Ready for a beach vacation but worried about your budget? Not all seaside vacations are $1,000 a night. Skip the world’s hottest beachfront destinations and opt for a more affordable option. You can often save even more money by booking your luxury beach vacation in the destination’s off- or shoulder-season. Here’s a look at some affordable options for a much-needed sandy getaway.
Costa Brava, Spain
The Costa Brava region of Catalonia is blessed with countless adorable resort towns situated along picturesque stretches of the Mediterranean. The region is beloved by many European travelers, but is not as well known to those coming from the United States. Food travelers are likely familiar with Costa Brava as it’s home to some of the world’s best restaurants, including El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. You can score some great deals in destinations like Tossa de Mar, with its fortified castle at one end of the beach, or Cadaques, a favorite destination of artist Salvador Dali, who even kept a home in neighboring Port Lligat.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Skip expensive islands on the Mediterranean and head to the Red Sea. Known for its beautiful beaches and killer diving, your money will go a lot further in destinations like Sharm El Sheikh. Located in the Sinai Peninsula, this area has beautiful sheltered beaches and coral reefs teeming with marine life. Be sure to book a day or two of diving at Ras Mohammed National Park. There are a number of luxury resorts along the shores, including the Royal Savoy Sharm El Sheikh that is an exclusive wing of the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh resort. Here, you’re just steps away from plenty of activities, restaurants and nightlife.
Destinations like Ambergris Caye and Placencia get the most attention for luxury beach vacations in Belize, but check out for Hopkins for plenty of fun in the sun as well as Belizean culture. Hopkins is recognized as one of the best spots to experience Garifuna culture in the county. Look into taking a Garifuna drumming lesson and enjoy delicious local cuisine. Hopkins is also a great jumping off point for lots of jungle adventure, including waterfall rappelling at Bocawina Falls. Check out luxury properties in Hopkins from ViVa Belize like Almond Beach Resort at Jaguar Reef, which features spacious beachfront accommodations, some with private plunge pools.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Skip more popular Southeast Asia spots and head to the Malaysian side of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, typically called KK, is the capital of Sabah state. It offers a mix of beautiful beachfront resorts and plenty of rainforest adventure. Hike to the top of Mount Borneo for killer sunrise views and visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center to witness feeding sessions twice a day. Resorts like Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa are luxury beachfront options that often run deals for under $200 a night throughout the year.
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
If your idea of a luxury beach vacation is an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, head to Puerto Morelos. Conveniently located near Cancun, Puerto Morelos is blessed with the beautiful views you expect with the Caribbean Sea, but without the higher prices. Look for options like Excellence Riviera Cancun, an adults-only all-inclusive luxury resort that has six pools and 10 restaurants. Suites are elegantly appointed with marble bathrooms and jetted tubs, while duplex suites have private rooftop plunge pools.
Sanya is located on China’s Hainan Island and features several large bays, like Yalong Bay with its upscale luxury resorts. Nearby Wuzhizhou Island is popular with scuba divers due to its beautiful coral reefs. Peak time here tends to be November through February as visitors from Northern China, Russia and Siberia flock to Sanya to escape the freezing temperatures. If you opt for Yalong Bay, you will find resorts like The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay. Rooms here are a minimum of 646 square feet with large private terraces or balconies that overlook the bay, gardens or mangroves.