How to find out how far your hotel is from the beach

It's every holidaymaker's worst nightmare - arrive at the hotel late one night, rise early the next morning to head to the beach and discover that, in the light of day, your hotel isn't so much "beachfront" as "beach-near."

Some hotel operators get away with making outrageous claims regarding proximity to the beach, and although online tools such as TripAdvisor and Google Earth's satellite imaging have made fact-checking easier, that five-minute walk to the sand is still a nasty sting for plenty of vacationers.

Enter The Beachfront Club, a new hotel resource which aims to end this uncertainty by obtaining verified data on how far hotels are from the nearest stretch of sand - and listing only those who are nearly right on top of it.

The site is founded by former travel photographer John Everingham, who says that after years perfecting the art of "flattening" a picture and making roads disappear for magazine photos, he's had a change of heart.

"While I no longer do hotel photo shoots, a quick glance through hotel websites shows that the retouching business is alive and brighter than ever; as is the sly habit of omission, as is the liberal use of the word 'beachfront' by hotels that are on the wrong side of a road, or worse," he says on the website.

"The Beachfront Club promises to help millions of people avoid the many pitfalls in discovering true beachfront hotels. I'm hoping it will be many times more than the number of people my photographs may have once helped dupe."

Guests can search by country and city, with over 8,000 properties currently listed, each with a description of the exact sand and position on the beachfront.

Other tools that could prove useful are TripAdvisor travel reviews and Google Earth view in Google Maps.