A sunny break from winter weather, a fun-filled vacation for the whole family, a romantic couple's retreat—there's always a reason for a beach vacation. And here we give you a few more: these 10 new beach hotels—some already opened, some eagerly expected later in the year—have the views, locations, and noteworthy perks to make them ideal for a sun-soaked getaway. Read on to discover where you can find a taste of paradise in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. —Sandra Ramani
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
WHERE: Cancún, Mexico
Following approximately $85 million in expansions and renovations, the former Dreams Cancún resort reopened this month as the Hyatt Ziva Cancún, set on a coveted stretch of the Yucatán Peninsula that's surrounded on three sides by the Caribbean Sea. In addition to 547 guest rooms, each with a balcony and ocean views, the resort features upgraded furnishings and amenities. Even better is the next-level all-inclusive experience: rates include unlimited gourmet buffet, à la carte, and in-room dining; experiences with on-site brewmasters and tequila and wine sommeliers; access to three infinity pools, water- and land-based activities; a full calendar of classes, shows, and tastings; dedicated kid, teen, and adult zones; floating swim-up suites; and much more. Upgrade to the Hyatt Club Level for perks like a beach butler and personal concierge.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Cancún Guide
WHERE: Miami Beach, Florida
Locals and travelers alike have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Miami's Faena District, a $1 billion-plus, four-block-long entertainment/art/residential/retail complex brought envisioned by the Argentinean Faena brand—with the help of famous architects like Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster, and noted visionaries like film director Baz Luhrmann. Although the development is still underway in the District, the centerpiece Faena Hotel Miami Beach officially opened to guests in late December 2015. Inspired by the historic Saxony Hotel, a hotspot for Hollywood types in the 1950s and '60s, the 169-room hotel mixes Art Deco and Old World touches with vibrant colors (think bold reds), handcrafted textiles and furnishings, perks like custom bath products and freestanding tubs, and lots of commissioned artwork. Each floor has a dedicated butler, and many rooms look out toward the pools, the Atlantic Ocean, and what will eventually be the Faena Playa Beach Club. The three restaurants celebrate global influences (with plenty from South America) and local ingredients, while the oceanfront Tierra Santa Spa draws from ancient holistic and herbal healing traditions.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Miami Guide
Park Hyatt St. Kitts
WHERE: Banana Bay, St. Kitts
Long in the works, the hotly anticipated Park Hyatt St. Kitts, slated to open in November 2016, is located in the Christophe Harbour development along Banana Bay, a quieter part of the island with white-sand beaches, clear waters, and views of The Narrows straight separating St. Kitts and Nevis. The sustainably designed resort will feature 125 rooms with a locally inspired design and all the expected five-star amenities; some suites will also have soaking tubs and rooftop pools. There will also be three dining outlets, a 12-room spa (with outdoor treatment areas), infinity pools, and access to all the Christophe Harbour facilities, including an 18-hole Tom Fazio–designed golf course, a Beach Club, and a super-yacht marina village.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s St. Kitts Guide
W Punta De Mita
WHERE: Punta de Mita, Mexico
When it opens in mid-2016, this property in the Pacific Coast Riviera Nayarit region will become W Hotels' second in Mexico. Set in the upscale Los Veneros enclave 10 miles from the Puerto Vallarta international airport and 15 miles from the center of town, W Punta de Mita has 120 beautifully appointed guest villas and all the signature W facilities, including a Living Room lobby hangout, a lounge with DJs and live music, a WET pool deck, and a gourmet restaurant. There's also a 4,000 square-foot AWAY Spa offering relaxing treatments, and a well-equipped FIT gym—for those rare days when the weather isn't perfect.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Riviera Nayarit Guide
Melia Braco Village
WHERE: Rio Bueno, Jamaica
For Spain-based Melia Hotels, 2016 started off with a bang, thanks to the January opening of the brand's first property in Jamaica. The all-inclusive Melia Braco Village houses 232 guestrooms (with 52 The Level suites or rooms), each with Nespresso coffee machines, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, WiFi, 24-hour room service, and either ocean or garden views. The six dining venues include Nikkei for Japanese–Peruvian fusion, and Rasta Pasta for à la carte Italian; keep the late-night party going at a piano bar, cocktail lounge, or DJ-helmed seaside spot. Along with the beach and two pools, facilities include an eight-room YHI Spa, 24-hour fitness center, a kids' club, and even an on-site basketball court. Take the experience up a notch by checking into The Level, a VIP block of rooms that come with a dedicated lounge, beachside restaurant, personal concierge, premium alcohol, and added treats like complimentary sunscreen and aloe vera—if the sun proves too enticing.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Montego Bay Guide
Zemi Beach House
Powdery Shoal Bay East, often voted one of the best beaches in the world, forms the dramatic backdrop for Zemi Beach House—which, upon its opening in February 2016, will be the first resort on Anguilla's East End (and the first new-build resort to open on the island in 6 years.) Initially, the hotel will launch with 70 rooms, then expand to 129 by the end of the year; all will feature balconies or terraces, Bluetooth-equipped speakers, and Caribbean-themed mini-bars, while the multi-bedroom residences will also have plunge pools. Five dining and drinking spots—including the Rhum Room for small-batch estate rum —will satisfy taste buds, while activities like snorkeling and glass-bottom kayaking will be available via the Beach Concierge and the Beach Club. Don't miss a swim in the oceanfront pool, which has an underwater window looking out to the shore.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Anguilla Guide
WHERE: Los Cabos, Mexico
Part of Los Cabos' major resort boom, Mar Adentro, officially opening in the first part of 2016, is a luxury hotel and residence complex set a 10-minute drive from the charming town San Jose del Cabo, the quieter counterpart to party-centric Cabo San Lucas. The 205-room hotel is designed and owned by renowned Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés, so along with Sea of Cortez views, you'll find stylish all-white decor, an art gallery with rotating local and international exhibits, and partnerships with fashion designers and performance venues—all combining to create a refined, creative atmosphere. Enjoy activities like surfing, holistic spa treatments, shopping at the upscale plaza, and indulging at five on-site restaurants (from fine dining to fresh fish tacos), or just relax in the plush rooms, which feature pillow, aromatherapy, and “color scene” lighting menus.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Los Cabos Guide
Four Seasons O’ahu
WHERE: O'ahu, Hawaii
Four Seasons fans are eagerly looking forward to the expansion of the brand's Hawaiian collection, which currently includes four always-popular locations. Set to open in mid-2016, the fifth outpost—and the first on Oahu—will be the 358-room Four Seasons Resort O'ahu at Ko Olina, located in a resort community on the island's western coast, adjacent to the Lanikuhonua Cultural Estate and nature preserve. The 17-story tower and lush grounds will house five restaurants and bars—from an Italian pizzeria to a feet-in-the-sand fish house—as well as an on-site marina, tennis center, and six-floor wellness complex with extensive spa and workout facilities. Choose from several beach areas and pools (a few of the latter are adults-only), or take advantage of the preferred access to Ko Olina golf club.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Oahu Guide
WHERE: Dominican Republic
From its perch atop 60-foot cliffs, the Aman brand's new Dominican Republic outpost, opened in November 2015, looks out on to the jungle, the Cordillera Septentrional Mountain Range, and the crescent-shaped Playa Grande beach. Amanera’s 25 casitas—which range from one-bedrooms with private gardens to two-bedrooms with outdoor living/dining spaces and private infinity pools—all have ocean views, terraces and a comfortable, contemporary decor. Along with enjoying on-site facilities like an intimate two-room spa, gourmet seafood-focused restaurant, casual beachside eatery, and a lounge with an extensive rum and tequila selection, guests can hit the greens on the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.–designed Playa Grande Golf Course, where the 18 holes wind along the coastline. Kite surfing, whale-watching, and exploring lagoons and waterfalls provide further diversions.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s North Coast Guide
Thompson Playa del Carmen
WHERE: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
For their second Mexican location, Thompson Hotels headed east to the Riviera Maya, settling in the heart of lively Playa del Carmen. Thompson Playa del Carmen is really two experiences in one: the main, contemporary-style 92-room hotel, opened in December 2015, sits at the intersection of shop-lined, pedestrian-only Quinta Avenida and the trendy bar and nightlife street, Calle 12; the bohemian, villa-style Beach House, located a few blocks away on the water, is slated to open early in 2016. Guests of both sections can dine at the rooftop CATCH, a south-of-the-border sister to CATCH NYC, and hang out at in the rooftop pool and cabanas to soak up the 360-degree views. A beachside grill, suites with fire pits and hot tubs, and access to activities like yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and scuba diving bring the location to life.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Playa del Carmen Guide