THE BEAUTIFUL BEACH ESCAPE
TIRED OF PACKED BEACHES WHERE NABBING A SUN LOUNGER REQUIRES THE SKILL OF A NINJA? HEAD TO ONE OF THESE COASTAL REFUGES
The Thai islands are officially full. Although neighbouring countries are trying to recreate similar idylls, it’s easier said than done. On the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, for example, overdevelopment has produced a rash of gaudy hotels and casinos. Our advice? Visit Cambodia’s coast. Although the seaside city of Sihanoukville is popular with backpackers, those in the know are heading east to the coastal province of Kep, where a number of beautiful boutique hotels are popping up. We’re smitten with Knai Bang Chatt, a beach hotel with its own sailing club. Elsewhere in Cambodia, the opening of Alila Villas Koh Russey is generating huge buzz, as is the launch of the all-villa Six Senses Koh Krabey, a short boat ride from Sihanoukville.
Further afield, Montenegro is shaping up to be the next big beach destination. The country’s coastline shares the same expanse of ocean as Greece, Italy and Croatia, and one of its finest beach resorts, Bečići, is an hour’s drive from its capital, Podgorica. Industry experts are also predicting that Turkey will make a comeback in 2018, with İzmir province the place to be. Our favourite locations include the resort town of Çeşme, and Foça, a quaint beach town. May 2018 saw the return of tour operator Mark Warner to Turkey, and the company chose this area as the site of its new property, which opens from May until October. Phokaia Beach Resort will have an enormous water sports centre and a wide range of activities, including yoga, cycling, hiking and tennis.