The Big Six: Modern beach resorts

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Alila Villas Hadahaa, Maldives

The Maldives is a firm favourite among cooing, newlywed couples. And it's resorts like the Alila Villas Hadahaa (10km away from the next inhabited island) that make it easy to see why. Every aspect of the discreet complex is geared towards the hotel's natural focal point, the beach. The sleekly modern villas hide amid lush tropical foliage which descends to a picture-postcard shore, or are perched on stilts over the water.

Alila Villas Hadahaa, North Huvadhoo Atoll, Maldives (00 960 682 8888; Double villas start at US$653 (£435), including breakfast.

Viceroy, Anguilla

The first Viceroy hotel outside the US is making waves in Anguilla. Interior design queen Kelly Wearstler has spared little expense on the dazzling décor, which is flooded with light via picture windows and peppered with carved wooden objects, shells and other sculptural oddities. There are 166 suites and villas done out in dreamy, creamy hues, plus a cocktail bar for sundowners and four restaurants serving locally caught fish. Anguilla is also a hotspot for watersport fans and those who want to scour the coral reefs for which the island is known

Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, West End, Anguilla (001 264 497 7000; Doubles start at US$716 (£477), including breakfast.

Hotel Sezz St Tropez, France

A Michelin-starred Parisian chef in the restaurant? Check. A renowned interior designer orchestrating the décor? But of course. Why not throw in a prestigious landscape gardener to add the finishing touches? Mais oui. Open since last summer, the sister hotel of Hotel Sezz in Paris has all the winning hallmarks aligned to keep the St-Tropez set content. There's also a bar looked after by the masters of fizz, Dom Pérignon, and 35 bungalow or "cocoon" rooms to saunter back to when the combination of champagne and sunshine necessitates a horizontal reprieve.

Hotel Sezz, Route des Salins, Saint Tropez, Provence, France (00 33 4 94 55 31 55; Doubles start at €213 room only.

Hotel Martinhal, Portugal

This Algarve hotel ditches the neutral palette commonly preferred by beach retreats, opting instead for a bold-and-bright approach. A rainbow of vivid pastel rugs and cushions adorn each of the 38 rooms, which also come with Bose iPod docks and private balconies.

Hotel Martinhal, Quinta do Martinhal, Sagres, Algarve, Portugal (00 351 282 240 200; Doubles with breakfast from €152.

Long Beach, Mauritius

A tropical gem that opens next month on the east coast. Breaking away from the refined traditionalism of neighbouring hotels, Long Beach is an all-singing, all-dancing resort of 255 stylish rooms, several pools, restaurants and bars.

Long Beach, Coastal Road, Belle Mare, Mauritius (00 230 401 1919; Doubles start at €350, half board.

Casa de la Flora, Thailand

This series of striking cubist villas offers clean lines, white linen and clutterless calm. The new property overlooks the Andaman Sea from Khao Lak beach. Inside, wood panelling stretches from floor to ceiling.

Casa de la Flora, Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Thailand ( You can book through Design Hotels (00 800 37 46 83 57; Doubles with breakfast start at 17,000 baht (£345).

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