When the coast is calling, our Unique Lodges of the World can take you there. And by coast, we mean all kinds: from the white-sand beaches of Fiji to the granite shores of Canada’s Maritimes. For those who love to be in, on, or near the water—whether snorkeling, paddleboarding, fishing, whale watching, or beachcombing—these lodges are set in spectacular seaside locations and offer a slew of ways to explore the marine and bird life that call these waters home.
For travelers who like to be on the water, there’s no better place than Likuliku, an eco-minded Fijian retreat where ten idyllic bungalows hover directly over a turquoise lagoon. Such direct access means there’s always an uninterrupted sea view from your veranda or soaker tub, and almost never a reason to skip a sunset splash. And with lodge-sponsored protections in place to maintain the health of these underwater ecosystems, pristine seas are all but guaranteed for the foreseeable future.
Set across from Vancouver Island, Nimmo Bay’s elegant wooden chalets are clustered on an expansive dock that floats amidst the surrounding fjords. A stunning 5,000-foot waterfall flows just steps from the lodge, putting nature and wildlife—quite literally—on its doorstep. But with a fleet of paddleboards, kayaks, and boats, guests of all ages and abilities can get far beyond the doorstep. Whether tracking humpback whales, beach-combing, or kayaking among the surrounding islets, there are myriad ways to experience this slice of wild coast.
Near the southern tip of Africa, just west of where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve serves as the ideal gateway to waters rich with marine life. This patch of sea harbors the “marine big five”: southern right whales, great white sharks, penguins, seals and dolphins. Set out on boat excursion, seeking out whales and other wildlife. Or try to spot marine life while exploring the shoreline—a pristine stretch of coast with both sandy beaches and rugged caves.
The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe rise from azure seas 130 miles off the coast of West Africa, in the tropical Gulf of Guinea. Overlooking Príncipe’s pristine shores is Sundy Praia, ideally situated to provide access to the gulf’s stunning biodiversity and underwater riches. Set out by kayak and paddleboard past soaring volcanic peaks, snorkel and dive among dolphins and angelfish in crystal-clear waters, and spot humpback whales and elusive orcas surfacing in the sheltered bay during late summer.
Fogo Island is located off the coast of Newfoundland, at the very eastern edge of North America, in an area called "iceberg alley." Colored by local art and surrounded by stunning coastline, the island is both a rich cultural hub and a breathtaking escape to a wilderness at the edge of the Earth. Trace coastal cliffs along ancient footpaths; get inspired by the sounds and sights of the shore while spending time a waterfront artist’s studio; or set off to sea on a boat tour to circumnavigate a passing iceberg, go deep-sea fishing with a local, or spot the seabirds and whales that populate the area.
Lizard Island is framed by what is arguably our planet’s most spectacular marine wonder: the Great Barrier Reef. And as the only development on the island, the lodge here offers guests seclusion for exploring the magical world of coral gardens and tropical fish that lies just beneath the water’s surface—by snorkeling, diving, glass-bottom boating, and more. Back onshore, an entirely different type of wonderland awaits. Discover 2,500 pristine acres fringed by idyllic white-sand beaches and mangrove forests that harbor an array of rare bird species.
As iconic for its wild volcanic landscapes as it is for its whitewashed seaside villages, Santoríni is steeped in ancient myth and bursting with natural beauty. Blue-domed churches look out from great heights over a stunning caldera, and warm Mediterranean waters lap at black-sand beaches. During a stay at Kapari, guests can learn about the area’s natural history with a geologist, dine on traditional Greek cuisine overlooking the sea, or follow winding paths to hilltop churches and age-old villages high above the sea.
Visitors come to the Seychelles seeking a tropical escape, and there are few better places to get that faraway feeling than Fregate Island. Secluded spots abound on this private isle, and one could happily hide out on a sandy beach and play castaway for a day. But on either side of the shoreline lie two unspoiled animal kingdoms waiting to be discovered. Explore inland jungles inhabited by plodding giant tortoises and rare tropical birds. Or get out on the water for a snorkeling, diving, or boating expedition to spot giant manta rays and harmless whale sharks.
In an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays, the Bahamas' largest landmass often gets overlooked by travelers, its sugar-white beaches mostly ignored by cruise ships and high-rise hotel developers. Known to locals as ''The Big Yard," Andros Island is the wild Bahamian backcountry, and Tiamo offers guests unparalleled seclusion on its southern shore. But with the world’s third-largest coral reef a ten-minute boat ride from the shore; mesmerizing blue holes dotting the coastal waters; some of the world’s best bonefishing flats; and inland forests harboring brilliant orchids and wild boar, the lodge is so much more than a Caribbean hideaway.
Norway’s coast is a beguiling maze of mountains cut by depth-defying fjords—like Storfjord, or “great fjord,” which extends 68 miles inland from the North Atlantic and plunges 2,000 feet below sea level. Steep mountain slopes shoot skyward from bright blue waters, creating towering canyons topped with snow-capped peaks, even in summer. Coastal villages cling to the green hem of the mountains or, like charming Ålesund, spread over low archipelagos. Set out from Storfjord Hotel to explore this stunning scenery, and learn about the deep importance of the fjords in Norwegian history and culture.
A paisley of green amid swirls of turquoise seas, Petit St. Vincent is a 115-acre Caribbean isle in the Windward archipelago fringed with pristine beaches. Its villas and cottages are discreetly tucked into the hillside or along the shore, and you’re likely to forget that there are other people on the island, unless you seek them out. The outside world is all but nonexistent here, and the greatest decision you’re bound to make is whether to take out a kayak or board the sailboat, whether to head to the beach on the Atlantic side or the Caribbean side.
SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY