The beach club at Clubone, One&Only Reeth Rah, Maldives
Best for: an idyllic detox
Why go now Where better to atone for festive excess and raise a freshly tapped coconut water to a healthy New Year than here, in a screensaver-perfect Maldivian paradise? OK, you may not stick to your resolutions. But this healthful beach club will get you off to a lavish, spiritually enriching start.
USP Bolstering the over-water yoga pavilion and serene spa is a serious superfood offering. The banana, coconut and spirulina breakfast bowl offers wellness without any need for sad, soggy clumps of courgetti.
Who you’ll see Body-conscious honeymooners, off-duty personal trainers and active young families – all riding complimentary bikes around the palm-fringed pathways.
Inside guide “The Beach Club at ClubOne is a fabulously cool place to relax. There’s a laid-back beachfront setting and stunning views of the glistening Indian Ocean. Plus, it even has its own climbing wall. Basically, it’s a real hub of activity throughout the day, with a vibrant energy that contrasts wonderfully well with the chillout tunes that soundtrack the afternoons. And you <must> try the ceviche reef fish with a Bloody Mary infusion and a hint of chilli.”
Stephanie Evans, Senior Travel Consultant, Elegant Resorts
Bondi Icebergs Club and Icebergs dining room, Sydney, Australia
Best for: the Instagrammable pool
Why go now Icebergs – a cliffside saltwater pool that’s atmospherically buffeted by crashing Pacific waves – is the only spot for Sydney’s serious swimmers and Olympic-standard people watchers. February, at the tail-end of the Aussie summer, hits the sweetspot between the Christmas crush and chillier early autumn.
USP The pubby in-house bistro is fine for Icebergs’ hardy members and $6 day swimmers. However, for a serious gastro fix, the terrace of the separate Icebergs Dining Room (think heady smoked baccala crocchettes, oyster splashed with local nasturtium vinegar and drippy ice cream sandwiches) is a flavour-forward marvel.
Who you’ll see Damp-haired amateur triathletes and elite Bondi barflies perched over glasses of crisp white wine.Insider guide: “The Icebergs Dining Room has Sydney’s most impressive view, down onto that pool and out to the famous Bondi Beach. Order seafood and calamari with a glass of wine and you’ll have a fantastic time. And if you like walking, don’t miss the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk – especially early in the morning when the crowds haven’t arrived yet.”
Pauline Egge, Founder, Petite Passport
Soho Beach House, Miami, USA
Best for: bombastic oceanside glamour
Why go now The palm-shaking EDM of late-March’s Miami Music Week may not be for everyone but the wild, caipirinha-drenched pool parties that pop up all over the city are worth beholding. Serene and stylish, Soho House’s Floridian outpost (only accessible to members or hotel guests) is the perfect oasis amid the week-long mayhem.
USP For all the lavish baubles here (the cocktail trolley that delivers a sundowner to your room as you get changed, say) it’s the little, thoughtful touches that make House special. The blue-striped sun loungers – complete with fringed umbrellas, cherry red cool boxes and a watering can for sandy feet – are rightly iconic.
Who you’ll see Instamodels and sleepless DJs devouring Dirty Burgers. Very few of South Beach’s usual bronzed and oiled hordes.
Insider guide “This Miami Beach outpost of the famed London private member’s club combines all the trademark flourishes of other Soho Houses – sumptuous decor, slick service and a deliciously louche vibe – with the breeziness of a beach club. Sipping an $8 negroni from the Beach Shack as you watch the sunset is a thoroughly luxe way to get sand between your toes.”
Anna Hart, Travel Writer, Author of ‘Departures’, published by Little, Brown in January 2018
Emirates Palace Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Best for: a faultless family Easter
Why go now Don’t fancy the usual Easter holiday scrum for ski lifts and sun loungers? The UAE has long been one of the planet’s best-kept parenting secrets and this blingy behemoth – famed for its crowd-pleasing gold-leaf lattes and a striking 1.3 mile private beach – effortlessly caters to all ages
USP From snorkelling through a sunken sculpture park to bouncing along on camelback, a day pass (Dhs300 for adults, Dhs150 for kids) gets you access to a bustling activity programme. That is, if you can ever drag your brood away from the complimentary ice lollies by the adventure pool.
Who you’ll see Screamingly excited local families, savvy holiday makers and – thanks to the 200 species of birds that roam the sprawling grounds – the odd inquisitive peacock.
Insider guide: “Emirates Palace is the epitome of Arabian luxury, which is something we love to indulge in, here in Abu Dhabi. There are so many beach clubs to choose from, but the one here is a place we consistently visit and never get bored of. The staff’s amazing hospitality combined with the relaxing vibe always makes us feel like we’re on a vacation, even though its not far from home.”
Mizra Al Hosani, Founder, Sweet Life In The Sandpit; sweetlifeinthesandpit.com
Ocean Vagabond, Essaoira,
Best for: a bedouin surf shack
Why go now With the tourist season just waking from its slumber and heat not quite at its punishing mid-summer peak, Morocco’s cosmopolitan seaside secret is best experienced in late spring. And from the hammocks and swing chairs at this cult beach bar.
USP Kite-surfers bouncing over shimmering waves, camel-riders wandering past, an occasional motorbike; there’s an adrenalised spirit in the air at this cactus-dotted former camel hair hut. Perfect for those who want to feel like they’ve earned that boat-fresh sushi feast and icy bottle of Flag Speciale beer.
Who you’ll see Surfing obsessives, people-watchers huddled in chairs made from upended boat hulls and the nomadic creatives who flock to a coastal town that was a former haunt of Jimi Hendrix.
Insider guide “I love that barefoot in the sand vibe at Ocean Vagabond, its shabby chic, surf-inspired decor and the fact you can sit for hours sipping cold Moroccan gris – a very pale pink wine – and watching the camels amble by as the sun sets over the Atlantic.”
Tara Stevens, Co-founder of Moroccan homewares company Anjaman Home;
Fontelina Beach Club, Capri, Italy
Best for: the rugged dolce vita diamond
Why go now You’d be hard pushed to imagine a time when the water that borders this 68-year-old cliffside marvel – twinkling azure framed by distant superyachts – wasn’t inviting. But when the June sun has warmed the waves that locals in tiny swimming costumes leap into, well, it would be rude not to join them.
USP La Fontelina’s handsome location on the limestone crags below the Punta Tragara (only accessible by boat or a steep path) may be special but the beach club’s buzzing restaurant is no afterthought. Devour charred pezzogna fish and salad doused in a local lemon dressing made at the table, before washing it down with a perspiring jug of white sangria. It doesn’t get better.
Who you’ll see Celebrities lazing under the blue-and-white umbrellas (Sophia Loren used to love it here) and moneyed Manhattanites closing deals in between bites of sweet tomato crostini.
Insider guide “I grew up spending my summers in Capri and La Fontelina has always been the best kept secret for insiders and artists. Today it’s the uber-chic beach club of the Mediterranean, and for the past 5 years I’ve taken over the club for a dolce vita extravaganza VIP party called “Viva Capri”. It’s truly my happy place.”
Amedeo Scognamiglio, Fine Jeweller; amedeo.shop
Gurney’s Montauk Beach Club, Montauk, USA
Best for: a refined 4th of July in the Hamptons
Why go now You don’t have to be an American to delight in the singular pleasure of spectacular beachside barbecue and a night sky alive with fireworks. Yes, you’ll need to book well ahead but this Montauk institution, known for its 4th July DJs and slow-smoked meats, is a special place to experience Independence Day.
USP A 2014 revamp – including 500 new bookable lemon-striped daybeds and reclaimed wood fixtures – helped make this 90-year-old resort and hotel’s faded glamour a little less, well, faded. However, its biggest draw is still the fact it’s the only place in the Hamptons where you can get food and drink right on the sand.
Who you’ll see Vacationing New Yorkers and spa-visiting second homers mainlining pineapple mojitos and locally caught fish tacos.
Insider guide “I have quite a bit of history with Gurney’s. My parents were married there in the mid 1970s. I grew up going there in the middle of winter to swim in their heated saltwater pool in the 1990s. It was the closest thing to being in the ocean on a freezing day in February but now their recent renovations make you feel like you’re somewhere else – like Santa Barbara or Big Sur – and it’s one of the only places on Montauk’s East End that sits at a high elevation overlooking the Atlantic.”
Mikey D Temple, Surfer and Photographer
Carpe Diem, Hvar, Croatia
Best for: Dalmation debauchery just in time for The Yacht Week
Why go now If you want a taste of the Croatian party scene that has Europe’s most connected hedonists dancing until dawn by those aquamarine waters, it make sense to witness it cranked up to 11. Drop anchor at this elite marina bar around the time high-summer sea-faring festival The Yacht Week swings by and you won’t be disappointed.
USP Whether it’s bi-weekly fashion shows, the hypnotic groove of sunset DJs, a bar set aflame or the sight of rich kids spraying bottles of champagne, Carpe Diem Bar – and its sister venue, located a 10 minute water taxi away on Stripanska – is all about irresistible spectacle.
Who you’ll see Crews of hot, young yachties with ‘captain’ hats and unicorn inflatables at the legendary ‘White Party’, skimpily dressed Ibiza-style podium dancers, two people pondering the difference between a ‘methuselah’ and a ‘jeroboam’.
Insider guide “Carpe Diem manages to achieve what very few bars do: The energy and vibe catapults you straight into another place where possibilities seem endless. You are part of the buzzing Riva but in your own cocooned world at the same time. At that moment, usually with a glass of chilled champagne in your hand, life doesn’t get much better.”
Enrico di San Marzano, Group Managing Director, European Travel Adventures
Amante, Ibiza, Spain
Best for: the place for a classier closing party blow-out
Why go now The White Isle’s autumnal finale – light on stag parties and early summer’s twitchy, anticipatory energy – may be the best way to experience Ibiza. And while you could argue the island’s best beach club long into dawn (enjoyably rowdy Experimental Beach or Playa d’en Bossa’s slickly boho Beachouse) Amante’s unique spot, nestled in a cliff above blindingly perfect Sol d’en Serra Bay, gives it the edge.
USP Amante’s rock-clinging position may attract crowds but it’s the pitch-perfect, blissed-out atmosphere that keeps people there. An onsite masseuse roams the circular daybeds, DJs conjure chilled vibes and the pineapple-spiked Posta Del Sol cocktail provides a lip-smacking way to do hair-of-the-dog.
Who you’ll see Ibiza veterans in jewel-festooned watches hiding last nights excesses, yoga-honed female CEOs back in the Balearics after a stint in Croatia.
Insider guide “Surrounded by dramatic rocks and lush greenery, Amante is, for my money, Ibiza’s most beautiful rural restaurant and beach club. It’s a stunning backdrop for everything from morning yoga classes to leisurely beachside lunches and even moonlit movie nights. Sister beach restaurant, Aiyanna, is also worth checking out.”
Hugo Campbell-Davys, Founder of luxury portal Urbanologie
Macakizi, Bodrum, Turkey
Best for: old Hollywood glamour with a Turkish twist
Why go now Film stars and Turkish socialites have been chasing the last of the European summer sun to this waterside hotel and beach club since 1977. And October offers one of the last chances to experience a typically glamorous new feature. Namely, flamboyant owner Sahir Erozan’s four-times-a-week sea plane service right into Bodrum peninsula.
USP Macakizi (which means ‘Queen of Spades’) may lack a powdery sand beach but it makes up for it with trademark wooden pontoons that come kitted with low-slung cream sun loungers and alert staff ready to nestle a Turkish martini in your outstretched hand.
Who you’ll see Istanbul scenesters chatting noisily over hookah pipes and superyacht owners commandeering a restaurant table at the sound of the old-fashioned lunch bell.
Insider guide “If you’re down on the deck at Macakizi you’ve got to try their rosé which comes with almonds, peas and nuts. There’s also a boat that you can rent for a day or a half to explore the surrounding area and Andrew, the general manager of the hotel, is always on hand for something extra. It’s pretty easy to see why Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss are both fans.”
John Valencia, Vlogger and Writer, @johnvalencia
Rock Pool Bar, W Goa, Goa, India
Best for: the mountain-carved party oasis
Why go now As India’s BPM-heavy hippy enclave emerges from its monsoon season, savvy travellers will swoop. November lacks the crowds of December but still has the temperature for balmy nights at the beachside club in W’s glitzy 50th opening.
USP That name is a clue. This place is a stepped hideaway of pyramid-shaped daybeds, crisp white umbrellas and upcycled yellow armchairs dotted around an inky natural pool high above Vagator beach. Combining a seaside base camp and a club (in-house DJ Boylla provides mountain-rocking beats), it’s a win-win for grown-up Goan party animals.
Who you’ll see Selfie-snapping young Indians and flashpackers who want to sample Goa’s rebel spirit without any of the attendant seediness.
Insider guide “One of my favourite places to catch a sundowner, the Rock Pool cuts out the tourist clutter. You’ve got breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and the hotel’s signature ‘W’ logo glittering in the background. A stunning setting for champagne cocktails and some Goan finger food.”
Riaan Jacob George, Luxury Blogger, Urban Eye
Potato Head Beach Club, Bali, Indonesia
Best for: haute hedonism in the Balinese sun
Why go now In almost any context, New Year’s Eve partying is an overhyped enterprise that’s doomed to disappoint. But gazing over Seminyak’s glimmering shore from the edge of a Balinese infinity pool with a potent sea shell cocktail in hand? Well, that’s a 31 December blowout we could all get on board with.
USP There’s nothing subtle about the blockbuster offering that has burnished Potato Head’s legend. A swim-up bar, bold Indonesian flavours in upstairs restaurant Kaum, a dangerously drinkable sharing punch that comes served in a chic wooden trug. And the music is leagues ahead. Internationally acclaimed acts like Mark Ronson, Disclosure and Rudimental have all thrilled the hip sunset crowd here in recent years.
Who you’ll see Bearded and tattooed dance music aficionados, buff Australian club kids and impossibly cool toddlers padding through the shallow end of that gorgeous pool.
Insider guide “Bali’s hippest beach bar manages an impressive feat – it’s one of the best places for breakfast on the island <and> one of the best places to party. It’s all dispersed around a loose seafront atmosphere and in the day the vibe is as chilled as its signature cocktail, the kookaburra: passion fruit, lemongrass gin and mint served over ice.”
Jonathan Thompson, Travel Writer