Many travelers agree that the best part of being on a warm-weather vacation is that easy, breezy vibe -- not only thanks to the laid-back atmosphere, but also to the literal beachy breeze that sweeps through resorts. So it can be particularly nice to find a hotel where open-air rooms benefit from the breeze as well so you can enjoy it around the clock. Numerous hotels have rooms with an al fresco leaning, but here are the 10 prettiest we've ever seen.
-- Jane Reynolds, Oyster.com
Bitter End Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands
The Bitter End Yacht Club, snuggled into a steep hill on the scenic North Sound of Virgin Gorda, is a relaxed resort. The tech-free rooms (no TVs or Wi-Fi here) feature stunning views from the balconies, and the sliding doors allows breezes to sweep through; some rooms do not have air-conditioning but most guests find they don't miss it. Rooms also include hammocks on the balconies and large, sexy showers in the sleek bathrooms.
Inchcape Seaside Villas, Barbados
Inchcape Seaside Villas comprises 13 rustic, beachy studio or apartment villas and is located in the Silver Sands neighborhood on the south coast of the island. Decorated with white couches and chairs, wood tables and desks, and white tile and brick, the units are both cozy and stylish. While they lack air-conditioning, large patios and balconies allow for nice breezes, and some units have canopied beds. The remote location may be a turn-off for some, but others find that the sleepy atmosphere and laid-back feel of the property -- which is dotted with hammocks -- provides the ultimate escape.
Costa Rica Yoga Spa
Costa Rica Yoga Spa is an intimate, all-inclusive, eight-room retreat set on a breezy mountaintop overlooking the distant Pacific and the protected Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Catering to yogis on group retreats, the hotel offers immaculate, although basic, bunk rooms with shared baths as well as more sophisticated suites with private baths and air-conditioning. Wellness is the focus for most guests, and they tend to spend time meditating, practicing yoga, enjoying massages, or writing in journals as they sway in the rope hammocks that line the terrace corridor outside the rooms.
Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
Through an innovative, open fourth wall, each of Jade's 29 enormous suites overlooks the sea from its chromatherapy-lit whirlpool tub, canopied bed, and private infinity pool. They may lack air-conditioning, but with 15-foot high ceilings, numerous ceiling fans, and a lovely ocean breeze, guests find they don't need it. Jade Mountain may be hard to reach, but most find its unwavering silence -- no TVs, radios, or kids -- worth it.
Encantada Beachfront Boutique Hotel, Riviera Maya
This small, service-oriented beachfront boutique has a quiet spot on the southern end of the Hotel Zone. The mid-range Encantada is strongly focused on preserving and sharing local culture, which it does in part by using regional artisanal goods throughout. All of the eight spacious rooms have exactly the same design, decor, and layout -- the only difference is the views: ocean view or garden view. Entrances are comprised of three large, floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to allow the natural sea breeze to cool them. While there is no air-conditioning in any of the units, each one has multiple fans that keep most guests happy. Center-stage in each is a king-size canopy bed, draped in mosquito netting, that appears to be hanging from its rope canopy.
Strawberry Hill, Jamaica
This former coffee plantation nestled among the steep and winding hills of Jamaica's famous Blue Mountain is a little oasis above the very un-resort-like city of Kingston. The resort offers plenty of intimacy and privacy, with just 12 cottages on more than 26 acres. While some lack air-conditioning, all come with private terraces or balconies accessed via lovely white shuttered doors, and four-poster beds are bedecked in gauzy mosquito netting. The resort also includes an expansive spa, a breezy restaurant and bar, a hilltop pool with panoramic vistas, lush gardens, and ample relaxation space.
Natura Cabanas, Dominican Republic
Natura Cabanas consists of just 10 stone-walled, thatched-roof bungalows. All are eco-sensitive, meaning light bulbs are energy efficient, and they lack TVs, phones, and air-conditioning. Thanks to plentiful ceiling fans and an ocean breeze that sweeps through the balconies and into the rooms, the vast majority of guests don't miss it. In keeping with the eco-sensitive theme, most of the furniture was constructed from the bamboo and coco palm trees that were cleared to construct the property.
Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, Florida Keys
Reachable only by boat or seaplane, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is located on a private island where wild key deer roam. It includes 30 luxurious suites, many with private oceanfront verandas, hammocks, outdoor showers and whirlpools, and even fire pits on the sand. Inside the villas, the living rooms feature tasteful, Tommy Bahama-style decor and side table with champagne chiller,s fresh fruit, and gourmet snacks. Bedrooms have four-poster beds, some of which are draped in white flowing fabric, and double doors open from the bedrooms to the porches.
Hotel Guanahani & Spa, St. Barts
Hotel Guanahani is a beautiful resort on the northeast side of St. Barts that attracts well-heeled guests and celebrities. The hotel offers 75 rooms and separate cottages, all of which feature airy terraces, colorful, beachy decor, and modern amenities such as large flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Large glass doors in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms open to lovely decks and patios, and some rooms even have private pools and ocean views.
The Atlantis Hotel, Barbados
If the name "Atlantis" conjures up images of the megaresort in the Bahamas, then think again. The Atlantis Hotel in Barbados -- a historic property from the 1800s with only eight rooms -- is the polar opposite. The boutique hotel re-opened in 2009 and offers freshly decorated nautical-themed rooms with canopy beds, stylish furnishings, and modern amenities. Many suites include oceanfront porches accessed via quaint shuttered French doors.