Hotels

10 Swoon-Worthy Beach Resorts to Check Out in 2020

Whether you’re after picturesque white sands, trendy local vibes, or secluded private-island hideouts, the best beach resorts of 2020 have you covered. Planning a bucket list trip before the end of the year? Consider Mozambique or Australia. Only have a few PTO days to burn this quarter? Make a quick trip to Mexico or the Grenadines. We scoured the globe to bring you a definitive list of 10 best beach resorts, from hot newcomers to classic retreats and thoughtfully renovated properties. Read on to find your perfect escape.

See recent posts by Katie James Watkinson

Bedroom at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Pool at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Aerial view of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Images Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

1

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI

It’s been nearly three years since Hurricane Irma derailed the hotly anticipated reopening of the BVI’s crown jewel. This month, the 500-acre resort begins welcoming well-heeled guests back to its 80 whitewashed rooms, clifftop spa, two-tiered infinity pool, and dedicated kids’ club. Expect to be even further spoiled for choice: there are four distinct restaurants, from “farm-to-fork” Reef House to tapas-style Sugar Mill and dine-all-day Pavilion.

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2

One&Only Mandarina, Punta Mita, Mexico

Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit is abuzz with updates, giving nonstop-developing Los Cabos a run for its money. While Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort are fresh off sparkling, multi-million-dollar renovations, One&Only is set to steal the spotlight when Mandarina debuts in June. Between the sweeping hillside views, dramatic treehouse-style rooms, an open-air jungle spa, and its panoramic crescent beach, the beach resort promises to wow like no place else on the coast.

RELATED: The 22 Best Boutique Hotels Across Mexico

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Bedroom at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
Pool at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
Aerial view of Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection in Hawaii
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Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Hawaii

This 333-room historic property just reopened under the Auberge flag, bringing a new level of luxury to its five distinct restaurants, full-service spa, and golden-hued beaches. Just don’t expect to plop down on the sand all day when aqua adventures abound. Try your hand at everything from surfing to scuba diving, prone paddle boarding to double-hull canoeing. If it’s all-day adrenaline you crave, book the “Black Sands 49 Beach Tour,” which includes a bike ride through natural fish ponds and black-sand beaches before ending with a snorkeling excursion in a secluded bay.

Check Prices for Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection in Puako

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Bedroom of Mandarin Oriental Canouan
Mandarin Oriental Canouan living room
patio of Mandarin Oriental Canouan
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Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Chic, secluded isles are a dime a dozen in the southern Caribbean island chain of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is now even easier to access thanks to a new international airport and increased air lift from the States. It doesn’t get more exclusive than Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, the only resort on its petite namesake island. White-sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs ring the remote shores, which are often abuzz with international jet setters. So be sure to don your best Marysia kaftan and bedazzled Mustique sandals before lunch at L’Ance Guyac Beach Club.

RELATED: The World's Best All-Inclusive Resorts on the Beach

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Kisawa Sanctuary, Benguerra Island, Mozambique
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Kisawa Sanctuary, Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Located off the coast of Mozambique, Benguerra Island has long been a go-to for the classic “bush and beach” combo. While many resorts offer elevated yet reasonable stays, Kisawa Sanctuary promises a new level of luxury—with a splurge-worthy price tag to rival the neighboring Seychelles. Each of the 12 villas is set on its own one-acre plot, guaranteeing the utmost privacy as you walk sugar-soft sand dunes, swim with nesting sea turtles, and—if you’re lucky—spy humpback whales off the shore.

See All Hotels in Mozambique
6

Eclipse at Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Jamaica will see its first major opening in years when this 57-room hotel-within-a-hotel debuts in March at Montego Bay’s Half Moon resort. Fill up on jerk chicken at the traditional Jamaican-style restaurant Spice before an afternoon on the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed links. Or, if chillaxing is more your thing, call dibs on one of the 400-acre estate’s countless hammocks and sleep off that third Mai Tai.

RELATED: Island Living is Good at Jamaica's Best Hotels

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Bedroom at InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
Outdoor restaurant at InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
Aerial view of InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
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Intercontinental Hayman Island, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Though Australia’s ecosystems remain fragile, its tourism industry is booming—and there’s no better time to support the country than now. Check the bucket list with a stay on the ultra-exclusive Hayman Island, fresh off a $95-million-dollar renovation that overhauled its five restaurants and 168 rooms and suites. It’s the perfect home base from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Don’t miss a helicopter tour of Heart Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach, where the views from above guarantee even greater appreciation for Mother Nature.

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Bedroom at Hotel Esencia in Tulum
Pool at Hotel Esencia in Tulum
Exterior of Hotel Esencia in Tulum
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Hotel Esencia, Xhu-Pa, Mexico

We can’t exactly pinpoint how, but this whitewashed Yucatán getaway just gets better with age. Maybe it’s the constant refreshes (this year saw the addition of an internationally acclaimed restaurant, Beefbar Esencia, and a Presidential Suite that features 120 feet of private beachfront) or the always consistent service (press a button on the beach and a server comes running to take your next margarita order). Either way, consider ours a standing reservation.

Check Prices for Esencia in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Bedroom at Soneva Jani
Sunset view at Soneva Jani Resort
Aerial view of Soneva Jani Resort
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Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

In just a few short years, this 25-villa, private-island resort has secured its place as the Maldives’ most sought-after stay. Barefoot chic reaches new heights when you check your shoes at the dock and meander snaking decks to your apartment-sized overwater villa. After a sun-soaked day whizzing down your own two-story slide, fall asleep beneath the stars—yes, that’s a mechanical skylight above your bed. (Don’t worry, it has sensors to automatically close in the event of rain.)

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Bedroom at Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf
Exterior and pool at Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf
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Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf, St. Barth

There’s no shortage of take-your-breath-away luxury on St. Barth, especially now that iconic hotels such as Eden Rock - St Barths and Le Sereno have re-opened after extensive post-hurricane renovations. But it’s the rebirth of this 23-suite Gustavia stunner that has us even more excited to visit. Each room comes with its own terrace and private plunge pool, plus you’re within walking distance of shops like Poupette St. Barth, beach clubs like Shellona, and scene-y restaurants like Bonito.

Check Prices for Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf St Barth in Gustavia, St. Barthelemy

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