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Beauty + the Beach

With the ocean as muse, "It" photographer Gray Malin celebrates a new chapter in a prescient career framed by breathtaking birds-eye views. A curated photo essay pairs Malin's inspiration with Exclusive Resorts coastal destinations.

Nothing screams vacation quite like the beach. If you're fortunate enough to live near one, the scent of the ocean — a daily mini-reboot — beckons with each new dawn. If packing for a sun-and-sand sojourn, the common essentials stir a youthful familiarity: coconut sunscreen, a floppy hat. Flip-Flops. There's something about the ocean — perhaps its innate ability to stir emotion, whether gentling away heartache or teasing surfers with a look-at-me-now monster swell — that ignites a passionate connection to both nature and each other.

"The Amalfi Coast transports you into a 1960s film. The beautiful sea of beach umbrellas are classic glamour."
"I've always loved this image. I was soaring above Barcelona doing a shoot of the beaches and happened upon this pool and just loved how the symmetry of land and water came together in this shot."

And the sea, in all its sensual demands, is just damn pretty. Especially to "it" photographer Gray Malin. The 30-year-old artist, who 10 years ago was peddling points in L.A. and now internationally acclaimed for his unique aerial perspective, recently released "Beaches" — an ode, in some ways, to the inner child in all of us. The brilliant collection celebrates seaside play, often with a wondrous wallop of color. A helicopter on a Gray Malin shoot is most likely mandatory, with the artist often harnessed to the chopper, flying at daunting speeds in order to nail the shot. "Every beach has it's own unique qualities but overall, I believe "the beach" is universal, whether a rocky beach in Italy or the white sands of St. Barts," says Malin. "The other thing that is constant is that the beach makes everyone feel relaxed and happy." So go ahead, daydream of sinking those toes in the sand. Of salt on the skin. Turquoise eye candy. In the following pages, Malin reveals a firsthand account of "Beaches" inspiration. The coast is calling. You're welcome. 

Beach Bliss


AMALFI COAST, ITALY | La Dolce Vita! The Amalfi Coast is deemed a UNESCO Heritage World region, shock full of vineyards, tiny fishing villages, and famous beaches. 

BARCELONA, SPAIN | Tucked into the fashionable El Born district, two chic Spanish estates feature English speaking hosts who divulge the keys to the city. 

SOUTH AFRICA | Sabi Sand Reserve and Kruger National Park should rapidly climb your travel hit list. The Club offers three Adventures to South Africa in partnership with Singita, renown for conservation and sustainable luxury. 

CONEY ISLAND + NEW YORK | Discover Manhattan's many green spaces, from iconic Central Park to the cloistered gardens of Fort Tyron Park and the elevated High Line. Pre or post cityscapes, take the kiddos to the famous Coney Island.

"This part of the Italian coastline is stunning. You could easily spend all day at the beach clubs, sipping drinks, indulging in authentic Italian meals, and watching the boats on the water."
"St-Tropez is surprisingly accessible, which makes for a great vacation destination. The town is overflowing with all things that make an unforgettable trip: gourmet cuisine, a lively atmosphere, and sunny beaches!"

MIAMI BEACH, FL | Sun, sand, and spa are the call of the day at Miami Beach. Visit the 1 Hotel + Homes South Beach and explore this city's hyped and ever-evolving culinary scene. Don't miss Seaspice for Sunday brunch. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA | A cultural connoisseur's favorite. This city's creativity and outdoor adventure is easily accessed from the Club's residences at Fairmont Heritage Place. 

NORTH AVENUE BEACH, CHICAGO | Come summer, Chicago is abuzz with both water play and cosmopolitan culture. The kids will love Shedd Aquarium, which celebrates the wonder of the sea.