Relaxing on a palm-fringed beach as the aquamarine waters lap on the shore and watching the sunset as your waiter brings you a tropical cocktail, before pampering yourself in the spa, savouring fresh seafood and retreating to a luxurious suite overlooking the ocean... all this can turn from fantasy into reality! Here we pick out some of our favourite beach retreats for a perfect holiday or honeymoon, all of which are the epitome of secluded luxury, from romantic private islands to family favourites.
Cocoa Island, Maldives
Enjoy private butler service at your over-water villa on Cocoa Island, one of the gems of the magical Maldives, where you can also swim in a beautiful infinity pool, dine by the sea, snorkel around a spectacular reef, go dolphin spotting and luxuriate in the spa.
Le Touessrok, Mauritius
From its stylish Mediterranean design to the sparkling aquamarine waters, palm tree-lined icing sugar sand and star-filled night skies, not to mention activities from children's clubs to windsurfing, Shangri La's Le Touessrok is an Indian Ocean paradise for all the family - ssshhh, don't tell anyone...
Azura at Quilalea, Mozambique
This little bit of heaven on Mozambique’s Quilalea Island is not just one of our favourites: royals and celebrities rather like it too. Relax in style on a private island at Azura, where the villas have their own plunge pools and ladders leading down into the ocean, there’s a spa perched on the edge of a cliff, and your private butler will set up your evening meal in a different spot each day.
Gaya Island Resort, Borneo
Immerse yourself in tropical rainforest and mangroves at the inviting Gaya Island Resort in Borneo, where you can stay in a villa perched on a hillside, with panoramic views over Mount Kinabalu and the South China Sea. There’s not just a spa, but a whole spa village, and you can enjoy the catch of the day in the stunning rooftop restaurant.
Fregate Island, Seychelles
On the private island of Fregate, you can truly get away from it all. Make the most of your stylish villa with its private pool, soak up the sea views, feast on delicious Creole cuisine and meet the local wildlife, from the fregate birds swooping over your private terrace to the giant tortoises you might see on your way to the rugged shorelines – the island is home to some of the world’s best beaches.
The Cotton House, Mustique
If you choose a holiday on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, you are guaranteed luxurious seclusion - it's only accessible by private plane. The Cotton House is a favourite bolt-hole for A-listers, and it's guaranteed to make you feel like one too. Sleep in muslin-draped four-poster beds overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, chill out on your terrace, beach hop around the coast and enjoy cocktails at sunset.
From spending an idyllic week on a postcard perfect beach to combining relaxation with a city or a safari, there's a beach holiday for everyone. For a pure beach break, enjoy a blissful week at another of our favourites in the Maldives, the heavenly Niyama, which manages to be uber-luxurious while retaining its chilled out island vibe – the perfect combination.
Or combine cosmopolitan cities, diverse wildlife, spectacular scenery and beautiful beaches on our popular New Zealand and Tahiti honeymoon. Or how about experiencing the thrills of seeing the Big Five on safari before relaxing on the beach on a holiday to South Africa and Mauritius? Or take the family on a luxury beach holiday to the perpetually sunny Florida Keys. The options are endless - take a look at below at our selection of luxury beach holidays: