The Most Stylish Beach Hotels in the World 2021
Puerto Escondido, Mexico
The Vibe: The beachy vernacular and artistic riches of the up-and-coming Oaxacan coast combine thrillingly in founder Ezequiel Ayarza Sforza and architect Alberto Kalach's modernist vision, where the region's famed textiles share the spotlight.
Style Moment: Eleven vaulted suites dressed in natural fibers frame the Pacific Ocean in startling new ways.
Book It: Rates start at $290; casonasforza.com; +52 954 1685652; La barra Santa María Colotepec, 70934 Puerto Escondido, Oax., Mexico
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
The Vibe: An emerald sanctuary perched amid coastal rain forest, 105 stand-alone, haute-luxury tree houses and cliffside villas make for apex escapism just 45 minutes from Punta Mita. With outdoor showers and soaking tubs, it's tempting to luxuriate on high, but Mandarina's golden-sand, swimmable beach (and spectacular spa) call like sirens.
Style Moment: Concrete and local Cumaru wood nestle serenely in the canopy.
Book It: Rates start at $1,190; oneandonlyresorts.com; +1-855-270-2173; Carretera Federal Libre 200 Tepic-Puerto Vallarta, El Monteón, Municipio de Compostela, Nayarit, C.P. 63724, Mexico
Palihouse Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
The Vibe: Just when you think the American Riviera could not be more divine, designer and hotel impresario Avi Brosh ups the ante with his revival of the Santa Barbara School of the Arts's circa-1920 landmark building to house 24 guest rooms and suites.
Style Moment: Pop palettes in a Spanish Colonial Revival frame, from reception area to honor bar
Book It: Rates start at $395; palisociety.com; 805-564-4700; 915 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA
The Claremont Hotel
Southwest Harbor, Maine
The Vibe: No grande dame has enjoyed a more breathtaking makeover, thanks to the vision of owner Tim Harrington and design collaboration of Laura Keeler Pierce and Krista Stokes. The circa-1883 hotel's reborn guest rooms, plus gracious summer homes and cottages, make for a magical enclave that feels like a Down East Lake Como.
Style Moment: Knockout views from the sumptuous guest rooms and pool
Book It: Rates start at $495; theclaremonthotel.com; 207-244-5036; 22 Claremont Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME
Kimpton Key West
Key West, Florida
The Vibe: Like drawing a royal ﬂush, the Kimpton hotel group has pulled together five historic little properties in palm-shaded Old Town into a new and irresistible collection of cottages and small inns.
Style Moment: Serenely tropical hideaway moments include the pool at Ella's Cottages, Isabel's bar, and a walkway at Lighthouse Hotel.
Book It: Rates start at $395; kimptonkeywest.com; 877-219-4500; various locations in Key West, FL
The Vibe: Imagine your favorite aunt (the rich one) stopped over on Nantucket while global vagabonding and bought up four historic houses on a dreamy courtyard, filled them with her treasures, and let you stay over. That's the exquisite feel of this 62-room treasure (complete with restaurant) in the heart of town.
Style Moment: Cheeky fringed chairs from Blue Flag Partners and Life House designer Jenny Bukovec
Book It: Rates start at $306; farawayhotel.com; 1-855-976-1796; 29 Centre St, Nantucket, MA
Kayak Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
The Vibe: While Miami Beach generally revs in high-saturated intensity, this 52-room redo (and entry into the hotel world by travel giant Kayak) of a landmark Art Deco building just three blocks from the beach offers a soothing, tropical antidote to all that, thanks to design from Life House.
Style Moment: Natural fibers and furniture in guest rooms and at Layla, the house bar and restaurant
Book It: Rates start at $289; kayakmb.com; 844-419-0192; 2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
The Goodtime Hotel
South Beach, Florida
The Vibe: From architect Morris Adjmi, designer Ken Fulk, landscape architect Raymond Jungles, and co-owners David Grutman and Pharrell Williams, this 266-room confection is one big dose of happiness. The singer says he sees it as "a place that will provide a natural good time for all who come through." Indeed.
Style Moment: Fulk's ebullient elevation of Goodtime's pair of pools
Book It: Rates start at $275; thegoodtimehotel.com; 786-687-0234; 601 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
White Elephant Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
The Vibe: Known as America's First Resort, Palm Beach was overdue for a hotel head-turner. How fitting, then, that Nantucket's famed resort has arrived with its unerring sense of style and the grand gesture.
Style Moment: In the 1924 landmark Bradley Park Hotel, an updated Mediterranean sensibility from entry to poolside to its 32 splendid guest rooms and suites
Book It: Rates start at $595; whiteelephantpalmbeach.com; 844-462-9483; 280 Sunset Avenue, Palm Beach, FL
Kaimana Beach Hotel
The Vibe: Honoring the legacy of this revived 1963 landmark, designer Eric Henderson leaned into color and silhouettes from Hawai'i's modern period from the 1950s through '70s. "I've stayed at Kaimana for many years," he says, "and often wondered when someone would return the hotel to its full potential." Mission accomplished.
Style Moment: Pops of turquoise and coral in the bar and gallery-walled lobby
Book It: Rates start at $199; kaimana.com; 808-923-1555; 2863 Kalakaua Avenue; Honolulu, HI
Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort
Lāna'i City, Hawai'i
The Vibe: Joining its beachy Four Seasons sister on this most quiet of islands, the 96-room Sensei Lanai is a forest-guarded enclave with highly personalized wellness at its serene heart.
Style Moment: Allowing the healing aesthetic of nature to inform the resort's Great Room, both outside and in
Book It: Rates start at $800; fourseasons.com; (808) 565-2000; Lanai City, HI
Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
The Vibe: Signiﬁcantly damaged by 2017's Hurricane Irma, this iconic resort on 500 paradisiacal acres has emerged after a four-year, full renovation even more lush and ultra-luxe than before. With its conical roofs at Caribbean's edge, primal and cooling stone walls inside and out, and serene modern pieces in its 81 guest rooms, suites, houses, and villa, Little Dix Bay returns anew to claim its place as the essential Caribbean retreat.
Style Moment: Reviving the sophisticatedly tumbled roofline from Little Dix's famed roots in 1964
Book It: Rates start at $1,200; rosewoodhotels.com; +1 284 495 5555
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The Vibe: Did you jet set in the Caribbean in the 1970s? If so, this 50-suite boutique hotel on white-sand Seven Mile Beach will feel intoxicatingly familiar. If you missed that party, now's the time to join, thanks to founder and creative director Gabriella Khalil's pitch-perfect vision buoyed with an eye-popping curation of vintage design pieces and works of art.
Style Moment: The Caribbean mansion ideal, featuring furniture sourced worldwide, including Los Angeles, Mexico, and Paris; postcard pool design with palms and parasols
Book It: Rates start at $439; palmheights.com; +1 (646) 809-7256; 747 West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
The Vibe: Translating the essence of Greece's white-washed, tumbled villages into modern architecture that feels utterly new and yet completely at home over-looking the Aegean Sea, this stunning collection of 25 suites and two villas conjures pure Cyclades magic.
Style Moment: The marriage of bleached whites, earthen naturals, and sea blues on private terraces
Book It: Rates start at $1,420; kalesmamykonos.com; +30 6983918726; Aleomandra / Agios Ioannis, 84600 Mykonos, Greece
Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
The Vibe: It's easy to imagine Gwyneth and Jude picking up where they left off in The Talented Mr. Ripley amid the Amalfi chic of this harbor hotel (14 guest rooms and suites). All credit to Festen Architecture's mixing midcentury notes with Liguria's colors and textures to set the perfect scene.
Style Moment: Positano's cinematic glory glimpsed from the Ava Gardner suite
Book It: Rates start at $650; belmond.com; 1-800-237-1236; Via Roma 2, 16034 Portofino, Genoa, Italy
The Vibe: Just when you thought Hvar couldn't get any more enchanting, along comes a modernist resort with the confidence to yield to its spectacular environs: Aleppo pines, olive groves, and the cerulean Adriatic Sea. Here, natural materials—especially stone quarried from nearby Brač Island—convey a serene, earthly luxury.
Style Moment: The subtle elegance of the exterior's ventilated wooden façade
Book It: Rates start at $356; maslinaresort.com; +385 (0) 21 888 700; Uvala Maslinica 0, 21460 Stari Grad, Croatia