Travel Picks: Top 10 boutique beach breaks

Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:47pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - From glam coastal getaways to private island escapes, boutique travel advisers Mr & Mrs Smith ( have rounded some of up the best beach breaks around the world. Swimming fans, surfers and poolside posers will find much to like in this top 10. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Castaway chic: Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Australia is blessed with world class surf breaks and white shores that unfurl as far as the eye can see. Perched on the northernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island might well be the country's best-kept secret. This boutique retreat revels in its remoteness, with 24 secluded coves dotted around the pristine private isle. Hotel staff can pack you off with a gourmet picnic for a romantic lunch among the dunes, or kit you out with snorkelling gear, kayaks and motorized dinghies for exploring the dazzling reef.

2. Riviera romance: Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel, Côte d'Azur, France

More about posing on sunloungers than pursuing aquatic thrills, the French Riviera has long drawn Europe's style set to its pebbled shores. While billionaires and their entourage party on suburb-sized yachts, fashionistas flock to the beachfront eateries of Cannes and Nice to see and be seen. A 25-minute drive away, Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel offers suitably stylish digs. Once a beachside club for the likes of Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, this striking glass and polished concrete sanctuary is as sparkling as the surrounding sea. Bold bedrooms star a mod-marine theme, and restaurant Les Pêcheurs is famed for its cutting-edge fare.

3. Haute Hawaiian styling: The Modern Honolulu, Honolulu, United States

Whether you want to mix it with the masters on the big breaks of Waikiki or cruise Maui's crests on a long board, Hawaii is heaven for wave-hunters. Breezing onto the local hotel scene in 2011, the Modern Honolulu brings boutique lodgings to a city better known for its big-and-brash resorts. With the surfboard-lined feature wall behind reception, and the ukuleles and sarongs in the guest rooms, the design blends an all-white color palette with so-quirky-it-works local touches. Four bars, a nightclub, and a Japanese restaurant from Iron Chef Morimoto make this one of the hottest tickets in town.

4. Seaside seduction: The Legian & The Club, Bali, Indonesia

For boutique-shopping, bar-hopping and beach-flopping, it's hard to beat Seminyak, Bali's most style-savvy strip. Place yourself in the centre of the action with a stay at The Legian & The Club, a designer duo right on the oceanfront. Forming one ultra-luxe enclave, the Legian Hotel is home to sleek suites, while sister property The Club sports intimate villas with private swimming pools and a butler service. A two-tiered swimming pool, free yoga sessions and a day spa will have you in holiday mode quicker than you can say "I'll have another Legian Mojito, thanks".   Continued...

A couple watches the last rays of sunlight for 2011 at sunset from the waters off Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 31, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed