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17 Incredible Caribbean Vacations

Caribbean hotels are like the region's many islands—each have their own unique set of amenities, from beautiful beaches and award-winning restaurants to cool coastal design and swoon-worthy views. Whether you're seeking the glitz and glamour of a palatial estate or the quiet romance of a secluded beachfront bungalow, you'll find your match in our ultimate Caribbean vacation guide.

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Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Does anything scream “this is paradise” more than an open-air hotel room? One glance at this cliffside aerie in the cliffs of St. Lucia and you’ll see why it’s been voted one of the world’s best honeymoon hotels year in and year out. Each "sanctuary," as rooms are aptly named, features an open fourth wall from which to soak in the sweeping view of the island's iconic Pitons—whether it’s from your whirlpool bathroom tub or private infinity pool. When you can manage to drag yourself away from your personal haven, head to the restaurant, where a James Beard Award-winning chef prepares multi-course menus on request.

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Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, St. Kitts and Nevis

The surviving remnants of a former sugar plantation, including the ruins of a mill and a 1778 Great House, lend Nisbet undeniable history and charm. Here, cottage-style rooms—bright takes on the plantation theme with avocado-colored walls, cane furniture, and screened patios—are scattered across coconut palm-laden grounds, which lead down to a powdery beach. Lunch and dinner both spotlight Caribbean specialties, but most guests rave about (and plan their trips around) Thursday nights, when there's a beachfront barbecue and live music.

Check Prices for Nisbet Plantation Beach Club in New Castle, Nevis

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The Cove, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Bahamian island of Eleuthera is a sliver of land 50 miles east of Nassau defined by white-pink sands, pastel cottages, and tiny villages still living on island time. This is where you'll find The Cove, a quiet 40-acre affair hugged by two coves. You can usually find guests soaking in the sun on either of the hotel's two intimate beaches, lounging by (or in) the luxuriously large infinity pool, or sequestered in their island-chic, whitewashed cottages. Come sundown, the energy picks up at the open-air Sunset Bar, where cocktails are served alongside views of the sea.

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Malliouhana, Anguilla

An $80 million renovation in 2014 and additional restoration in 2018 has returned this Anguillan grande dame back to her 1980s heyday—though the white Moorish pavilions were not so much overhauled as spiffed up in cool, sophisticated hues of mint, white, and yellow. There are plenty of diversions to keep you busy between meals, including two pools, tennis and basketball courts, rentable bikes, and a destination Auberge spa, where the tropical-inspired menu features banana rum scalp treatments and warm shell massages.

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Photo courtesy of Aman


Amanera, Dominican Republic

Far from the resort-laden beaches and crowds of Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic's quiet northern shore is still largely under the radar—which might explain why Aman decided to build its 29th resort here. Amanera is a visual stunner, with a main building of glass and Indonesian teak and just 25 villas featuring large personal pools overlooking the mile-long Playa Grande. While the water is often too rough to swim in, there's more than one way to explore beyond the sand, including mountain biking, trail hiking, and an 18-hole golf course—a first for the Aman brand. At day's end, order up a Mama Juana (a regional drink of dried bark, rum, honey, and red wine) and head for the cigar lounge, where experts hand-roll Dominican puros.

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GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, Jamaica

Bond, James Bond. If the name GoldenEye gives you flashbacks of your favorite secret agent, there’s a reason. This Caribbean-chic estate on Jamaica’s northern coast formerly belonged to Ian Fleming, who penned the original 007 series. Now, both cinephiles and sun-seekers come to stay in the sexy villas, which are decked out with bright lounges, clawfoot tubs, and steamy outdoor showers. The hotel's centerpiece: Fleming’s stunning three-bedroom house and its two restaurants, where you can watch the sunset while sipping a martini (shaken, not stirred).

RELATED: 7 All-Inclusives With Incredible Food

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Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

“Eco-friendly” and “high-end” were not familiar terms in St. Kitts until the arrival of Belle Mont Farm, a community of 84 West Indies-style guesthouses spread out over 400 acres of organic hillside farmland. Here, the farm-to-table Kitchen restaurant sources almost every ingredient from St. Kitts or nearby Nevis, the staff is predominantly local, the golf course is edible (golfers are free to pick from the surrounding mango trees), and facilities run on solar power. Trinidadian entrepreneur Val Kempadoo, the owner and mastermind behind the operation, has even more plans for programs that promote Caribbean culture.

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Sandy Lane, Barbados

Set on the tiny 166-mile island of Barbados, Sandy Lane is a palatial property with a sprawling 47,000-square-foot spa, three golf courses, and a bi-level pool. The place screams old-school elegance (you’re escorted around in a BMW or Mercedes, and there’s English-style afternoon tea on the terrace) while also incorporating high-tech touches like GPS systems in the golf carts, speakers in the swimming pool, and electronic buzzers to summon beach service. Even the 112 spacious suites (the smallest of which is a whopping 700 square feet), dressed in marble floors and a color palette of Caribbean pastels, would make Martha Stewart proud.

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Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

If you want to unplug, there’s no better place than Petit St. Vincent Resort. Spread across a 115-acre private island in the Grenadines, the 22 cottages are the epitome of cool with whitewashed interiors, driftwood palapas, and original stone walls. And as much as you’ll want to ‘gram the gorgeous getaway, there’s no WiFi or cell service, but that’s not a problem here. You’ll be too busy riding around in one of the resort’s vintage Mini Mokes, cruising on a private sailboat from the on-site dive center, getting pampered at the treehouse-style Balinese spa, or dining at the two award-winning restaurants (one of which hosts beach barbecues with a steel pan band).

RELATED: 9 All-Inclusive Resorts for People Who Hate All-Inclusives

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Baoase Luxury Resort, Curaçao

Unlike your typical Caribbean stay, the Baoase Luxury Resort, in Curaçao, pairs barefoot elegance with a touch of zen thanks to Southeast Asian-inspired décor in the form of imported Buddha statues, polished dark woods, and traditional Balinese water basins (for guests to wash their feet before entering their room). Stretching out between Willemstad and Mambo Beach, the resort’s 23 private rooms and villas are kitted out with private plunge pools, outdoor garden showers, and luxurious silky sheets, but as decadent as that sounds, it all comes second to those sweeping views of the Caribbean and Bibi’s Island. When your toes aren’t dutifully in the sand or propped on a beach lounger, you can arrange to explore the ostrich and aloe farms of the Dutch Antilles nation, or take a day to scuba dive, golf, or indulge in a little shopping at Willemstad’s boutiques and floating market.

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Sugar Ridge, Antigua

If the glitz and glamour of some of the Caribbean’s most see-and-be-seen isles spells out the antithesis of your ideal vacay, then Sugar Ridge in Antigua is the buttoned-down answer to your search. Situated between the island’s mountain peaks and unspoiled forest, the boutique’s 60 modest (yet romantic) guest rooms unfold over a sugarcane hillside that looks out on neighboring Redonda, Nevis, and St. Kitts. A word to the wise: book a first-floor room, which all come with private plunge pools. Another must? Borrowing a yellow cruiser, with a picnic lunch in tow, and biking to Jolly Harbour to hit the beach.

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Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos

To be waited on hand and foot is a luxury not many can afford in everyday life, but at Grace Bay Club—where you’re only a phone call away from a 24/7 personal butler (on a free cell provided upon check-in)—it’s just one perk, among many, that points to the ultra-exclusive nature of the Turks and Caicos resort scene. This oceanfront retreat debuted in 1993 with 21 boutique rooms but has since expanded to seven buildings to keep up with an influx of sun-seeking honeymooners, families, and the occasional high-profile celeb, all of whom come to spread out on the pristine Providenciales beachfront. Though it’s hard to pull yourself away from your private sea-facing balcony (every room has one), you’ll want to venture out to take advantage of inclusive amenities like snorkeling, ocean kayaking, and daily afternoon tea.

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Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda’s castaway vibe got a serious dose of luxury with the opening of Oil Nut Bay. Set on the tip of a breathtaking eastern peninsula, the resort is as private as it gets and can only be reached by boat or helicopter. The 11 enormous, light-filled villas, which start at 890 square feet, mix white leather couches with dark wood accents and have private plunge pools with tiki huts. And the luxe factor doesn't stop there: butler service, a swanky beach club, and an on-property marina are just a few other high-end extras.

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The Shore Club, Turks and Caicos

If privacy is what you seek, set your sights on Turks and Caicos’ Shore Club. The swanky, $100 million escape is set on a private swathe of sand on Long Bay Beach and features 110 rooms and six villas that evoke the tropics with a sea-inspired palette of whites and blues, natural materials, and breezy private terraces. Soak up the sun at one of three pools, get pampered at the 12,000-square-foot spa, or tuck into Peruvian-Japanese fare at the fine-dining room—one of four dining venues on-site. However you choose to fill your days, R&R is a shore thing.

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Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Jamaica

Round Hill is one of the Caribbean’s most legendary escapes, having played host to a number of celebrities over the years including Alfred Hitchcock, Bing Crosby, and Jackie and JFK. While the celeb-spotting continues to be top-notch, this retreat has way more to offer than just its star appeal: we’re talking Ralph Lauren-designed interiors (think Anglo-Caribbean décor, sumptuous white linens, and mahogany furniture), a private beach with water service and a bar, and a spa with an open-air yoga pavilion and juice bar. At the Grill, Chef Martin Maginley and his team whip up contemporary Caribbean dishes using ingredients sourced from the hotel’s gardens, while Mondays and Fridays feature themed dinners with live entertainment (beach barbecue with calypso; a jerk-spiced Jamaican buffet with reggae).

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The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas

If you’ve seen the James Bond flick Casino Royale, you’ve caught a glimpse of this breezy Bahamian resort on Paradise Island’s northern shore. The luxe colonial-style retreat is spread across 35 acres of lushly manicured gardens and offers every amenity imaginable, from an 18-hole, Tom Weiskopf–designed golf course to a Balinese-inspired spa and six Har-True tennis courts. Rooms and suites have a colonial, island-preppy look, with dark wood floors, jaunty striped rugs, and ocean views, and private butlers are on hand to cater to your every need.

Check Prices for The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort in Paradise Island, New Providence Island

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Gansevoort Dominican Republic

If you’re looking for quaint cottages or a cookie-cutter all-inclusive, then the Gansevoort Dominican Republic isn’t your place. On the flip side, if what you’re after is a modern stay—say, a collection of whitewashed, four-story stone and steel buildings—then we’re talking business. Right on the private, crescent-shaped Playa Imbert, the resort makes island lounging easy with chic minimalist cabanas, a tri-level infinity pool, and intimate dinners at the two restaurants. Rooms aren’t too shabby, either. Sleek pied-à-terre–style lofts, apartments, and penthouses elevate your typical Caribbean sleep with state-of-the-art kitchens, marble walk-in showers, Egyptian cotton sheets, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Editor's Note: The hotel is currently closed under new management and a reopening date has not been set.

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What to Pack for the Caribbean

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