Shore up your next getaway

Beach Tomato's Tom Marchant shares which off-the-beaten-path beaches to jet to this summer.

Beach season is marked by freedom, simplicity and the kind of deep exhale that is only possible in the vicinity of sand and surf. And it is upon us. “There is something very primal and elemental about the beach," says Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury beach travel site BeachTomato. "The end of our lands, the edges of oceans that lead to new places and new adventures. It makes people feel wistful, excited, relaxed and disconnected.”

Of course, the universality of beach-induced bliss means that you won't be the only one claiming a plot of sand. Not to worry. As your hometown beach gets increasingly more overrun, consider Marchant's criteria — and suggestions — for a far-flung shore worth discovering. “I like to feel that the beach I am enjoying is as it was created," he says, "Natural, raw, undeveloped. Where the earth meets the ocean and you get to play, relax, dream, escape and more along that special edge." Click through the slideshow above for Marchant's top picks for escaping a host of Equinox cities. Then, book a trip. The special edge awaits.

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  • The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

    The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

    Who should go: Intrepid explorers from Toronto

    The beach brief: "Riddled with culture, history and local pride, the British Virgin Islands, to me, are about so much more than just a beach holiday. The out-of-this-world diving and snorkelling, the miles upon miles of (perhaps) un-trodden treks and the cavernous caves begging to be explored are what really get my heart pumping. The Baths themselves are a geological wonder comprised of awe-inspiring granite boulders forming scenic grottoes that are open to the sea. If the adventurous mood takes you, try your hand at bouldering (just like rock climbing but without the ropes)."

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  • Anjuna Beach, Goa

    Anjuna Beach, Goa

    Who should go: Laidback-cool San Franciscans

    The beach brief: "The soft sands and swaying palms of Anjuna Beach do provide the perfect backdrop for a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, but it is the collision of beach and beats that makes it a unique destination. The intoxicating live music, camp fires and Trance Trips are genuinely hypnotizing. Coined the party capital of Goa, the full-moon (acid house) parties are not to be missed, nor is the legendary flea market on Wednesdays. You can pick up a traditional trinket, elephant ride or even a haircut. Anjuna has a party culture that is as authentic as it gets."

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  • Maenam Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

    Maenam Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

    Who should go: Detox-seeking Londoners

    The beach brief: "To Londoners, Thailand usually means full-moon parties and gap years. However, there is another side to discover, one that is perfect for escaping the stresses and strains of London living. A wealth of luxurious villas and spa retreats offer everything from fasting to yoga to wellness programs. Koh Samui has long been favored by Buddhist monks as a sanctuary for spiritual retreat and I can see why. The white sands, billowing palms and clear green seas have a great way of leaving you feeling stretched, massaged, cocooned and relaxed."

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  • Cala Agulla Beach, Mallorca

    Cala Agulla Beach, Mallorca

    Who should go: Sport-seeking Chicagoans

    The beach brief: "I truly believe the best way to get to know a place is to get completely lost. That's how I got to know the natural, raw Mallorca — one of olive groves, almond trees and lemon orchards. Hiking, climbing, sailing and cycling are all big over there, the rugged mountain tracks are a favorite of Bradley Wiggins. Luxury villas hug the dramatic sea cliffs, offering the perfect place to siesta after a long day. Plus the only wind you’ll get here is the sea breeze."

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  • Pinks Sands, Barbuda

    Pinks Sands, Barbuda

    Who should go: Washingtonians looking to escape it all

    The beach brief:  "It’s hard to find ‘best kept secrets’ when it comes to beaches anymore, but this one has largely remained hidden from view. Beaches, for me, should be bereft of bars or development. I like to feel the beach at its rawest. The rosy shores of Pink Sands exist just as nature intended them to — breathtakingly beautiful. With eight miles of swaying palms and petal-colored sands, you can walk for hours without encountering another footprint. Pristine natural surroundings, uninterrupted privacy and unsurpassed hospitality make this stretch of sand an ideal spot for those looking for seclusion."

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  • Plage de Pampelonne, St Tropez

    Plage de Pampelonne, St Tropez

    Who should go: Sophisticated Dallas dwellers

    The beach brief: "St Tropez may be home to the jet-setting elite but it offers much more than just models and millionaires (charming little villages, designer boutiques and gastronomical delights among them). Visit the Parish Church in the old village where there is a bust of St Tropez himself — a Roman soldier beheaded for Christianity. Chartering a yacht is a given, but I recommend the seven-mile beach walk to experience a wilder and lesser known side of the French Riviera."

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