Terminology & Definitions within True Beachfront


applicable in all Terms & Conditions documents of True Beachfront

Note that these Definitions & Terminology will be updated from time to time without notification, so you should refer to any clauses that affect you or your business at any time.

  • The Club refers to True Beachfront.
  • BFC refers to True Beachfront.
  • user refers to the people accessing the website of the BFC.
  • site or website - unless indicated otherwise, both terms refer to the BFC's own website.
  • image, photo, photograph are interchangeable.
  • Editor, refers to an individual in the employ of the BFC or in whom the BFC has vested the authority to act as an editor of text and photos, and make other decisions. He/she will carry out duties on behalf of the BFC as authorized and this may include the right to reject and/or delete content from the website.
  • wiki function refers to the text pages that multiple authors can add content to
  • content refers to all materials uploaded by a user, including but not limited to text, photos, graphics, files, videos, or other.
  • destination refers to a region within a country that generally encompasses a number of beaches, and thus in this website a number of beach maps. For example, in Thailand each of the islands with a number of beach maps is called a separate destination.


our slogans read:
'hotels right on the beach ...no exceptions!'

'right on the beach...'

but what exactly does this mean?

If any motorised traffic - including motorcycles of all sizes - regularly travels between a hotel and its beach or waterfront, the hotel does not qualify for membership in True Beachfront. Bicycle and walking tracks between hotel and beach are generally accepted, and open promenades may be acceptable so long as they are not too wide and present no dangers to young children and older folks crossing from their accommodations to the beach.

While bicycle tracks are generally acceptable (these often display an awareness of environmental concerns within a community) we may reconsider this factor if it is shown that some bicycle tracks are more like bicycle highways, and present dangers to the young and old trying to get to the beach from their hotel.

What criteria will we use when making difficult decisions in 'grey-zone' cases?

One of The Club's earliest concepts still dominates our considerations today: Co-Founder John Everingham was watching his three year old son Zennith struggle down the steps of Mom Tri's Boathouse onto Kata Beach, Phuket, determined to get onto the sand to play. It was lucky, John realised, that he could continue his conversation on the restaurant balcony, with an occasional glance to check on his boy's safety. But how different it would have been if there were motor vehicles of any kind passing by: dangerous for a three-year-old (or an eighty three-year-old, for John's mother was also a regular visitor to The Boathouse).

Thus, when faced with doubts about a hotel's suitability for membership, we often fall back to that very question: would it be safe for a three-year-old when he heads out for fun in the sand?

'right on the beach...'

the definition of 'beach' in the BFC context:

The classic, white sand beach is well understood by all, but True Beachfront accepts a much wider interpretation of 'beach'. We include the many alternate forms of beach that Mother Nature has carved into our shorelines, lined with a variety of different materials.

Yet more than this, The Club caters to the needs of people who like to visit the seaside, for not everyone craves sun or saltwater on a hot, sandy beach. Many people who love the ocean experience are perfectly happy with a beautiful view out over the water, be it sand or rocks below. Some prefer the rocks, when the view and atmosphere is right. Many headlands provide such a seaside experience, often with walking access to a nearby beach.

Sitting atop a high cliff with a panoramic view out across the ocean - with or without a beach below - is such a powerful draw that in Bali, the high cliffs along the southern-most Bukit are becoming home to more and more high-class resorts. The experience that each of these ocean-side environments provides satisfies the same basic desire in different people - to return to the sea, to appreciate its magnificence and absorb its relaxing effect - without the interruptions or dangers of motorised traffic.

Therefore, the desire for ocean-side experience that the BFC caters to is as varied as the people around the globe who may use this site.

True Beachfront accepts as members all hotels that provide traffic-free access to a variety of seaside environments, on and beyond the sandy beach. These include:

  • pebble & rocky beaches
    Beaches made of all kinds of materials are accepted.
  • headlands
    Headlands are generally acceptable when the accommodations are close to the ocean and afford easy access or views - all the better if there is also walking access to a nearby beach.
  • shorelines
    Many kinds of ocean shoreline can qualify so long as the hotel is built right alongside and meets the critical, no-traffic criterion. These can include rocky shorelines, sea walls and ocean-fronts of other materials.
  • cliff-top
    Cliff-top is acceptable when a hotel is perched atop a steep drop to the ocean . so long as there is no intervening road at either the top or bottom.
  • difficult to decide
    Many hotels fall into this grey-zone.

    When a hotel is set well back up a mountain or hillside that slopes down to the sea, we will consider it case-by-case. We invite you, the user, to send us your opinion on difficult-to-decide establishments, including any plotted on our maps that you think should not be there, and others not mapped that you think should be. Please send evidence in the form of photos, GPS points, Google Earth polygons etc.

    send to mapping@true-beachfront.com


Here the term 'hotel' is a simplified reference to all forms of accommodations that are rented to visitors in 'hotel-style', i.e., multiple rooms or dwellings that share a common management and can be rented short-term or longer (daily, weekly or monthly).

Common terminology for these, in addition to hotel, includes resorts, guesthouses, cottages, bungalows, lodges, apartments and others.


Individual dwellings rented to visitors under the title 'villas', 'beach-houses' etc are also eligible for membership in their own category. Though we display and treat these differently on our maps and in other places, they also fall under the overriding term 'hotel' in most general discussions.

One notable exception: when we give a count of 'hotel members' within a country, destination or on a beach we include only multiple accommodation establishments, not this second, 'villa & beach-house' group where it indicates a single dwelling.

'restaurant' member

True Beachfront also has a category for restaurants membership, and applies the same strict criteria on restaurants that is placed on hotels: they must be directly on a beach or waterfront with no motorized traffic between their tables and the ocean.

Restaurants that are located within member hotels may also become Restaurant Members in their own right, so long as the restaurant itself meets the BFC criteria.

We are eager to see beach lovers help locate the more interesting, or better, beachfront restaurants and either inform us by sending photos and a GPS location, or better still, tell the owner/management to apply for membership by going on-line and using the restaurant application provided.

Send info and photos to restaurants@true-beachfront.com

the 'beachfront' area of a hotel

This is the open area between the buildings of a hotel and the ocean, including gardens, swimming pools, open recreation and restaurant and bar areas, and the sand in front of the hotel. In many seaside resorts this beachfront area is the most important sector for relaxation and recreation, and so we offer member hotels the opportunity to highlight this area where possible.

traffic within and in front of beachfront hotels

A few hotels have vehicles driving on the beach in front. Many have roads within their boundaries; often because the hotel is large, or to give motorised access to the lobby or rooms for clients' convenience. We generally accept hotels with internal roads and sometimes accept cars on the beach. But sometimes we do not accept either, depending on the varying degrees of potential danger to the young or elderly guests.

What we may accept:

Hotels internal roads: when restricted to hotel traffic only, when it is slow moving and when such traffic is unlikely to cause a real danger for young or old guests walking through the hotel premises to the beach.

Golf buggies, and the like, moving through a resort's internal paths.

Occasional, slow movement of cars or motorcycles right on the sand in front of a hotel when not a real danger to the young and elderly.

What we don't accept:

Hotel's internal roads: when these are open for the passage of outside traffic, or when the internal roads are big and busy enough to pose a danger to very young or older persons making their way from rooms to the beach.

Motorcycles running in front of a hotel, with or without prepared roadways, on a regular basis without effort of the hotel management or local authorities to stop them.

Regular or speedy movement of cars or motorcycles right on the beach in front of a hotel that poses a danger to the users of the beach.

Please flag us when you think we have made poor decisions, or when we have missed something vital. Send details, photos, GPS points or Google Earth polygons when applicable.

hotels split by a public road

Some hotels are both right on the beach, and on the other side of a public road. It happens mostly when there is limited space between a beach and a road, and the hotel expands its rooms to the other side of that road.

In general we are reluctant to accept such hotels. However, a black and white rule here would, in some destinations, hurt our users. chances of finding a good beach hotel. In destinations with many true beachfront hotels we are more reluctant to accept split ones. If a destination has very few hotels right on the beach, we are more likely to accept split ones to increase the choices for our users.

However, there are some basic criteria we apply when assessing hotels split by roads. Essentially, we will consider hotels that are beachfront, but have some rooms on the other side of the road. We do not accept hotels established on the other side of a road, even though they have some beachfront rooms.

For us to consider a split hotel, it must:

have its reception on the beach side of the road

have its restaurants, main swimming pool and major public facilities on the beach side of the road

have the majority of its rooms on the beach side of the road

When we do accept a split hotel we will mark its non-beachfront rooms clearly on our maps in a different colour. This is a warning for users, allowing them to be aware, and check which side of the road they are booking into.