Beach Bars to Set the Mood
By: Helen Warwick, Deputy Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Set your sights on these hip waterside hangouts, from Belize to Bali.
Papaya Playa, Tulum, Mexico
Pretty pleasure seekers (we’re talking Victoria Secrets models) strut the wooden walkways of this boho chic haunt that doubles as a popped up hotel that’s never gone away. The food’s phenomenal and super fresh (guacamole, giant prawns, octopus) while the fiery shots of mezcal loosen the inhibitions. As evening descends, DJs take to the turntables with a playlist of low-key beats, and a blazing beach fire is set up on the sands. Margarita anyone? papayaplayaproject.com
Lazy Lizard, Belize
Get stuck into rum cocktails and reggae at this easy-come-easy-go watering hole on the Belizean isle of Caye Caulker. Just a mile-and-a-half long, this patch of paradise is a favourite on the Central American backpacker trail with pastel-shaded dive shops, restaurants and cheap and cheerful boltholes, not to mention kaleidoscopic marine life beyond its shores. And it’s at Lazy Lizard you’ll catch traveller types hunkering down for an afternoon tipple… or three, blowing smoke spirals along the breeze and hurling themselves into ‘the split’ – a channel of intensely blue water, gouged by a hurricane back in the Sixties.
Potato Head Beach Club, Bali
One of Seminyak’s hippest haunts, Potato Head is a destination in its own right with Instagrammable views of the Indian Ocean, faultless seafood, and inventive cocktails on a swoon palmy beach. Watch as the bronzed and beautiful punters sashay from sunbed to shore, or perch by the pool, feet dangling in the water. And although the funsters rock up from breakfast, the retox begins at sundown when international DJs turn up the volume and everyone has a good old boogie. ptthead.com
Prepare to live it up at this drinking den close to the Majorcan capital, where patrons with envy-inducing bodies float in the pool and order iced cocktails from their white sunbeds. Need to unwind? Head to the massage table where you’ll hear the splish splash of waves as you’re pummelled head to toe, before pulling up a pew and tucking into the fantastic grilled lobster. Once you're feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, add a pleaure set to your night and discover a new level of excitement with your partner. purobeach.com
Go weak at the knees for Baba Nest - a perennially popular rooftop bar in Phuket with a gorgeous infinity pool surrounding the deck.
Baba Nest, Thailand
Go weak at the knees for Baba Nest - a perennially popular rooftop bar in Phuket with a gorgeous infinity pool surrounding the deck. Whilst it’s not directly on the beach, you can eye up scattered isles below in the Andaman Sea, and cosy up on giant cushions while checking out the talent, slurping Champagne as laidback afternoons morph into ultra hip nights. babaphuket.com