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Best Affordable Beach Resorts

Travel + Leisure Staff
February 24, 2011
Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Meads Bay, Anguilla
Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Meads Bay, Anguilla

Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Meads Bay, Anguilla

Photo: Susan Croft

Picture yourself waking to the warmth of sunshine slanting through your window, then enjoying the sound of gently crashing waves as you take your morning coffee out on your beachfront terrace.


Fortunately, putting yourself in this idyllic setting doesn’t have to break the bank. There are affordable beach resorts all over the world—from Mexico to Thailand—where a night’s stay doesn’t cost much more than dinner and wine with friends at your favorite local restaurant. Every year, the Travel + Leisure staff scours the globe to find great, inexpensive coastal resorts; none of the properties on our list costs more than $250 a night (and some cost much less).


So no matter when—or where—you’re planning on traveling, this is the list to check out if an affordable beach resort is on this year’s itinerary.


Anacaona Boutique Hotel

Meads Bay, Anguilla


On an island where $1,000-a-night rates barely raise an eyebrow, the recently reopened Anacaona Boutique Hotel manages to feel like a splurge. There’s Frette linens and free Wi-Fi in the 27 tropical-chic rooms, two pools—and even waiter service on the beach.


Cost: $250


Don’t Miss: Thursday nights at the hotel’s Fire Fly Restaurant & Bar, when a local troupe performs Afro-Caribbean dances


Cooper Island Beach Club, British Virgin Islands
Cooper Island Beach Club, British Virgin Islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, British Virgin Islands

Photo: Courtesy of Cooper Island Beach Club

Cooper Island Beach Club

British Virgin Islands


You won’t find shops, nightclubs, casinos, or even televisions in the rooms at this resort located on Manchioneel Bay on the northwest side of 480-acre Cooper Island. A casual beachside restaurant and bright but simple rooms with kitchenettes, radios, ceiling fans, and private baths with outdoor showers are about all there is here—but that’s enough. Don’t expect much more than palm trees, a sandy beach, clear water, and potent rum drinks.


Cost: $250


Don’t Miss: Many guests say the restaurant is their main reason for coming back—try the local specialty of conch fritters served with a spicy dip.


Sheraton Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Sheraton Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Vietnam

Sheraton Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Vietnam

Photo: Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Sheraton Nha Trang

Nha Trang, Vietnam


At first glance, the 284-room Sheraton Nha Trang could be an upscale hotel anywhere in the world. But a closer look reveals local art at every turn and views of island-studded Nha Trang Bay. The hotel’s restaurants cook up a range of cuisines (from street food to European pastries), and you can have snacks delivered to your lounge chair on the palm-dotted, sugar-sand beach.


Cost: $180


Don’t Miss: An on-site cooking class, where you’ll learn how to make beef pho and shrimp rolls.


Present Moment Retreat, Troncones, Mexico
Present Moment Retreat, Troncones, Mexico

Present Moment Retreat, Troncones, Mexico

Photo: Courtesy of Present Moment Retreat

Present Moment Retreat

Troncones, Mexico


A still-authentic beach town on Mexico’s Pacific coast is hard to come by, but tiny Troncones, about 20 miles north of Ixtapa, fills the bill. At this Zen-inspired retreat, 10 thatched-roof bungalows, each with a white canopy bed, private wooden deck, and meditation garden, surround a pool that overlooks the beach. Wellness is the focus here, from the health-conscious menu and Ashtanga yoga classes to beachside massages and even life-coaching sessions.


Cost: $230


Don’t Miss: A surfing lesson on Saladita Beach, a nearby surfer’s paradise.


Anemomilos Apartments, Cyclades, Greece
Anemomilos Apartments, Cyclades, Greece

Anemomilos Apartments, Cyclades, Greece

Photo: Courtesy of Anemomilos Apartments

Anemomilos Apartments

Cyclades, Greece


Perched atop the cliffs of Folegandros island, you’ll find the family-run Anemomilos Apartments. Whitewashed walls, private patios, and vistas of the Aegean more than make up for the sparsely decorated rooms. The real draw, however, is the lovely stone-terraced pool and pergola lounge.


Cost: $232


Don’t Miss: A short boat trip from Karavostasis harbor to remote, quiet Katergo Beach.


Les Caranques, Collioure, France
Les Caranques, Collioure, France

Les Caranques, Collioure, France

Photo: Angus McComiskey / Alamy

Les Caranques

Collioure, France


Artists, including Matisse, have long flocked to the colorful fishing port of Collioure for its scenic vistas. And the views are just as enticing as ever, especially from the patio at this hotel, built into a dramatic cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. The 22 light-filled rooms are simply (and patriotically) decorated with white wooden furniture and blue and red accents. Unwind on a rattan chaise longue on one of the small terraces carved out of rock, with winding stairs that lead to small white sand beaches.


Cost: $175


Don’t Miss: A stroll along the town’s Fauvism walking trail to see 20 reproductions of vibrant paintings by Matisse and Derain in the spots where they were first created.


Las Olas Beach Resort, Chiriquí, Panama
Las Olas Beach Resort, Chiriquí, Panama

Las Olas Beach Resort, Chiriquí, Panama

Photo: Courtesy of Las Olas Beach Resort

Las Olas Beach Resort

Chiriquí, Panama


A 50-minute plane ride west of Panama City, Las Olas Beach Resort has 14 miles of volcanic-sand beaches and a mangrove forest. With paintings by local artists and cream tiled floors, all 48 rooms face the Pacific. Board the resort’s 34-footer for some of the world’s best sportfishing, or head to top breaks with the in-house surf pro.


Cost: $78


Don’t Miss: Nearby Coiba National Park’s 355-acre reef.


Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa, Sepang, Malaysia
Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa, Sepang, Malaysia

Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa, Sepang, Malaysia

Photo: Courtesy of Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa

Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa

Sepang, Malaysia


A 90-minute drive south of Kuala Lumpur, the just-opened Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa pays homage to its name: 392 villas are raised on stilts in eight palm-frond-like rows that stretch out into the Straits of Malacca. The hotel offers a range of activities (morning walks; kayaking trips), but you’ll be just as content by the infinity pool.


Cost: $215


Don’t Miss: A traditional acupressure-focused Malay massage at the hotel’s spa.


Dune Hua Hin, Hua Hin, Thailand
Dune Hua Hin, Hua Hin, Thailand

Dune Hua Hin, Hua Hin, Thailand

Photo: Kelly Rainsforth

Dune Hua Hin

Hua Hin, Thailand


The tiny size of the five-room Dune Hua Hin makes for intimate service, even if its pool and restaurant are on the wee side. That’s a small price to pay for sexy, minimalist rooms right on a coveted stretch of beach along the Gulf of Thailand.


Cost: $127


Don’t Miss: Spotting langurs and macaques at Khao Sam Roi Yot nature reserve, an hour away.


Les 3 Chameaux, Mirleft, Morocco
Les 3 Chameaux, Mirleft, Morocco

Les 3 Chameaux, Mirleft, Morocco

Photo: Courtesy of Les 3 Chameaux

Les 3 Chameaux

Mirleft, Morocco


The village of Mirleft, on the southern Atlantic coast, has one of Morocco’s most dramatic beaches. Between the pounding surf you’ll find Les 3 Chameaux, a rustic-chic maison d’hôte with Berber furniture and carpets.


Cost: $112


Don’t Miss: An exfoliating black-soap body treatment in the hammam.



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