The question of what makes a good beach destination is one that can be answered differently for everybody, depending on personal tastes not to mention the type of vacation. A beach destination is a popular choice for honeymoons or romantic getaways, yet might not be the first choice for the couple when contemplating their normal yearly break away from the drudgery of normal life.
The first and foremost factors behind a good beach destination are Sun, Sand, and Surf. That is a given. Nobody goes to a beach destination expecting to have bad weather, and nobody goes to a beach destination in the middle of the winter season there.
Sand is an important thing when it comes to the beach itself, not only do the stereotypical paradise island white sandy beaches look great, the sand is also soft and gently against the skin, compared to some of the rougher coursers yellow sand that is found on a majority of beaches. Although this being said, it comes down to not only a matter of preference, but also what type of beach you want. One to laze around on, or one to use as a storage sport for food, drinks and clothes while you enjoy the various water based activities that beaches are also so well loved for.
This being said, the surf on offer at a beach is a large factor to consider when choosing a beach destination, not only because some water can be rougher than others, carrying with it a deceptive and often hidden under current that could easily pull younger members of the group or weaker swimmers out to see. (Strong swimmers are also not immune to the power of the ocean, and this should not be forgotten.) Also, a beach destination that produces a large swell and tall waves, is more likely to be a popular choice for water sports such as surfing or the increasingly popular wake boarding, and therefore might not be the best choice for a relaxing family vacation simply because of the traffic on the water.
The local culture of the country / region, is also a major factor for many people when picking a beach destination for their sunny break, after all a fortnight trip to the gorgeous beaches of Hawaii with its laid back Aloha culture will be a totally different experience than a trip of the same duration to the stunning shorelines of Cuba, whose culture is to say the least shrouded and flawed, although as far as holiday destinations go it is hard to beat and the first choice for many people. Even if you never leave the hotel or the beach, private or not the local community and the people that live there will have a factor on your vacation.