Hold on to your hat: the most dramatic bluff-side hotels in the world are as breezy as they are beautiful.
Barbados: Built in 1887, theCrane Residential Resort($$$$) sits above a pink-sand beach accessible by a glass-front elevator or 99 stone steps. Opt for a room in the original building with stone-coral walls and a hand-carved mahogany bed.
Brazil: Escape Florianópolis’s frenetic beach scene at the nearby Ponta dos Ganchos($$$$), on a private, crescent-shaped peninsula. Guests can relax with passion-fruit caipirinhas on one of the eucalyptus-fringed decks or head to the tiny island just offshore.
Our most recent T+L Twitter Chat covered the best “secret” spots to visit in Europe, when you’re looking to skip the tourist attractions and head off the beaten path. Our panel of travel experts shared insider tips on unknown destinations, the best shopping spots, tourist-free beaches, and travel trends.
Q: With so many sunscreens on the market, I’m overwhelmed. Have a favorite? —Janet Bakes, via e-mail
A: We took an informal poll, and the cheekily named Supergoop! SPF 50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist($19) is a T+L editor pick. It’s infused with vitamin C (touted by dermatologists as a damage preventer), plus it’s paraben- and fragrance-free, hence easy on your skin. Soleil Organique($42) makes similar mists in varying SPF’s, with a green-tea scent. For daily use on the face, we prefer lightweight and long-lasting Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+($38) and emollient-rich La Prairie Sun Protection Emulsion Face SPF 30($95). Hailing from Norway, Restørsea Rejuvenating Day Lotion SPF 30(pictured; $150) contains anti-aging enzymes and moisturizing algae, though it may be worth the splurge for its pretty packaging alone.
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure’s style director. Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to email@example.com.
Hotel-and-designer dream teams are offering custom canvas totes, just in time for beach season. We love the bag created by Anya Hindmarch for Le Sereno, in St. Bart’s, $358 (pictured). Here a few other faves:
Get your fill of lobster rolls and oysters in this quintessential New England beach town. The charming Kennebunkport Inn has a large front porch and sundeck and an outdoor fireplace overlooking the Kennebuck River. You can enjoy complimentary bikes, beach passes, towels, and beach chairs; it’s a 15-minute drive to Goose Rocks Beach. From $169/night (3-night minimum over Memorial Day weekend).
Originally a collection of salt miners cottages, this recently opened 15-guestroom hotel in Provincetown offers crisp bright white rooms, plus bath products from C.O. Bigelow and LA-based Further brand. Co-owner Kevin O’Shea is also the Inn’s interior designer and its chef; he makes breakfast each day. There’s an outdoor dining area, a lounge, and a sun terrace on the landscaped grounds. From $250/night with free parking (3-night minimum stay over Memorial Day weekend).
On Florida’s west coast, this laid-back hotel puts you right on the beach. All guestrooms are individually decorated and have flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, vintage light fixtures and, in many cases, large-scale surf photography by local artists. A large pool is lined by bright yellow chaises, and PCI Beach Bar serves cool drinks on the sand. From $199/night.
Originally opened in 1929, this Spanish-inspired property launched the Casa Surf Project in 2010 with 10 one-of-a-kind suites dedicated to surf culture. Head to the outdoor rooftop lounge for beautiful ocean views—plus a menu with all dishes at $12 or less. The hotel, steps from the beach, provides guests with umbrellas, towels, chairs, and drinks for a day out in the sun. From $199/night on Fridays and $228 on Saturdays.
Just north of better-known Cannon Beach, the small town of Gearhart is big on antiques shops and picturesque hiking trails. It’s an easy walk from dunes along the Pacific Ocean to restored Gearhart Ocean Inn: 12 attached cottages, each with a kitchen or kitchenette. The owners of this property welcome pets and will provide beach cruiser bikes and a “clam gun” for scooping up clams from the sand. From $140/night (3-night minimum stay over Memorial Day weekend).