Top 10 best ultra-luxe beach resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today: Top 10 best ultra-luxe beach resorts in the world

Sinking your toes in white sands while listening to the sound of waves crashing on a tropical beach is the epitome of a relaxing holiday for most travelers. Ranging from short weekend getaways to dayslong fun in the sun, beach vacations are preferably spent at a 5 star resort complete with Michelin-starred dining and indulgent spa treatments. But a good beach resort isn’t just about ocean views, idyllic beaches, exceptional design and world-class facilities. It’s about living out a fantasy in a luxury heaven of unmatched natural beauty. Ranking among the most exclusive hotel properties worldwide, the following 10 ultra-luxe beach resorts set the bar extremely high when it comes to beachy getaways and also put sustainability and environmental preservation front and center. FYI, I’ve limited the list to one beach resort per country since destinations like the Maldives, the Seychelles and French Polynesia could easily fill the 10 places on this list on their own.

There is more information (with reviews & YouTube videos) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite beach resort in the comments section!

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Following a multi-million dollar renovation in 2017, the phenomenal One&Only Le Saint Géran Resort – one of the best beach resorts I’ve ever stayed at – has risen again as the greatest celebration of its unrivaled Mauritian setting. The property is located on a private peninsula, which offers access to more than 2 km (1.2 miles) of white sand beaches along two stunning coastlines: on the east, the Indian Ocean, fringed by swaying palms; on the west, sugarcane-covered mountain views and a tranquil lagoon. The property’s 142 redesigned guest rooms and suites are located in white-washed, low-lying pavilions whose architecture was inspired by old sugar cane factories and plantation houses. One&Only Le Saint Géran’s guests enjoy opportunities to connect with family and friends while experiencing idyllic beaches, two sparkling pools, the blissful One&Only Spa, and Club One – a new hub for all things active. The resort’s collection of renovated and brand-new restaurants features exceptional gastronomic displays (with hosted Michelin-starred chefs) and theater-style cooking.

  • Hotel websiteOne&Only Le Saint Geran
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of One&Only Le Saint Géran here.


A romantic hideaway, Mnemba Island is an exclusive paradise In Zanzibar, featuring twelve rustically chic beachside bandas, for just 24 guests, connected to the breathtaking Mnemba atoll. Guests of &Beyond Mnemba Island can relax and unwind on their own stretch of beachfront, where simple yet luxurious bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest. Thatched dining and sitting or bar areas boast beautiful open views of the beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar beyond. Late breakfast trays teeming with tropical fruit, freshly-squeezed juice and Tanzanian coffee can be delivered to the beach banda for those wanting to indulge in a lie-in. Fresh sushi and chilled champagne can appear discreetly at the guests’ beach loungers should they wish to celebrate the magnificent sunset in privacy. Romantic candlelit dinners are served on the beach, with the waves lapping gently at guests’ feet. Allow yourself to relax and take a break with yoga and massages in the tranquil retreat of your banda.


Set on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Amanyara is a secluded haven embracing the best elements of the Caribbean. Bordering the pristine reefs of Northwest Point Marine National Park, acclaimed for some of the world’s best wall and reef diving, the ultra-luxury Caribbean resort is managed by Aman – one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands – and blessed with a magnificent white beach. Offering 40 timber-shingled guest pavilions (some featuring private pools) tucked along the coast, the resort enjoys a contemporary layout and design, open to the sights and sounds of the crystal clear turquoise sea. To welcome the outdoors in, all pavilions feature three retractable sides, as well as a king-size bed, daybeds, flat-screen television, terraces, and a sunken table surrounded by cushions for cozy dining. You’d barely notice the exquisite Amanyara if you were passing through, thanks to its low-lying rooflines, timber pavilions , and the glassy blue sea stretching out behind it. As luxurious as the resort may be, it never forgets its roots and is in constant harmony with its island environment.



Remote yet accessible by a 60 minute flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, phenomenal Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s 4th largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. Soneva Kiri is not only the best hotel in Thailand but also one of the most exclusive resorts in the world, offering an unrivalled combination of luxury, environmentally friendly design and unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences. The 36 resort villas (including 11 private residences) are amongst the largest in the world. Located on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all have stunning infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies, and impeccable service courtesy of private butlers. Highlights include the open air cinema Paradiso, Benz’ mangrove restaurant, the chocolate & ice cream parlour, the children’s den and the spectacular Treetop dining pod.

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Kiri (e.g. resort credit, two personalized Soneva experience, and more).


The Brando is the ultimate luxury resort in French Polynesia. Just 30 miles (50 km) north of French Polynesia’s main island Tahiti, the ultraluxe beach resort is located in the breathtakingly beautiful private atoll of Tetiaroa, which is comprised of a dozen idyllic islands surrounding a spectacular lagoon. With access provided by private plane, the atoll offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature and is a special place of rare biodiversity and a natural sanctuary for birds and marine life. The all-inclusive The Brando Resort features 35 deluxe villas each with its own private beach area and plunge pool, restaurants showcasing Polynesian and French cuisine, a luxurious Polynesian spa, a beach bar & pool, organic garden, library, boutique, water sports, and an environmental research station with guest programs. It was in this natural wonderland that the legendary actor Marlon Brando settled down, and finally found his home.


Located on an idyllic island off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Miavana by Time + Tide is very possibly the most remote luxury castaway  in the world. Fringed by exceptionally beautiful white sand beaches and a sprawling coral reef, the ultra-luxe resort represents an insanely beautiful haven where guests can enjoy unique bespoke experiences in ultimate privacy. Dotted along the pristine beach, the resort’s 14 massive pool villas are a masterpiece in luxury and design. Natural elements of sea, sand and air meet elegantly through inspired interiors and textures that celebrate the extraordinary island setting. Guests step directly onto the powder-soft sand from their private decks to enjoy spectacular panoramic Indian Ocean sunsets extending to the far contours of mainland Madagascar. Boat and helicopter transfers are provided to the mainland, where the resort’s guides can lead you to a world of lemurs and chameleons, and a mosaic of unexplored coves.


Located on Benguerra Island, Mozambique, all-inclusive Kisawa Sanctuary is simply put one of the world’s most fabulous beach resorts, blending wilderness, well-being and service. The ultra-luxury resort features 11 one-, two- and three-bedroom bungalows, plus the “Kisawa Residence”, which are all positioned within an enormous 750-acre stretch of forest, beach and sand dunes. Each bungalow comes with a private beach, infinity pool, and open-air deck, and is individually housed within its own one-acre plot, offering maximum privacy, minimum disturbance and optimum appreciation for the natural environment. A spa specializing in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda is the wellness heartbeat of the place, housed in a thatched building inspired by island design. A 24/7 personal service team, plus a colorful fleet of electric Mini Mokes, mean the Kisawa experience is intuitive and self-directed, with visitors able to choose complete privacy within their bungalow and surroundings, or to adventure at their own pace and rhythm, throughout Benguerra Island and the Bazaruto Archipelago; some of the richest, least explored parts of the Indian Ocean.


Set upon 3,500 exclusive acres COMO Laucala Island Resort is set amidst coconut plantations, sandy beaches, rich green mountains and breathtaking natural beauty. True luxury is appreciated in the privacy of the beach resort’s 25 Fijian-styled villas widely spread on the northern tip of the island. Seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living creates an inspiringly relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere. Featuring an iridescent kaleidoscope of activities – scuba diving, sailing, fishing, tennis, cycling, golf, yoga, culture nights, tours, and water sports – the resort’s integral philosophy incorporates the island’s resources into guest experiences, with products and ingredients raised and grown on the island for use in the spa and across the five gourmet restaurants and bars. With an all-inclusive rate, the resort’s menus aren’t just bursting with flavor, but they are centered around health, wellbeing and sustainability. The resort has its own airstrip for private planes, and can arrange connecting flights from the airport on resort-owned planes.



Soneva Fushi, the first ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style beach resort in the Maldives, is set on the privately owned tropical island of Kunfunadhoo in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The island – which is 1,400 m (4,600 ft) long and 400 m (1300 ft) wide – ranks among the largest islands in the Maldives. Apart from the crystal clear waters, white beaches and tropical climate, the island’s unusually rich vegetation offers a unique natural experience. Massive, multi-bedroom, fairytale-like luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. In summer 2020, Soneva Fushi also unveiled eight fabulous water retreats, which are the largest and most luxurious overwater villas in the world. Soneva Fushi is the sister resort of Soneva Jani, with Soneva Fushi offering more of an island experience while Soneva Jani focuses more on an overwater experience (read my comparison between both resorts here).

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Fushi (e.g. best rate, resort credit, and two personalized Soneva experiences).


North Island, currently managed by Marriott’s ‘The Luxury Collection’ hotel brand,  is the world’s most exclusive private island resort and one the best hotels I’ve ever visited. Situated 30 km (18 mi) north of Mahe North Island, North Island offers complete privacy for the ultimate Seychelles honeymoon, romantic retreat or exclusive family escape. The insanely beautiful island has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto your private garden and the beach. Plunge pools and outdoor showers provide the finishing touches to your private sanctuary. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive center, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. The resort was the decor for the honeymoon of Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales in 2011.

Disclosure: I may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post.


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