Wake up beside the sea in one of these value-for-money rentals, including a surf pad in Bali, a family-friendly bungalow in Queensland and a cottage for walkers in Wales
All of the below cost under £150pp per week, based on full occupancy in low season. See Saturday’s Guardian for our beach house special: 100 of the best rentals for 2014
Warung Deeksha, Bingin, Bali, Indonesia
Good for surfing cooks
Cost from £595 a week
The Brazilian owner of this light-filled house above the sand called it Warung Deeksha when he built it in 2008. A warung is a family-owned business and deeksha means blessing. Surfers will enjoy watching beach breaks from the comfort of their beds, while other guests may be satisfied with the panoramic sea views. There are large outdoor decks, foldable doors that open the place to the elements, and a superb kitchen. It’s accessed by 108 steps, so if you weren’t fit when you arrive, you will be when you leave.
Good for walkers and wild swimmers
Sleeps six (two doubles, one bunk room)
Cost from £466 a week
Walk out of the front door of this cottage and you are on your own sandy shale beach. Built in typical Pembrokeshire style – whitewashed with thick stone walls and low-beamed ceilings – it was used as the home of Rosie Probert (played by Elizabeth Taylor) in the film of Under Milk Wood. Modern introductions include a hot tub in a cabin with sea views, and a woodburning stove. Situated just off the Pembrokeshire coastal path, it is ideal for walkers or anyone keen on rockpooling, swimming and feasting on locally grown mussels.
• 0844 5005 101, underthethatch.co.uk/penyparrog
The Waterhouse, Koh Yao Noi, Thailand
Good for water-babies
Cost from £284 a week
A soothing soundtrack of bobbing fishing boats, panoramic sea views, and sublime sunsets are in store at this over-water holiday house on one of Thailand’s least developed islands, Koh Yao Noi or Little Long Island. Located midway between Phuket and Krabi, and accessible by boat from both, the traditional timber-stilted house is typical of the architecture of the Muslim south. Low tide reveals mud flats, but it’s a short amble to a fine swimming beach.
The Beach House, Dahab, Egypt
Good for water sports enthusiasts
Cost from £372 a week
This is a good example of the type of self-catering property it’s now possible to book through Tripadvisor – mixing recycled furniture with Egyptian art and driftwood. Its walled garden with hammocks for chilling out in leads on to the beach. There are seafront restaurants and a market two minutes’ walk away, or you can have locally-caught fish and Bedouin bread delivered.
• No phone, tripadvisor.co.uk
Pavilion, Kovalam, Kerala, India
Good for sundowner-sipping couples
Cost from £700 a week (£350 for one floor)
Sink into the cane chairs on the marble balconies in the evenings to sip cold beers and enjoy the cool breeze as you gaze at the Arabian Sea. In a coconut grove overlooking Samudra beach, the two-storey property is split into two apartments with spacious rooms and decent kitchens, which can be rented separately or together. Kovalam’s cream sand beaches are the main attraction (the famous Lighthouse beach is nearby), but Kerala’s tranquil backwaters are two hours away.
Straddie Bungalows, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia
Good for budget-conscious families
Sleep 6-8, including bunks or sofabeds
Cost from £417 a week
With thatched roofs and woven-bamboo walls, these Robinson Crusoe huts, an hour from downtown Brisbane, look as if they’ve blown in from a Pacific island. The five no-frills cabins share a pool and playground and sit in bushland where koalas snooze and lorikeets screech. Amity Beach is safe for swimming; a 10-minute drive brings you to Main and Cylinder beaches, two of Queensland’s premium surf spots.
• +61 07 3409 7017, straddiebungalows.com.au
Las Palmeras, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Good for: playful children (and adults)
Cost £760 a week
This tangerine-coloured home, in a former coconut plantation north of pretty Puerto Vallarta, is made for groups wanting to create the perfect family idyll. You walk through tropical gardens to a pristine beach for hammock-swinging, sandcastle-building and swimming on a safe shelf beach. Or there’s a pool with a shallow end. There are board games, beach toys, boogie boards and buckets, and there’s surfboard and kayak hire nearby. A turtle reserve releases baby turtles into the wild here in winter; in summer they return to lay their eggs. Interiors are classic Mexican chic: tiled floors, crisp linens, and exuberant colours. A cook can be arranged for $30pp a day extra (kids $10-20), including food.
• + 1 212 905 6065, kidandcoe.com/destinations/mexico
Shore Cottages, Berriedale, Caithness
Good for a remote getaway
Sleeps Two (cottage one); six (cottage two)
Weekly cost from £179 (cottage one) or £471 (cottage two)
Built in the 1840s to house four fishermen and their families, this terrace of cottages was abandoned when fishing went into decline. The Landmark Trust has since reconfigured the row into two cottages: one at the original size, sleeping two, and the other three knocked through to sleep six. Reached by a footbridge, the front doors open directly on to the beach known as The Shore. Both have tongue-and-groove panelling and plump armchairs to sink into after a day exploring Mull.
• landmarktrust.org.uk, 01628 825925
Villa Jarrow, Barbados
Good for Caribbean luxe on the cheap
Cost from £854 a week
This charming three-bedroom Victorian villa is gingerbread-pretty and perfect for an extended family looking to experience classic Barbados without the high price. Skylights in the bedroom mean you can sleep under the moonlight. From the kitchen, deck and living space there are princely sea views – great for observing the rituals of island life, especially if you want to snaffle something for dinner from the fishermen. Half Moon Bay is packed with snorkelling, scuba and windsurfing centres, reef-protected and excellent for day and night swimming.
• no phone, homeaway.co.uk
Folly Beach House, Folly Beach, South Carolina
Good for hearty families and groups of friends
Cost from £1,333 a week
It may be only a 20-minute drive from Charleston, but Folly Beach’s surf stores and pizza joints make it feel much further from the famously precious city. The Folly is for crews of surfers and swimmers who can appreciate this stilted home’s bright decor and bargain price. It’s spacious and modern, with two porches for taking in the Atlantic views. While the screened-in lower deck is a godsend for escaping mosquitos on summer evenings, the half-covered upper deck is a good sunbathing spot.
Riviera Villa, Latchi, Cyprus
Good for families with under-fives
Cost from £600 a week
It may be Ikea’d up to the nines, but this house has been kitted out with exactly what you need if you have toddlers in tow, with wipe-clean furniture and a pool that can be watched from almost every room. Through the arbor at the end of the garden lies the Blue Flag shingle-and-sand Latchi beach, with excellent swimming and a handful of tavernas.
• no phone, beachlets.co.uk
Spahouse 579, Skallerup, Denmark
Good for multi-generation gatherings
Cost from £1,238 a week
When the Danish do Center Parcs-style resorts, this is what you get: an adventure-filled camp by the heather-covered dunes of the remote Jutland peninsula. The wooden lodges are basic but functional, with tongue-and-groove walls, easy-to-sweep floors (for the pitter-patter of sandy feet) and plenty of natural light. Request Spahouse 579, closest to the water, and you can hear the waves crash at night. Go on blustery walks, ride the stout ponies, splash about in the indoor waterpark, or cycle the coastal paths. For grown-ups, there’s a terrific spa.
• skallerup.dk, +45 9924 8400
Beach House, Concarneau, Brittany, France
Good for surfers and sailors
Cost from £495 a week
This bleached, wood-clad, grey-and-white bolthole is just feet from the sands of Plage des Sables Blanc, north of Concarneau, with a south-west-facing beach terrace that’s a great suntrap. This shallow stretch of Atlantic swings from millpond to wild and windy, and is great for surfing and sailing. Go crabbing, kayaking or ride the bicycles provided to market to gather picnic feasts.
• no phone, thebeachhousefrance.wordpress.com
Estrella do Mar, Tofo, Mozambique
Good for style lovers on a budget
Cost from £1,099 a week
It’s not easy to find houses that marry style, affordability and location but Tofo Villa ticks all the boxes. Inside, this stilted, four-bedroom property is all wood panelling, handmade throws and plantation shutters (though no Wi-Fi, which you can get at the scuba place two doors up if you must). Outside, there are massive decks, a pool and a gas-fired braai (barbecue). If you don’t fancy cooking, the former village of Tofo, a popular but laid-back resort with sandy-floored bars and restaurants is a short walk up the road.
• +27 82 942 2611, tofovilla.com
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis
Good for experiencing life in a crofting village
Sleeps two (Taigh Thormoid); five (Taigh Glass and Taigh an t-Seòladair); 16 (Taigh Lata)
Cost three nights £153-£578, depending on house
This village of traditional stone houses, once occupied by a crofting community, has been restored as self-catering accommodation (the four rental houses are named after former occupants) just a few steps from a pebbly beach and the mighty Atlantic. With double drystone walls and roofed with turf thatch, they were built to withstand the Scottish weather and make a historically interesting and comfortable, rather than luxurious, place to stay.
• 01851 643416, gearrannan.com
Good for adventure-minded families
Cost from £270 per week
This two-bedroom villa has its own private sun terrace for looking out over the empty beaches on the edge of the desert, 75 miles south of Agadir. The beach can be explored on horseback; back at the complex, there are swimming pools and tennis courts.
• No phone, alphaholidaylettings.com