In Miami’s South Beach, it’s refreshing to find newcomer Sense Beach House, with a rooftop pool that’s scene-free and 18 beige-and-blue rooms at affordable rates.
“The traditional beach hotel concept is being reinvented with the introduction of smaller, more intimate beachside properties,” declares general manager Patricia Trias. “Staying small can create a big impact by allowing visitors to relax and feel at ease, which is what the beach experience is all about.”
From Mexico to Waikiki, the lure of beach hotels remains constant in the travel world. But as Trias says, many of the hotels themselves have changed. That’s because travelers expect more amenities, better food, and personalized touches, whether they’re families in search of safety and activities, singles seeking nightlife, or honeymooners after solitude and romance. The hottest new beach hotels often provide often all those things, plus that instant access to the sand and surf.
Beach hotels are also taking cues from their specific surroundings. As Darrell Long, from Hirsch Bedner Associates—the hospitality design consultants behind the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island and the Resort at Singer Island—puts it: “The days of sea horses and seashells are gone. We are now pushing design honesty.”
This authenticity of place goes beyond design elements. It’s also reflected in James Royal Palm’s Florida Cookery locavore restaurant, which serves hearts of palm with Florida orange vinegar. The conch shell facials at Belize’s El Secreto and the outdoor charcoal grills and bingo nights at Eisenhower-era Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, NY, are additional examples of how properties are highlighting regionalism and period architecture and décor.
It's no wonder these beach hotels are making waves.
—Adam H. Graham