On The Road

Shore Winners

We pick seven beach houses built with style in mind. Just click “book”

  • Eraeliya Villas & Gardens, Weligama, Southern Province, Sri Lanka All images courtesy airbnb


It’s that time of year when we start to dream of waking to the sound of crashing surf, of morning dips in the ocean and lazy days on loungers, of playing happy Keanu on the breaks, of cocktails at sunset and barbecues, rounded off with heavy red-wine sleep (or is it just heat exhaustion?). For all of the above, you will need to find yourself a beach house. Luckily for you MR PORTER has done all the hard work and selected seven of the best currently available through our friends at Airbnb.

All you need to do now is assemble and pack up the necessaries – at the very minimum you should have beach wear, sun block, a good book and, if possible, a handsome dog. The rest is easy, just click “book”.

Santa Catarina, Brazil

  • Governador Celso Ramos and its private beach

No one does beach houses quite like the Brazilians, but then they do have an awful lot of beach to play with. This one is a fine, and relatively modest, example of tropical modernism, cantilevered over its own private beach and garden. The house is one of three set in four acres of national park and the entire set can be rented. Perfect if you want to invite a few friends along and make a real party of it. 

Governador Celso Ramos, £60 per night.

What to wear

Gustavia, St Barths

  • The view from the pool at Princess X

Known as “Princess X”, after a controversial piece by the early 20th-century Romanian sculptor Mr Constanin Brâncuşi, this property is a Caribbean retreat for the deeply design conscious. In the grand modernist tradition, Princess X is all sharp horizontal lines and white leather chairs. Should you need further convincing, there’s a private beach at the bottom of the garden, the water is stupidly blue and the sun almost never stops shining. It’s heaven.

Princess X, £701 per night.

What to wear

Phuket, Thailand

  • One of Villa Kalipay’s multiple lounging areas

Villa Kalipay enjoys quite a spot, set on the east coast of Cape Yamu, with the mountains of Phuket to the rear and views of the Andaman Sea and the islands of Koh Maphrao and Koh Rang Yai in front, these are best enjoyed from the master bedroom with the wrap-around glass doors. Lie back, take in the view and think how far you’ve come from rancid backpacks, pad thai on Khao San Road, and unbearably hot and ridiculously cheap beach huts on Koh Samui. 

Villa Kalipay, £1,167 per night.

What to wear

Riviera Maya, Mexico

  • Casa Ikal sits right by the Caribbean Ocean

Set within the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve (hello, wildlife), and 20 minutes from surf and wellbeing Mecca Tulum, Casa Ikal is understated luxury with environmental credentials. That doesn’t mean any kind of privation though – enjoy housekeeping, a butler, cook and 300ft of your own pristine seafront to splash about in. Designed by De Yturbe architects, the villa is heavy on the hardwood and marble but lean and airy in design and, thanks to solar power, sits lightly on the planet. 

Casa Ikal, £2,161 per night.

What to wear

Weligama, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

  • The tropical frontage at Eraeliya Villas & Gardens

The Eraeliya Villas are five luxurious beach retreats – differing in accommodations and neo-colonial grandiosity – set in lush gardens (monkeys, mongoose and iguanas included) and steps away from a private sandy beach, the Indian Ocean and a coral reef. There’s also decent surfing nearby and opportunities for whale watching… if you can be bothered to get off your lounger. 

Eraeliya Villas & Gardens, £628 per night.

What to wear

Maiori, Campania, Italy

  • Villa Luisa in Maiori is built over three levels

An astonishing mix of arches, ancient and modern, Villa Luisa matches aged creeping vines with contemporary concrete and clean lines. There’s minimal yet stylish furniture and an industrial-spec kitchen but the villa is really all about the outside terraces and the walk down to your private slice of the Amalfi coast. Should you actually wish to leave the villa, Positano – author Mr John Steinbeck’s “dream place” – is less than 30km away. 

Villa Luisa, £1,402 per night.

What to wear

Cape Town, South Africa

  • Luxus has some of the best views of the Mother City

Cape Town boasts a strip of spectacular beaches along its Atlantic coast, particularly at Clifton and Camps Bay, lined with glass-and-air modern houses and apartment blocks that climb the slopes of Lion’s Head and offer views of the looming peaks of the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean. Luxus is among the most impressive of these and the villa comes with its own gym, wine cellar and a bar big enough to entertain 100 of your friends. For a bit extra cash, you can also be tootled around in a Ferrari 458, complete with driver. We suggest a coastal trip south, past the white sands of Llandudno and Noordhoek beaches, ending with a seafood blowout at Kalk Bay’s Harbour House.

Luxus, £2,242 per night.

What to wear