The world is filled with incredible beaches. But what’s more rare is a perfect upscale, quiet, and intimate home set right on the beach itself, a place so idyllic that you can barely believe it’s real. Imagine that right from your front door you could be exploring your own private cove, relaxing on a secluded island atoll, strolling along a “secret beach,” or floating in a split-level infinity pool mere steps from the ocean. Sound like paradise? We’ve found six of ’em.
Le Bleu Little Harbor in Anguilla, Caribbean
A stay at Le Bleu Little Harbor whips you into relaxation mode mere minutes after stepping off the plane—this gem is barely five minutes away from Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport. And once you’ve set foot on the two-and-a-half acre property, it’ll work its magic on you just as quickly. For starters, there’s a full staff at the ready, able take care of your every need (a chef and a butler, plus housekeeping, and laundry services). The open-air-style home rises up from lush tropical gardens, there’s a beautiful private beach cove with it’s own natural beach, plus there’s resort-style amenities like an infinity pool, a swimming pool, a beachside jacuzzi, a tennis court, an indoor gym, and a home theater. Kayaks, a row boat, and snorkeling equipment is also all available for exploring the idyllic cove. And the cove is protected by a reef on one side, so it’s ideal (and very safe) for sea kayaking and snorkeling. It’s no wonder that an episode of The Bachelor was filmed here back in 2011.
The house is divvied into the Le Bleu main house and the “Petite” Le Bleu cottage (which includes two of the property’s 10 bedrooms). Communal living quarters and entertaining areas are situated on the upper level of Le Bleu, and accessed by walking through the water garden and ascending the grand staircase.
If you can drag yourself away—and with all the entertainment and beauty at your fingertips, it is truly difficult—there’s 33 different beaches to explore, the excellent Greg Norman-designed Temenos Golf Course is about 10 minutes away, and Blowing Point, the area for charter ferry access to get to other nearby islands like St. Martin/Sint Maarten, is within a five-minute drive.
Villa Shanti at Jivana Beach Villas, Phang Nga, Phuket, Thailand
Just steps away from immaculate Natai Beach, Shanti at Jivana is a luxurious Thai-style escape. The word “shanti” means “peace,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the core of this serene villa. Set in a quiet, exclusive neighborhood of Phang Nga, Shanti has an expansive split-level infinity pool and a pavilion dedicated to spa treatments, plus its own private strip of sand that hugs the Andaman Sea. And while the space as a whole is dreamy—it’s dotted with inviting sofas, chairs, and sun loungers that demand relaxation and repose—the en suite bathrooms are what’s truly breathtaking about the property (yes, we’re obsessed with the bathrooms!). Each spacious room practically a spa in itself, opening out onto private gardens brimming with fragrant plants and lush trees.
Shanti is located within easy striking distance of historic Phuket City and its colorful 19th-century shophouses and impressive Sino-Portuguese architecture, about 30 minutes away. Even closer is wondrous Phang Nga Bay. Charter a boat, and you can glide past the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the water, a distinctive feature of the Bay. And of course, it’s well-worth seeing the famous island of Koh Ta-pu, or “Nail Island,” which was prominently featured in the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun. As a result, this spectacular little spot is often just referred to now as “James Bond Island.”
Casa Oceano near Tango Mar, Costa Rica, Central America
Casa Oceano is the ultimate beach house. Tucked in among a riot of palm trees, this villa checks all the boxes for a relaxing tropical vacation. There’s a spacious patio, an inviting infinity pool, comfy chaise lounges on the terrace and beach, and al fresco everything—dining, showering, and of course, relaxing. The gourmet kitchen even has a wall of windows that cleverly fold open to create a bar with seating outside. The interior is airy and bright, with grand-scale windows, pastel walls, and tiled floors, and an open plan layout makes the space feel breezy and vast.
Nearby Tango Mar is an exclusive 150-acre private beachfront reserve along the Nicoya Peninsula, and guests at Casa Oceano are just a five-minute walk from the resort’s tennis court and golf course. (Guests can also take advantage of other resort facilities there.) And if you venture beyond the Tengo Mar reserve, the laid-back beach town of Tambor is just a 10-minute drive away. It’s the base for horseback riding through the town’s hills, which allow views as far as Montezuma, as well as the place to catch a tour of the nearby tropical Tortuga Islands to snorkel or dive in some of the area’s clearest water.
Villa La Gran Tortuga in Playa Secreto, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Playa del Secreto, or “secret beach,” is the white sand sanctuary where you’ll find the gorgeous Villa La Gran Tortuga—and area residents are committed to preserving the beach and keeping it exclusive and immaculate. The estate itself is one of the Riviera Maya’s most most exquisite, with a beautiful, contoured swimming pool complete with an arched bridge that leads the way right to the beach. There’s sun loungers and parasols galore set steps from the waves, and sea kayaks available if you want to paddle in. Inside, the villa is a tropical dream turned reality, with magnificent views of the Caribbean from every room, airy living spaces that roll right out on to the pool deck, and casual rattan furniture that adds to the barefoot luxury atmosphere.
It’s an easy 30 minute drive from this private haven to the happening resort town of Playa del Carmen and its blocks of shops, restaurants and nightspots. Tulum’s Mayan ruins are also within striking distance, just under an hour away, as is Cenote Azul, one of the area’s natural limestone sinkholes filled with crystal clear water that’s perfect for swimming.
Villa Andrea in Cabo San Lucas, Medano Beach, Los Cabos, Mexico
The fantastic location of Villa Andrea, right on beautiful Medano Beach, is reason alone to book a stay at this Mexican colonial-style villa. It boasts its own private beachfront terrace, and the living room opens to the entire length of that terrace—framing the incredible ocean views perfectly. Inside, the villa’s stone work, archways, and spacious open-concept design are offset with designer furniture and high-end appliances. And for fitness and spa activities, guests share access at the Hacienda Beach Club, where there’s state-of-the-art fitness and spa facilities, yoga classes, water sports equipment, and beachfront restaurants.
The villa is quite private, but still right at the heart of all the action that characterizes Cabo. Downtown Cabo San Lucas is just minutes away, with its array of all-night clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops. There’s also excellent golf in the area, notably the Cabo Del Sol Golf Course, a favorite of PGA legend Jack Nicklaus.
COMO Parrot Cay Two-Bedroom Beach House in Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean
Until recently, the tiny atoll of Parrot Cay was completely wild and uninhabited. Now a private island resort dotted with secluded villas, COMO Parrot Cay is the one of the favored destinations within Turks and Caicos for discerning jet-setters and A-listers. This romantic two-bedroom villa is set right on an unspoiled stretch of white sand that the TCI is known for, and is about a mile from the main resort area. Outside, covered outdoor living and dining areas give way to a sunny deck and infinity pool; stop off the deck and you’re right on the beach. Inside, the vibe is beachy yet sophisticated: The open-plan living and dining area with vaulted ceilings and tons of sliding glass walls framing stunning water views. The matched pair of master suites each includes a four-poster king bed romantically draped in white netting, plus an en-suite bathroom with an indoor/outdoor shower and freestanding tub.
You may never want to leave this private slice of paradise, but if you do, it’s a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Providenciales, the most developed island in Turks and Caicos—where you’ll find the TCI’s best restaurants, the championship course Provo Golf Club, tons of spas, and plenty of boutique shopping.