PlansMatter.com/Lannoo Publishers

A new book spotlights 50 hidden gems across the globe, from New Zealand to Costa Rica.

By Marisa Spyker

Among the checklist of qualities one might seek when booking a vacation escape, ocean views are pretty high up there. And while all ocean views typically garner a seal of approval in our books, there’s still a line between the beautiful and the just plain breathtaking.

Travel journalist Sebastiaan Bedaux recently scoured the globe in search of the take-your-breath-away variety, stumbling on gems from a gravity-defying contemporary cottage in Australia to a charming lighthouse overlooking the North Sea. Take a peek inside the new tome Ocean View: The Perfect Holiday Homes to see some of our personal faves:

VillaAmanzi.com/Lannoo Publishers

Villa Amanzi Kamala: Phuket, Thailand

This contemporary hideaway enjoys the tranquility of Thailand’s piercing blue seas along with the luxuries of a five-star resort (private chef included!). In addition to the outdoor living spaces, views are best enjoyed from the home’s 50-foot pool. “In Villa Amanzi Kamala, the indoor and outdoor harmoniously flow into  each  other,” writes Bedaux. “Even with the glass partitions closed and the air-conditioning on, the main living and dining room feel like an extension of the tropical surroundings.”

Simon Devitt/Lannoo Publishers

Seascape: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Set on a 16-square-kilometer farm, this hidden gem has beautiful bay views all to itself. It’s crafted of local materials, including rock quarried right near the site and an earth-tufted roof. The private locale, coupled with luxe amenities like a Jacuzzi, fireplace, and king-size bed, make this tiny cottage the perfect lovers’ retreat.

Related: For Sale: A Glass-Walled Architectural Masterpiece with Stunning Ocean Views:

Lannoo Publishers

Winterton Lighthouse: Norfolk, England

Built in the 1700s and used as a lookout tower during World War II, this picturesque lighthouse was transformed years ago into a vacation home that sleeps nine, with beds occupying even the topmost floors of the tower. Outside of this stunning stay, the beaches and nature of the area are reason enough to visit this English village.

Siggen Stinessen and Steve King/Lannoo Publishers

Manshausen: Steigan, Norway

This tiny island on the northern coast of Norway—owned by a polar explorer—is outfitted with four small cabins that attract adventurers from around the world. The cabins are made from wood and glass and cantilevered over the rocky coastline, putting the jaw-dropping sea views front and center.

PlansMatter.com/Lannoo Publishers

Pole House: Fairhaven, Australia

Suspended 130 feet off the ground, this 689-square-foot tiny home has become a notable landmark along the coast of Australia. Naturally, this vantage point lends itself to some of the best ocean vistas around. According to the host, “when you are out there, it really feels like you are hovering above the ocean and that there is no one else in the world, just you and over 180 degrees of glorious views.”