Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where Are the Best Movie Beaches?

Movies might transport us to a better, however fictional world, but those spy flicks featuring crystal-clear waters and soft sand aren’t fake. If you’ve ever been watching a movie and wondered “where’s that?” when you see a tropical paradise on-screen, Budget Travel looked at the best beaches in the world, as featured in the movies.

Phi Phi Leh, Thailand—The Beach
Maya Bay received some digital enhancement for the film, with a special fourth side added to enhance the illusion of seclusion. Don’t worry, though: it’s still magnificent. Maya Bay is popular with snorklers because of its shallow, clear water and its great coral formations, and the beach is framed by limestone cliffs. It might not be Thailand’s last untouched beach, as it was in the film, but still feels like it.

What Budget Travel Says: "Even to this day, there are no rental bungalows, but you are allowed to make like DiCaprio and camp overnight. Visit on a daytrip from the southwestern Thai resort towns of Phuket and Krabi, via a mix of ferry and longtail boat rides."

Where to Stay in Thailand: Stay in Phuket for the night before venturing to Phi Phi Leh Beach. The Banyon Tree Phuket's luxury resort settings will impress even the pickiest of travelers and holds awards from international publications and travel groups. Try the pool villa accommodations, and be sure to clear your schedule for plenty of time by the Andaman Sea.

Cape St. Francis, South Africa—The Endless Summer
Endless Summer's Robert August and Mike Hynson go on a search for the perfect wave and end up in South Africa, where they climb a dune and see the break of their dreams. Surfers, it’s worth the trek to visit the break, called Bruce’s Beauties, during a trip to South Africa, and you’ll still have all the tourist diversions nearby. The break lies a mile from pretty Cape St. Francis, and the best time to visit is from May to September.

What Budget Travel Says: “The perfect ride does not come so easily. The flight between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth in the southeast is about 90 minutes and Cape St. Francis is a 90-minute drive to the south from there along N2 road and R330.”

Where to Stay in South Africa: When staying in Johannesburg, book the Westcliff Hotel. Recognized for its panoramic views and low-key, leisurely setting, the resort still features an outstanding business facility to meet all guests' needs. An extensive wine list and gorgeous night views make this tucked-away resort a must-book experience.

Leo Carrillo Beach, Malibu, California—The Karate Kid
Want to make like a master and practice your kung-fu on the sand? The Leo Carrillo beach is the site of the famous Karate Kid training, where student and teacher practice their “crane” stance. If you’re not going to be able to travel to out-of-the-way destinations, then this Malibu spot needs to be on your list.

What Budget Travel Says: “Framed by sycamore trees and steep headlands, the 1.5-mile-long coastline is a favorite with surfers, swimmers, and picnickers up from Los Angeles.”

Where to Stay in Los Angeles County: Balance all of that beach-strolling with a stay in L.A.'s Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. The hotel boasts over 700 guest rooms and is situated just right on the west side, near Beverly Hills. Shopping, dining, and sightseeing is all nearby.

One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas—Casino Royale
James Bond returned in 2006’s Casino Royale, and so did our love of the Bahamas. In the film, Daniel Craig stops a woman returning from a horseback ride in a breathtaking location. A gorgeous beach stretches along the One&Only, and the spot is just 15 minutes away from Nassau, despite its secluded vibe.

What Budget Travel Says: “Most of the island's 3.6-mile-long, white-sand beach is open to the public.”

Where to Stay: You can stay at the same exclusive resort featured on Casino Royale--the One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas. Besides the stunning stretch of sand right outside your door, there are tumbling gardens and complimentary afternoon drinks to be experienced--think Versailles meets ocean paradise.

Have you ever found a too-good-to-be-true beach?

1 comment:

  1. I had a fantastic holiday in Thailand and visited the stunning Maya Beach. It was even more beautiful than in the film!