THE BLOG
09/29/2015 11:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Best Oceanfront Hotels

By Alex Schechter for Architectural Digest.

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(photo: Courtesy of &Beyond)

Mozambique's newest lodge (it opened June 1) is set on Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, which has been recognized as a marine conservation area since 1971. The hotel arranges private helicopter tours that offer a unique overview of the coast and guided horseback expeditions along the water's edge. From $695/night; andbeyond.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Lizard Island)

This fabled island off the northern coast of Queensland is the stuff of travelers' dreams. After arriving by private plane, guests can take a trip out to Cod Hole (a world-renowned dive site on the Great Barrier Reef), access one of 24 secluded white-sand beaches, or retreat into the newly refurbished Anchor Bay Suite, which comes with its own plunge pool. From $1,212/night; lizardisland.com.au.

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(photo: Courtesy of Mukul Resort)

Don Carlos Pellas, a renowned rum distiller and hotelier, developed this 1,670-acre beachside retreat with one goal in mind: total seclusion. Whether enjoying a private surf lesson on Manzanillo Beach or relaxing in one of 23 *bohios*--cliffside chalets with panoramic glass-walled showers--guests feel they have the whole place to themselves. This November, Costa Esmeralda Airport (also built by Pellas) will offer the area's first direct international flight access. From $500/night; mukulresort.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Malliouhana Resort)

International luxury hotel developer Auberge made waves in 2013 when it enlisted Todd-Avery Lenahan and SB Architects to revitalize the dramatic 55-room Malliouhana hotel. After the renovation, the bright pastel hues and inviting arches evoke 1950s Caribbean glamour. Outside, there are three private beaches on Turtle Bay, and motorboats for solo jaunts around the island. From $525/night; malliouhana.aubergeresorts.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Maalifushi by Como)

Sharks, shipwrecks, and tropical fish have made the Maldives a diving hot spot for decades, and while this 20-acre resort caters to underwater explorers (there's an on-site dive center), it's also a place for repose. Every suite and villa features a private pool and sundeck with a thatched-roof hut--in the overwater suites, guests can wake up and dive into the turquoise lagoon, before breakfast. From $950/night; comohotels.com.

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(photo: Ponta dos Ganchos)

With just 25 bungalows (all overlooking the vast, and aptly named, Emerald Coast) and a 3:1 staff-to-guest ratio, it's no wonder A-listers like Beyoncé and Paul McCartney have stayed here on trips to Brazil. There's a private cinema, in-room saunas in many of the bungalows, and fresh seafood hauled in from the bay each morning. Book the restaurant's "island," an open-air private dining pavilion connected by a 98-foot jetty, to experience one of South America's most romantic dining spots. From $1,950/night; pontadosganchos.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of St. Regis)

Thirty minutes from San Juan Airport, this 483-acre former coconut plantation became the first Caribbean resort to be gold-certified by Audubon International. Wildlife abounds here--from songbirds and iguanas in the forest, to baby sea turtles hatching in late spring. An on-site marine biologist ensures guests are in the right place, at the right time, when the little critters begin emerging from their sandy nests. From $659/night; stregisbahiabeach.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Elounda Villas)

The perks at this hotel's Spa Pool Villas--each with a private pool, gym, sauna, and steam room--justify never setting foot outside. At night, staff will set up a candlelit dinner on your private terrace overlooking the Bay of Mirabello. Should you choose to emerge from your mini-palace, there's a private beach club, two restaurants, a spa, and chartered yacht excursions to the island of Spinalonga. From $282/night; eloundavillas.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort)

The only resort on Oahu's North Shore, this Hawaiian classic hugs five miles of perfect clear-water beaches. Highlights from the recent multimillion-dollar renovation include an elite set of beach cottages (all with 15-foot ceilings, Brazilian walnut floors, and Kalista deep-soaking tubs), as well as the installation of 1,500 solar panels to offset the resort's carbon footprint. From $340/night; turtlebayresort.com.

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(photo: Courtesy of Aman Resorts)

The largest resort charter fleet in Southeast Asia resides here--with vessels including the *Maha Bhetra,* a 90-foot luxury vessel with three en suite cabins and a top deck fashioned after the resort's own villas. From November to April, intimate torchlit barbecue dinners are served right on the beach, prepared by a private chef. From $653; amanresorts.com.

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