Soaking up the sun, sand, and sea of a Caribbean island can do wonders for the soul—but it’s not always so great for the wallet. Thankfully, there are still a few affordable Caribbean hotels where you can enjoy a relaxing getaway without breaking the bank (even during peak winter season). Here are 10 properties at prices that aim to please.
Holland House Beach Hotel, St. Maarten
This stylish beachfront hotel is ideally located with the best of St. Maarten within easy walking distance. Drop your stuff of in one of the 54 rooms—each with private balcony, hardwood floors, and tropical-chic décor—then head straight to the water (the hotel offers private loungers and beach service), or stroll St. Maarten's main shopping street Voorstraat, just outside the lobby doors. For dinner, the on-site Ocean Lounge Bar & Restaurant serves a tasty mix of Caribbean and European flavors, as good as any island restaurant.
Hampshire Hotel - Queen’s Garden Resort, Saba
Part of the Dutch Lesser Antilles chain, the tiny island of Saba is a favorite with nature lovers. Hike the rainforest and 2,877-foot peak Mount Scenery volcano, and go scuba diving in the Saba Marine Park (home to dolphins, turtles, and rich coral beds)—it's all easily accessible from the 12-room Hampshire House. The charming property has a pool, restaurant, and bar/lounge, along with-a friendly, knowledgable staff who will give you the ins and outs of the island. Caveat: Saba doesn't have beaches, instead, you'll find plenty of green to explore.
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Set on Treasure Beach, about a two hour drive from Montego Bay, Jake’s is a family-run hideaway with vintage Jamaican style and a creative, hippie-chic vibe. Designed by artist/poet/set decorator Sally Henzell (whose late husband directed the iconic film “The Harder They Come”), the resort includes rooms, cottages, and villas with refrigerators and iPod docking stations, and private balconies or patios. There's a standout restaurant on site and the buzzy Dougie’s Bar (don’t miss the cold rum punch), along with a top-notch wellness program at the Driftwood Spa. Farm tours, waterfall hikes, and restaurants are just a short drive away, while the hotel’s deep ties to the creative community mean you’ll likely find a movie screening, DJ set, or literary festival happening during your stay.
Little Arches, Barbados
It won’t take long to feel like a local at this 10-room Barbados spot, close to Miami Beach and the South Point Lighthouse. The intimate, individually-decorated rooms (each with fridge, free WiFi and cable, and pillow-top bed) keep things cozy, while excellent on-site dining and spa services round out the perks. Major kudos goes to the staff, who go above and beyond with their on-point service and easy smiles; they’ll even cart a sun lounger and umbrella to the beach to ensure you’re properly settled in the sun.
Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, St. Thomas
From its perch overlooking downtown's Charlotte Amalie Harbor, this popular resort is just a short boat ride away from the island’s top attractions—though there’s plenty to keep you entertained on property, too. Among the highlights: six on-site restaurants, the Lazule Sea Spa, photo-worthy infinity pools, and activities like sea turtle-spotting, nighttime kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. Best of all—the USVI location means no passport is required.
AlSol Hotels & Resorts, Dominican Republic & Cancun
With four resorts in the DR and one in Cancun, AlSol is an ideal pick for travelers looking for an affordable, all-inclusive. The rates include meals at several dining venues (including a taco truck at the Sanctuary Cap Cana location), comfortable rooms, and daily activities like tequila tastings, water sports, and Spanish lessons. Best of all, every AlSol property is located next to a powdery beach.
Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas
On the seven-mile-long Bahamian Out Island of Bimini, Resorts World Bimini attracts everyone from divers to beach bums with its array of facilities, which include a recently-opened Hilton hotel, the largest marina in The Bahamas, a rooftop infinity pool, and the only casino in the world with panoramic water views. Bonus: through March 2, 2017, round-trip flights from Miami to Bimini on Silver Airways start at just $58.
Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa, Puerto Rico
You can get to know the southwest corner of Puerto Rico with a stay at this family-friendly resort in the town of Guanica. The 20-acre property has 106 rooms, each with a private patio or balcony from which to take in the garden or ocean views. There's a playground, tennis and volleyball courts and two restaurants serving farm-to-table dishes like lamb chops, glazed with mustard and za'atar served with yukon tuned potatoes, thymed butter. Don't miss a sail to the deserted "Gilligan’s Island" for lunch.
Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic
Fronting three miles of Caribbean beach, the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club has something for every type of traveler, from golfers and divers to fans of the outdoors and kids of all ages. Guests get access to two golf courses and the recently-renovated Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center, and can arrange visits to the 1,500-acre Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve (home to native and endangered species) and the Underwater Museum, dotted with sculptures by Dominican artist Don Thimo Pimentel.
Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, St. Lucia
Peace and seclusion are two of the main draws at this St. Lucia resort, one of the most affordable hotels in the Caribbean, which is set on a tucked-away beach and accessible only by boat. Spend your days swimming in the freshwater pool, getting an alfresco spa treatment, napping in your breezy, sunlit room and feasting on fresh-sourced ingredients in Dolittle’s Restaurant and Bar. When you’re feeling active, rainforest hikes, sails, snorkels and dives can all be arranged.