Luxury for less: 10 great value packages for travellers who like the finer things life

Photo of Tamara HinsonPhoto of Tamara Hinson
By Tamara Hinson

2 August 20195 min read

Aerial view of Bavaro beach resort in Punta Cana lined with palm trees and thatch umbrellas and with parasailing in the sea

Craving a romantic, beach-themed getaway? Maybe you’re dreaming of turquoise seas, beachfront bars and marathon sunbathing sessions. Well, you're in luck – we've got 10 brilliant deals for you.

Don't panic if you're short on time, either – although we've included plenty of short haul deals, we've got lots of long haul beach holidays, too.

1. Dominican Republic: Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa

Stay at this hotel and you'll be close to some of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches, although the on-site pool is pretty spectacular too – it's the largest free-form pool in the Dominican Republic.

This particular area is great for diving (there's a huge coral reef just off-shore) as well as kayaking, and the on-site watersports centre offers a great range of activities. We also love the fact that there are nine restaurants to choose from, including five à la carte options – perfect for that all-important candle-lit dinner.

2. Tenerife: Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz

Stay in Santa Cruz and you'll have Tenerife's best bits at your fingertips: great restaurants (including Michelin-starred sushi restaurant Kazan), lively bars and some of the finest beaches in the Canary Islands all within walking distance.

All of the rooms at the Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz, just a 15-minute drive from the airport, have private balconies and large marble bathrooms. But the best bit? The nightly rate includes breakfast in bed.

3. Bali: Grand Mirage

Long-haul flights seem significantly less painful when the destination is the balmy paradise of Nusa Dua – a temple-dotted coastal region lined with some of Bali's most spectacular beaches.

Although it's regarded as one of Nusa Dua's top resorts for families, the addition (in early 2019) of a dedicated family wing, complete with its own pools, slides and fountains, means couples and solos who choose to spend the entire day lounging by the resort's main pool are unlikely to be disturbed. Grand Mirage also has one of the best spas in Bali – its huge Thalasso Spa offers everything from hydrotherapy treatments to couple's massages.

4. Ibiza: Iberostar Santa Eulalia

Ibiza might well be known for its enormous super clubs and raucous bar crawls, but a growing number of hotels are catering to travellers keen to explore its quieter side, and the Iberostar Santa Eulalia is leading the pack.

An adults-only property with the feel of a boutique hotel and direct access to the gorgeous Playa de S'Argamassa, it's known for its generously-proportioned rooms, beautiful U-shaped pool and fantastic restaurants. Feeling flush? Upgrade to a Star Prestige room for VIP service and access to a private pool and members' lounge.

5. Miami: Pestana Miami South Beach

South Beach is Miami's most glamorous neighbourhood – a beachfront enclave filled with fantastic restaurants, designer boutiques and a smorgasbord of wonderful art deco architecture.

The boutique-style Pestana Miami offers the best of both worlds – although South Beach is just a few metres away, this pastel-blue, art deco gem offers a tranquil hideaway to retreat to at the end of the day. Highlights include the beautiful pool in the palm tree-filled courtyard, and the wonderfully retro Mermaid Café and Bistro, with its stripy sofas and all-American cocktails.

6. Nice, France: Hotel Nice Excelsior

A top tip for anyone heading to Nice – avoid hotels right on the beachfront and you’ll slash the cost of your holiday. This four-star hotel, in a beautifully-restored nineteenth-century building, is right next to the station, a 10-minute walk from Nice’s best beaches and a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Not that dragging yourself away from this gorgeous property is easy – step inside and you’ll find beautiful, light-drenched rooms filled with cheery pops of colour and murals depicting the town’s golden era. Very nice.

7. Barbados: Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados

As the name suggests, this Barbados resort is perfect for watersports fans – it’s perched on the white sands of Needham's Point, famous for its glass-clear water. Activities on offer include snorkelling and paddle boarding, and it’s a popular scuba diving spot, too.

This particular hotel is also ideal for anyone keen to make the most of the island’s nightlife – you’ll be in the centre of Bridgetown with its rum shops (basically a Bajan pub) and cocktail bars (head to Harbour Lights for the best margaritas in Barbados).

8. Torremolinos, Spain: Melia Costa del Sol

For luxury in the southern Costa del Sol, it’s hard to look past this place – a four-star hotel with a huge spa, direct access to the beach and fantastic dining options.

Reasons to base yourself here include the stunning El Bajondillo and La Carihuela beaches, easy access to some of the Costa del Sol’s best golf courses and plenty of opportunities for a culture fix, thanks to the close proximity of historic villages such as El Calvario.

9. Cancun, Mexico: The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort

Treat yourself to some beachfront luxury with this fantastic Cancun deal. Your home-from-home will be the Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort, an all-villa resort metres from the Caribbean Sea. All villas have fully-stocked kitchenettes and balconies, so it’s ideal for travellers seeking both privacy and a little extra room.

Getting to Cancun’s nearby attractions – including Tulum and Chichén Itzá – is easy (although getting to the on-site spa is admittedly even easier) and if you’re feeling romantic, you can even tie the knot here – this particular property is one of the most popular places to get married in Cancun.

10. Phuket, Thailand: Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach

Stay at this gorgeous hotel – just 12 minutes from the airport – and you'll quickly forget that Phuket is Thailand's most popular beach resort. Perched on a stunning headland jutting out into the Andaman Sea, and with direct access to Naithon Beach (one of the most beautiful stretches of sand on Phuket's west coast), the Pullman Phuket feels worlds away from the city’s bustle.

In fact, the entire resort has been designed with relaxation in mind – there's a huge yoga deck, and activities on offer include Pilates and meditation. We're drifting off just thinking about it....

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