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Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts
In Vietnam, the Sheraton Nha Trang’s restaurants cook up a range of cuisines (from street food to European pastries), and you can have snacks delivered to you on the palm-dotted, sugar-sand beach. And you can get it all for $180 a night.
updated 3/3/2011 1:10:59 PM ET 2011-03-03T18:10:59

Looking for a great escape without breaking the bank? Here, affordable beach getaways from Florida to Greece.

Picture yourself waking to the warmth of sunshine slanting through your window, then enjoying the sound of gently crashing waves as you take your morning coffee out on your beachfront terrace.

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Fortunately, putting yourself in this idyllic setting doesn’t have to break the bank. There are affordable beach resorts all over the world—from Florida to Greece—where a night’s stay doesn’t cost much more than dinner and wine with friends at your favorite local restaurant. Every year, Travel + Leisure staff scours the globe to find great, inexpensive coastal resorts; none of the properties on our list costs more than $250 a night (and some cost much less).

Slideshow: Best affordable beach resorts

Most of this year’s best affordable beach resorts are just what we envision when we daydream about holidays in the sun. At the Anacaona Boutique Hotel on Anguilla, for example, waiters deliver rum punch right to your beach chaise beside the clear turquoise waters of Meads Bay. And at the romantic Tambor Tropical, on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, you and your sweetie can retire to a private mahogany-and-teak villa after a day of snorkeling and sea kayaking.

Of course, you don’t have to leave the U.S. to find a great affordable beach resort. The 94-room Costa d’Este Beach Resort is a window into 1950s Florida, with Art Deco–style furnishings and elegant rattan furniture. With a night’s stay just $139, you can afford to shell out for the spa’s signature Hot Lava Shell massage (taken beachside, of course).

Video: Spring break escapes near and far (on this page)

If you’re looking for an affordable beach resort that’s not quite the traditional palm-shaded retreats you see in Corona beer advertisements, we have you covered there too. At the Tott Hotel Visby, for example, set on the Swedish island of Gotland, the starkly modern, glass-walled rooms and villas overlook the (often bracingly cold) Baltic Sea. And at The Beach House, a colonial-chic mansion perched on Newfoundland’s blustery Avalon Peninsula, you’ll spot migrating humpback whales rather than tropical fish.

So no matter when—or where—you’re planning on traveling, this is the list to check out if an affordable beach resort is on this year’s itinerary.

Copyright © 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation

Video: Spring break escapes near and far

  1. Transcript of: Spring break escapes near and far

    KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, co-host: We're back on this Tryday Friday with TODAY'S TRAVEL and spring break getaways for every traveler.

    HODA KOTB, co-host: Whether you want to stay local or get adventurous, bring the kids or escape with just your other half, Laura Begley Bloom has some great trip ideas for you. She's the deputy editor at Travel Leisure magazine. Hey!

    Ms. LAURA BEGLEY BLOOM (Deputy Editor, Travel Leisure Magazine): Hi .

    GIFFORD: How are you? Awfully nice to think about these great places at this time of year.

    Ms. BLOOM: Oh, don't you want a getaway right now?

    KOTB: Yes!

    GIFFORD: Yes, very much.

    KOTB: Well, we like the ones on your list. I was struck by the first one, which is Panama .

    Ms. BLOOM: Panama .

    KOTB: A lot of people don't think of that right away.

    Ms. BLOOM: Great undiscovered location. Great food in Panama .

    KOTB: Yeah.

    Ms. BLOOM: And we've got a deal that you will not believe, $86 a night...

    KOTB: What?

    Ms. BLOOM: ...at Las Olas beach resort . It's 50 minutes from Panama City . They've got surfing, they're on 14 miles of beach.

    KOTB: Beautiful.

    Ms. BLOOM: There's a national park nearby. You can go fishing.

    GIFFORD: It looks like it's lovely. How is it so inexpensive?

    Ms. BLOOM: It's Panama . They, you know...

    KOTB: Gorgeous. Yeah.

    GIFFORD:

    Ms. BLOOM: Nobody has discovered this yet.

    GIFFORD: Wow.

    KOTB: Wow.

    Ms. BLOOM: So now we've spread it to the world.

    KOTB: Now, the US Virgin Islands , another nice warm destination.

    Ms. BLOOM: Yes.

    KOTB: What do you guys like about that?

    Ms. BLOOM: We love the Maho Bay Camps on St. John .

    GIFFORD: St. John.

    KOTB: Oh. Beautiful.

    Ms. BLOOM: And these are not your average tented camps. These are up in the trees with beautiful views of the water.

    GIFFORD: St. John 's is gorgeous. Yeah.

    Ms. BLOOM: It's so relaxing. This is really a fantastic getaway and just $135 a night.

    GIFFORD: So great for families.

    KOTB: Great ideas.

    Ms. BLOOM: Really good for families.

    GIFFORD: Yeah.

    Ms. BLOOM: But also good for couples. It's really sort of a place that anybody would love.

    KOTB: OK.

    GIFFORD: OK.

    KOTB: Hawaii is another. It's a long flight.

    GIFFORD: Hoda 's still never been there.

    KOTB: I just -- it always looks so long to get there.

    Ms. BLOOM: You're kidding?

    KOTB: If I'm going to go somewhere that far...

    GIFFORD: You've been to China . That's further.

    KOTB: No!

    Ms. BLOOM: Well, I've got a place for you that's absolutely worth the trip.

    KOTB: Yeah.

    Ms. BLOOM: This is the Hilton Hawaiian Village on the widest strip of Waikiki Beach .

    GIFFORD: That's been there forever. Right.

    Ms. BLOOM: It has, and it is an amazing resort. They've got 20 restaurants, and it's great for families. They do ukulele lessons, they do hula lessons.

    KOTB: Hm. Yeah.

    GIFFORD: And it's been redone, too, over the years.

    Ms. BLOOM: You can learn lei making. It has. It's a really...

    GIFFORD: So it's not an old, stodgy place at all.

    Ms. BLOOM: ...lovely place.

    KOTB: Great.

    GIFFORD: Look how nice it is, yeah.

    KOTB: This next one isn't very conventional. We're talk -- what's the Dove Mountain ? What's that area?

    Ms. BLOOM: This is Ritz-Carlton , Dove Mountain .

    KOTB: Yeah.

    Ms. BLOOM: It's in the Sonoran Desert . So, again, you're going to have warm weather. Great for adults, great for kids. You can go hiking. They've got an amazing tennis package for $214 a night where you have unlimited tennis. And it also includes your breakfast every day. Just a really quiet respite from the winter.

    KOTB: Is it important to start booking the flights like right away?

    Ms. BLOOM: I think it's important to book flights. They're really booking up fast, especially with spring break. Everybody wants to get away right now.

    GIFFORD: And what people should know, too, that -- is that if they do the Arizona one, you know, it can be very, very chilly in Arizona ...

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    GIFFORD: ...in the mornings and the evening. So people think it's desert so they don't sometimes pack correctly.

    Ms. BLOOM: Right, it does cool off. I think anywhere you're going it's really important to check in, to find out what's good to wear on a trip because, I mean, I've definitely been caught by surprise going someplace in June, and all of a sudden it starts snowing. So you never know.

    GIFFORD: Right.

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    GIFFORD: And also there are dress codes at certain hotels and things for different restaurants, and they -- you should be prepared for that.

    KOTB: Right.

    Ms. BLOOM: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

    KOTB: One of our last destinations you have, the last one is in Mexico .

    GIFFORD: Mexico !

    KOTB: And that's a -- that's always a great spot. Guaranteed good weather.

    Ms. BLOOM: Yeah. And this is on Isla Mujeres , which is right near Cancun .

    KOTB: Hm. It's beautiful.

    Ms. BLOOM: It's a brand-new hotel called the Palmar , and they've got an all-inclusive rate. For $132 a person for adults, about half that for kids. And it's a fantastic option because they include all your meals. There are also kitchenettes in the room, they have laundry in the rooms. So...

    GIFFORD: Look how pretty that is.

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BLOOM: ...beautiful beach and a really -- also a great, quiet hideaway.

    KOTB: Perfect.

    GIFFORD: All right, great idea. Thank you very, very much.

    Ms. BLOOM: Thank you.

    KOTB: Those are terrific. We really appreciate it.

    GIFFORD: And congratulations on your marriage.

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