A tropical getaway is all about the beach, and the right waterfront hotel gets you unlimited access to it. Once you’ve decided on the shoreline of your dreams, how do you decide which hotel is going to do it justice?
TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) names the best beach hotels in its annual Travelers’ Choice Best Beach Awards. Beaches in Cuba, Spain, Florida, and the Caribbean ranked among the top spots this year—and TripAdvisor reviews in each locale can usually supply a clear winner for the best beach hotel if you want to know the top-reviewed place to stay.
The Best Beach Hotels, According to TripAdvisor Reviews
The single best beach hotel on one of the world’s best beaches is worth planning a trip around. Here are the beaches that travelers chose as their favorites around the world, and the best beach hotels for enjoying them—according to TripAdvisor.
The Venetian on Grace Bay: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
The top beach hotel in Grace Bay—which won TripAdvisor’s best beach title—is a white-sand resort with far-flung views of turquoise waters. The Venetian on Grace Bay‘s apartment-style dwellings are spacious with waterfront balconies or screened-in porches. You likely won’t spend too much time in your room though, because the pristine beachfront, outdoor pool, BBQ area, and private chef opportunities will keep you busy.
Pousada Maravilha: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Baia do Sancho beach on Brazil’s little-known island chain, Fernando de Noronha, swiped the second-best spot from TripAdvisor for its remote white-sand beaches. Pousada Maravilha ranked as the best beachfront hotel there, with its infinity pool, open-air villas, and sweeping views of the tiny island’s lush forests and beach cliffs. For a remote island, this hotel impresses with gourmet food and rustic-style rooms featuring luxuries like private hot tubs.
The Sanctuary at Grand Memories: Varadero Beach, Cuba
Varadero Beach sits on Cuba’s narrow, 12-mile Hicacos Peninsula—which uniquely juts into the Atlantic for the pristine beaches that make it an understated resort area. The Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero is the best beach hotel on the island, according to TripAdvisor reviews. The adult-only, all-inclusive resort is known for its private butler service, lively hotel bars, and delicious food that keep guests returning for multiple visits.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba: Eagle Beach, Aruba
Aruba’s locals will tell you that the island’s best beach hotel and best stretch of beach are one and the same. Eagle Beach is frequented by locals and visitors alike for good reason—its white sand and blue waves—and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is a step above the rest of the accommodations on the island. Avoid the island’s northern coast, which is rife with big-name chain hotel resorts, and opt for a more local option closer to the Dutch-style center of Oranjestad by staying on Eagle Beach. Bucuti offers romantic restaurants and rooms with waterfront views, but the idyllic Eagle Beach is the true highlight.
Caribbean Club Luxury Boutique Hotel: Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands
It’s no secret that Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is one of the best in the world—but you might be hard-pressed to find a hotel there that’s not one of the towering international brands, packed with demanding loyalty members.
Luckily, TripAdvisor reviewers in Grand Cayman have good taste: The Caribbean Club Luxury Boutique Hotel‘s beachfront villas make the beach feel private and untouched. Plus, the restaurant gets rave reviews, and the suite-style rooms are big enough for families with as many as three bedrooms.
Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra: San Sebastian, Spain
Looking for a European beach destination with plenty of culture to experience? Head to La Concha Beach in San Sebastian, Spain, the culinary capital of the world. Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra is the best beachfront hotel in the area thanks to waterfront views that still are in close proximity to Old Town. The posh hotel offers waterfront patio dining, and steps down to the sandy beach below.
Opal Sands Resort: Clearwater, Florida
Often named the best beach in the U.S., Clearwater Beach, outside of Tampa, Florida, is rated the number seven beach in the world byTripAdvisor. The best beach hotel on Clearwater Beach, according to TripAdvisor reviews, is the sprawling Opal Sands Resort, which boasts a raved-about restaurant, a beachfront pool, and a hot tub—all adjacent to the white sand and beach cabanas.
The Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel: Negril, Jamaica
The best beach in Negril is on Seven Mile Beach (yes, another one), where white sand and endless ocean will have you feeling like you’re in a desktop screensaver. The best beach hotel on Seven Mile Beach is about as oceanfront as it gets: The Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel sits right at the water’s edge, on a seawall with steps into the ocean. The boutique hotel offers treehouse-esque villas with large porches, plus a saltwater pool and cliff-side spa. Like most other hotels on this list, it’s got a top-rated restaurant as well.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana’s Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro is as beautiful as Bavaro Beach itself, with luxe amenities like your own waterfront hot tub, marble floors, private pool patios, and butler service. You’ll be torn between enjoying the hotel and spending all your time on the pristine sand below—and it’s adults-only, for ultimate relaxation.
Ixchel Beach Hotel: Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Playa Norte on the colorful Yucatan Peninsula is the quintessential Mexican beach getaway thanks to its vast expanses of white sand and shallow turquoise waters. The best beach hotel in the little-trafficked area of otherwise touristy Isla Mujeres is Ixchel Beach Hotel, which offers a relaxing yet understated stay compared to the big resort hotels on the main part of the island. The waterfront balconies, suites with kitchens, and beach-adjacent pools are perfect for a relaxing Isla Mujeres vacation spent on one of the best beaches in the world.