While a typical beach resort might have a lot to offer – they’re usually in the middle of it all, offer lots of amenities, and sometimes an entire vacation can be enjoyed without stepping foot off the property –this often comes at a price, both monetarily and mentally.
If you’re looking for something a bit more serene for your next beach vacation, look no further than the list below. Instead of staying at the big name, the well-known beach hotels, choose these just-as-comfortable, just-as-luxurious, lesser-known alternatives. Staying at a smaller hotel means venturing off the property more to get to know the local community better. There’s nothing wrong with the big hotel names mentioned below, sometimes it’s just nice to stay where the locals would stay.
Rather than staying at The Crane Resort, stay at the Little Arches Boutique Hotel.
While The Crane is synonymous with Barbados luxury, it’s also secluded from the rest of the island on the south east coast. The Little Arches Boutique Hotel is ideally situated on the vibrant south coast, across the street from swimmable Miami Beach, a short walk away from Oistins – a Friday and Saturday night fish fry party that visitors and locals flock to – and a short drive or taxi ride away from many of the attractions that make Barbados famous. In addition, the hotel boasts a rooftop restaurant – Café Luna – which is one of the best on the island.
South Beach Miami, Florida
Rather than staying at the Fountainbleau, stay at the luxurious Breakwater.
Skip the celebrity scene at the Fountainbleu and head to the iconic Breakwater. One of South Beach’s famous art deco hotels, the Breakwater has been recently gut-renovated, leaving the famous 1930’s façade and replacing the interior with sophisticated Miami chic. Their 300-square-foot rooms are some of the largest in South Beach and the perfect place for relaxing during the day and getting ready to party at night.
Turks and Caicos
Rather than staying at Beaches Turks and Caicos, stay at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos.
The Turks and Caicos are known for their pristine beaches, great diving sites, and awesome deep sea fishing. But it’s also one of the friendliest places in the Caribbean, so why would you spend your entire visit confined to the campus of the sprawling Beaches resort? Gansevoort Turks and Caicos offers a chic New York hotel feel (their other two properties are actually in NYC) with Caribbean hospitality. Rooms are stocked with high-end fixtures, appliances, and electronics.
Rather than staying at the Goldstar Resort and Suites, stay at the ultra-modern Hotel Hi Eco Spa and Beach.
Nice is known for its stretch of white sand beaches – actually four miles of them strung together – and the super modern Hotel Hi Eco has its own private piece of sand ready for guests’ enjoyment. This ultra-modern, ultra-funky hotel isn’t for everyone: showers seemingly float above the floor, bedrooms are accessed by climbing a spiral staircase, and everything is very open concept. But for those who like a modern space, this comfortable, trendy hotel is the perfect place to rest your head when you’re not hitting the Nice sand.
Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
Rather than staying at the Don CeSar Beach Resort, stay at the midcentury modern, surfer Postcard Inn on the Beach.
While Florida’s “Pink Palace” Loews Don CeSar Hotel is certainly a sight to behold, two miles down the road the Postcard Inn on the Beach provides a more local, relaxed atmosphere with the same pristine Gulf beach. Their rooms are all decorated “chic surfer” and their beach is one of the best kept secrets in the entire state of Florida.
For more suggestions on hotels to inspire your inner creativity, take a look at our partner for luxury & character hotels, Splendia.
Little Arches Hotel photo courtesy PaulyC (Flickr CC).