Compared to neighboring Thailand, the beach towns of Vietnam are still relatively low-key. The well-preserved village of Hoi An, with its Japanese-style footbridges, bustling markets and French pâtisseries, has to be the most enchanting example.
Mexico’s got a plentiful supply of fishing villages that grew up into tourist destinations, and the Viceroy, which has been here under one name or another since the Seventies, is among the most desirable addresses on this famous bay. One look at that beach is enough to explain why.
Koh Samui’s Chaweng Beach has quickly gone from undiscovered paradise to extremely discovered paradise — which means that all the stimulation you could possibly require is available just outside, while the hotel’s own grounds are as quiet as, well, a library.
While most of SoCal’s beach towns have gone relentlessly upscale, Venice is doing its level best to stay weird — and we mean that in the best possible way. The Rose Hotel hits just the right note — plenty of character and low-key, ramshackle personality, but without sacrificing the essential comforts.
Perhaps the worst-kept secret in all of Brazil is Trancoso, the Bahian beach town that’s become something of a mecca for fashionably chilled-out Europeans. These days the secret may be out, but the town’s appeal is scarcely diminished.
On one side Sublime Samana borders on an endless, idyllic, powder-soft beach, but a short walk in the other direction places you in Las Terrenas, a lively town that’s home to a substantial enclave of French expats.
Dirt roads wind through lush greenery and deposit you at what feels like the end of the earth. Playa Guiones isn’t deserted, though — this is one of Costa Rica’s legendary surf beaches, with good conditions year-round and all the infrastructure a beginner (or expert) could need.
If Bali proper is feeling a bit overtraveled and overdeveloped, Nusa Lembongan is just hitting its stride. Here you’ll watch the sun set over crowded, noisy Denpasar and thank yourself for making just a little bit of extra effort.