IF YOU... ARE STILL ON THAT MILLENNIAL-PINK KICK
VISIT Harbour Island in the Bahamas. There are plenty of nice beaches in the world…but a pink beach is next level. (Just ask regulars Cameron Diaz and Zac Posen. Even A-listers aren’t immune to the charm of an Instagram photo at this dreamy blush-hued spot.) The colour comes from minuscule fragments of shells and coral that have been washed ashore on the island, which is a short charter flight and a water taxi from mainland Bahamas.
STAY The appropriately named Pink Sands. Everything here is what you picture when you imagine a quintessential beach resort: lush gardens of palm trees and hibiscus, meandering sandy boardwalks and “cottages” that feel more like villas. But consider these all very nice extras—the beach is the star here.
EDITOR TIP Can there be a lovelier place to do yoga than on a pink beach at sunrise? The resort offers early-Saturday classes throughout winter, and the stunning setting and views will make it worth easing off the wine (a bit) on Friday night.
IF YOU... WANT TO GET AS FAR AWAY FROM THE CANADIAN WINTER AS POSSIBLE
VISIT Medjumbe Island. Mozambique’s best-kept secret is at least 20 hours away—including a 45-minute helicopter ride—but it’s worth it. Think powdery white sand, turquoise water and stunning pink sunsets all on an archipelago so exclusive you’ll essentially have the place to yourself.
STAY The privately owned island’s only resort, Anantara, has just 12 beachfront properties, each with its own pool to keep you cool 24-7. All that swimming will make you hungry, so feel free to order fresh, locally caught seafood—for dinner, lunch and (why not?) breakfast.
EDITOR TIP The resort will set up a four-poster bed near the water so you can doze off to the sound of the ocean in luxury. (Consider it the ultimate napping-on-the-beach upgrade.) If you’re worried about mosquitoes enjoying a midnight snack, don’t—there’s no fresh water nearby, so there won’t be any around for miles.
IF YOU... LIVE AND BREATHE LA DOLCE VITA
VISIT Mazzarò beach in Taormina, Sicily. This picturesque pebbly beach, located near the base of Mount Etna, has major South of France vibes—think striped umbrellas and chic cafés lining the beach—but none of the stuffiness. Pay a few euros for a chair for the day so you can kick back and reread the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series when you’re not snorkelling in the crystal-clear water.
STAY Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, located on an escarpment overlooking (and a short gondola ride away from) the beach. If you get sick of the salt water, relax by the swimming pool on the Secret Garden-like property with a scoop of the hotel’s famous homemade gelato. If you’re the spontaneous type, be sure to book your room before you go: Many Sicilian hotels shut down during low season, which is November to March.
EDITOR TIP Bring water shoes. Your feet will thank you. The beach’s stony surface is tough to walk on, trust.
IF YOU... ARE OVER THE FULL-MOON- PARTY SCENE
VISIT Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand. This crescent-shaped spot is just as idyllic as party-central Phuket but feels straight out of The Beach—sans Leo, sadly—thanks to a jungle backdrop and towering limestone cliffs. (The cliffs make it a popular rock-climbing spot for adventure types…whom you can cheer on from your beach chair.)
STAY Like the beach, nearby luxe resort Rayavadee, located on the edge of lush Krabi Marine National Park, is accessible via a 90-minute speedboat ride. Instead of a single-building hotel, guests stay in chic open-air wood pavilions that were sustainably designed so as not to disrupt the natural environment.
EDITOR TIP This spot can fill up with day trippers during high season, so reserve your lounging for earlier in the morning and use busy hours to explore the local culture. You don’t even have to do your research before you go: Rayavadee offers everything from cooking classes to city tours to seaside picnics with champagne.
IF YOU... ARE NOT INTO SHARING
VISIT Low Cay Beach in Jamaica. Jamaica has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, but Low Cay is tops. The secluded cove boasts coral that rivals the reefs of Australia and a fresh and sea-water lagoon that is bathwater warm.
STAY You can only access this spot if you stay at the GoldenEye, the former vacation home of Bond author Ian Fleming turned luxury resort. The original lagoon cottages are the biggest draw here—you can swim or paddleboard up to your villa when you’re done at the beach for the day. Wash off the sun and salt water in your outdoor claw-footed bathtub before heading to dinner at one of the four restaurants on-site.
EDITOR TIP On those rare rainy afternoons in paradise, take advantage of the property’s newly expanded FieldSpa, which now includes a hammam and outdoor yoga area as well as a revamped treatment menu that incorporates the healing properties of the lagoon water.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of ELLE Canada.
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