From a waterfront lodge in Maine to a stylish Caribbean resort, find the getaway that’s right for you—whatever your budget.
"A Southern island"
Splurge: The Cloister at Sea Island, Ga.
This 1928 Mediterranean-style mansion is set on more than 1,000 acres of a barrier island beach and has been voted among the best hotels worldwide by Travel + Leisure readers. The Cloister Beach Club provides access to five miles of private beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Several pools, an ice cream parlor, a movie theater, and children's center make it a great family destination. From $395/night.
Steal: Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Ga.
This hotel is a National Historic Landmark found on Georgia’s smallest barrier, island with an historic village and lots of unspoiled natural attractions. There are nine miles of beach, and lots to do: bicycling, 63 holes of golf, tennis, horseback riding, croquet, and carriage rides. Summertime also brings a cooking camp for kids. From $199/night.
Related: Best affordable beach resorts
"A New England beach"
Splurge: Hidden Pond, Maine
The allure of this southern Maine hotel just north of Kennebunkport is not only the setting but also the food. Chef Ken Oringer’s Earth restaurant incorporates ingredients from the on-site organic garden in the seasonal menu. There are 36 private cottages, some with two bedrooms, and all with Frette linens, screened-in porches, and outdoor showers. It’s a five-minute drive to the beach, where staffers set up lounge chairs and umbrellas. From $364 thru May 23; from $464/night starting May 24.
Steal: Nebo Lodge, North Haven, Maine
Nebo Lodge has helped put a relatively unknown destination on the map. It’s located on the three-mile-wide Penobscot Bay island of North Haven (an hour’s ferry ride from Rockland), this nine-room property is a classic New England island retreat with cast-iron beds and claw-foot tubs. The hyper-local restaurant is a destination in itself. From $100/night in May and June; from $145/night July through Columbus Day; from $160/night.
Splurge: Four Seasons The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, Calif.
This 207-room property has a prime location right on Butterfly Beach and a design that matches the area’s signature 1920’s-style tiles and gardens. The resort will arrange wine tours of the Santa Ynez Valley, including visits to wineries typically not open to the public. From $395/night.
Steal: Pacific Edge Hotel on Laguna Beach, Calif.
Guests can take further advantage of this Joie de Vivre hotel’s beachfront setting thanks to new indoor/outdoor bungalows available for rent right on the sand. The recently renovated Pacific Edge provides complimentary beach towels, lounge chairs and umbrellas, and there are also two heated swimming pools and a hot tub. From $139/night.
Splurge: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Sugar Beach, which was just named to Travel + Leisure’s It List of the best new hotels, has an fantastic location on the beach between the towering Pitons. Its 78 bleach-white rooms and 42 hillside luxury villas—built with kiln-dried Central American hardwoods—are filled with indigenous art. From $440/night.
Steal: Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Anguilla
The 27-room Anacaona Boutique Hotel is a stylish and affordable alternative on a chic island that is known for its sky-high prices. The hotel’s modern, tropical rooms (Frette linens; gold and lime pillows; iPod docking stations) look out onto one of two swimming pools, and those on the upper floors have sea views. It’s a short walk to mile-long Meads Bay beach. From $160/night.
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