Caresse Bodrum La Plage Beach W Palms

10 of the best hotels with private beaches

As Europe hots up, don’t waste your time fighting for a spare scrap of sand. Rather pick a hotel with a private playa and drop and flop at your leisure. It’s your holiday, after all

1. Caresse Resort & Spa Turkey

Whether you close your eyes and listen to the Aegean waves lapping the sand, or keep them open and soak up views of the islands in the bay, you’re guaranteed a relaxing time on this five-star hotel’s private beach. A cordoned off swimming area, terracotta-coloured sunbeds and straw parasols all contribute to your comfort, while La Plage Restaurant is a stylish haven of wicker and wooden details, where plates of mouthwatering meze are served throughout the day. Although it has only been open for two summers, Caresse has quickly become one of the pre-eminent hotels on the Bodrum Peninsula. Its 77 rooms combine mid-century furniture with a marine palette and most have balconies with sea views.

Caresse Bodrum La Plage Main Hotel Deck Sunrise

Travel Details

Doubles from £345. caresse.com

2. St Nicolas Bay Resort Crete

Famed for its crystalline water, the Gulf of Mirabello is ideal for scuba diving; if you can tear yourself away from the beach, that is. Space is rather limited on this private stretch, so there are never more than two rows of beds, making sun-worshiping as peaceful as possible. Whether you choose the pocket-sized sandy cove or one of the long ledges of the smooth rock, pretty landscaped gardens with multi-tiered swimming pools provide the backdrop. Tuck into sushi and sophisticated cocktails at The Blue Bay Restaurant and don’t miss the thrice-weekly open-air cinema nights. Accommodation includes villas, suites and standard doubles, all generous in size and luxuriously furnished.

St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel Villas 2

Travel Details

Doubles from £362. stnicolasbay.gr

3. Cap d'Antibes beach hotel France

Sand as fine as sugar, turquoise water and gentle breezes blowing off the Estérel mountains make Les Pêcheurs a fabulous beach, but it’s even more impressive given how rare it is for a hotel to actually own a stretch of coastline in France. Enjoy a glass of crisp Rosé de Provence at the Beach Bar while watching the yachts slide past on the horizon, then head to Le Cap Restaurant where you can feast on plates designed by Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Rodnelli. Where possible, all seafood is sourced from neighbouring bay Port du Crouton, so look out for anchovies, cod and prawns. Once the playground of the Lost Generation, including Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald, this six-kilometre long peninsula half way between Cannes and Nice has more than its fair share of luxe hotels, but Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel is arguably the most exclusive of the lot. Futuristic buildings house 35 bedrooms with playful interiors, many of which were created by renowned designer Sybille de Margeri. Expect natural materials, a cool palette with whimsical pops of colour and large private terraces that cry out as the perfect spot for sundowners.

Food And Travel Magazine Outdoor

Travel Details

Doubles from £340. http://www.ca-beachhotel.com/">ca-beachhotel.com

4. Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum Turkey

Aptly named Paradise Bay is a breathtaking horseshoe of inky water with two magnificent beaches, both owned by Mandarin Oriental. This was the group’s first beach resort and it has been completed with their trademark aplomb. Tonnes of powdery sand imported from the Black Sea remain cool enough to walk on even in the midst of summer’s big burn and the water is exceptionally clear. At 2.5km long, Blue Beach is the larger of the two. It boasts private cabanas, a swimming deck, and the Blue Beach Club and Bar, which serves rich ice cream made from scratch to the sound of gentle lounge music. The Sands beach is quieter and less structured, with simple sun beds and parasols. The hotel cascades down a steep hillside towards the sea, so Aegean views are guaranteed from almost every room. Choose from 95 suites, or stay longer and go for your own villa or apartment. Including everything from pine forests to formal gardens, the grounds are home to around 1 million plants and the botanical theme continues inside, with leafy shrubs in the impressive public spaces and open air spa treatment rooms.

Mobod Main Pool Final 01

Travel Details

Doubles from £364. mandarinoriental.com

5. Hotel Cala Di Volpe Sardinia

Arriving at a private beach by boat sounds James Bond-level glamorous, which in Cala di Volpe’s case is very appropriate, because scenes from The Spy Who Loved Me were filmed at the hotel. The clandestine swathe of champagne-coloured sand may only be a 15-minute stroll away, but with boats leaving every half an hour it seems churlish not to take one. Screened from view by lush scrub and fragrant oleander trees and with fewer than 40 beds scattered across, this beach is as private as it gets. The hotel is located on the exclusive Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), famed for its sparkling, aquamarine water which makes for beautiful swimming. Arrange a boat trip from the hotel to the La Maddalena archipelago, some of Sardinia’s most beautiful and least visited islands. A true grand dame, Hotel Cala di Volpe has developed its own unqique brand of luxury which nods to Sardinia’s rural past. Ceilings are roughly hewn rock, a reference to the network of caves which lies beneath the island, much of the furniture is hand carved by local craftsmen and bathrooms gleam with colourful Cerasarda tiles, a local trademark.

Lux59Ex 130194 Exterior From Pontile

Travel Details

Doubles from £260. caladivolpe.com

6. Hotel & spa Des Pecheurs Cavallo Island, Corsica

You’d be hard pushed to find a more secluded beach than the one at Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs on petite private island, Cavallo, in the Bouches de Bonifacio – the straight between Corsica and Sardinia. Tucked away from the French riviera crowds, this is the place to enjoy some solid R&R. Surrounding the hotel – the only one in the Lavezzi archipelago – glistening turquoise inlets from the Med ripple up to a stretch of pink-tinged sand shrouded by myrtle and juniper trees. Ideal for bona fide sun-worshippers, only sheltered wooden cabins protect you from the elements – the island’s status as a natural marine reserve forbids the use of parasols, providing a different aesthetic from the usual drop and flop break. Luckily, sunbeds sprawl far enough apart so as not to feel revealed. Later, evocative seaviews come as standard at the beachside bar, the perfect spot to enjoy the blazing red sunset over an aperitif before dining on delicious Italian French cuisine befitting to the locale. Elsewhere, bedrooms combine modern touches with traditional design, and there are tennis courts and a golf course.

59949769 H1 Corsica Cavallo 0613 066

Travel Details

Doubles from £270. hoteldespecheurs.com

7. Driftwood England

Summer isn’t complete without a trip to the British seaside. You can expect a significant upgrade on the bucket-and-spade brigade at this luxury boutique hotel on the Cornish coast, five miles from St Mawes. Its position on the Roseland Peninsula sees a unique climate driven by the Gulf Stream that promises warm days and plays a role in creating the lush gardens. From the hotel, a short trundle downhill will bring you to the private swathe of sand. Explore the cove and rock pools, or simply head for a reviving dip in the sea. You could opt for kayaking, or simply grab a picnic and enjoy the scenery. Offering 15 bedrooms and a terrace, you’ll drift away on the wind of simple elegance that wafts through the hotel. The vibe is informal and easy with the spirit of New England in its design such as its blue weatherboard facade. Opt to book the Cabin if you want a bit more privacy; it has two bedrooms and a lounge with views across the bay. For supper, chef Chris Eden’s Michelin-starred dining room serves up plates using fish from Cornish waters, foraged herbs and flowers, and locally reared meat. Slightly more sophisticated than a bag of fish and chips and a ‘99’ (though both have their place).

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Travel Details

Doubles from £215. driftwoodhotel.co.uk

8. Grand resort Lagonissi Greece

A staggering 16 exclusive beaches vie for your attention at this blinding resort, which sits pretty on a 29-hectare private peninsula along the Athenian Riviera. Don your biggest shades and take time to explore the lot; three have been awarded Blue Flag status this year. Whether it’s sweeping stretches made for long walks with the sand between your toes, umbrella-specked slivers or clandestine nooks you’re after, dramatic views across the Saronic Gulf that unfurls beyond come as standard. At Grand Beach each nautical-style lounger comes armed with a handy button to call your waiter to prompt a cocktail or a few plates of meze. If the heat of the day gets a tad overbearing, opt for a dip in the pool, which juts out from the sand and seemingly perches on the sea. You’ll also be able to get in a game of beach volleyball and take to the waters with activities like diving, water skiing and sailing. All of which promise to leave you sun-kissed and exhilarated. The 276 bedrooms boast seaviews across the board meaning you’ll nod off to the gentle sound of the waves.

The Royal Villa 12

Travel Details

Doubles from £275. lagonissiresort.gr

9. Gran hotel Atlantis Canary Islands

Slide off the sandals and feel Spanish sand crumble beneath your feet as the Atlantic Ocean expands in front of you like a sheet of glass into the nearby islands of Los Lobos and Lanzarote. Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real boasts a white sand beach with sun-kissed dunes, a stone’s throw from Corralejo National Park. Head to Coco Beach Chill Out, where Balinese beds draped in white muslin beckon and staff will keep you refreshed with a steady stream of seafood snacks. Attention to detail is an understatement, as the resort prides itself on personalised services right down to where you’ll snag your next salt-rim margarita at one of the six fine-dining restaurants. Embrace a beachside siesta, evening fiesta, or both, as this turquoise gem provides all the daytime seaweed wraps and night-time salsa dancing you can get your hands on. Shake off the sand and retire to one of 242 luxurious Mediterranean accommodations, complete with eggshell-tiled floors, and, of course, a seaside-sunset view to watch the tide roll in.

Main Entrance

Travel Details

Doubles from £236. atlantisbahiareal.com

10. Belmond villa Sant'Andrea Taormina Mare, Sicily

On a romantic stretch of the Bay of Mazzarò on Sicily’s east coast, you’ll find a secluded beach bursting with old-school riviera charm. Framed by tropical gardens the crystal-clear Ionian Sea kisses its shore, crisp white parasols punctuate the sand like pop art, and an inviting infinity pool trickles over its edge to meet the fishermen’s boats bobbing below. There’s the promise of lazy days in the sun-dappled private cabanas with waiter service, sunbeds and a shaded seating area laden with fresh fruit and a fully-stocked minibar. Dine at the sea’s edge on the likes of mozzarella and tomato salad and fresh fish from restaurant Oliviero, then make like a local and explore the hidden coves carved into the bay on a paddle board – don’t forget to take a complimentary snorkel, the area’s teaming with marine life – before returning to the beach bar for an Aperol spritz. Come evening, the 68 bedrooms are modern and elegant; plump for a superior suite for dreamy panoramas over the quiet beach.

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Travel Details

Doubles from £490. belmond.com

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