1. Bayside Bar
Where: Sugar Beach, St Lucia
Best known for: Being open for service from 9am
Bayside Bar is on the premises of the Sugar Beach resort, and is one of the most popular hangouts in the area. This part of St Lucia is busier than other areas and is located near the Piton Falls and Fond Doux Holiday Plantation. While the bar is a great place to experience a Caribbean sunset, it is also a fab spot to chill for the day. The bar opens at 9am and closes at 11pm, giving you more than enough time to soak in the true island life. It also serves amazing tapas: try the stuffed piquillo peppers and shrimp sambal focaccia.
2. Nikki Beach
Where: Miami, USA
Best known for: Wild parties
Nikki Beach is like an outdoor fantasyland that comes along with tiki bars, Survivor-like torches and lots of beautiful people. This is where the rich and famous hang out. It’s a restaurant and beach club, and turns into a club and lounge area when the party moves inside. Sundays have been nicknamed ‘Amazing Sundays’ and the venue closes at 3am. Of course, the ocean is right there, so in between dancing, eating and enjoying the high life, you can take a dip. Mimosas are the order of the day and the French toast here is a must-try.
Location: Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA
Best known for: Live entertainment
You’re on the beach in Hawaii, enjoying a pineapple martini and listening to local performers singing. And then there’s a stage show and you get to witness an extraordinary hula performance. Life probably can’t get better than this. While the beach bar does serve food (there’s lots of fresh seafood), the huge cocktail menu is just begging for a sampling. Most of the drinks have touches of rum and coconut, which will definitely put you in the holiday mood.
Where: Watsons Bay, Sydney, Australia
Best known for: Its history
This is certainly Australia’s most famous beach bar as it has been open for over five generations – it started in 1885 as the country’s first seafood restaurant. It’s got the perfect location, right on the foreshore of Watsons Bay, and overlooks the iconic Sydney Harbour. Fresh seafood is the name of the game and with Doyles open seven days a week, there’s no excuse not to make a stop here. Also, you can’t go wrong with a standard fish and chips along with an ice-cold beer.
5. Rock Bar
Where: Bali, Indonesia
Best known for: Its stunning views
Rock Bar is located on top of prominent rock formations along Jimbaran’s coast and is globally recognised as one of the best beach bars. You’ll have sweeping views of the coast from 14m above the Indian Ocean while being wowed by the magnificence of the nearby rocks. Thanks to low lighting, star-gazing here is really special and makes for a romantic night out. The venue opens at 4pm, but bookings over the peak sunset period are reserved for guests staying in The Villas at Ayana Resort. Dinner starts at 7pm and there’s always a line. Remember to dress smart; no casual wear is allowed.
6. Baba Nest
Where: Phuket, Thailand
Best known for: Sunset drinks
Located in one of Phuket’s most exclusive hotels, the Sri Panwa Phuket, Baba Nest is considered one of the best places in the world to chill out and watch the sunset. The flat-deck platform-style bar is in an infinity pool and has endless views of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding islands. The cocktails are Asian-inspired and we’d recommend a lychee martini or sake-based concoction. The bar is open to all, but a booking is recommended to ensure you get your spot. It is only open from 5pm to 9pm and there is a minimum spending of 500 baht (US$15) per hotel guest and 1,000 baht each for the public.
Where: Paternoster, South Africa
Best known for: Its quaint charm
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages in the Western Cape area of South Africa, located about 140km from Cape Town. Its white sandy beaches and small community will leave you with some of the most special memories. The Voorstrandt Restaurant is in a 114-year-old red-and-green tin house situated on the beach. It specialises in fish dishes and is most famous for its Malay seafood curry. Bookings are essential, especially for dinner. If you make it for sunset, besides the glorious view, you might just catch a glimpse of whales in the distance.
Where: Hvar, Croatia
Best known for: Famous faces
During the day, it’s the perfect spot to catch some rays while relaxing by the Adriatic Sea. Come 5pm, the bar turns into a massive dance party with DJs. It’s got a distinctly Ibiza-like feel to it, but is more low-key. Well, that’s until you bump into Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who have both been seen having a drink at the venue. It gets packed and raucous, and is the perfect place if you’re looking to party with locals.
Where: Mallorca, Spain
Best known for: Its picturesque location
Run by Swedish entrepreneur Mats Wahlström, this beautiful property probably looks familiar because it’s been featured so many times in magazines and on TV. Of course, because of this fame, the venue attracts the wealthy and beautiful. Purobeach Palma also offers spa treatments and yoga sessions and at night, you might just bump into your downward-dog friend while dancing around the large pool to live music from the DJ.
Where: Cannes, France
Best known for: Ultra-glamorous guests
Cannes is filled with celebrities everywhere and there is no better place to people-watch than the glamorous ZPlage pier bar located on the private beach of the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez, considered one of the most iconic beaches of the Boulevard de la Croisette promenade. Champers is a must – clink glasses under white umbrellas while taking in the ocean air. If you’re planning on hanging around, book a sun lounger ahead of time; do note that there is a rental fee. Zplage closes every winter – this year from October 8 – and will reopen in April 2018.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
PHOTOS: SUGAR BEACH A VICEROY RESORT FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, LAVA LAVA BEACH CLUB FACEBOOK, AYANA RESORT AND SPA BALI, SRI PANWA FACEBOOK, HULA HULA HVAR FACEBOOK, GRAND HYATT CANNES, PUROBEACH PALMA FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.