With hundreds of options to choose from, selecting resorts for your Caribbean vacation can be tricky. Below we’ve listed an accommodation for each Caribbean island nation that has been highly rated by critics, hugely popular with tourists, or a combination of both. Please note that foreign territories (such as Bermuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are not included in this list.
Jumby Bay (Antigua and Barbuda)
Yes, it’s quite spendy. But considering the 300-acre resort is nestled against a white sand beach on a private island two miles from Antigua, let’s just say a one-night stay at Jumby Bay is a fantastic bucket list entry and leave it at that. And just so you get your money’s worth, the best time to visit is March to June. Accommodations start at $1,500 per night.
What the Experts Say: “For somewhere so new, the look is resolutely old-school, ostensibly ‘British colonial’ with terracotta (or roseate stone) floors, loud colours and prints. But every room is impressively kitted out, right down to the provision of Nespresso machines, Bose sound systems and bicycles (each villa has its own golf cart). There’s a substantial spa and an excellent kids’ club (the whole place is supremely child-friendly), and as a big, slick, luxurious, happy holiday resort, it’s hard to fault” ― Condé Nast Traveller
Rock House Hotel (Bahamas)
Formerly a B&B and a private beach estate, this swanky shack today offers guests a variety of themed rooms like ‘Citrus’, ‘Reef’, and ‘Seahorse’. But beneath the kitsch, the Rock House also features private cabana rentals, a full gym, and one of the best restaurants on Harbour Island. Guests who stay five nights will receive a 20-percent discount on their lodgings. Accommodations start at $300 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Designed by J. Wallace Tutt, who created Versace’s Miami mansion and Cher’s Malibu home, the property melds colonial and contemporary Caribbean design. Rooms have 400-count linens as well as picnic baskets. Rock House Restaurant serves a Caribbean-meets-California/Mediterranean menu using fresh seafood and vegetables. Specialty drinks include the honeybee gin martini, a blend of Hendrick’s gin, blueberry honey, and lemon juice” ― Condé Nast Traveller
Sandy Lane (Barbados)
This five-star golf resort has been entertaining visitors to the parish of Saint James for more than 50 years. Sandy Lane features three golf courses, a full day spa and treatment center, and a dozen different eateries and watering holes (including a beach bar). In addition to standard rooms, guests can opt for suites or villas. Accommodations start at $1,090 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Whether your day was spent relaxing by the sea (or the 7,500-square-foot pool) or swinging on the greens, recent visitors suggest watching the sunset at one of the three on-site restaurants. Though guests bemoan the pricey menus, they concede the zesty meals are well worth the splurge” ― U.S. News & World Report
Meliá Cayo Coco (Cuba)
The island of Cayo Coco is located off of Cuba’s northern coast. Earlier this year, TripAdvisor named it as the 20th best beach in the world during a poll earlier this year. The Meliá Cayo Coco is considered not only the finest resort hotel on the island, but also one of the swankiest in all of Cuba. Plus, the premises are adults-only ― which may be a perk or a downside, depending on your travel plans. Accommodations start at $222.95 per night.
What the Experts Say: “The property is hip and stylish throughout, chic for an all-inclusive beach hotel. The resort has 76 fantastic bungalow rooms built out over a natural lagoon, separate from the other facilities and very private. Superior standard doubles on the lagoon have refined decor and unscreened balconies” ― Frommer’s
Secret Bay (Dominica)
This lavish West Indies retreat offers four private villas and bungalows situated on a cliff overlooking the sparkling bay. Nearby sea caves are perfect for midday explorations, while the award-winning restaurant is stocked with locally caught seafood and organic produce. Accommodations start at $360-522 per night, depending on the time of year.
What the Experts Say: “Private and luxurious, the two villas and two bungalows here come with stunning panoramas and outdoor showers, plus lots of amenities—even a chef to cook two daily meals, which can be delivered to your accommodation (this costs $55 per day, plus food)” ― Fodor’s
Sanctuary Cap Cana (Dominican Republic)
Conveniently located 15 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, the ‘Sanctuary’ offers a host of amenities for guests, including an 18-hole golf course, full treatment spa, four outdoor pools, and a private beach. The five in-house restaurants specialize in different cuisine: seafood, tropical fusion, steak, Italian, and Pan-Asian. Accommodations start at $1,201 per night.
What the Experts Say: “The Sanctuary is in an indisputably beautiful location. The sprawling resort complex, with a fortress on one end and cottages on the other, looks like a charming Spanish village — except that everything was built in 2009” ― Oyster.com
Laluna Resort (Grenada)
It’s billed as a luxury boutique hotel, but Laluna Resort’s layout and overall aesthetic make it seem like the nicest hostel you’ve ever visited. That’s a compliment. Guests can enjoy the on-site spa treatment and wellness center, play a round of golf or tennis at the nearby country club, or trek through the local rainforest on foot. Accommodations start at $365 per night.
What the Experts Say: “You may think you’ve landed on an island in the South Pacific when you reach this upscale resort, which is hidden away on a pristine beach near Grenada’s Quarantine Point. Laluna’s large thatched-roof cottages—each with its own plunge pool—line the beachfront and climb 10 acres of wooded hillside… No dress code, no rules, no set dinnertime, no problem” ― Fodor’s
Abaka Bay Resort (Haiti)
Voted No. 57 on a CNN reader poll of the world’s best beaches, Abaka Bay on the island of Ile a Vache is one of Haiti’s most visited tourist destinations. Guests who stay at the resort that shares its name can utilize the beach for a wide range of activities, including jet-ski, equestrian riding, snorkeling, or just sipping on a pina colada. It’s all good, man. Accommodations start at $110 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Quality and good value accommodation line the sands. Highlight: Abaka Bay Resort provides great views of the ocean, is one step from the beach and serves a mean conch dinner” ― The Sentinel
Round Hill Hotel and Villas (Jamaica)
Caribbean lodgings don’t get any more sophisticated than this Montego Bay Resort, but staying there won’t necessarily break your budget. Ralph Lauren designed the oceanfront suites, and Round Hill picked up top honors at the 2012 World luxury Hotel Awards. Guests can spend their days playing golf and tennis, take their pick from 10 different water activities (including fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA, and hobie cat sailing), and enjoy grilled meals on the seaside terrace. Accommodations start at $489 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Situated on a former plantation just 10 miles outside of Montego Bay, this family resort features rooms and luxury villas overlooking the beautiful bay. Families can enjoy access to amenities like outdoor pools, health spa, children’s club, fitness center, banquet facilities and hair salon. Complimentary recreation includes aerobics, snorkeling, water skiing, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours while nearby excursions are available for golfing, horse riding, hiking, birdwatching and rafting” ― Touropia
Sugar Bay Club Suites and Hotel (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
Considered one of the swankiest stopovers on Saint Kitts (and that’s saying something), the Sugar Bay Club offers all the usual amenities, as well as some bonus perks like an on-site zipline, ATV safari excursions, and glass bottom boat tours. Best of all, it’s very affordable ― even for travelers on a budget. Accommodations start at $90 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Simple, clean and friendly, Sugar Bay Club is in the Frigate Bay area, close to St Kitts Golf Club and beaches. It has a kids’ pool and playground, and is a short walk from a good choice of reasonably priced restaurants. It’s a cheerful budget establishment, with 89 rooms, set around a free-form pool, dotted across the gardens, or looking out to sea” ― The Guardian
Jade Mountain (Saint Lucia)
Architect and owner Nick Troubetzkoy wanted to design a resort that complemented the natural beauty of Saint Lucia. He most definitely succeeded. The establishment features a network of interconnected bridges that lead to the on-site ‘infinity pool sanctuaries’. Twenty-nine suites are available in five different sizes; all of them offer breath-taking, open-air views of the beach and surrounding countryside. Accommodations start at $995-1,455, depending on the time of year.
What the Experts Say: “Walk into the living room and it seems as if you’ve walked into the Pitons: suites have only three walls, offering open-air, panoramic views” ― Travel + Leisure
Palm Island Resort (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Nestled against picturesque Casuarina Beach, this award-winning establishment allows guests to choose from a long list of daytime activities: tennis, horseback riding, nature hiking, spa treatment, and snorkeling, to name a few. When dinnertime rolls around, Palm Island’s two on-site restaurants offer highly rewarding views of the Caribbean sunset. Accommodations start at $745 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Choose a beachfront room, a palm-view room in the garden, a huge Plantation or Seagrape suite (both ideal for families), or a remote island loft set on stilts that overlooks the sea. All have wicker and bamboo furniture, rich fabrics, and original art created by a resident underwater and marine artist, Dr. Patrick Chevailler” ― Fodor’s
Hyatt Regency Trinidad (Trinidad and Tobago)
Port of Spain is one of the Caribbean’s most vibrant capital cities, but the Hyatt Regency Trinidad makes it hard for guests to leave the premises. On-site amenities include a rooftop infinity pool, full-treatment spa, and access to four private beaches. And in addition to the six nearby golf course, you can also check out a professional cricket, rugby, or football (soccer) match, depending on when you visit. Accommodations start at $209 per night.
What the Experts Say: “Though the Hyatt Regency Trinidad caters to business travelers with ample meeting space, vacationers will appreciate the outdoor pool overlooking the harbor, the soothing treatments offered at the Spa Esencia, and the state-of-the-art machines at Hyatt’s StayFit gym. And because this Trinidad hotel is part of the Hyatt clan, Gold Passport holders can rack up or redeem rewards here” ― U.S. News & World Report
By Brad Nehring