Remliel chose these 20 resorts as the best in the Caribbean, from Jamaica to St. Lucia.
20. The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia
This beachfront all-inclusive is set on a private cove in northwest St. Lucia, near Pigeon Island National Landmark. The wellness center, decorated in Jerusalem stone and mosaics, offers Pilates and Reiki and has a heated marble massage bed. All five restaurants use local produce, often from the hotel’s own organic garden. A $20 million renovation, completed in 2011, added an infinity pool and a boardwalk and expanded the water sports center.
19. Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, USVI
The Ritz-Carlton’s St. Thomas property focuses on understated elegance. Its 180 rooms and suites have been designed in neutral colors and delicate fabrics, leaving the focus on the expansive white, sandy beaches just outside the window. Activity highlights include leisurely day or night cruise on the resort’s private, 53-foot catamaran, the Lady Lyndsey, or learning how turn shells and sand into personalized, custom souvenirs.
18. Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France
Some hotels have concierges, but the Cheval Blanc offers their guests an “alchemist,” who will “imagine tailor-made activities” for every guest. That can include everything from picnics on private islands to cruises at sunset and bespoke meals in their rooms. Accommodation options include rooms, bungalows, and villas, all with gorgeous views of the Caribbean, some with private pools.
17. Ladera Resort, St. Lucia
There’s no fourth wall in the suites at this ridge-top eco-resort, offering unobstructed views of the towering Pitons and the sea way below. Built on the site of a former cocoa plantation, Ladera is made of locally sourced stone and timber, lending the resort complete harmony with its surroundings. Suites all have small, private plunge pools and are decorated with antique French furniture. Dine on the open-air terrace at Dasheene, which serves St. Lucian cuisine made with ingredients from farms on the island and freshly-caught fish.
16. Malliouhana (An Auberge Resort), Anguilla
Anguilla is a very Anglo island: Malliouhana was, for decades, one of its most staunchly traditional hotels, so it was a surprise when quintessentially Californian Auberge Resorts took it over. But what a difference a fresh perspective makes! Lemon yellow and ice-blue walls, vibrant striped cotton dhurries on the floors, and ornate glass sconces have breathed new life into this Caribbean classic.
15. Jumby Bay (Rosewood), Antigua
If you want serenity, you can’t get better than a private island resort accessible only by boat, with no cars and near-perfect white sand beaches (the majority of the resort’s staff members go back to the “mainland” at night, making the place feel blissfully remote). Spend days relaxing on the beach or trying out the sailboards, boats, and snorkels. Because of the island’s rare and mostly untouched ecosystem, the resort has committed itself to being eco-friendly, with sewage water purification, composting, and a project to protect the endangered Hawksbill turtle.
14. Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The 144 acres of the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman extend from the Caribbean to the North Sound, giving guests a nearly endless list of ways to interact with the sea. However, with that interaction comes responsibility, and the hotel works with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program to make sure that their tourism isn’t hurting the local environment. Kids can learn about local plants and animals while adults take eco-tours or go snorkeling, and naturalists are on hand to answer questions.
13. Dorado Beach (A Ritz-Carlton Reserve), Puerto Rico
Originally developed by philanthropist and environmentalist Laurance Rockefeller, Dorado Beach is a Ritz Carlton-owned resort that opened in 2012. Oceanfront rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and rainforest showers with indoor tubs. The emphasis here is all on outdoor luxury: think a spa with open-air treatment rooms, an “aquatic playground” for both kids and adults, and poolside food and drink service.
12. Palm Island Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
This honeymoon-friendly resort has 20 beachfront lofts where couples can relax on a patch of sand with drinks in hand; some even come equipped with soaking tubs. By day, activities like sailing, biking, snorkeling, and kayaking are on offer. To get here, book a flight from Barbados to Union Island, where a boat will ferry you straight to this special private island.
11. Le Guanahani, St. Barts
The Creole-inflected cottages at this St. Barts getaway are decorated with vivid colors and dark woods, while suites have private gardens and flat-screen TVs. If you’re bringing kids, go for one of the Family Suites, which feature private swimming pools. Dine on roast suckling pig at Bartolomeo, which offers French, Italian, and Japanese specialties.
10. Guana Island, BVI
Exclusivity is the name of the game at this tropical hideaway, situated on an 850-acre private island—one of very few in the region. Only 32 guests are allowed at a time, meaning you’ll pretty much have the run of seven powdery white-sand beaches—not to mention acres of solitude. The interior is a natural preserve that’s home to a vast variety of plant and animal life. The resort sends boats to pick up guests from the airport on nearby Beef Island.
9. Petit St. Vincent Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Use flag signals to communicate your needs to staff at this off-the-grid resort on a 115-acre private island, a 20-minute boat ride from Union Island. There’s no cell service, Wi-Fi, or television reception here, just breathtaking views of the nearby reef, a luxury spa, and beach barbecues featuring live music acts. Twenty-two cottages spread across the island offer open patios and plenty of alone time.
8. Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
With sweeping views of the distant Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, this 600-acre resort features octagon-shaped hillside cottages with wraparound balconies. Rooms are sans telephones and TVs so the outside world won’t encroach on your vacation. Scuba dive, snorkel, or go on a sunset sail, then dine on Caribbean fare at the open-air Treehouse Restaurant.
7. GoldenEye, Orcabessa, Jamaica
Hidden in plain sight on the island’s northern coast, GoldenEye has long been a mainstay of Caribbean casual chic. These days, this former estate of author Ian Fleming has expanded dramatically with the addition of a series of accommodation—in February 2016, the resort saw the addition of 26 Beach Huts, a seaside bar and rooftop terrace, pool area, snorkeling cove and bay-side beach, grill shack and drink stand alone—unfurling between a placid lagoon and the Caribbean Sea, as well as restaurants and a spa.
6. Jake’s Hotel, Treasure Beach, Jamaica
A Treasure Beach institution, the family-run Jake’s is more than a boutique hotel; it’s the heart and soul of the community. In 1991, artist, architect and Renaissance woman Sally Henzell bought a modest plot of land in Treasure Beach, and over the years, she and her family have transformed it into a meandering outcropping of colorful cottages and bungalows with seaside views that provide an intimate antidote to the chain package hotels that dominate much of the island.
5. Eden Rock – St. Barths
The name fits at this Edenic resort on a rocky point overlooking St. Jean Bay, the former home of the first mayor of St. Barts. The 34 rooms, some built into the cliffside, are kitted out with antiques, rain showers, and satin-sheeted beds. Watch the sunset while dining at On the Rocks, which serves international fare and tropical cocktails.
4. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Twenty-four of the 29 rooms at this resort, on a promontory overlooking Anse Chastanet, are reached via individual bridges. On the other side, you’ll find a far wall open to the air and your own private infinity pool (ranging from 450 to 900 square feet) decorated with a one-of-a-kind glass-tile pattern. Panoramas face out over the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. And to ensure you don’t get distracted by the vagaries of the outside world, Jade Mountain is unplugged: no telephones, TVs, or radios here—though internet is available upon request.
3. Montpelier Plantation & Beach, Nevis
The 60 acres of tropical garden landscaping surround the Montpelier, built around an 18th century sugar plantation, one of the island’s earliest. Take in the sea from the 750 foot vista. The minimalist décor lets nature speak for itself, while staff just “get it.” Note: the private beach is six miles away.
2. Le Soleil d’Or, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Started by a Manhattan businesswoman along a five-mile stretch of both beach and limestone bluff, this breezy, unbuttoned boutique resort has a cozy island vibe. Bougainvillea climb over whitewashed walls and Spanish tiles; terra cotta pots turn a deeper shade of earth with the intense sun. The resort added rooms in a Farm Lodge to its roster of beach cottages, studios, and a three-bedroom house in 2016. Julia Child would have felt at home here: A 20-acre farm is filled with more than 300 fruits and vegetables and a flock of 200 chickens.
1. Le Sereno, St. Barts
French designer Christian Liaigre is behind the artfully minimalist cottage suites and villas at this resort. Bare white walls and dark wood furniture mark the simple yet comfortable design aesthetic. Take kite-surfing lessons in the calm lagoon that abuts the resort, then retire to cushioned banquettes at the beachside restaurant, where you can order Asian-inflected French cuisine.