Are you dreaming of sipping piña coladas on the beach under swaying palm trees? 

Hand-picked by Flight Centre's travel experts, and personally designed for you, here are some of the world's best beach escapes.

Mauritius

South Africans' favourite Indian Ocean island, Mauritius needs little introduction. The island is a perfect all-rounder with an appeal for families, honeymooners and groups of friends.

With some of the best hospitality in the region, visitors are spoilt for choice concerning accommodation.

Hotel pick: Check-in at the stylish five-star LUX* Grand Gaube. "This resort is a food lover's dream with live cooking stations... and the only Peruvian restaurant on the island," says Flight Centre Travel Expert Altus Steenkamp.

Zanzibar

In just under four hours flying time, visitors from South Africa could be exploring the spice-scented streets of UNESCO-listed Stone Town or lounging poolside at one of the island's many premium resorts. Zanzibar's rich history, fascinating architecture, dhow cruises and spice farms are worth exploring, provided you can prise yourself out of your lounger.

Hotel pick: The five-star Dream of Zanzibar is Flight Centre Travel Group Managing Director Andrew Stark's personal best. "In addition to its exquisite location on Kiwengwa beach, we love the fact that this resort offers an-inclusive experience," says Stark. With a staggering nine restaurants and bars and a private beach fringed with palm trees, you will never want to leave.

Seychelles

For couples on their honeymoon or babymoon, Seychelles offers the ultimate marooned-on-a-desert-island, luxury experience.

Hotel pick: Book the Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare, an excellent choice for families. Tucked away in a quiet cove on Mahe's south coast, activities include jungle hikes, kayaking and snorkelling in the lagoon.

Maldives

For seaplanes and overwater villas, book the Maldives. Best of all, these islands have become a fantastic value destination for South Africans.

Hotel pick: For a romantic escape, check-in at Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa, an adults-only resort.

Bali

Experience a personal Eat, Pray, Love moment in Bali, which has the best landscapes for spiritual seekers, surfers, culture enthusiasts and beach lovers.

Hotel pick: "Bali Garden Beach Resort is a great value for money option for South Africans, with a spa, three pools, direct beach access and the nightlife of Kuta just around the corner," recommends Flight Centre Travel Expert Zethu Thwala.

Phuket, Thailand

Another firm favourite, Phuket attracts thousands of South African holidaymakers with its Instagrammable beaches, delicious food and choice of stunning resorts.

Hotel pick: Beyond Resort Kata has direct beach access and a swim-up bar with daily happy-hour specials. The property is best suited for couples seeking a quiet tropical retreat, suggests Flight Centre Travel Expert Thato Mashigo.

Sri Lanka

Making almost every destination and travel trend list, Sri Lanka is enjoying its moment in the sun. Visit for the sunny beaches, rainforests, adventurous train rides and spectacular tea plantations.

Hotel pick: The beachfront Heritance Negombo Hotel's highlight is undoubtedly its rooftop spa and incredible ocean views, says Flight Centre Travel Expert Abel Ridgard.

There is a perfect Flight Centre expert-approved beach escape just waiting for you. Book now to make that dream holiday a reality this December.

To view the full range of hotels in the Beach Escapes handpicked selection, click here.

Book a Beach Escape holiday and receive a R1 000 transferable travel voucher to use on your next Beach Escape or to give to friends or family so they can share a memorable island experience too. Ts & Cs apply. Find more info here