LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Sometimes all you need is the right setting of sun, sea and sand for love to simply blossom.
Boutique hotel collection Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) help you to find the romantic beach retreats to get you in the mood for passion.
To see a collection of photos of the resorts listed below please click on: ate.box.net/shared/cyjqudcua3 .
Reuters does not endorse this list.
1. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Set on a private peninsula that’s just a sexy speedboat ride from coastal town Nha Trang in south-central Vietnam, romantic boutique hotel Six Senses Ninh Van Bay offers luxury for lovers. Its 58 dreamy villas all feature seductive beds and bath tubs open to the outdoors, with private pools for cooling dips (choose between beach, spa or waterside settings). You can also dine alfresco by the bay, the pool or up on the rocks for serene sea views - or book a table for two in the atmospherically lit Wine Cave, perfect for popping the question. After quality pampering at the Six Senses Spa, make a date with a sunlounger on the secluded beach.
2. Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel, Côte d’Azur, France
With design as glittering as the surrounding sea, chic Côte d’Azur retreat Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel in the south of France is all about Gallic glamour. Once a beachside club for the jet-set, including film stars Sofia Loren and Cary Grant, this heavenly hotel has its own beach for sandy sojourns. With just 27 rooms, it’s intimate, too; Deluxe Room 208 has dazzling views, but Room 201 has a fabulous fish mural. Even the restaurant is named Les Pecheurs (The Fishermen) after the maritime setting. Dine here for gastronomic gravitas, or casual beachside Le Cap serves up pasta, fish and local dishes by the waves. Bring this season’s swimwear for poolside posing.
3. Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
For a romantic hotel on the Great Barrier Reef, look no further than Australian boutique retreat Lizard Island, a short flight from Cairns off the Far North Queensland coast. With just 40 secluded rooms and 24 ivory-white beaches to choose from, you’re likely to have a seductive cove of sand all to yourself for that picnic by the waves. Swim off the beach, take a kayak or boat out, or go snorkeling or diving at famous Cod Hole on the outer reef with turtles and rays for company. Back at base camp, enjoy a hot-stone massage at Azure Spa, then dine on fresh fish and seafood at airy Osprey’s restaurant. This idyllic island has honeymoon written all over it.
4. The Datai, Langkawi, Malaysia
Set on beach-blessed Langkawi Island, a back-to-nature getaway off Malaysia’s northwest coast, the Datai occupies a dramatic perch between pure white-sand beaches and verdant rainforest. Famed for its opulence, this beachfront luxury hotel attracts the great and the glam, with 112 wood-crafted rooms, including standalone villas in jungle pockets. The striking main pool boasts beach views, and is for adults only, so you can relax in peace. Alternatively, take a couple’s cooking class, enjoy a spa or yoga session, or go on a guided nature walk (look out for monkeys and eagles). With delicious Malaysian and Thai dishes up for grabs, as well as a beach club restaurant, dining is an affair in itself.
5. Masseria Torre Coccaro, Puglia, Italy
A fortified farmhouse set amid sea-scented olive groves, Masseria Torre Coccaro boutique hotel in Puglia offers refined romance on Italy’s Adriatic shores. Located between Brindisi and Bari on the country’s south-east coast, its 37 stone-walled rooms are exquisitely decorated with linen bedding, silky sofas, baroque mirrors and antique furniture. Chill out in a poolside hammock, warm up in the Turkish baths or treat yourself in the Aveda spa. For nautical romance, commandeer Masseria’s private 14-meter yacht, then relax at the beach club restaurant. The hotel also runs a horse riding center, if you fancy a trot along the sand.
6. Zeavola, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
One of the only boutique hotels on the intimate twin islands of Koh Phi Phi, Zeavola resort is a sandy seaside hamlet of traditional Thai huts blending relaxed rusticity with mod-con indulgence. An affordable spot to savour beautiful shores, it offers 52 freestanding villas (beachfront ones are the most romantic - plump for number 51, nearest the sea). Inside, net-draped beds, teak surfaces and Thai furniture keep things simple. When you’ve overdosed on swimming and sunbathing, learn to dive at the PADI center or take a speedboat trip around the islands, then settle in at Tecada beach bar and restaurant for some serious sunset-scoping.
7. Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, Sagres, Portugal
Set at Sagres on the wild south-west coast of Portugal’s Algarve, Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is beloved by beachcombers, with an inviting stretch of sand and a national park for neighbors. Natural materials rule in the 38 rooms, from cork to timber, wicker and stone, ensuring ocean views remain the star of the show. The Beach Rooms are the most private, with sea vistas from airy balconies. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in at O Terraço restaurant, too, where sea urchin roe with scrambled egg is a must. Distractions include tennis courts, a sports club, pools, watersports, a spa, sauna and steam rooms, but strolling along the seductive beaches at Sagres’ fishing port takes some beating.
8. Cocoa Island, Maldives, Indian Ocean
To rev up the romance, escape to serene sanctuary Cocoa Island, a cluster of 33 suites and villas set over the Indian Ocean in the Maldives. A hit with honeymooning couples and lovers of pristine diving, it’s the stuff of faraway island fantasies. All rooms are individual at-sea dwellings sited off a snaking wooden pier, with private sun-decks, walk-in showers, roll-top baths and vintage-style ceiling fans. Resembling Keralan boathouses, they promise over-water views, soothing white interiors and teak flooring for laid-back romance. Scuba diving and snorkeling on the reef are mind-blowing, or just explore the holistic Como Shambhala Spa. Cocktails at poolside bar Faru beckon for re-intoxicating after.
9. Shore Club Miami, Miami, United States
Miami meets Marrakech at Shore Club Miami, a stylish 309-room retreat in the heart of South Beach. This art deco hotel is a hedonistic playground for grown-ups by day or night, with a sexy retro lobby, sprawling lawns, the slinky Skybar and a branch of acclaimed Japanese restaurant Nobu. The party people may flock here, but it’s a romantic spot, too. Bag a sleek white room with a balcony sea view, loaded with hi-tech treats, then head down to the steamy hot tub and two elevated infinity-edge pools, fringed by decadent cushion-strewn day-beds. Luxurious, tropical and right by the beach. You’ve so arrived...
10. Alila Villas Soori, Bali, Indonesia
Strung along Bali’s south-west coast between black-sand beaches and jade-green rice paddies, just-remote-enough Indonesian retreat Alila Villas Soori is seriously seductive. All 48 of its pool villas are sublime, minimal havens with ocean views, but book a second-storey Ocean Pool Villa for a blue bonus: a sea-view bath tub. After lazing by the beach or 25-meter infinity pool, enjoy a slumber-inducing Balinese massage at Spa Alila. Surfing, horse-riding and cycling are all on offer, or ask the Leisure Concierge to hook you up with bespoke visits to local food markets, artisans or romantic temples. Just steps off Kelating Beach, the resort’s casual restaurant Coast grills fresh seafood over charcoal or clink glasses at more formal restaurant Cotta.
Editing by Paul Casciato