10 ‘steps from the sea’ hotels for a European beach break

Where to wake up to the sound of the sea in Europe this summer

Are you dreaming of cooling dips in the sea, in between wiggling your toes in the sand with a cocktail in hand? Us too. Which is why we’ve rounded up the best beachfront boutique hotels in Europe for some short-haul sunshine. The sorts of places awash with coastal charm where you spend all day barefoot, simply soaking up the sun-drenched seaside…

1. Gecko Hotel & Beach Club, Formentera – Spain

Gecko Hotel & Beach Club

Gecko Hotel & Beach Club

A blissed out, barefoot beach retreat on one of Formentera’s best stretches of sand, rooms at Gecko Hotel & Beach Club overlook the blue Mediterranean or palm-filled gardens, while suites come with private plunge pools surrounded by hammocks and terraces with sink-into sofas. Little touches like beach bags and towels are all thought of, so all you have to do is decide how you’d like to relax – our favourite spot is on a Balinese bed by the pool, shaded by blue and white striped umbrellas with the Balearic-house beats of the resort’s resident DJ softly pumping in the background – all just steps away from the crystal clear waters of Migjorn beach.

2. La Peschiera, Puglia – Italy

La Peschiera

La Peschiera

A former fish hatchery turned luxury hotel, La Peschiera promises your own slice of paradise on Puglia’s soul-stirring shores. With just a handful of artfully designed rooms and suites, and a private stretch of sand at your disposal, this boutique resort is utterly exclusive. Take in the Adriatic views from your terrace, dip your toes in the water at the hotel’s beach, or the seven pools, plunges and cascades which make up this thalassic concept hotel. As the only hotel on the Adriatic coast where you can be picked up from the patio of your room by a traditional local boat called gozzo, La Peschiera offers romantic sunset cruises alongside catamaran boat trips to make the most of its waterfront location.

3. Tiara Miramar Beach Hôtel & Spa, Théoule-sur-Mer – France

Tiara Miramar

Fronting the water’s edge against a breath-taking backdrop of the Esterel Hills, Tiara Miramar Beach Hôtel & Spa is tucked discreetly away in a private cove where the fiery red cliffs of Théoule-sur-Mer meet the cobalt blue of the Mediterranean. Slow, sun-soaked days at this quiet oasis facing the Lérins Islands revolve around the water, thanks to the seafront swimming pool which drops down to the hotel’s exclusive beach area, shaded by a string of bright blue parasols. The majority of the redecorated rooms have enchanting sea views, while diners at Le MoYa Restaurant can tuck into just-caught seafood to a soundtrack of crashing waves.

Suggested article: 5 reasons to fall in love with the Côte d’Azur

4. Mykonos Ammos Hotel, Mykonos – Greece

Mykonos Ammos Hotel

A pretty sugar cube property right on the powder white beach of Ornos Bay, live out your ‘sea and sand’ lifestyle at Mykonos Ammos Hotel. The whitewashed interiors centre around the artistic concept of ‘open air’ to reflect the hotel’s seafront setting – step out of your room and walk barefoot right on to the beach, where there’s a relaxed beach bar and rows of sink-into sun beds.

5. Nobu Hotel Marbella, Marbella – Spain

Nobu Hotel Marbella

While the tempo picks up as the sun sets at Nobu Hotel Marbella, days at this laid-back luxury beach retreat are as relaxing as they come. Slip off your sandals and kick back by the Nobu private pool, or wander down to the Golden Mile beach for glittering waters and sugar-white sand. The spacious rooms and suites are light-filled and airy, styled in a neutral palette of sun bleached wooden furniture and breezy textiles. Sit down to a long, leisurely lunch at beachfront El Chiringuito, where you can tuck into Mediterranean-inspired dishes with your toes in the sand, or unwind with an outdoor massage listening to the sound of the waves lap the shore.

6. La Villa del Re, Sardinia – Italy

La Villa del Re

On the southern side of Sardinia’s curving coastline, wrapped in gardens of fragrant Mediterranean plants, sits La Villa del Re. Just metres away lies a white sandy beach reserved for hotel guests, with refreshments delivered straight to your sun loungers. Slip into the relaxed pace of island life with a swim in the infinity pool, or dine alfresco on the terrace surrounded by palm trees – with an authentic local menu offering Sardinian specialties, from fresh seafood to handmade pasta.

7. D-Resort Göcek, Göcek – Turkey

D-Resort Gocek

D-Resort Gocek

Surrounded by sheltered waters and secluded islets peppered with pine trees, D-Resort Göcek takes Turkish seaside living to new levels of luxury. With direct pool-access suites and a private beach, you’re never far away from the sparkling waters of Göcek Bay – and as part of the D-Marin Göcek luxury marina, the resort is a yachting haven, complete with its own stylish speedboat ‘Sundowner’ to charter.

8. Columbia Beach Resort, Limassol – Cyprus

Columbia Beach Resort

Taking up prime position on the picturesque Bay of Pissouri, Columbia Beach Resort sits on a vast beach encircled by impressive white cliffs, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The coastal chic décor throughout the suites is specifically designed to reflect the colours of the sea and the surrounding landscape of southern Cyprus, many of which come with shimmering sea views. Immerse yourself in Cypriot mythology on a voyage to Aphrodite’s Rock, where according to legend the Greek goddess of love emerged from the sea, while taking in the island’s postcard-worthy coastline.

9. Boutique Hotel Alhambra, Lošinj Island – Croatia

Boutique Hotel Alhambra

Boutique Hotel Alhambra

Set between the Čikat forest and the shimmering sea, Boutique Hotel Alhambra is nestled on Lošinj Island with its distinctive citrus orange façade. Just a few steps down from the promenade leads you to the hotel’s private beach, where stylish sun loungers and parasols await sun seekers. The bayside hotel plays host to a series of Michelin-starred wine and dine events throughout the summer months, alongside organising an array of activities for guests including olive farm tours with organic tasting sessions, and behind-the-scenes visits to nearby Veli Lošinj, Mali Lošinj and ancient Osor.

10. Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel, Puglia – Italy

Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel

Canne Bianche

Positioned right on the seafront in Torre Canne di Fasano, a small, sleepy fishing village in one of Puglia’s more secluded corners, Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel puts you within dipping distance of the sea. An effortless blend of clean lines, boho décor and lime-wash colours, the sound of warm waves lapping onto the hotel’s bagnasciuga can be heard from your king-size bed swathed in soft natural linens. There’s an array of alfresco areas to soak up the sunshine, from the beachfront hammocks and cabana-lined sun deck to the stylish loungers by the main pool. Cool off after a day of exploring the nearby town of Alberobello, known for its conical trulli, with an invigorating ice waterfall at the Aqua wellness centre before sitting down to a locally sourced spread at Timo Restaurant.