Written by Vicki
New Zealand, South Pacific, Jamaica & The Bahamas Specialist
If you’re looking for something special or refreshingly different, our Hidden Beaches collection may have just the answer.
We asked our team of Hidden Beaches specialists to share the unusual experiences that stood out for them as particularly quirky or memorable at beach resorts and hotels on their travels. From breakfast delivered by canoe to arriving at your hotel on a paraglider, here are their suggestions...
Breakfast delivered by canoe in French Polynesia
Le Taha'a Private Island and Spa isn’t just a Polynesian paradise with powder-soft beaches, palm trees and coral reefs, it’s also a culinary experience. There are three restaurants offering a wide selection of local and international specialities, and romantic dinners and private picnics can be arranged. You can even have breakfast delivered to your villa by canoe, accompanied by a ukulele serenade. When you’re not sampling the culinary delights, spend time in the spa or snorkelling in the turquoise lagoons overlooked by green volcanic peaks.
- Quirkiness factor: 84%
- What else our specialists say: Don’t miss the Polynesian evening once a week, which includes Tahitian delicacies, folkloric dances, and fire dances. If you have any special dietary requests just speak to the restaurant in advance.
Paraglide into Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
If you’re feeling adventurous, make a dramatic entrance to Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Northern Musandam Peninsula of Oman. You can choose to arrive by road through the dramatic mountainous scenery, by speedboat across Zighy Bay or from the sky on an exhilarating paraglide ride. The resident paragliding professional at Six Senses will take you around the mountain range, gliding over the bay, before making a soft landing on the private sandy beach. Built in a traditional Omani village style, the resort is stylish, remote and intimate.
- Quirkiness factor: 98%
- What else our specialists say: Waterskiing, snorkelling, kayaking and cycling are just some of the other activities on offer. There are three restaurants, including one on the hillside overlooking the blue waters of the Gulf of Oman, a private marina, two swimming pools and a spa.
Dine by a waterfall, Sarojin, Thailand
The Sarojin is renowned for its exceptional service and beautiful setting. The spacious, contemporary-style residences blend crisp, minimalist design with the richness of traditional Thai decor. There are well-tended grounds with a Jacuzzi and large swimming pool. A range of dining options are available, including the possibility of a private champagne dinner at a nearby waterfall, a gourmet picnic breakfast on a private island, or cocktails and canapés in the jungle.
- Quirkiness factor: 72%
- What else our specialists say: Other activities include sailing, sea kayaking or windsurfing. You can also snorkel or dive in the Similian Islands, cruise around the dramatic limestone karsts of nearby Phang Nga Bay, or explore Khao Lak National Park.
Walk in Tom Hank's footsteps as a castaway in Fiji
Tokoriki is a peaceful, luxurious island retreat on a private island on the Mamanucas, a volcanic archipelago lying to the south of the Yasawa Islands. There are plenty of activities every day including a Monuriki Castaway Island tour. Monuriki is the island made famous by Tom Hank’s film ‘Cast Away’. Explore this uninhabited island on foot with a guide who'll explain how the film was made and its key locations. Other activities include champagne island-hopping and snorkelling tours. Or simply relax in your traditional, wooden bure and sip cocktails while watching the sunset.
- Quirkiness factor: 75%
- What else our specialists say: This resort is ideal for divers, romantics and people looking for a quiet island retreat.
Enjoy a ten-course tasting breakfast at Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil
The Ponta dos Ganchos resort is tucked away on a private peninsula, encased in rich green foliage, spilling down to an emerald sea. The beachfront restaurant offers sophisticated fare including the option of a gourmet ten-course breakfast. From the beach you can stroll across the candlelit causeway to a private island for a special place to dine. Make sure you book the table — there’s only one on the island, where a dedicated waiter will look after your every need.
- Quirkiness factor: 91%
- What else our specialists say: Some rooms have private plunge pools, while others have a sauna and Jacuzzi and expansive veranda. Combine your stay with a visit to Iguaçu Falls.
Dine in an underwater restaurant in the Maldives
Enjoy eating fresh seafood as you watch tropical fish swim by at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island's restaurant, Ithaa (meaning 'mother of pearl' in the Maldivian language of Dihevias). Situated more than 16 feet below sea level in the Indian Ocean, the glass-enclosed restaurant cost about $5 million to build. As a diner you can enjoy 180-degree views of coral reefs, manta rays and sharks, as well as a wide range of tropical fish and other aquatic species.
- Quirkiness factor: 95%
- What else our specialists say: Book ahead as Ithaa only seats 14 people and there's a set dining menu. Mid-morning cocktails are available and the restaurant can be booked privately. Not recommended if you don’t like being underwater.
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