From a six-bedroom villa on Anguilla to a chill-pad on New York’s Shelter Island, here are 15 brand-new boutique hotels where you can stay just steps from the sand.
Castelbrac Hotel, Brittany, France (pictured above)
Coastal northwestern France might not be the first beach you think of for a waterfront vacay, but this place delivers with dramatic, soaring cliffs and a spot perched on Prieuré Bay, on the Côte d'Émeraude. The luxury 25-room hotel is the former home of a wealthy American family and was also once an aquarium. Blending historical charm with modern design, the rooms are decked out with ornate wallpaper, graceful, uniquely patterned drapes, and all-marble bathrooms, and most boast striking sea views. In true Euro style there is an option to tack breakfast on to rates.
The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Straddling clean, crisp design with '60s Baja boho-chic elements (such as the lobby’s life-size whale sculpture crafted from driftwood), this 161-room hotel on Monuments Beach offers unobstructed views of the Arch, a stunning rock formation on Cabo’s southern tip. Guests easily unwind thanks to two pools, five watering holes (from a sixth-floor open-air bar to a glass-walled lounge), and a luxurious spa. The beautifully appointed rooms were envisioned by the same decorator as the Ritz-Carlton Cancun and JW Marriott Santo Domingo. Don’t miss Enrique Olivera’s comfort-food eatery Manta, which sources from sustainable fisheries.
Kishti East & West, Anguilla
Joining another Kishti villa on Anguilla—Villa Kishti at Black Garden—is this one, on Anguilla’s southwest tip along Meads Bay. As a private villa rental, the spacious pad includes six bedrooms, a home theater, home office, rooftop deck, two kitchens, lush gardens, and glass half-wall balconies off most rooms that bring the natural surroundings inside. Many restaurants are within a short walk—proof this area is evolving into a foodie mecca.
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The Rockwell Group—the folks behind W Paris Opera and Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, among others—was tapped to design this boutique property. The result is a posh yet comfortable luxury experience that bridges land and sea: you can dip your toes into the infinity pool right on the beach or stroll down nearby La Quinta Avenida, an elegant boulevard lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Each of the 314 rooms is designed in shades of turquoise and cobalt blue, plus natural woods, for a beach-chic design. Its three locally influenced restaurants include El Paseo, which transforms from a coffee shop in the morning to a Caribbean seafood eatery by nightfall. The hotel’s 5,000-square-foot Cenote spa offers treatments inspired by Mayan culture, such as a hot-stone massage using Mexican onyx.