The Caribbean isn’t all about five-star resorts. Often, you may want to save a bit of your vacation cash to eat in elegant restaurants or to shop for the perfect gift. Saving money in the Caribbean doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort. Sometimes it just means going to a cheaper island, such as the Dominican Republic, Saba, or Dominica. But there are some unique inns and resorts in the Caribbean, where you can sleep for much less and still have a great time.
Perched on the cliffs of Negril’s West End, unique bungalows blend comfort and rustic style. Regular rooms keep costs down, but if you want to spend a bit more, the dramatic villas are worth every penny. (full review)
What’s Nearby: Stretching for 7 mi (11 km), the long, white-sand Negril Beach is arguably Jamaica’s finest.
Bellafonte Chateau de la Mer
An oceanfront room at this chic, palazzo-style hotel will remind you why you came to the Caribbean. Their year-round deal whereby guests who pay for six days get a seventh day free. (full review)
What’s Nearby: Circling the island, Bonaire Marine Park is a well-policed conservation area that has an amazing diversity of underwater life. Turtles, rays, and fish of every imaginable color abound in the pristine waters of the park.
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A stay at this spacious bed-and-breakfast harks back to a gentler time, when people spent winter, rather than a week, in the Caribbean. Hands-on owners Claudia and Roger Carrington make you feel right at home. (full review)
What’s Nearby: The upscale neighborhood of Judith’s Fancy includes an old great-house and tower of the same name, both remnants of a circa-1750 Danish sugar plantation.
Cheryl Hornsey’s family home, once a tiny B&B, has morphed into a popular, 31-room beachfront hotel overlooking the sea at Villa Beach. It’s a great value and location, and has the best beachfront in the area. (full review)
What’s Nearby: Some of the best beach on the island is right in front of the hotel.
Rodney Bay is a beehive of activity, and this stylish boutique hotel is definitely homey—beautiful rooms, amenities you’d expect at pricier resorts, a great restaurant, and nightly entertainment. (full review)
What’s Nearby: Jutting out from the northwest coast, Pigeon Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Tales are told of Jambe de Bois (Wooden Leg), who once hid out here. Now it’s a national park, and scattered around the grounds are ruins of barracks, batteries, and garrisons that date from the 18th century.
The Horny Toad
What’s Nearby: The secluded, half-moon stretch of white-sand beach called Simpson Bay Beach is a hidden gem of the Caribbean—and it’s right outside the Horny Toad’s door.
La Sagesse Nature Center
A secluded country inn on La Sagesse Bay, 10 miles from town, the La Sagesse Nature Center has guest rooms just 30 feet from the beach and a hop, skip, and jump from surrounding nature trails. (full review)
What’s Nearby: You don’t need to go far. The property, though remote, has plenty for you to do: explore the salt-pond bird sanctuary, take a walk among the mangrove trees, or relax on the .5 mi of tree-shaded beach.
Bayaleau Point Cottages
Owner Dave Goldhill built four colorful gingerbread guest cottages on this peaceful Windward hillside overlooking the Grenadines, as well as a a 28-foot boat to take his guests on snorkel trips. (full review)
What’s Nearby: The small nearby town of Windward is a boatbuilding community. At certain times of the year, primarily during school vacations, you may encounter a work in progress along the roadside, where Grenada’s Ministry of Culture has set up a training ground for interested youngsters to learn from seasoned boatbuilders.
Bequia, The Grenadines
Luxurious guest rooms, built of local stone and hardwoods, are tucked into a gentle slope filled with fragrant frangipani trees and overlook picturesque Admiralty Bay. (full review)
What’s Nearby: Port Elizabeth is only a few blocks long and and a couple of blocks deep. Check out the open-air market, where you can buy local fruits and vegetables; farther along, you can find the model-boat builders’ workshops for which Bequia is renowned.
Peach & Quiet
What’s Nearby: Nearby Silver Sands Beach is a beautiful strand of white sand that always has a stiff breeze. That makes it the best beach in Barbados for intermediate and advanced windsurfers and, more recently, kitesurfers.
Turtle Nest Inn & Condos
This affordable, intimate seaside inn has enchanting apartments and a pool overlooking a narrow beach with good snorkeling. They offer good-value packages including a rental car for weeklong stays.(full review)
What’s Nearby: Take a drive to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, a Fodor’s Choice 65-acre wilderness preserve on the eastern side of Grand Cayman. The park showcases a wide range of indigenous and non-indigenous tropical vegetation, approximately 2,000 species in total.
Bay Gardens Beach Resort
What’s Nearby: The island’s finest beach is Reduit Beach, and it’s just a short walk from the resort.
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