Historic ruins, fine dining, and intimate accommodations make this boutique inn, on the site of a 300-year-old sugar mill, a favorite among travelers. Built on a hillside sloping down the beach and nestled in grounds filled with vibrant tropical foliage and big fruit trees, the Sugar Mill has a natural serenity. It’s across the two-lane road from the sea, with not much of a beach to speak of (but spectacular bird action, as big-beaked pelicans plunge into the sea for silver bonito all day long). The contemporary accommodations vary in quality, but all are furnished with topnotch beds and linens; the tight quarters of the pool suites (with one king bed and a sleeper couch) are balanced by nice terraces, big stone outdoor showers, and the evening lullaby of tree frogs. In fact, we turned off the A/C and slept like babies to the music of bird (and frog) song and hillside breezes. For a truly posh stay, opt for the luxury cottage, the deluxe villa, or the Plantation House suites—the latter have two 1,100-square-foot bedroom suites, a spacious porch, and charming West Indian architectural flourishes, like wood-beamed ceilings and gingerbread trim.
Lunch is served down by the beach at Islands, which features standard Caribbean specialties such as jerk ribs and stuffed crab. The acclaimed Sugar Mill Restaurant serves dinner in the old rum distillery’s boiling house.