Best Waterfront Hotel (2021)


Whether by a lake or the sea, there's something special about vacationing on the waterfront. Each of these waterfront properties sets the scene for a memorable and relaxing vacation. 

  • Acqualina Resort & Residences

    Acqualina Resort & Residences
    Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.

    Located on the Florida Riviera, this award-winning Miami resort's setting resembles an all-inclusive villa, with a vast tropical beachfront and luxurious extras like fresh fruit and homemade biscotti delivered to the rooms, a marine biology-based children's program and heavenly spa access. Lavish accommodations boast stunning views, while three pools add to the appeal.
    Photo courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Residences

  • Mirror Lake Inn

    Mirror Lake Inn
    Lake Placid, N.Y.

    Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa sits directly on the banks of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, just one block away from Main Street, making it an ideal base for exploring the Upstate town's Olympic heritage. Guests have free reign of indoor and outdoor pools, a private sandy beach, tennis court, fitness center and a boat house equipped with paddle boards, kayaks, row boats and canoes.
    Photo courtesy of Mirror Lake Inn

  • The Don CeSar

    The Don CeSar
    St. Petersburg, FL

    If you dream of lounging on a white sandy beach watching an unobstructed view of the sun setting across the Gulf of Mexico, you belong at the Don CeSar Resort. This flamingo-pink palace has been a landmark in St. Petersburg, Florida, since the Roaring Twenties. Now with 277 rooms and suites with two pools, plus 71 all-suite beach houses a half-mile up the coast for more extended stays, this is your dream come true.
    Photo courtesy of The Don CeSar

  • Ocean House

    Ocean House
    Watch Hill, R.I.

    Set atop a bluff overlooking the sea in Watch Hill, Ocean House offers an iconic New England seaside experience, complete with a full-service spa, Forbes Five Star-rated restaurant, a private beach with butler service, croquet lawn and squash courts. Daily resort activities include classes at the Center for Wine & Culinary Arts, movie screenings, sports clinics, morning fitness programs and guided tours of the resort property.
    Photo courtesy of Ocean House

  • Halekulani Hotel

    Halekulani Hotel

    A stay in Honolulu doesn't get much better than at the waterfront Halekulani, a luxury property in Waikiki that enjoys unobstructed views of Diamond Head. Resort guests can practice yoga on the beach, dine by the heated pool or indulge in a treatment at one of Oahu's best spas.
    Photo courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World

  • Turtle Bay Resort

    Turtle Bay Resort
    Oahu, HI

    From humpback whales and surfing to horseback riding on five miles of beaches, the ocean is never far away from Turtle Bay Resort. The ocean surrounds the main hotel, consisting of three wings on a small peninsula that provides all 410 rooms and suites with an ocean view. The resort includes another 42 beach cottages and ocean villas, and 1400 acres to explore on the North Shore of O Ľahu.
    Photo courtesy of slobo // Getty Images

  • Inn by the Sea

    Inn by the Sea
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    The Inn by the Sea, south of Portland, Maine, offers a mile of unspoiled beach at Crescent Bay and the best of New England comfort and hospitality. With only 61 guestrooms, a five-acre garden, and a pristine setting, you'll enjoy the tranquility of the white sand and the ocean without the crowds.
    Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts

  • Congress Hall

    Congress Hall
    Cape May, N.J.

    Congress Hall, established in 1816, calls itself America’s oldest seaside resort. The hotel in the heart of Victorian Cape May began as a modest boarding house and has since become a popular summer escape. The original owner, Thomas H. Hughes, was elected to Congress in 1828, and he renamed the hotel to its current name in honor of this new position.
    Photo courtesy of Cape Resorts

  • Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

    Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

    Waikiki's first resort hotel opened in 1901 and is at the heart of the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu, Hawaii. The "First Lady of Waikiki" commands center stage on Hawaii's most famous beach and gives her guests the best access and views with Victorian charm. Enjoy your view of the ocean from the beach bar under the famous 75-foot tall Indian Banyan tree, planted in 1904, that spans 150 feet across the courtyard.
    Photo courtesy of Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

  • White Elephant

    White Elephant
    Nantucket, Mass.

    A blissful waterfront getaway in Nantucket starts at the White Elephant, a historic and luxurious harbor hotel with 66 rooms, suites and cottages (many with harbor views). Guests can lounge in the lawn overlooking the harbor, grab a drink at the BPG Bar, enjoy a sunset lobster dinner or walk to some of Nantucket's top attractions, like the nearby Brant Point Lighthouse.
    Photo courtesy of White Elephant

The top 10 winners in the category Best Waterfront Hotel are as follows:
  1. Acqualina Resort & Residences - Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
  2. Mirror Lake Inn - Lake Placid, N.Y.
  3. The Don CeSar - St. Petersburg, FL
  4. Ocean House - Watch Hill, R.I.
  5. Halekulani Hotel - Honolulu, HI
  6. Turtle Bay Resort - Oahu, HI
  7. Inn by the Sea - Cape Elizabeth, Maine
  8. Congress Hall - Cape May, N.J.
  9. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa - Honolulu, HI
  10. White Elephant - Nantucket, Mass.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning hotels!

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Kyle McCarthy

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Marla Cimini

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Anne Dimon

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