Soneva Kiri (Koh Kood, Thailand) – Some beach hotels are more beautiful than others. With only 36 thatched villas wedged between the jungle and the ocean, Soneva Kiri is one of Thailand's most luxurious and exclusive beachfront escapes.
Le Guanahani (Saint-Barthélemy) – The classic St. Barth resort, Le Guanahani is fresh from a $40 million revamp. It boasts two pools, two white sand beaches and a reef-protected lagoon.
Hotel Fasano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – Hotel Fasano's luxurious rooftop infinity pool serves some of the best views of Rio's legendary Ipanema Beach -- as well as the distinctive Morro Dois Irmaos and Corcovado mountains.
Hotel du Palais (Biarritz, France) – Built by Napoleon III as a gift for his wife Eugénie in 1855, Hotel du Palais still channels the same Old World grandeur with its sumptuous decor -- marble, crystal chandeliers, antiques and richly embroidered fabrics.
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore (California) – Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore's Spanish Colonial bungalows are hidden amid a sprawling 22-acre garden oasis, filled with 2,000 species of tropical plants and palms. Its adjacent Coral Casino Beach Club is an exclusive Hollywood hangout.
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort (Danang, Vietnam) – Everything in the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort begs to be photographed -- from the restaurant in a suspended cone over the mountain to the adults-only infinity pool overlooking the resort and Son Tra Peninsula.
Rockhouse Hotel (Negril, Jamaica) – Each of the 20 stone and timber villas at Rockhouse Hotel features a private sunbathing deck perched directly over water and a spectacular view of the rocky shore.
W Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) – Designed by world-renowned architect Ricardo Bofill, Barcelona's most distinctive hotel is as sleek and as chic as its ultra hip, A-list clientele.
El Nido Pangulasian Island (Palawan, Philippines) – Villas with modern Filipino decor, large private balconies and (for many) an oceanfront infinity pool are some of the highlights of El Nido Pangulasian Island resort, the most luxurious venue in the Palawan archipelago.
Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea (Sicily, Italy) – With suites outfitted with Carrara marble, rich silks and large furnished balconies, Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea is a lovely seaside getaway set among beautiful Sicily gardens.
Soneva Fushi (Maldives) – Soneva Fushi Resort is the original Maldivian island getaway and remains one of the best today. Villas are hidden among dense foliage and are only steps away from a pristine beach and UNESCO-protected coral reef.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico) – The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort sprawls across a whopping 483 acres near El Yunque National Forest. It boasts its own private beach, bird sanctuary and 18-hole oceanfront gold course.
Qualia (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) – Australia's 60-villa Qualia is an escapist's dream resort. It stands at the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island with spectacular views over the Whitsunday Islands.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (Hawaii) – The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is in the shape of a horseshoe to ensure optimal views of the Pacific from almost every suite.
Secret Bay (Dominica, West Indies) – Tucked away on the unspoiled and relatively unknown island of Dominica, Secret Bay -- a six-villas-and-bungalows property -- is one of the Caribbean's best-kept secrets.
Bela Vista Hotel & Spa (Algarve, Portugal) – First opened in 1934, Bela Vista still trumps its younger high-end neighbors. Each of its 38 rooms is individually designed and decorated with new chic modern furnishings after a recent refurbishment.
The Mulia (Bali, Indonesia) – The Mulia is so large that it's home to two properties: The traditional Mulia Resort and the 180-villa Mulia Villas. It also features an infinity pool flanked by towering Balinese stone maidens just a stone's throw away from the beach.
Cap Juluca (Anguilla) – Cap Juluca may be relatively low-key compared to some other beachfront resorts, but it's no less luxurious. Its domed villas are stocked with posh amenities like Frette linens and Hermès bath products and feature ocean-facing patios.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (Bora Bora, French Polynesia) – The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is arguably the most beautiful stay in the French Polynesia island. It's made up of 100 thatched-roof bungalows that stretch out over an emerald lagoon.
The Resort at Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) – Sandwiched between the mountains and ocean on the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, this Spanish Colonial resort has the best address in Cabo San Lucas.
The Setai (Miami, USA) – A refreshing contrast to its garish, candy-colored South Beach neighbors, the Setai feels more like a hip urban hotel. Its sleek design is a striking Art Deco-meets-Eastern aesthetic.