Bucket-list beach holiday destinations in Asia

With more flights than ever to Asian beachside destinations, it's hard to resist an exotic holiday made up of days lazing by the pool.

Beach holidays in Asia are some of the world’s most exotic and exciting, and they’re right on your doorstep. From the turquoise waters of Cambodia to the seafaring paradise of Sri Lanka, taking a trip to a sandy shoreline with glittering ocean views is likely simpler than you think.

These hotels are on a mission to spoil you, with the best beach resorts in Asia featuring amenities like private plunge pools, bars carved from cliffs and sustainably built rooms. So what are you waiting for? Find your favourite on this list, then get to packing that suitcase.

A private island for your Asian beach holiday


Those in the know head to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, part of a mini-archipelago off Cambodia’s Sihanoukville for beach holidays, and those most in the know go to Song Saa Private Island. This secluded hotel comprises 24 villas where you can start tropical mornings with a plunge in your own private pool.

In select villas, take your breakfast on your covered sundeck or outdoor dining sala looking out onto the sparkling sea. Or you can check into ultimate opulence with an overwater room that lets you jump straight from your lounge into the rippling turquoise shallows.

Like the rest of the hotel, the villas are built by locals using reclaimed materials –think driftwood tables and oil drum lamps– which set off luxury touches like sunken bathtubs and iPod docking stations. You’ll savour meals made with seasonal, sustainable ingredients and flavoured by fiery Kampot pepper from the mainland. Try dinner at the Vista Bar, set on stilts on the water, or have a casual snack while lounging on beanbags on the sand at Driftwood. Alternatively, book a private dining experience beside the infinity pool.

Song Saa Private Island

Top rated
9.8 Excellent (32 reviews)

A beach holiday destination in Asia's clear waters

If your Asian beach holiday is inspired by Hollywood movies, you’ll want to head to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. The Phi Phi islands have long-impressed movie makers –and movie stars– with their clear waters, tropical beaches and natural beauty.

Wander through the hotel’s gardens dotted with coconut trees and on to the 800-metre stretch of sand set against the gleaming Andaman Sea. The idyllic views will follow you to the vast swimming pool, a relaxed place to hang out in between lessons to gain your PADI scuba licence.

After spotting seahorses and turtles in the deep, you’ll want to refuel at one of the resort’s four restaurants. The hillside Ruan Thai will satisfy your craving for authentic local curries, while the hotel’s pool bars are great for a quick snack between ocean swims.

Then when you feel like having a post-feast doze, head back to air-conditioned comfort under the thatched roof of your traditional wooden bungalow. If you want to be really swish, upgrade to a Junior Suite on the beachfront with an indoor whirlpool bath and call for a bottle of bubbly.

SAii Phi Phi Island Village

Top rated
Koh Phi Phi
9.0 Excellent (3389 reviews)

A trip to Boracay for a boutique beach holiday destination in Asia

Coast Boracay, on the popular Philippine isle of the same name, is a boutique hotel with plenty of quirky touches. From the pineapple print walls to the free popcorn and ice cream you’ll grab each day from a movie-theatre-style cart, the unconventional details at this hotel set it apart from the rest.

In your accommodation, you’ll rest in sublime comfort and style in designer furniture, 400 thread-count linen and goose-feather pillows that cradle your head as you drift to sleep. To get you into Boracay mode, you’ll find local accents dotting your crisp white room, like fabrics hand-crafted by Mindanao weavers.

Come lunch, take a journey along the world’s shorelines at the on-site Cha Cha’s Beach Café. Feel the sand beneath your toes as you try dishes like creamy Thai coconut curries or tomato shakshuka from Israel. Afterwards, drop by The General Store to get your retail fix of carefully curated, locally produced brands like Negritas Swimwear and Black Rose Botanicals.

Coast Boracay

9.7 Excellent (258 reviews)

An eco-friendly beach holiday destination in Asia


On a quieter section of Vietnam’s Phú Quốc island, a stay at Bamboo is like going back in time. This hotel on blissful Vung Bau Bay is a locally run hideaway with eco-friendly credentials: it was the first off-grid, solar-powered accommodation in the country. Today, it lures guests with homestyle Vietnamese cooking.

When you’re not snacking on dishes like aromatic clay pot aubergine and moist snapper steamed in a banana leaf, you can slice through the sea in a free kayak to Fingernail Island or take part in one of the complimentary daily beach yoga lessons. In June and July, you can even sweat it out in the tropical heat with on-site CrossFit classes.

In your simple but stylish room, sleep cocooned in nature in your four-poster bed made of bamboo. If you’re the sing-in-the-shower type, you’ll get a background chorus of birdsong in your open-air shower, or you can opt for a soak in a hand-poured concrete tub.

Book a room with sea views so your morning wake-up call will be the ocean gently lapping against the sand. Then over a healthy, organic breakfast, choose your day’s itinerary – a Swedish or Vietnamese massage on the beach? Or a diving trip organised by the hotel?

Bamboo Cottages

Top rated
Duong Dong
9.2 Excellent (367 reviews)

A Beach holiday in Asia on a Balinese resort with 12 swimming pools


The sheer size of Ayana Resort and Spa Bali makes it one of the best beach resorts in Asia, with a whopping 19 restaurants and bars to eat and drink your way through. One of these is the Rock Bar, a regular pick in global ‘best of’ lists because of its acclaimed views. Here, you’ll see the sun dip beneath horizon while listening to music from a DJ in a booth hewn from the cliff face. To arrive at this famous spot perched 14 metres above the Indian Ocean, you’ll take a thrilling inclinator that travels along the edges of the rock.

At Ayana, you can unwind in 12 swimming pools or a spa with an Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool for water-based relaxation. Golf fans can practise on the 18-hole putting course, while sun-seekers will want to bag a bamboo cabana on the hotel’s private white-sand beach.

Immerse yourself in local style in your Balinese-inspired room dressed in intricately carved wood and shimmering silks, and forget all your worries as you soak in the epic views from your private balcony.

Ayana Villas Bali

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (678 reviews)

Peaceful Phuket for a beach holiday in Asia


From your hilltop villa at The Shore at Katathani, you’ll have views of the pale golden sand of Kata Noi Beach edging the blue-green sea. If you don’t feel like the walk down the hill, cool off in your exclusive infinity pool, then relax in your sunken lounge or the deep soaking tub in your bathroom. Over at Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, The Shore’s sister hotel, you can take a swim in one of six spacious shared pools or test your skills on the golf putting greens.

When dinnertime rolls around, try modern versions of authentic Thai cuisine at Param Para Restaurant. Silky curries, of course, make an appearance on the menu, with traditional ingredients like lemongrass and coconut featuring heavily. If you leave your table feeling inspired, you can book a cooking course to learn how to recreate the dishes at home. You can also attend fruit-carving classes and pick up local trinkets in the gift shop as a keepsake from your holiday.

The Shore at Katathani

Top rated
Kata Beach
9.5 Excellent (1956 reviews)

Dubai beach holiday that's near both sand and city


For a trip that balances city living with sessions on the sand, head for the contemporary Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai. Sitting on the waterfront of Pearl Jumeirah with views of the Arabian Gulf and the city skyline, you’ll have easy access to the best of both worlds for shopping, swimming, dining and reclining. A 20-minute drive will have you at Dubai Mall or Burj Khalifa, while 20 steps will have you wriggling your toes in the sand.

Inside your room, styled in the hotel’s all-white colour scheme with blue and sand-toned accents, make yourself at home with mood lighting, a customisable minibar and pillow menu. If you’re up for a self-catered feast, check into a suite with a kitchenette and 10-seat dining table. Alternatively, dip into luxe living by booking a villa where you can listen to the Call to Prayer ring over the desert city from your own private outdoor terrace and pool.

You’ll want to set aside some time in the hotel’s four restaurants and lounges, including a beachfront bar and grill that plates up bites like spicy tacos and zesty ceviche. Or, a couple-sized sunlounger by the pool is an ideal spot for sampling fresh sushi rolls. When you’ve had your fill of both food and sun, escape to the spa to revive with a steam, sauna and even a skin-tingling ice fountain!

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (988 reviews)

Whale spotting in Sri Lanka for an unforgettable beach holiday in Asia

Prefer a bit of peace and quiet on your holiday? Uga Bay by Uga Escapes is on a private section of Pasikuda Beach – a paradise for snorkelling thanks to the species of coral and turtles that make it their home. Layer on sunscreen then laze in the sun on the shore or seek shade in a poolside cabana for a Balinese massage. Hotel staff will help you make the most of this coastline’s abundant marine life by arranging a whale-watching cruise or an adrenaline-pumping diving trip with black-tip sharks.

You can choose from four types of accommodation here, like sleek studios that sit directly on the beach. Throw open the doors and breathe in the salty ocean breeze, even from your four-poster bed. And when hunger strikes, the on-site restaurant makes the most of the surroundings by sourcing fresh seafood from local fishermen. Dine outdoors on succulent crab and prawns cooked on the grill while overlooking the pool and swaying palm trees.

Uga Bay

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (263 reviews)

A beach holiday destination in Asia with night market shopping


For a chic and cheerful holiday, head to Treebo Beach Box Hotel on Baga Beach in Goa. This eco-friendly accommodation is constructed from shipping containers centred around a courtyard with a bright red pool.

You’ll notice other repurposed materials throughout the space as well, including chairs built from disused pipes and tyres. Colourful murals give this hotel a youthful feel, adding to the buzzing atmosphere in the bar and restaurant.

Escape the heat in your air-conditioned room with a king-size bed and quirky, industrial design touches. Upgrade to a Maple Room and you’ll get a sofa to hang out on once the day’s done. You’ll also have breakfast each morning made up of colourful veggie or meat-based curries to kick-start your day.

Fueled by spices and local flavours, you can take on one of the water sports at Baga Beach (you’ll find affordable options like parasailing organised by local vendors), then spend an evening browsing the handcrafted offerings at Baga Night Market.

Beach Box Baga

Top rated
9.7 Excellent (354 reviews)

Malaysia's Langkawi for a luxe beach holiday in Asia


Backed by an ancient rainforest and fronted by a private cove and beach, the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi is an ultra-luxurious resort for the suavest of jet setters. It’s home to the island’s only overwater spa, where you can indulge in full body treatments like the Mandi Bunga Inspired Ritual, influenced by old-world Malay royalty. Afterwards, refresh yourself with a dip in one of the three pools – including one right by the shoreline for serene sea views.

Book a stay in a spacious villa, nestled within the trees for enhanced privacy and furnished with Malaysian décor for a local vibe. The local focus continues with organised activities like hikes through the forest in search of waterfalls, or calmer jewellery-making and textile workshops at the hotel.

Once you’ve rustled up an appetite, the hotel’s Beach Grill, built to reflect Malaysia’s traditional twig fish traps, is an atmospheric spot for fresh Langkawi-style seafood like Andaman garlic prawns and wok-fried lobster tail. Come dusk, you’ll want nothing else but to return to your own oasis and relax in your plunge pool overlooking turquoise waters or the lush green rainforest.

The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi

Top rated
Pantai Kok
9.4 Excellent (754 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of Fotolia

This story first featured in trivago Magazine SG