The yachting lifestyle offers unparalleled escape from the crowds and access to obscure destinations – but often at a tradeoff for other creature comforts. After several days of confinement in close quarters, dining on whatever the ship’s kitchen can offer, and becoming over-familiar with the limited recreation the ship can provide, just about everyone craves a stretch on dry land. In coastal or island destinations, “yachties” are a familiar niche of traveler–and many of the finer private hotels encourage them to dock at the resort marina and avail themselves of guest facilities.
|St. Regis Bora Bora, South Pacific|
A room at this luxurious South Pacific hotel can easily cost upward of $600 a night, but a yacht slip is free of charge. Not only that, but yachties get complimentary access to communal facilities including tennis courts and pool.
|Montauk Yacht Club Resort, New York|
In summer, yacht owners can participate in the Hamptons social scene without being squeezed into a share rental or paying high season rates for a hotel rental – but it’s a best-of-both-world situation if they’re docked at this resort. Yachties get full run of communal facilities including private beach, all pools (indoor and outdoor), tennis courts and fitness center with sauna. They also can use the property WiFi, cable TV and laundry/shower facilities in the marina.
|Scrub Island, BVI|
Resort access and on-island amenities are available without a resort fee to those with yachts that pay the dockage rate. In addition to beach and multi-level pool access, resort-wide wi-fi and fitness center, this also includes use of the water trampoline and paddleboards. (Dockage rates now through October 31 $2.50 per ft. for boats over 50’ and $2.25 per ft for boats under 50’. For 2014/2015 high season, boats over 50’ pay $3.25 per ft.; boats under 50’ pay $3 per ft.)
|Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Turkey|
With many of Istanbul’s most glamorous venues built along the shore of the Bosphorus, it makes sense that marina facilities would need to be world-class. Ciragan Palace--a yacht-up resort in a former Ottoman palace—is distinguished by over-the-top services to match the sumptuous setting. Its signature yacht service is a fully catered champagne dinner for two. It also provides bottle service, “sunset date” romance offering, and staffs/caters private parties onboard yachts that are docked at the resort marina.
|Atlantis Marina, Paradise Island Bahamas|
A resort the size of a small town, with 63 slips in the marina that can accommodate mega-yachts, Atlantis is on par with any marina in the world – and offers services specialized for its elite guests. Marina guests can get room service to their vessel, laundry and dry cleaning, golf cart assistance on the dock for provisions transfer, and much more. For guests who want to visit hotel restaurants or the casino, transportation is provided.
|Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey, California|
The only hotel actually on the marina in Marina del Rey – AKA, the busiest yacht hub in Los Angeles – Ritz-Carlton is equally popular with boat-up passengers, locals who drove to this South Bay spot for scenic Happy Hour drinks, and out-of-towners staying at the hotel. Yacht slip renters get free WiFi. Of the rest of the communal spaces, the popular restaurant/bar is open to one and all, while the fitness center and bike rentals are special for hotel guests only.
|El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico|
People who rent one of the 35 yacht slips at “El Con’s” private marina get complimentary access to the resort’s private Palomino Island (offering white sand beaches, horseback riding and more). Other perks include free parking and access to the fitness center, plus preferred tee times at the resort’s golf course. Marina slips can accommodate boats size 30’-65’.
|Staniel Cay Yacht Club|
Originally built as a marina and yacht club, Staniel Cay became a hotel after evolving to service yachties. At the Yacht Club, your boat slip is a mere 15-second walk from the restaurant/bar. Most of the resort activities center around the water: boating, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. Nearby boat-up landmarks include Thunderball Grotto and the swimming pigs on Big Major Cay. This is one of the Bahamas’ most beloved resorts, and sure to be better after a full restaurant rebuild autumn 2014. (Note: hotel/restaurant will be closed during remodel.)
|Kona Kai Resort, San Diego California|
This is definitely the hotel for yachties visiting San Diego: closest to the open ocean, on the tiny curlicue of land called Shelter Island, with 520 boat slips that can accommodate sailboats up to 250-foot motor yachts. Marina guests get complimentary access to the fitness club, hotel pool, private beach, and parking. They also get discounts at the restaurant, on guest rooms if they decide to sleep on land for a change, and on car rentals through a hotel partner. Free WiFi available resort-wide.
|Toscana Resort Castelfalfi with Marina di Scarlino|
Guests get the best of two eras of royal treatment at this luxury villa hotel in a former Medici villa. Through a partnership with neighboring Marina di Scarlino (owned by Leonardo Ferragamo), hotel guests can access the marina beach club and get discounts at the marina spa and restaurant. Hotel perks for marina slip rentals are still TBD since this partnership is brand new, but this is still one for our boat-up bucket list.