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Ask the average person what the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas call to mind, and you’ll get a familiar formula each time: Glassy waters that wow in shades of turquoise. Tropical palms swaying over talcum beaches. Poolside piña coladas. And, of course, dreamy resorts that ensure all of the above is never far from reach. But in a destination where beautiful views are par for the course, how does a hotel set itself apart?
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.
Eric Martin/Courtesy of Secret Bay
Though they share common elements, the islands that comprise the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas are culturally diverse destinations that all offer something unique. And much like their vast and varied locales, the region’s hotels, too, have their own set of features that make them individually special.
Secret Bay, for example, is a rain-forest resort with luxe clifftop villas, each with a private plunge pool, dedicated chef, and on-call concierge — attributes that helped it snag the top spot in this year’s list. St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain — described by one guest as “simply spectacular” — landed at No. 2, thanks to its stellar Piton views and three-walled suites. Jamaica also had a strong showing with six resorts in the rankings, including first-time WBA Hall of Famer Jamaica Inn (No. 10); Negril’s Tensing Pen (No. 8), an intimate boutique hotel with thatched-roof cottages ideal for unplugging; and Round Hill Hotel and Villas (No. 15), a family-friendly property in Montego Bay with a private beach.
Read on for the full list of top resort hotels in the Caribbean.
1. Secret Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica
Courtesy of Secret Bay
More information: secretbay.dm
Set on a lush hillside in rugged Dominica, this all-villa hotel prioritizes privacy. In fact, the Caribbean country calls itself “the nature island,” and Secret Bay puts that nickname on full display with its 10 tree-house-style villas made of sustainably sourced wood. Of course, this eco-sensibility is coupled with luxe amenities, including individual terraces offering sea, rain forest, and mountain views; private plunge pools; outdoor rain showers; a gourmet kitchen for guests and their private chefs; and a dedicated butler. There’s also a secret beach accessible only by paddle, kayak, or swim, and activities like night snorkeling and yoga. In short, “the resort is truly untouched,” as one T+L reader said. “Beauty, defined.”
2. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St. Lucia
Courtesy of Jade Mountain
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 96.63
More information: jademountain.com
Built into a mountain and pointed toward St. Lucia’s majestic Pitons, Jade Mountain takes advantage of its position with open-air suites, called “sanctuaries,” overlooking the sea and iconic peaks. In addition to the “amazing views,” guests rave about the food, friendly staff, activities (both on land and water), and next-level private infinity pools. The sum total, according to one T+L reader, is “a magical trip of a lifetime.”
3. Palm Island Resort, Palm Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Courtesy of Elite Island Resorts
More information: palmislandgrenadines.com
Palm Island isn’t your average all-inclusive. With only 43 rooms, the 135-acre resort occupies a private island at the tip of the Grenadines. Guests who make the trek — via two planes and a boat — will be rewarded with a one-stop shop for all their Caribbean cravings: five velvety beaches, numerous hiking and biking trails, and an endless expanse of aquamarine sea for snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.
4. Curtain Bluff, St. John’s, Antigua
Courtesy of Curtain Bluff
More information: curtainbluff.com
Straddling two beaches — the calm Caribbean Sea on one side, the wild Atlantic on the other — Antigua’s Curtain Bluff doesn’t ever let you forget where you are, with 72 beachfront rooms and suites overlooking the water. Beyond its envious setting, though, there are plenty of welcome distractions, including delicious restaurants and water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, waterskiing, and sailing. No wonder it’s a hit with honeymooners.
5. The Shore Club, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Courtesy of The Shore Club
More information: theshoreclubtc.com
There are no bad views at the Shore Club, located on a secluded swath of sand on Long Bay Beach, away from the throngs on Grace Bay. The rooms, according to one T+L reader, are “beyond gorgeous,” with a “very European style,” and the amenities are equally a draw. Between the sumptuous spa, kids’ club, photogenic pools, four restaurants (including a Japanese-Peruvian fusion spot), and free water sports (snorkels, kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie cats), it’s the “perfect setting for romance or a family vacation,” concluded the reader.
6. The Palms Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Courtesy of The Palms Turks and Caicos
More information: thepalmstc.com
The 72-suite Palms Turks and Caicos tumbles out onto the sugar-white sands and turquoise waters of Grace Bay, one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, but that’s just one perk of many. There’s also a large infinity pool, dedicated kids’ club, highly regarded spa, and alfresco dinners at the popular Parallel23 restaurant, all of which helped it land in the No. 6 spot.
7. Cap Maison Resort & Spa, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Courtesy of Cap Maison
More information: capmaison.com
Described by T+L readers as an “extraordinary paradise,” Cap Maison is a hacienda-inspired resort where almost all the rooms have stellar sea views, and the villas come with private pools. Guests also praised the property for its “sparkling pools” (one facing the sea), food (“great selections, local fresh ingredients”), delightful spa, and superb service that goes “beyond expectations.” All things that make this the “best resort in the Caribbean, by far,” one respondent gushed.
8. Tensing Pen, Negril, Jamaica
Courtesy of Tensing Pen
More information: tensingpen.com
Perched on Negril’s West End cliffs, Tensing Pen is an intimate, romantic boutique hotel where travelers come to unplug. The thatched-roof cottages lack TVs and phones, but with a peaceful spa and yoga pavilion, activities like snorkeling and cliff-jumping, and “breathtaking views, between the sunsets, dolphins, and jumping from the bridge,” as one T+L reader put it, you’ll hardly notice this absence.
9. Anse Chastanet, Soufrière, St. Lucia
Courtesy of Anse Chastanet
More information: ansechastanet.com
Much like its sister property, Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet lets the views do the talking. Set on a hillside amid 600 manicured acres, this resort shelters 49 rooms, some with an open fourth wall to flaunt striking views of the sea and the Pitons. Always camera-ready, Anse Chastanet has two picturesque beaches; several open-air restaurants that source fresh, local ingredients; and excellent snorkeling along the offshore reef.
10. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Courtesy of Jamaica Inn
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.41
More information: jamaicainn.com
A romantic boutique that once hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn, Jamaica Inn is all about “Old World glamour,” per one T+L reader. Opened in 1950, the property today is still favored for its understated luxury, which includes a waterfront spa, a private stretch of champagne-colored sand, charming cottages with private plunge pools, and above all, service that one guest said will “make you feel special.”
11. Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
Lyndah Wells/Courtesy of Kamalame Cay
More information: kamalame.com
Kamalame Cay, a family-run resort on a private, 96-acre island, is not easy to reach — “it takes a page out of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to get there,” said one T+L reader — but the payoff is that much sweeter. Like Robinson Crusoe, only better, guests can relax on the deck of their beachfront villas, get breakfast delivered daily in a wicker basket, take a golf cart or bike to explore the grounds, snorkel the nearby reef, and be pampered with a massage at the overwater spa.
12. Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, St. Bart’s
Courtesy of Le Barthélemy
More information: lebarthelemyhotel.com
This 46-room hotel specializes in the type of luxuries that can make a Caribbean vacation feel above-and-beyond indulgent: chic and spacious guest rooms (some with private plunge pools), soothing spa treatments starring La Mer products, a delicious seaside restaurant, and the crown jewel: an Instagrammable infinity pool overlooking the spectacular Grand Cul-de-Sac beach.
13. Four Seasons Resort & Residences Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla
Christian Horan/Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
More information: fourseasons.com
Occupying a coveted spot on a pristine beach, this Four Seasons Resort is one of the more family-friendly properties on Anguilla, with four- to five-bedroom villas and kids’ and teens’ programs (uncommon in these parts). Still, it’s luxe enough to satisfy refined palates and discerning design eyes, thanks to its ocean-facing restaurants, alfresco spa massages, Kelly Wearstler interiors, and three pools, including an infinity-edge, adults-only option that’s ideal for sunset swims. As one T+L reader put it, “you are paying for perfection.”
14. Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Maundays Bay, Anguilla
Courtesy of Belmond
More information: belmond.com
Perfect for honeymoons or any romantic vacation à deux, Cap Juluca is a stunner with Greco-Moorish architecture, plush villas and suites, gorgeous swimming pools, and superb service (“staff exude the true meaning of the word hospitality,” said one guest). But it’s Maundays Bay — a calm, crescent-shaped beach with smooth sand and brilliant blue waters — that gets consistent praise as one of the best beaches in not only Anguilla, but the entire Caribbean. For one guest, “the beach is second to none.”
15. Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Courtesy of Round Hill Hotel and Villas
More information: roundhill.com
Despite its mega star appeal — Round Hill, set on 110 acres by the sea, counts household names like Alfred Hitchcock and Jackie Kennedy as previous guests — this resort makes you feel at home while spending the night in a gorgeous villa. “Visiting Round Hill is like coming home to your special family,” one guest said. “A warm heart and a big Jamaican smile await.” In addition to the staff, described as “the best of the best,” the property has a private beach, an open-air spa, beach barbecues, an infinity pool, and cool Ralph Lauren–designed interiors. “Everything about Round Hill will have you coming back again and again.”
16. Beach Enclave Turks & Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Courtesy of Beach Enclave
More information: beachenclave.com
Thoughts of a Caribbean getaway likely evoke images of powder-like sand, cerulean waters, and around-the-clock pampering from butlers and chefs, which makes Beach Enclave, and its collection of private villas and secluded location, an ideal hideaway.
17. (tie) Jumby Bay Island, Oetker Collection, Antigua
Stefano Candito/Courtesy of Jumby Bay Island
More information: oetkercollection.com
Reachable only by boat, this 300-acre private island is one of the region’s dreamiest all-inclusive resorts, with residential-style cottages and villas, several beaches and pools, a tranquil spa, and some activities (waterskiing, sailing, and the like) included in the rate — and not a single car in sight.
17. (tie) Skylark Negril Beach Resort, Negril, Jamaica
Corey Hamilton/Courtesy of Skylark Negril Beach Resort
More information: skylarknegril.com
“Skylark” is Jamaican slang for “laze about” — and that’s precisely what this hip property on Negril’s sought-after Seven Mile Beach wants its guests to do. Helping accomplish that mission is a beachfront with loungers, a restaurant serving delicious Jamaican fare, a delightful spa, and colorful rooms with balconies.
19. Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica
Courtesy of Rockhouse
More information: rockhouse.com
Set snugly into the stunning cliffside in Negril’s West End, this laid-back haven is Instagram gold. It was originally opened in the 1970s, attracting musicians like Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, and these days, it continues to lure visitors with its ocean-view infinity pool, superb snorkeling, back-to-nature thatched-roof villas, and an enviable setting among lush gardens.
20. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba
Courtesy of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba
More information: bucuti.com
“You can’t beat the location on Eagle Beach,” said one T+L reader of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. In fact, the main pastime at this low-key, adults-only escape is relaxing on the sand or by the beachfront pool, though weekly movie nights on the beach entice plenty of guests to change positions; same goes for the live music at the bar.
21. Galley Bay Resort & Spa, St. John’s, Antigua
Courtesy of Elite Island Resorts
More information: galleybayresort.com
Antigua is known as the Land of Sea and Sun, and Galley Bay helps the destination live up to its name: situated on 56 acres with a lagoon and bird sanctuary, this charming adults-only all-inclusive takes up prime real estate on a beautiful white-sand beach. Choose between a room on the sand or tucked among tropical gardens with a private plunge pool.
22. Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Courtesy of Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana
More information: hyatt.com
An adults-only all-inclusive, the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana has everything you could want in a tropical vacation: beachfront infinity pools with swim-up bars, a water park with a lazy river and slides, a sprawling spa, swim-up suites, and dedicated beach butlers to keep your cocktails steadily flowing.
23. Frangipani Beach Resort, Meads Bay, Anguilla
Courtesy of Frangipani Beach Resort
More information: frangipaniresort.com
Sitting along Meads Bay, one of Anguilla’s most beautiful beaches, the family-run Frangipani provides ample idyllic backdrops. Though the experience is intimate, with just 19 rooms and suites plus a four-bedroom villa, there’s plenty to do, from kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding to biking, tennis, blissful spa treatments, and weekly cocktail parties. It’s “an unbeatable combination of boutique personalization and luxury touches,” one T+L reader said.
24. Le Toiny St. Barth, Anse de Toiny, St. Bart’s
Courtesy of Le Toiny St. Barth
More information: letoiny.com
While the promise of a pristine, nearly empty beach is enough to tempt visitors to Le Toiny, a luxury hotel braced against a hillside above the sea, there are plenty of reasons to stay (and return), starting with the 22 suites, each with their own terrace, private heated pool, and panoramic ocean views. A gourmet restaurant, buzzy beach club, and serene spa also await.
25. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Courtesy of Half Moon
More information: halfmoon.com
First developed in 1954, Half Moon has been drawing an elite crowd for decades — perhaps most notably, Queen Elizabeth II. But even with this cachet, the resort remains unpretentious. The vibes are easygoing here — a guests’s biggest effort will be deciding between the 18-hole golf course or swimming pools, water-skiing or wakeboarding, and the spa or horseback rides on the beach.