From stunning scenery and seductive decor to Michelin-starred menus and sunset parties, the beach clubs in Europe have it all. Whether you’re on the Amalfi coast, the Côte d’Azur or in a secluded corner of Ibiza, these elegant spots are where the cool crowd hangs for long, leisurely lunches and twinkling evenings of cocktails and ambient beats. Here’s our edit of the most glamorous beach clubs in Europe
Glamorous Beach Clubs in Europe
Da Gioia by La Palma
Hotel La Palma, which dates to 1822, has long attracted visitors to Capri. It’s recently undergone a glittering transformation by Oetker Collection and the attention to detail is sublime. The 50 rooms – 18 of them suites – have been given the Francis Sultana touch with a chic palette, bespoke furniture and marble and bronze-lined ensuites.
Elsewhere, the designer pays homage to the island’s dolce vita lifestyle with bold artworks and huge potted palms. Gennaro’s restaurant, bar and terrace are under the helm of Neopolitan chef and Michelin star Gennaro Esposito – so too the rooftop hangout Bianca, a magnet for the sundowner crowd.
You’ll also find the cool kids ordering Italian spritzes in Da Gioia by La Palma in the Marina Piccola, surely one of the most glamorous beach clubs in Europe. Open to non-hotel guests as well – and accessible via private tender for neighbouring yachts – this is a place for long, languorous lunches that flow seamlessly into cocktails and dancing.
The menu has been devised by Gennaro and includes aubergine parmigiana, lobster pasta, and salt-crusted catch of the day. Afterwards, lie supine on one of the 42 sun loungers or swim it off in the turquoise waters. For push-the-boat-out, there’s also a separate private beach that can accommodate eight guests, with a dedicated team to cater to their every whim.
Maybourne La Plage
Côte d’Azur, France
If Slim Aarons was to hit the beach club, it would be here. Maybourne La Plage is retro glamour and then some. Mind you, it’s an offshoot of The Maybourne Riviera, so it’s hardly a surprise.
The modernist hotel, which perches over Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d’Azur, is the fifth property from the Maybourne Group (Claridges, The Berkeley et al) – and it’s the pinnacle of luxury. The 69 rooms and suites are immaculately presented, the restaurants are headed up by Mauro Colagreco and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the cocktail bar is seriously cool.
The beach club shares the same glistening Mediterranean views as the hotel. They’ll arrange a car or Mini Moke to take you there or you can walk, plus it’s also accessible by boat. As you disembark on the wooden pontoon, the golden era of the French Riviera comes alive. Think driftwood pergolas, rattan furniture, fringed umbrellas and sun loungers in a soft coral and orange that bring to mind icy buckets of rosé. Indeed, the valets are on hand to ensure you have everything you need, Whispering Angel included.
The restaurant, which has the same effortless aesthetic, offers an informal seasonal menu. Masterminded by Colagreco, expect the likes of linguine alle vongole, grilled lobster and octopus, burrata and a reimagined version of the decadent brioche-and-cream Tropezienne. DJ sets and live music add to the perfection.
La Réserve à la Plage
Saint Tropez, France
For bohemian chic, it must be La Réserve à la Plage. After all, not many beach clubs can claim to have been designed by Philippe Starck. The French architect and designer has created one of Saint-Tropez’s most exclusive seafront destinations, drawing on Pampelonne beach as inspiration.
It may have impeccable credentials, but the vibe is super relaxed. Days here are spent sunbathing, nibbling chef Nicolas Cantrel’s exquisite take on tapas and browsing the concept boutique. In the evening, the tempo ramps up and the Champagne flows as guests get in the mood for St Trop’s nightlife.
This summer, the beach club has collaborated with Loro Piana, bringing Italian luxury to the French Riviera. Furnishings are upholstered in Loro Piana Interiors outdoor fabrics with the brand’s multi-striped motif adorning everything from parasols to beach towels, even making an appearance in the bar-restaurant.
The shop currently stocks the Loro Piana Summer Resort 2023 Collection, so you’ll find everything you need from straw hats and swimsuits to handmade linen beach bags in the signature Suitcase Stripe.
Marinella Beach Club
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Perched high above the lemon-scented Amalfi coast, Borgo Santandrea overlooks the ancient fisherman’s hamlet of Conca dei Marini, with views of the endless sea beyond.
The family-run hotel has 30 rooms and 19 expansive suites, set amongst the prettiest of gardens and bougainvillaea-covered terraces. Each one is a lesson in mid-century design, incorporating handmade tiles, bespoke furniture and eclectic antiques. The three restaurants offer a Mediterranean menu, while Aperol Spritzes and sunsets are a given at the bar.
The hotel is home to Marinella Beach Club, once a former 19th century boat house and now a vibrant hub open from midday to midnight. It’s set right on the private beach of Borgo Santandrea (this is one of the few hotels on the Amalfi coast to have one), where guests flit from the blue-and-white striped beach huts to their sunlounger to the restaurant – and back again.
Executive Chef Crescenzo Scotti has created the beachside menu which is now served both at lunchtime and in the evenings. The Neapolitan street food bites deserve a special mention. As the sun sets, don’t miss the ‘Apertivie all’ Italiana’ nights – the perfect excuse to order drinks, a seafood platter and kick back as the DJ spins chilled-out tunes.
Blue Beach Club & Bar at Mandarin Oriental
2023 looks to be the year of the beach club collaboration as Mandarin Oriental Bodrum welcomes Louis Vuitton for the season with a pop-up store and redesign of the resort’s iconic Blue Beach Club & Bar. The hotel sits in one of the most beautiful spots on the Turkish Riviera, hugging Paradise Bay, and has two private beaches.
The resort itself is spread over 60 hectares on a hillside that’s surrounded by centuries-old olive and pine trees, with the 128 rooms, suites, villas and apartments all having a terrace or balcony to soak up the views.
Though there’s a gorgeous swimming pool, it is the beach club and pop-up store that are the summer highlight. Louis Vuitton motifs have been stencilled onto parts of the facade of the beach club, as well as the wooden walkway across the sand to the water.
Meanwhile, the store decor has been inspired by the maison’s new By The Pool collection, with interiors incorporating natural materials and a fresh blue-and-white palette referencing the local architecture, as well as the concept of leisurely, unhurried days. Prise yourself away from your LV lounger to browse the rails of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, as well as accessories and fragrances. The collaboration coincides with the launch of a new guide to Bodrum as part of the Summer Resorts Louis Vuitton City Guide series.
Scorpios Mykonos is a beachside lair on the southernmost tip of the island that’s been welcoming a laidback crowd to its beaches, terraces, restaurant, music lounge and bar since 2015. Earthy tones, natural materials and artisan-made furnishings set the rustic-chic tone.
By day, you can take part in yoga, sound baths, shamanic ceremonies or pop into the new pop-up Sun Shop from sustainable London-based brand Nanushka. Or simply lie on loungers beneath the Cycladic sun. The open-air, open-plan restaurant is helmed by Alexis Zopas, who presents a Mediterranean-Oriental menu, serving platters of seafood ceviche or ouzo-stewed shrimp and avocado tzatziki designed to be shared amongst friends.
But what is so special about Scorpios is its summer cultural programme, which showcases talent from around the world. One evening you might hear a band that blends traditional Greek instruments with electronic beats, another it could be a mash-up of jungle-inspired house and music of the Yucatán Peninsula.
New for this year is Encounters which launches with art programme In Resonance, inviting contemporary artists to come together with musicians to engage with guests around digital art across installations, live performances, and bespoke music compositions. It should, perhaps, come as no surprise that in 2019 Scorpios joined forces with style stalwarts Soho House. Members now have priority booking as well as exclusive access to the nearby Soho Roc House, the hotel and members’ club by Soho House, which reopened after a makeover in summer 2020.
Ibiza is the spiritual home of the beach club and El Chiringuito is one of the White Isle’s best. It’s set on Es Cavallet, a picturesque white sand beach with views of both Ibiza Town and Formentera on a clear day. Scenery aside, it’s the restaurant which is the major player.
Guests sit at simple wooden tables beneath a raffia awning to feast on a menu that’s a seamless blend of Ibicencan, Italian, French, Greek and Lebanese courtesy of head chef Jérome Palayer and his team. Blissed-out beats by the resident DJs provide the perfect backdrop.
The beach is dotted with huge sunbeds that can easily fit three and offer views of the crystal-clear waters and the yachts bobbing gently in the far distance. Discreet, ever-attentive staff weave their way amongst the loungers, serving up dishes from the restaurant and an extensive array of cocktails from Coco & Chilli Mojitos to the Ginger Seatrus, a heady mix of gin, five spice infusion, guava puree, grapefruit juice, lime, and agave. There’s even a dedicated area for kids, Little Chiringuitos.