The Guesthouse Option

Go small at three hot spots known for big resorts


Cocoperle, Ahe Atoll, Tuamotu Islands

Honeymooners head to French Polynesia’s all-inclusive resorts, but a growing number of pensions provide traditional lodgings and a chance to learn about local life. Cocoperle and 19 other pensions have even partnered with Air Tahiti Nui to offer packages that include airfare. Go fishing, visit a pearl farm, and then retire to one of Cocoperle’s four bungalows, fragrant with flowers. From $153 per person per night.


Hotel La Semilla, Playa del Carmen

In the midst of the Riviera Maya’s busy tourist scene, this nine-room inn feels like a private hacienda. The sandy Caribbean beach is just two blocks away. Owners Alexis Schärer and Angie Rodriguez hope guests will feel at home— if only home came with warm Mexican sunshine, a garden hammock swinging under copal trees, an outdoor terrace with panoramic ocean and jungle views, and chocolates on your pillow. From $200.


TME Guesthouses, Dhigurah Island, South Ari Atoll

Famed for fabulous beaches and glamorous resorts that cater to the likes of Kate and Will, this Indian Ocean nation recently legalized village-based lodging, such as this 17-room inn with its simple rooms and open-air dining. Spend the day watching whale sharks or swimming with manta rays, then relax on a jolie (the ubiquitous Maldivian version of a park bench) to socialize with the locals at sunset. From $50.

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