For a tropical beach getaway to top all tropical beach getaways ever, check out our list of the best right-there-on-the-beach resorts throughout Thailand, Bali, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam — and get inspired!
The Santiburi Golf, Resort & Spa, with its 45 acres of palm gardens, is one of the poshest, most pampering resorts on the island of Samui, and possibly in all of Thailand. This five-pearl property, with its pristine and lovely beachfront, is located on Mae Nam Beach in the northern part of the island. The villas and one- and two-bedroom duplexes are Thai-inspired and contemporary, and come packed with amenities. There's a huge swimming pool, a kids' pool, a sports complex with a tennis court, Thai boxing, billiards, mountain bikes, and yoga, plus three fancy restaurants and several bars. The resort also owns the nearby championship 18 hole Santiburi Country Club Golf Course, where resort guests get tee-time priority.
At Trisara, over-the-top luxury and Thailand's famous hospitable service is coupled with stunning views. Trisara has one of the few private beaches in Phuket, and it's scenic year round, with white sand and crystal blue water. The bay is fringed by a coral reef and at low tide, it isn't fit for swimming. Between December and April, staff puts out a floating jetty and teak pontoon, so water sports and swimming are safe no matter the tide. Kayaks, paddle boards, and sailboats are free to borrow. However, swimming can be dangerous during the remainder of the year.
One of the best resorts in Nusa Dua, The St. Regis Bali Resort is a luxury property with a lot to love. The classically elegant atmosphere is set by a style that blends Old World and contemporary accents, while luxe amenities include private butler service and a private beach with water sports. The children's education center and a lovely spa make this property as pleasurable for kids as it is for their parents, and dining and drinking are all top notch. The 123 spacious suites and villas include marble bathrooms, plush beds, large flat-screen TVs, and balconies -- some even have private pools and ocean views.
The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia is an unrivaled five-pearl property, an exclusive beachfront getaway on the north side of the island, which offers tours through the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park mangroves. Luxurious Malayan beachfront villas feature lovely wooden designs, outdoor terrazzo bathtubs, verandas, and private pools. The vibe here is harmoniously balanced between romantic and family-friendly -- there are intimate beach dinners, spa pampering in waterside cabanas, and an adult-only pool but also kids' pools, pony rides, rock climbing, and an educational discovery center. The resort is isolated and not near Langkawi attractions, but it is self-contained, with restaurants, bars, pools, and a private beach, and it should appeal to travelers seeking a luxury getaway.
The Samabe Bali is an ultra-luxurious beachfront resort located atop a cliff a five-minute drive from central Nusa Dua. Its 81 suites and villas are elegant and stylish, with a gorgeous blend of contemporary and traditional Indonesian decor, top-notch amenities, and balconies offering expansive ocean views. Villas have private infinity pools and up to two bedrooms. With a private beach, a wonderful spa, two excellent restaurants, a gorgeous infinity pool, a kids’ club, and tons of daily activities, there is little guests can’t do on-site. Plus, all-inclusive rates cover everything from free daily spa treatments to cultural tours to beachside yoga classes.
The Pimalai Resort and Spa is the grandest luxury property on Koh Lanta. It's hidden away near the southern end of the island, along beautiful Kantiang Beach and Bay. Sprawling across a hillside and onto the beach, the resort has two sides -- a hill estate and a beachfront. Most of the rooms are clustered on the beach side, although there are luxury pool villas up on the hill. All rooms are large and include teak floors, rattan curtains, daybeds, furnished patios and balconies, and plenty of privacy. The resort offers two swimming pools, one an infinity-edge pool overlooking the entire bay, plus a fitness center, spa, and tennis court. There are four restaurants and cafes, several bars, and secluded, lush grounds. The whole resort exudes exclusivity and romance.
The 42-villa El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island is the definition of a luxury tropical island getaway. With a beautiful wide beach abutting turquoise waters, plus stunning jungle surroundings, the resort begs for superlatives. The villas are spacious and elegant, with Balinese design plus modern features like flat-screen TVs and high-end coffeemakers. Activities are plentiful and include snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing, island tours, and hiking, while the on-site restaurant highlights local ingredients, and the pool and spa are ideal spots for relaxing.
The Melati Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury beachfront retreat in a secluded spot on the northern end of the island, a 15-minute drive from the dining and nightlife options in Chaweng. The smallest of the 77 villas have balconies with outdoor soaking tubs, and most add private gardens with plunge pools. There are two communal outdoor pools as well (one is adult-only), along with a full spa and a yoga studio. The hotel also offers a kids' club, game lounge, and water sports at the beach, plus there are two restaurants and four bars, though some guests complain that they are pricey.
Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa caters to adults looking for all the trappings of a beachfront resort, but in a more refined environment that makes serious attempts to corral small children and gym shorts in designated areas. The vast 30-acre garden grounds and adult-only Rasa wing make it even more inviting for romantic couples. Rates (and dress codes) are less restrictive in its Garden wing building, but guests there can't use all the facilities. Rooms in both sections are large and contemporary, but the views can be mixed.
Located on a remote beach in northeastern Palawan, the four-pearl El Nido Resorts Apulit Island is a stunning, intimate retreat for those looking to get in touch with nature. Its 50 rooms are housed in stand-alone thatched cottages built on stilts directly over the clear waters. Interiors are simple and in-room amenities are limited, but that only adds to the unplugged feel and tranquil vibe. The property offers a wide array of on-site activities, including water sports, a PADI diving center, and a beautiful infinity pool with beach and sea views. In line with the hotel’s many eco-friendly practices, the buffet restaurant serves a menu made with sustainable ingredients, and meals are included in the rate. Getting to the hotel can be quite an ordeal -- it requires a combination of air, land and sea transfers -- but the gorgeous setting and peaceful atmosphere are well worth it.
The sprawling Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is a five-pearl, 219-unit property located in a secluded spot amid lush tropical gardens in northern Boracay. All rooms are stylish and elegant, and villas have private pools or outdoor whirlpools, sweeping ocean views, and butler service. With an excellent spa, varied dining options, tons of activities for all ages, three striking pools, and access to two lovely beaches, there's little guests can’t do on-site. But those seeking to see the sights or experience the island’s famous nightlife can easily access Station 2 via the hotel’s free shuttle.
The Rayavadee Resort is a luxury beachside property with an idyllic locale that’s only reachable by boat. Set across 26 tropical acres inspired by a southern Thai village, each of the hotel's 102 stand-alone rooms are chic and private. They also include separate bedrooms and living rooms, large flat-screen TVs, and luxe bathrooms with separate showers and tubs. The setting is stunning, with a massive outdoor pool wedged between Krabi's signature cliffs. Remote as it is, the resort's beaches are public and can become crowded in peak season. Four restaurants, bars, a luxe spa, tennis courts, and water sports round out the features.
The five-pearl Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang offers 74 luxurious rooms at the only true beachfront resort in Nha Trang. The resort fuses traditional Vietnamese accents and contemporary design, and is set amid lovely tropical gardens. All rooms feature private terraces with garden or beach views, and some have outdoor showers and tubs. There are ample chances to relax or stay active, with a wide sandy beach, a spa, two outdoor pools, and activities like water sports, tennis, and biking. Two on-site restaurants have lovely sea views.
The 87-room Fusion Maia Da Nang is a luxury spa property located on the beachfront between Da Nang and Hoi An. Its focus is on health and relaxation, and spa treatments are included in the rates. The lovely villas are modern and spacious, and all come with their own private plunge pools and gardens. Breakfast is free, and guests can choose to have it whenever and wherever they want. Three restaurants include a fine-dining option for dinner, a tea lounge, and a bar by the pool. The infinity pool overlooks the beach and is a nice spot for swimming and relaxing.
The District Boracay is a laid-back, upscale boutique directly on White Beach and a short walk from popular nightlife and dining spots in Station 2. Its 48 rooms are sunny, clean, and contemporary, and all have furnished terraces, some with beach views. A lap pool complete with a whirlpool and lounge chairs, a rooftop bar with sunset views, and a spa offering body and foot treatments lend the property a relaxing vibe. Caruso serves tasty Italian cuisine and gets good reviews, and Star Lounge is known for its extensive buffet. Freebies such as breakfast or brunch, Wi-Fi, and airport transfers add value.
The five-pearl Pullman Phuket Arcadia Resort is alone in its class in this part of Phuket. Accessed via a single, windy road that also leads to Naithon Beach and a national park, the hotel is far from any other properties. The Pullman is about a 10-minute drive from Phuket International Airport, but it takes at least 45 minutes to get to the tourist activities in Phuket Town. Both families and couples adore this hotel for its gorgeous design details, extra-comfortable rooms, and infinity-edge pool overlooking the Andaman Sea. There are six on-site bars and restaurants, a luxe spa, and a fun kids' club. The natural beach is stunning, but the water can get a little rough at certain times of the year, and steep steps to the beach may be difficult for little ones to traverse. Staff is available to drive guests around the resort in small buggies. Rates are generally low for all this luxury, and include Wi-Fi and airport transfers.
The Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a luxury boutique resort that offers 58 villas with private plunge pools and gorgeous sea views. The secluded property is reachable only by water; airport transfers by road and speedboat are convenient, but not included in rates. Villas feature beautiful wooden interiors with modern amenities, while rustic-style bathrooms have wooden bathtubs; those along the beachfront have paths running directly to the sand. The free breakfast buffet offers an excellent selection of dishes; lunch and dinner menus get more mixed reviews, but the resort’s dining experiences are memorable, as is the fantastic spa and the large main pool. The resort is expansive and the ultra-secluded Hill Top Villas are a fair way out, but bicycles and golf buggies are available.
Tucked among protected mangroves and an excellent (though damaged) coral reef, the five-pearl Gaya Island Resort offers a high-end jungle-and-sea experience geared primarily toward active travelers. In addition to a gym and a large spa, travelers can choose from a long list of daily activities, including diving, kayaking, and guided jungle treks (cooking classes, picnics, and offsite excursions are available for an added fee). Plenty of loungers and hammocks dot the white-sand beach, although many guests gravitate toward the infinity pool with swim-up bar. The resort's 120 spacious villas are outfitted with minibars and free Wi-Fi. There are also three restaurants on-site, though they receive mixed reviews.
The 51-room Layana Resort and Spa is a luxury beachfront escape, with James Bond-style treatment that starts with a private speed boat along the scenic Andaman coast to Koh Lanta Island. The lush, adults-only resort consists of exquisite Garden Pavilions as well as exclusive Beach Suites (stand-alone bungalows) that sport private terraces and direct beach access. The resort offers a saltwater infinity pool, spa, and fitness center. Guests can sample international and local Thai cuisine at the on-site restaurant, and as the name suggests, watch the sunset from the Sundowner Bar and Lounge.
The Racha is a five-pearl eco-chic resort on the small island of Racha Yai in the Andaman Sea. It's a 35-minute boat ride from Phuket to get there, and there's a charge for the transfer. Once guests arrive at the island they're greeted with the sight of white-washed villas built with clean lines, in harmony with the natural surroundings of the tropical landscape and water. The villas are clean and comfortable; some have private pools and spacious outdoor bathrooms. Recreation facilities are top-notch: ATVs, water toys, tennis courts, a spa, and more are all on offer. Be warned, though: The stunning sandy beach is a hot spot for tourist boats from Phuket and is overrun with day trippers often, making it not exactly ideal for those who want a romantic and quiet tropical vacation.