BEACH, PLEASE: FIVE NEW BEACH TOWN HOTELS TO CHECK OUT THIS SUMMER

5 -min. read

It seems like all the cold parts of the world are sputtering their way into spring this year, which makes it even more imperative to have beach escapes squared away. If you’re looking for something a little different from the norm, why not consider one of these five new beach town hotels?


GURNEY’S NEWPORT

If you’ve been moving in the right circles in NYC, you’ve been to Montauk in the summer—in which case you should be familiar with Gurney’s Montauk’s much-photographed coastal chic vibe. Now you can experience it in a preppier but in some ways more subdued location (and Taylor Swift’s beach town of choice) Newport, Rhode Island. The former Hyatt Regency Newport is now Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, with 257 rooms and suites, plenty of event space, a spa, and all-new errrthing (at least over the course of the year). A new signature restaurant, Scarpetta, is scheduled to open in the summer.


ANDAZ MAYAKOBA

If you haven’t experienced the lush, Caribbean-Mexican beauty of Mayakoba (home to a Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood), now is the time to do it, with Andaz Mayakoba now open and bringing all of the things we love about the brand to Mexico for the first time. The resort sits on 590 acres of oceanfront mangrove and lagoon-dotted land in the Riviera Maya area, a short drive from Cancun, and has 214 rooms including 41 suites. Water features, nods to Mayan heritage and a breezy feel run through the property, which includes the NAUM Spa and four restaurants/bars—which we expect to be as on-point as the dining outlets at other Andaz Hotels. Even though this is a global brand, Andaz Mayakoba promises local touches, from the murals by Riviera Maya graffiti artist SENKOE to the lessons from local photography and kite-surfing experts.


CAMBRIA BEACH LODGE, CALIFORNIA

This newly revamped seaside boutique hotel is located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo County. In other words, in a relatively untouched paradise, where it’s the only true lifestyle property and totally worth the drive. In fact, the concept of the classic California road trip—that freewheeling sense of wandering by some of the most beautiful coastline in the world—is the bedrock of Cambria’s mission. Its newly redesigned rooms are appropriately bright and beachy, with wooden floors and pops of turquoise. There are Linus bikes for exploring the area, and a minibar containing local Paso wines. (Which will no doubt propel you to do more wine tasting in Poso Robles.)


THE MERIDIAN HOTEL

This new boutique property in Miami Beach is not directly on the beach (it’s a five-minute walk away) but it has something going for it that all those glitzy competitors up on Collins Avenue do not: a spot in the leafy, high-end South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood. The Meridian is the first U.S. outpost from Argentinian brand URBANICA, but thanks in part to its super attentive G.M. Sexton Garcia, a Miami native, the vibe here is as local as it gets, from the graffiti artwork to the Panther Coffee and Zak the Baker pastries in the café.

The 71 rooms are mostly all-white, although assiduous touches of wooden and natural textures prevent them from seeming like Delano clones. The rooms are spread out across two buildings, and the rabbit-warren-like layout feels intimate and home-like. The pool deck is small (again, intimate!) and it’s accompanied by a Chill Out Room that reminds us of Hyde Beach at SLS, in a smaller, calmer setting.

To meet some of those wealthy locals, linger in the airy café—or get ready for the speakeasy-style bar that will open later this summer. (A second URBANICA Hotel, The Sofi Hotel, is scheduled to open a block away sometime next year.)


ITZ’ANA RESORT, BELIZE

Let’s start this right: this new resort in the Placencia area of Belize—soft opening in late summer—has a private island. Some fancy resorts are on private islands. This one offers access to one, Saddle Caye, where Itz’ana guests can picnic, sail and snorkel or even camp overnight.

Back on the main resort grounds, Itz’ana features a Caribbean-style Great House, with 20 hotel rooms; there are also 66 cottages and villas. The Great House is where you’ll find the signature restaurant, Limila, which specializes in seafood, organic vegetables from the resort’s farm, and other local ingredients and culinary traditions. For post-dinner conversations that go all night, there is The Rum Room, where a (what else?) rum sommelier will help match you with a glass or two. Other amenities include yoga classes, the Itz’ana Spa, and an 18-slip marina. Whether you’re sailing here yourself or just staying over, this is your jump-off point for exploring Belize’s famous coral reef via scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, or just kicking back with a beverage in hand to watch the sunset.

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Rebecca Wallwork
Rebecca Wallwork is a writer based in Miami Beach, although you’ll also find her checking out the newest hotels in New York City. She is a former contributing editor to HotelChatter, and loves dogs and books as much as she does hotels.

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