The Best Hotels
The Caribbean is riddled with beachfront accommodations, all vying for travelers’ attention, but these hotels made our list for their unrivaled beauty and flawless service. A luxury hotel sitting on its own private island features wonderfully funky guest rooms designed with colorful surfboards and pop art. An iconic Jamaican resort offers chic beach huts and villas where the James Bond 007 spy novels were once penned. And over in the Bahamas, a splurge-worthy stay on a 96-acre private island is just a seaplane or helicopter ride away.
Northwest Point, Turks & Caicos
Adjoining the 18,000-acre Northwest Point National Park on beautiful Providenciales Island, Amanyara takes full advantage of its surroundings in the western wilds of Turks and Caicos. Accommodations are remarkably varied, from cozy poolside pavilions with remarkable ocean or lagoon views to lavish two- to six-bedroom villas, each featuring an infinity pool on its half a hectare of private grounds.
Dining options include innovative interpretations of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine at The Restaurant. Amanyara’s flavorful menu has seafood specialties and, with a nod to the more substantial side of Mediterranean tradition, a generous selection of beautiful steak dishes. The Beach Club offers artfully prepared seafood, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, and other casual-dining opportunities.
Use of the resort’s non-motorized seacraft is free of charge, allowing guests to explore the pristine coastline and remarkably vibrant coral reefs surrounding Providenciales’ northernmost promontory. The resort provides guided snorkeling, diving, and kayaking excursions, while Amanyara’s Nature Discovery Centre offers hands-on learning experiences for children on select dates in association with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami. Guests can also enjoy some of the Caribbean’s best fishing—including bonefish and Atlantic blue marlin—and the early-spring migration of some of the world’s largest humpback whale pods.
Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica
Escape the quotidian and step into GoldenEye, a darling Jamaican hotel steeped in history spanning Hollywood and the British secret service. James Bond creator Ian Fleming famously wrote every single one of his 007 spy novels on the property, drawing from his own experience as a naval intelligence officer and international man of mystery. He called his tropical abode GoldenEye and enjoyed punctuating his writing with swims on the compound’s private beach.
After Fleming’s death, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell bought the estate in 1976, expanded it, and turned it into a secluded idyll of a resort. Thankfully, the original desk where Fleming conjured the dashing British spy still remains, and guests seeking invigoration and inspiration can book his exact villa. Those in the know choose GoldenEye for Blackwell rum, fun, sun, inspiration—and privacy. Household names like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Madonna, Sting, Quincy Jones, and former Bond actor Pierce Brosnan have all taken residence there. GoldenEye is an unassuming set of airy villas, cottages, and beach huts with three food and beverage stations (Shabeen, Bamboo Bar, and Bizot Bar) serving fresh fishing boat-to-table seafood and locally sourced fare with a license to thrill.
If money is no object, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be staying at Kamalame Cay on your next trip to the Bahamas. From the airport, you’ll take a taxi to the port and then a boat ride to the hotel near the Andros Great Barrier Reef. If that’s too much trouble, you can also book a seaplane or helicopter from Andros to the resort’s private helipad.
There are only 35 villas, cottages, and standalone beach bungalows on this 96-acre private island, so it’s become a favorite among celebrities seeking privacy. All-inclusive rates at the family-owned and operated resort include fresh fruit, juice, and pastries delivered to your doorstep in a wicker basket each morning, along with access to kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling gear, tennis courts, and the only overwater spa in the Bahamas. That’s all to say that you won’t get bored, even though there’s no WiFi or TVs. It might take a few days for the tense shoulders to drop and to get used to island time, but there’s no better cure for stress than a day spent reading in a hammock while sipping frozen cocktails. Oh, and it’s ok to show up for dinner dressed in a bikini and sarong.
Soufrière, St. Lucia
Ladera is a treasured tropical paradise that repeatedly snags awards and couples’ hearts. Tucked high on a hilltop over 1,000 feet above the turquoise Caribbean Sea, this cocoa plantation-turned-dreamy adult’s only resort has just 37 eco-friendly rooms and suites. Guest rooms are all television and phone-free open-air pleasure chambers with private heated plunge pools, a scintillating prospect. The distinct lack of a fourth wall enables unobstructed views of St Lucia’s iconic Piton mountains. Ladera’s exceptional location also provides front-row seats to the distinctive V between both peaks. It isn’t directly on the beach, but sandy souls needn’t fret. A complimentary shuttle whisks guests to Malgretoute Beach several times a day.
There is much to entertain guests on and off the resort. At Desheene—Ladera’s panoramic destination restaurant—dinners are breezy, open-air affairs with international and Creole cuisine spiced with local flavors. Cocktail mixology classes are also available at cost. Back in the rooms, guests are charmed by four poster beds, and some suites have poolside swing sets so couples may sway together facing the sea. Ladera’s romantic amenities, like outdoor showers and binoculars for stargazing, are precisely what sweet dreams are made of.
Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
This tiny one-acre island in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda is a favorite among island-hopping sailors and aquatic adventurers for its secluded beauty and playful barefoot beach vibes. Throw back frozen daiquiris and piña coladas at the sunset bar after a thrilling day of diving, snorkeling, and kiteboarding. This is one of the top kiteboarding destinations in the world, and the instructors are top-notch if you’re looking to try something new. But if you’d rather lounge lazily in a hammock and sunbathe, that’s cool too.
Saba Rock only has nine rooms, all decorated with colorful surfboards and pop art, and the sliding glass doors lead directly to the azure seas. It never feels sleepy, though. Happy hour is always lively thanks to a full-service marina with new yachts mooring daily to fuel up and chow down on conch fritters. There’s even a nautical museum on-site with antique artifacts from the island’s seafaring past.