 25-metre infinity pool, two private chefs, a well-equipped gym and floor-to-ceiling views of the Andaman Sea.
Though you could easily spend a day or two admiring Andara’s many assets – the poolside restaurant, Silk, with its bamboo-dotted deck and rich massaman lamb curry is a particular treat – it’s also an ideal launchpad from which to explore the jagged limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay aboard the resort’s gleaming 35-metre yacht, Celebrity.
The Royal Hawaiian, United States
Dating back to 1927, this monumental vision of Moorish pink is one of the original resorts that made Waikiki synonymous with postcard-perfect holidays and has hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Recent refreshes have kept the retro feel, decking out the rooms with mid-century modern furniture, rattan accents and bold wallpaper.
Nurse an umbrella-topped Mai Tai by the main pool from the comfort of your private cabana before heading to oceanfront fine diner Azure for fresh-as-can-be seafood. The four-course set menu includes standouts such as tuna crudo paired with a delicate salad of sugar snap peas, radish and ponzu. There’s also a lavish luau every Monday and Thursday night.
Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa
The elegant and distinguished Hilton Fiji in Nadi is a classic five-star resort that attracts repeat guests galore. With a two-kilometre private beach, seven show-stopping pools (including adults-only areas) and gardens dotted with swaying palms it’s not hard to see why. The 319 rooms follow suit with sun-drenched patios and huge teak-lined bathrooms centred around free-standing tubs; one-, two- and three-bedroom suites also come equipped with kitchenettes and laundry facilities.
Take a dip, grab lunch at pan-Asian eatery Maravu (don’t skip the teriyaki skewers) and drop the little ones off at Ika, the on-site kids’ club – you’re spending a restful afternoon at the heavenly poolside spa pavilion, unwinding with a mineral-infused massage.