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Most Romantic Beaches of the Med

© Acqualina Resort & Spa
Sunny Isles Beach vs. South Beach

When it comes to naming 10 so-called "hot alternative beaches," Sunny Isles Beach immediately comes to mind, thanks in good part to the opening of the Acqualina Resort in 2006. There's also a new Le Meridian and the Trump International Beach Resort. Located on a barrier island just 13 miles north of Miami Beach, it's also just three miles away from Bal Harbour's renowned shopping. Stacy Small, president of Elite Travel International, a boutique luxury travel agency in Brentwood, Calif., calls the Sunny Isles accommodations "more sophisticated" than those of its more celebrated neighbor.


© Anguilla Tourist Board
Tarifa vs. Essaouira

Essaouira, one of the best of Morocco's beaches, tends to be uncomfortably crowded, especially in the popular summer months. But in Tarifa, Spain, roughly ten miles from the African shore, it's a completely different story. "It's at the southernmost point of Europe, where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet, and a perfect alternative to Morocco for those who truly want to chill out in a local beach town," says Stacy Small, president of Elite Travel International.

© Anguilla Tourist Board
Anguilla vs. St. Barths

As St. Barths becomes increasingly overrun, true trendsetters are island-hopping over to Anguilla, just a few miles to the north. The island's rocky terrain is ringed by white sand beaches, which are in turn regularly visited by such stars as Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt (pre-Brangelina) and Beyonce. Celebs love the low-key vibe, which provides a welcome respite from the over-the-top hedonism of St. Barths.



© Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy
Tamarama Beach vs. Bondi Beach

Located just one kilometer from Australia's world famous Bondi Beach, Tamarama has been nicknamed "Glamarama Beach" by those familiar with its daily parade of perfectly chiseled bodies. Most accommodations and nightlife remain in Bondi, but Tamarama has annexed the see-and-be-seen daytime scene. A lovely path connects the two beaches.



© Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ)
Lanai vs. Waikiki

"Waikiki is lined with hotels and is always busy and crowded, although still beautiful," says Stacy Small, president of Elite Travel International. "In contrast, Lanai—just a short flight away—has few resorts." Just two, in fact, and only one of them, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, sits on the ocean. Just a half hour by plane from Honolulu (on the island of Oahu, where Waikiki is also located), Lanai overwhelms visitors with its spectacular landscape and solitude (the island has fewer than 3,000 permanent residents).



© Paraiso de la Bonita Resort
The Riviera Maya vs. Cancun

Cancun attracts literally millions of visitors per year, and is barely clinging to its reputation as an oceanfront hotspot. This is at least in part because the true trendsetters have decamped to the nearby Riviera Maya, a tropical stretch of coast where several new luxury resorts—spearheaded by the Paraiso de la Bonita—help make it, as Small says, "the real star in this region." It is also conveniently located just a 30-minute drive from Cancun's high-traffic international airport.


© Art Kowalsky / Alamy
Eze-sur-Mer vs. Nice

Nice has long been the point of entry to the Cote d'Azu. But nearby Eze-sur-Mer has less crowded beaches, a beautiful and historic cliff-top town with amazing views of the Mediterranean, as well as its own charming hotels and restaurants. And it's only five miles from Nice's abundant shopping and nightlife.


© iStockphoto.com/Sheldon Kralstein
Biarritz vs. San Sebastian

While San Sebastian is a common stop on Americans' European itineraries, Biarritz, just a few miles north across the border with France, has largely escaped their attention. According to Small, "This luxurious seaside town boasts some of the best beaches in Europe." Historically, Biarritz was a destination for European royalty—Empress Eugenie built a seaside palace there in 1854. Today, chic vacationers can do the same—her summer home is now the Hotel du Palais.


© AA World Travel Library / Alamy
Jamestown vs. Newport

Newport is America's seminal exclusive beachside resort, having hosted the country's rich and elite since the mid-19th century. But there's another historic town in the area that lately is giving the grand dame a run for her old money: Jamestown. While most visitors rush to Newport in the summer, Jamestown still offers a charming New England small-town feel. And trendsetters have taken notice, as many would-be Newporters have taken advantage of Jamestown's cheaper (for now) real estate.


© WoodyStock / Alamy
Jose Ignacio vs. Punta Del Este

Anyone who's anyone in Argentina and other South American countries spends a chunk of their summers in "Punta"—but they rarely complete a season without some time spent in Jose Ignacio, as well. According to Small, the spot 25 miles north of Punta "retains its original fishing village charm while slowly evolving into a celebrity enclave of its own." Most visitors rent villas, as there are limited options for hotel rooms. But that should all change when the scheduled Setai resort with residences opens.



© Paraiso de la Bonita Resort
The Riviera Maya vs. Cancun

Cancun attracts literally millions of visitors per year, and is barely clinging to its reputation as an oceanfront hotspot. This is at least in part because the true trendsetters have decamped to the nearby Riviera Maya, a tropical stretch of coast where several new luxury resorts—spearheaded by the Paraiso de la Bonita—help make it, as Small says, "the real star in this region." It is also conveniently located just a 30-minute drive from Cancun's high-traffic international airport.



2 commentaires:

Kara a dit…

Riviera Maya and Cancun are so similar that I wouldn't say one beach is better than the other. Just find the right all inclusive (I like Secrets Silversands) and have a great time on the beach!

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