1. Castaway chic: Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Australia is blessed with world class surf breaks and white shores that unfurl as far as the eye can see. Perched on the northernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island might well be the country's best-kept secret. This boutique retreat revels in its remoteness, with 24 secluded coves dotted around the pristine private isle. Hotel staff can pack you off with a gourmet picnic for a romantic lunch among the dunes, or kit you out with snorkelling gear, kayaks and motorized dinghies for exploring the dazzling reef.
2. Riviera romance: Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel, Côte d'Azur, France
More about posing on sunloungers than pursuing aquatic thrills, the French Riviera has long drawn Europe's style set to its pebbled shores. While billionaires and their entourage party on suburb-sized yachts, fashionistas flock to the beachfront eateries of Cannes and Nice to see and be seen. A 25-minute drive away, Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel offers suitably stylish digs. Once a beachside club for the likes of Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, this striking glass and polished concrete sanctuary is as sparkling as the surrounding sea. Bold bedrooms star a mod-marine theme, and restaurant Les Pêcheurs is famed for its cutting-edge fare.
10. Private-island posing: Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean
Destination du jour for the honeymooning A-list, the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean promise pampering in spades. Set on a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming private isle, Parrot Cay is a serene spa stay from the cultured Como Shambhala team. This effortlessly elegant escape has courted the likes of Bruce Willis and Christie Brinkley, just two names in the little black book of celebrities who own villas here. Along with beautiful Balinese-style lodgings, a day spa and infinity pool, an unspoilt, uninhabited mile-long beach awaits.
From glam coastal getaways to private island escapes, boutique travel advisers Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) have rounded some of up the best beach breaks around the world. Swimming fans, surfers and poolside posers will find much to like in this top 10. Created by Alice Baghdjian. Reuters