Steve and I are between trips right now and our next getaway isn’t until the last day of June when we head to Las Vegas for a long weekend. So, whenever I am in the travel doldrums, I start thinking about where would I like to stay one day? This gave me the idea to start a list of my dream hotels in various regions and I decided to start with the Caribbean as it’s one of my favorite destinations and easy for us to get to from Dallas, Texas. Now, many of these are really over the top expensive but the way I usually handle that on vacation is we start the trip at a nice but much more affordable hotel and then switch to a luxury hotel for the last 2 or 3 days of the trip. That way we end the trip on a high note but it doesn’t break the bank either!
Hermitage Bay, Antigua
We visited Antigua last year and I made the mistake of being too cheap and we were not happy with our hotel during the second part of our stay. In the end, I wished that I had just spent the extra money and spent a few days at Hermitage Bay instead. We sailed right past Hermitage Bay during a sunset sail and I was really kicking myself for not booking it because it looked beautiful from the water. The rooms are all individual cottages, which is my favorite type of room and many of them have private plunge pools. Hermitage Bay also has its own secluded beach and is located on the south side of the island, which has far better beaches than the north side. It is an all-inclusive, like most hotels on Antigua, but the restaurants look excellent and get great reviews.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
We visited Jade Mountain briefly during our stay in St. Lucia. We stayed at the much more affordable Stonefield Estate and were quite happy with the hotel but when you get a peek at Jade Mountain, you know it’s someplace special. All of the rooms are open air and the fourth wall is missing to take advantage of incredible views of the Pitons. They also have a beautiful beach below at Anse Chastenet and the hotel is located close to the colorful town of Soufriere. Jade Mountain is really out of my price league for a full week stay but I could swing 2 or 3 nights here the next time we visit St. Lucia.
Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados
Barbados is in the Southern Caribbean and is on my “to do” list as I have never visited the island. I saw Sandy Lane featured on a travel show several years ago and have always filed it away in my mind. Again, I would probably stay someplace a little more affordable for the first few nights and then end the trip here. Sandy Lane is very quintessentially British and offers afternoon tea and more formal dining than you usually see in the Caribbean. It’s also consistently voted as having one of the best spas in the Caribbean. If you’re lucky, you may run into Rihanna here as the hotel is one of her personal favorites.
Palm Island Resort, Grenadines
There is nothing that beats your own island with just a few stone cottages and even fewer guests but that is what you get at Palm Island. It’s a bit more of a trek to get here but the remoteness is part of the appeal. You generally have to get to St. Lucia or Barbados first and then take another small plane to Union Island and then a boat. However, you are rewarded with deserted beaches and ultimate privacy on this small island resort.
Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barts
St. Bart’s is definitely the most hoity-toity island in the Caribbean from what I hear. During the winter (November to March), it’s filled with rich New Yorkers and celebrities. However, if you visit outside the high season, you’re much more likely to find more affordable hotel rates, a more low-key clientele and less crowded beaches. St. Bart’s is also very, very French which means you find excellent restaurants and wine selections all over the island. It also has a high concentration of fancy hotels but the Hotel Le Toiny really caught my eye when researching the island as a possible destination due to its beautiful views and gorgeous architecture. This trip is easily combined with a few day stay on the nearby island of St. Martin as well so you can see two very different islands on one trip.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda BVI
I have visited Virgin Gorda several times but have never made it to this hotel. Be aware that the hotel is currently closed because it is undergoing a massive 18 month long renovation so imagine how beautiful this place will be when it reopens later this year. Little Dix Bay resort is a Rosewood property and we have been lucky enough to stay at 2 different Rosewood hotels over the years and their service is some of the absolute best. It definitely ranks up there with Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. Virgin Gorda is also a stunningly beautiful island in the British Virgin Islands and is home to the famous Baths rock formations. The island has some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen and the hotel has its own private crescent of beach for its guests. Combine that with service, spa and gorgeous rooms, and it would be a perfect island getaway.
Ritz Carlton Dorado Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
I can’t beat this one for ease of getting there. There are a few direct flights from Dallas to San Juan, Puerto Rico every day and the flight is only 4 hours for us. Puerto Rico is lush and tropical compared to many Caribbean islands which are mostly scrub brush. The island is also very affordable and is one of the best “food” islands in the Caribbean with lots of variety. The Ritz Carlton isn’t very far from San Juan so you can still visit the city if you like or you can relax in the peace and quiet of the resort. There are also excursions to the jungle and other beach towns nearby. Of course, the Ritz Carlton is known for its high level of service and the restaurants here are supposed to be incredible.
Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, USVI
Steve and I stayed here several years ago when it was still a Rosewood property. Rosewood has since sold the hotel but it appears that little has changed since then. The best part of Caneel Bay for us was that it had 7 beaches – yes, 7 beaches. I think each one we visited was more beautiful than the last. The rooms are definitely a little more on the rustic side but many of them are beachfront and they have some incredible suites here too. If you want to save money, you can still stay here and enjoy the amenities but book a room back near the gardens rather than beachfront and it’s far more affordable.
LaLuna Hotel, Grenada
The Spice Island of Grenada has been on my to do list for awhile. It’s lush, tropical and a bit less touristy than many other islands in the Caribbean. LaLuna is an all-inclusive boutique hotel located on its own private beach where all the rooms are individual cottages located on the beach or up in the hillsides with private pools. They also offer daily yoga and a full spa here as well and the hotel can arrange tours of the nearby St. George’s town with its massive fort or into the jungle for some more adventure. This hotel is supposed to be very quiet and peaceful as it’s a bit off the beaten track.
Tiamo Resort, Andros Bahamas
Steve and I visited the Bahamas several years ago but we never made it to Andros, which is the largest island (size-wise) in the Bahamas. Tiamo is a privately owned, boutique resort that is best accessed by sea plane or boat. The area is very popular for bone fishing, which isn’t really my thing but I might give it a go one time. The rooms are rustic luxury and several have their own pool as well but not sure why you need it when you have a huge beach all to yourself. Again, this one is pretty easy for me and Steve to get to from Texas so that has added appeal for us.
Hope you enjoyed this list. I am planning to put together a few more, including Mexico, California, Hawaii, U.S. Cities, etc…