Sandy Lane in Barbados is an obvious top choice – simply one of the most famous and luxurious hotels not just in the Caribbean, but in the world. It has a justified reputation for outstanding service, enjoyed equally by new visitors and the many A-list celebrities who regularly stay there. It is also an exceptionally versatile destination which we can highly recommend whether you are looking for a relaxing beach break, an unforgettable romantic getaway, or an action-packed family holiday. Its superlative sports offer includes three world class golf courses, nine floodlit championship tennis courts and extensive water sports facilities, while the Treehouse Club children’s activity and entertainment centre will keep kids from the age of three upwards happy all day. The stunning 47,000 sq ft spa includes 11 treatment suites staffed by highly trained therapists, and a full fitness facility. As you would expect, the food is also sensational with a choice of four restaurants ranging from beachside fine dining at L’Acajou to the more informal Bajan Blue, famed for its amazing Sunday brunch buffet.
Jumby Bay, a private island just off the coast of Antigua, is a unique secluded hideaway – accessible only by boat – that has won a justified reputation as one of the world’s most exclusive resorts. Its gorgeous white-powdered sandy beaches, fringed by tall palm trees, are perfect for relaxation, whether in the thatched bohios, hammocks and beach bar of Jumby Bay itself, or the secluded oasis of Pasture Bay on the north of the island, just perfect for a romantic private picnic. The resort also offers three different alluring pools and an award-winning oceanside spa. For the more active, bicycles are available to explore the island while the water sports centre offers instruction and equipment for snorkelling, windsurfing, paddleboarding and sailing. The Jumby Explorers programme for younger guests (aged 3–11) offers a wide range of outdoor and creative activities, plus a unique opportunity to participate in conservation of the endangered hawksbill turtle. You can eat superbly at the recently reimagined restaurants, offering a range of experiences from classic fine dining at The Estate House, through casual-chic all-day service at The Jumby Bay Veranda, to the more relaxed Pool Grille. Jumby Bay is famed for its exceptionally friendly service and – best of all – its all-inclusive approach means that you can enjoy all it has to offer at no extra charge.
Curtain Bluff, tucked away on a rocky promontory on the south side of Antigua, is another all-inclusive resort offering breathtaking views, impeccable amenities and superb service. All its accommodation is situated directly on the pristine, palm-shaded beach or just a few steps away. There are four championship tennis courts, squash, basketball and pickleball courts, and a range of water sports facilities. There is also an exceptional spa, for which additional charges apply. The resort is noted for hosting weddings and honeymoons, while its Cee Bee Kids’ Camp offers ample facilities for keeping young children entertained while parents relax. The relaxed Sea Grape and more formal Tamarind restaurants offer excellent dining while The Wine Cellar, with 4,000 bottles of exceptional vintages, contains one of the finest selections of wine in the Caribbean
Carlisle Bay is a stylish and luxurious resort in a secluded location on Antigua’s south coast. Its 87 contemporary ocean-facing suites, each with a private balcony or terrace, are arranged so that active multi-generational family groups, and couples intent on romance and relaxation, can both enjoy their holidays to the maximum in their separate ways. The wide range of water sports on offer include kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding and snorkelling, while on land there are nine tennis courts, a library, a luxurious private cinema, a fitness centre and a large swimming pool. Children are catered for by an excellent Cool Kids Club, with additional activities arranged for teenagers during school holidays. The food is some of the best in the Caribbean with four great restaurants: Indigo on the Beach for relaxed open-sided terrace dining; Ottimo! for Italian classics by the pool; East for delicious pan-Asian cuisine in the evenings and The Jetty Grill for simple adult-only dining by the beach. A range of excursions can be taken both by boat and on land, with English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard nearby.
Jade Mountain in St Lucia is a luxurious hillside resort for adults only, and the only hotel on the island enjoying spectacular views of both the Petit and Gros Piton mountains. The emphasis here is on really getting away from it all, with its 29 Sanctuary Suites offering private infinity pools and 24-hour butler service, but no televisions or telephones. The beachside setting makes Jade Mountain perfect for a wide range of water sports and there are also a mountain bike trail, tennis courts, gym and spa. Meals are served in the hotel’s open-air fine dining restaurant, the Jade Mountain Club, and guests also have access to other dining options and facilities at the sister resort Anse Chastanet nearby.
Calabash in Grenada is a small luxury boutique hotel with just 30 spacious suites, all benefiting from great views from their balconies or terraces across the gorgeous lawns to the white-sand beach and sea. Some suites have their own private pool, and there are also four villas suitable for larger parties. This is an intimate resort noted for its understated luxury and its excellent food – the Rhodes restaurant for fine dining in the evening, and the more relaxed Beach Club for lunches, cocktails and early evening meals. Breakfast can be served on the beach or in the privacy of your room. Activities on offer include yoga, tennis, windsurfing, paddleboarding and scuba diving, rum tastings and sunset cruises, and there is also a fully equipped fitness centre and spa.
The Cotton House in the Grenadines is a small hotel on the tiny and exclusive island of Mustique, famed throughout the world as a favourite resort of royalty and A-list celebrities. An 18th century warehouse transformed into an exquisite, 17 room hotel, The Cotton House is the social hub of Mustique and its facilities include the elegant Veranda Restaurant and the more casual Beach Café for al fresco dining. There is also a large swimming pool, tennis courts, mountain bikes, a fitness centre, and a water sports including sailing, kayaks, pedal boats and snorkelling.
Eden Rock in St Barths first became famous as a favourite resort of the top Hollywood stars of the 1950s and 60s, and with its spectacular location on St Jean Bay, vibrant décor and fine art collection, it certainly retains to this day all the glamour that first attracted the jet set. Its 34 highly individual rooms, suites and villas each have their own special characters, with many offering stunning ocean views and all enjoying world class service. The surrounding coral reef enables Eden Rock to offer exceptional kayaking and snorkelling, and other water sports are also accessible off-site. The hotel has a well-equipped fitness centre and a choice of three distinctive settings for food and drinks: the Sand Bar, Beach Bar, and Rémy Bar & Salon.
Cheval Blanc in St Barths is an exclusive hotel owned by the LVMH luxury goods group, and so naturally presents to its guests the very best in French interior design and cuisine. The only hotel on the island to be accorded the prestigious title of palace, its 40 rooms, suites and villas offer panoramic views of the beautiful Flamands beach or of the lush tropical gardens. Food, as you would expect, is outstanding, with La Case offering nightly fine dining from a specially curated French West Indies menu, and La Cabana providing a more casual eating experience by the beach. There is an excellent spa and swimming pools, and plenty of opportunities for offshore activities including water skiing, wakeboarding and surfing.
Amanyara resort in the Turks & Caicos Islands is a tranquil retreat located on the secluded shores of an 18,000 acre nature reserve. Its selection of tropical pavilions and villas overlook half a mile of white sand beaches and the turquoise waters of the Providenciales North West Point Marine National Park, which offers some of the world’s best diving. Here there is a focus on wellness retreats and self-discovery, with experiences on offer including individually tailored Wellness Immersions at the Spa, tennis, all manner of water sports and private yacht charters. The Restaurant offers an Asian-inspired dinner menu each evening, while the Beach Club offers more relaxed Mediterranean-style meals and snacks throughout the day, and you surely won’t want to miss one (or more!) of Amayara’s legendary Mojitos at The Bar.