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Best Affordable Beach Resorts 2011

Sheraton Nha Trang

Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts

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.

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).

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).

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.

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