By Sara Bliss
July 30, 2014

Four hotels that put the beach within reach.

Ambergris Cay, Belize: All 26 candy-hued, thatched-roof casitas at Matachica Resort & Spa sit right on the sand, with hammocks in matching colors. Book a Sea-View Cabana room—the Caribbean is just 125 feet from your door, with Belize’s famous barrier reef just a two-minute dive-boat trip beyond.$$

San Diego: The new 78-suite Pier South Resort has balconies with sweeping views of the Pacific and California’s southernmost beach. Our two favorite ways to chill out here? Surfing lessons and a Green Flash (jalapeño-infused tequila, pineapple juice, and Midori) by the waterside fire pit. $$

Video: More Beach Getaways

Sagres, Portugal: Within Costa Vicentina National Park, three hours south of Lisbon, the Terence Conran–designed Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is perched on a cliff above the shore. When they’re not dipping into one of five pools, guests can hike the surrounding trails, hoping to spot wild boar, lynx, and circling falcons. $$

Pranburi, Thailand: This sleepy beach town, on a quiet stretch of coast 139 miles southwest of Bangkok, feels worlds away from Thailand’s flashier seaside resorts. Here, private estate turned hotel and spa Aleenta Hua Hin emphasizes inner peace, with custom detox menus, tai chi classes, and private plunge pools. $

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000