17 of The Most Beautiful Resorts Around the World

From petite and boutique to sprawling and branded, the planet holds thousands of beautiful sanctuaries. Picking the very best is not only subjective, but a broad task. We’ve focused on our favorite remote, luxury resorts, chosen for their global diversity, beauty of setting, uniqueness, and exotic locale. Here are 17 of the most beautiful resorts around the world.

Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia
You can swim to your overwater bungalow through a magical turquoise lagoon filled with colorful tropical fish when staying at the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort. The lagoon here is clearer and more turquoise than anywhere else on the island, and free of jet skis and other watercraft, allowing underwater life to flourish untouched.

This is also one of the Islands of Tahiti‘s most affordable overwater bungalow options, made even more accessible by the fact that Moorea is easily reached via high-speed catamaran from Papeete in Tahiti, where international flights land. Moorea’s natural beauty is emphasized at this understated resort where the traditional thatched-roof bungalows have a Polynesia style with modern decor, like extremely comfortable beds and stone tile rain showers in the bathrooms.

Although a decently large resort, with more than 100 bungalows, the best are the overwater digs, which have glass panels for viewing fish and direct access into the lagoon from a ladder into the crystal-clear water off the private terrace (if you’ve seen the Real Housewives of Orange County, this is the resort the women stayed at on their trip to Tahiti and Moorea). The resort has three distinct restaurants and bars that convey the spice of Tahitian life.

Taking center stage is internationally themed “Pure”, which focuses on fresh seasonable produce. Tailor-made for romance, “K” is an intimate gourmet restaurant option, showcasing the freshest local produce in elegant and refined settings. While the “Vue” cocktail bar offers an idyllic venue to relax and enjoy a leisurely drink with a ‘view’ of the lagoon. There’s also a branded Bollinger champagne bar on the pier, and an infinity swimming pool and spa with wonderfully blissful treatment options.
Crescent Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
The Atlantis Hotel is the focal point of Dubai‘s giant cluster of man-made isthmuses that jut out into the Persian Gulf. Even if you can’t afford to stay at this spectacular hotel, you can still go see what the decadent expat lifestyle feels like for the day by swimming with dolphins in Dolphin Bay or splashing about in the rivers, slides, and pools of Dubai‘s largest water park: Aquaventure. If that doesn’t float your boat (sorry), there’s Atlantis’s dive center, in which you can go diving in a nearly 3 million–gallon tank. You’ll literally be swimming with the sharks (and stingrays) this time. In Atlantis, don’t be surprised to find yourself feeding the rays next to a celebrity—this is one of the places they stay in Dubai.
Northwest Point, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks & Caicos Islands
Found in the northwest point of Providenciales, out beyond the fishing village of Blue Hills and far from the development of Grace Bay, Amanyara lives up to its name: a combination of the Sanskrit word for peace and Arawak for place. Not surprisingly, the feeling is one of secluded serenity, with rooms and public areas designed as pavilions that blur the distinction between indoors and out, and a level of service that borders on telepathy. Situated on the edge of Northwest Point Marine National Park, the resort makes an effort to help guests better understand the surrounding natural environment. On-site is a Nature Discovery Center with programs that range from a turtle initiative to an Adopt-a-Coral project. But if that seems overly eco for some guests, they can rest assured that among the routine sounds at Amanyara are the whack of tennis balls and the popping of corks from some of the world’s more expensive wines.
Nunue, Bora Bora, Vaitape 98730, French Polynesia
This private island features stunning views of Mount Otemanu and Matira Bay from its own motu just a few minutes’ boat ride across Bora Bora’s truly stunning fifty shades of blue (one minute it is turquoise, the next emerald or aquamarine) from sister resort Sofitel Marara. The private property is the perfect pick for romantic getaways (it’s geared toward couples, and children are not allowed). Privacy and intimacy are emphasized here with only 31 bungalows (20 are overwater, another 10 are located on a lush garden setting on a hill with stunning views) and one luxury villa that while not overwater, features direct lagoon and sandy beach access and a private jacuzzi (the only one on the property). There is no swimming pool, but guests can use the pool and all amenities at the Marara resort via free water shuttle. Should you not wish to leave your little slice of paradise, however, the onsite Manu Tuki restaurant does excellent French Tahitian fare; order lobster anything. There is also a bar, the Mako. Whether staying overwater or on the hill, the layout is the same, and all rooms feature contemporary Polynesian decor, gorgeous wood floors, and luxury toiletries in oversize bathrooms. Overwater bungalows also boast glass viewing panels in the floors and direct access into the lagoon. Make sure to book the “Romantic Soiree” for one night. It combines sunset champagne on top of the hill, followed by a romantic dinner on the beach under the stars. The breakfast delivered by canoe also is a must.
Kuda Huraa, Noordelijke Malé-atol 20097, Maldives
Just minutes from some of the world’s best surf breaks, the Four Seasons has its own surf school offering lessons for all ability levels, from novices to big-wave riders. Surfari Splurge and book a boat trip aboard the Four Seasons’ Explorer, a three-deck catamaran that can get you to some of the area’s most remote atolls. See the Best Every August the resort hosts a week-long international surfing competition that draws both locals and elite athletes such as Tom Curren. You can buy day passes to watch the action. Sleep Therapy Wellness treatments linked to the lunar cycle are scheduled from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the resort’s spa, which sits on its own island.
Port Antonio, Jamaica
For those who aspire to travel as trendsetters in Jamaica, it helps to know that Port Antonio, way out on the eastern end of the island, is the destination to head for. And the address to shelter at is the Trident Hotel, whose 13 waterfront villas would not look out of place on South Beach. Nor would the crowd that hangs around its infinity pool or in its restaurant, Mike’s Supper Club, where local musicians and the occasional celeb sit down to knock out tunes on the 1917 Ferrari-red grand piano. The Trident Castle, a kind of fantasy annex, is a former private residence whose grand rooms, sea-view terraces, and dollhouse-size chapel make it ideal for destination weddings. A hard road to get there? Not for guests who avail themselves of the helicopter pad.
Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll Republic of Maldives, Maldives
Each wooden suite—spread out over the waters of a coral-lined lagoon—has a smartly designed sea-level sun deck, a deepwater pool, and a glass spy hole carved into the floor so you can watch the stingrays and reef sharks glide below. The property underwent massive renovations during 2019 after a fire ravaged the hotel, but it took the opportunity to expand and improve. The resort reopened with 45 luxury villas with furniture made from locally sourced materials.
71 Bd du Général de Gaulle, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
Sitting at the tip of the peninsula of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which juts out into the Mediterranean, the iconic Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, is now under the management of the Four Seasons brand. Located halfway between Nice and Monaco in the striking Antibes cape, the beyond-glamorous property first opened in 1908, and remains the epitome of the bonne vie, Jazz-era French Riviera. A destination resort, it has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Charlie Chaplin to Pablo Picasso, and is set on multiple lushly landscaped acres full of gardens, pools, and tennis courts that tumble down to the Mediterranean. Rooms are in three buildings. Try for one in the hotel’s original core, as these have soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling, sliding-glass-door windows looking out to the sea. The suites are also enormous, but ask for a higher floor for the best ocean views.
Encompassing 35 private villas on the Motu Onetahi coast of Marlon Brando’s very own French Polynesian island, Tetiaroa, The Brando is arguably the most luxurious place to stay in the entire South Pacific country. All of the villas at this all-inclusive resort have their own private pools along with direct beach access, and there’s a gorgeous spa offering a range of healing modalities, including traditional Polynesian taurumi massage. For those who want to add a bit of activity to their stay, there’s plenty to do on the island and in its surrounding waters, from snorkeling and scuba diving to discovering the flora and fauna of the surrounding landscape under the tutelage of a research scientist. Travelers with an interest in Polynesian culture may also want to try their hand at the traditional outrigger canoe, perhaps taking a trip out to one of the surrounding private islets that share an atoll with the Brando.
Makunufushi South Malé Atoll, 20109, Maldives
Each of the Como resort’s 33 over-water bungalows has a private terrace that lets guests jump straight into the lagoon and snorkel amidst colorful fish and coral. Some of the larger suites are built in the shape of dhoni boats, the traditional wooden vessels used by local anglers. Cocoa Island is home to some of the best diving in the Indian Ocean, with at least 25 sites near the resort, including a shipwreck. Como recently launched its Coral Propagation Program, which allows guests to help protect and regrow the 1,000-plus species found around the resort by planting a coral frame.
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Nestled within Positano’s hillside tangle of pastel residences and stepped alleys, Le Sirenuse is a legendary boutique hotel that feels more like a private home. Run by the Sersale family since its opening in 1951, the crimson-hued house is filled with antiques, potted plants, and oil paintings that lend it a friendly atmosphere devoid of any snootiness. White-walled guest rooms are accented with Vietri floor tiles and heirloom walnut furniture, while marble bathrooms have whirlpool tubs and Eau d’Italie toiletries, the hotel’s bespoke line. Dining is excellent: The Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant is as tasty as it is charming, illuminated in the evening entirely by candlelight. There’s also a champagne and oyster bar that commands dazzling views from a panoramic terrace; the vistas are no less stunning from the pool deck, where potted lemon trees scent the air. The hotel also has a top-notch spa, plus fun perks such as free daily excursions on its vintage wooden boat.
Chapel Street, Dunmore Town, The Bahamas
Not every celebrity who visits Harbour Island stays at the Pink Sands Hotel. Bill Gates, for instance, has his own home on the island. But Keith Richards has checked in here, as have Martha Stewart and Kate Moss. Since its opening in the 1950s, the 25-room hotel, like the island itself, has been a low-key enclave of the rich and famous, drawn not just by the like-attracts-like vibe (one of the previous owners was Island Records founder and Bob Marley “discoverer” Chris Blackwell), but by its location on Pink Sands Beach, widely considered one of the world’s prettiest. Accommodations are in plush one- and two-room cottages that have king beds and ocean or garden views; some have outdoor showers. Reserve a table at the British-colonial–inspired Malcolm 51 for island-style bouillabaisse and charred octopus salad, but don’t get too carried away with the sundowners. All manner of aquatic activities (snorkeling the nearby coral reef, bonefishing in the shallows, or merely swimming in the heated freshwater pool) await in the morning.
One S Ocean Rd, Nassau, The Bahamas
Since its opening along a dazzling stretch of sand known as Cabbage Beach in 1962, The Ocean Club on Paradise Island has been the preferred stay of old-money patriarchs and traditionalists. Though much at the serenely posh resort has remained unchanged, the 105-room property has been modernized to meet today’s standards with spa-sized marble bathrooms, sweeping WiFi, and a restaurant run by star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. But it’s the feeling of a privileged, unhurried yesterday that continues to draw an appreciative upper-crust crowd. An on-site tennis pro provides tips for improving your backhand, Versailles-inspired gardens complete with a 12th-century Augustinian cloister offer moments of quiet contemplation, and rounds of golf end with martinis at the resort’s bar. These details, plus knowing that a personal butler and afternoon champagne and strawberries are included in the price, keep guests returning year after year.
The Instagram-worthy moments start with views of Bazaruto Marine National Park on the 15-minute flight from mainland Mozambique. From above, the white sand dunes look like swirls of frosting atop the turquoise sea, home to colorful coral reefs. Safari operator andBeyond’s new lodge reflects the Portuguese colonial influence on the island by featuring outdoor showers lined with hand-painted tiles and four-poster beds draped with white linen canopies. Verandas lead to outdoor dining areas perfect for enjoying the region’s famed prawns.
French Polynesia
Epic might be an understated description for this collection of thatched-roof bungalows built on stilts over the crystalline waters of the Bora Bora lagoon. This luxury resort is nestled in the dreamiest of settings—wooden walkways link palm-dotted islets fringed with white sand, while the craggy green peaks of Mount Otemanu loom in the distance. Guests can alternate between the beach and the infinity pool, lined with oversized cabanas, or sample activities like stand-up-paddleboard yoga, shark feeding, and snorkeling with the resident marine biologist. Also on offer is a luxurious spa, offering an extensive menu of treatments based on native ingredients like monoï and vanilla. As for the bungalows, Polynesian touches pepper the chic, honey-hued interiors, while indulgent soaking tubs sit beneath shuttered picture windows that open onto the sea. Large decks with swoon-worthy views have stepladders down to the water—a good way to test out the provided snorkeling gear. Airy beachfront villas are also available for those who prefer to stay on land.
There are just 14 villas, all done up in modern Thai style, and at nearly 6,000 feet, quite huge, at the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary. Sitting on one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches at Bang Tao Bay, the villas each come with a private jetted pool, indoor and outdoor showers and bathtubs, a steam room and lots of al fresco living space for chilling. The bedrooms here are truly otherworldly, however, and what sets this property apart from luxury counterparts on Thailand’s most posh island. They appear to float above a lotus flower and lily pad filled pond thanks to a clever design consisting of glass walls. Part of the gated Laguna complex, which includes a number of other high-end resorts, including two Banyan Tree properties, the resort feels private and uncrowded as access is restricted. It also allows guests to easily travel between the properties and dine at a variety of restaurants (a plus since the Spa Sanctuary doesn’t have a restaurant of its own). Don’t skip a visit to the spa, which gets high marks for well-trained therapists and extras beyond the traditional treatment menu like meditation, tai chi and aerobics classes. The resort is geared toward couples and honeymooners; children under 12 are not allowed.
Race Course, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Goldeneye, to be clear, is not an easy place to leave. The land—the former home of Ian Fleming, where he wrote each of the 14 James Bond thrillers that would cement his place in literary and cinematic history—sits next to the tiny town of Oracabessa, on the northern coast. A warm, blue-green lagoon curls from the ocean around a small island and then lets out into a bay. You can look one direction and see a jungle, then turn around and see pristine white sand.

Blackwell bought the property in 1976 as a vacation home and a space to entertain family and friends but later he decided to transform it. In 2016, Goldeneye debuted a jumble of new huts, arranged around a small cove, a short walk from Fleming’s house and the resort’s original villas. The huts vary in height, designed to capture cooling breezes and allow guests to forgo air conditioning. And, crucially, they’re much cheaper to book than the Villas. Which is key because, up until this point, if you wanted to plan a visit to Goldeneye, you needed to either know Blackwell personally or have the excess capital to shell out potentially five figures on a vacation. (Part of the resort’s enduring gravitational pull is that many of the celebrity guests check both boxes.) With the beach huts, Blackwell has expanded, once again, the ambition of his famous resort.
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