Frommer's Names the Perfect Caribbean Resorts

Jade Mountain, St Lucia Jade Mountain

Few places can do luxury resorts as well as the Caribbean—and Frommer's researchers have been to them all. We asked our experts to name the most idyllic resorts in the islands, and they came up with their dream list. We think these are some of the most gorgeous, most romantic, and most memorable hotels in the world—perfect for honeymoons, romance, or indulgent getaways.

Pictured: Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia

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Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Petit St. Vincent
It takes at least two planes and a boat to reach it, but the effort to get to Petit St. Vincent is worthwhile if you want total isolation and privacy. Even the staff doesn’t bother you unless you raise a flag for room service. In fact, if you're here for romance—and this private island resort is a favorite of honeymooners—you may never have to leave your stone cottage by the beach.
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The veranda/living rooms of the Petit St. Vincent resort are open to views of the ocean. Petit St. Vincent
The artfully built clubhouses and bungalows were crafted from tropical woods and local stone; the results are simultaneously rustic and lavish. Pictured is the veranda of a guest villa.
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Sailboats on the beach at Cap Juluca in Anguilla Cap Juluca
This 72-hectare (178-acre) resort looks like a Saharan Casbah, with milky domed villas that seem to float against the scrubland and azure sky. It’s an extremely stylish setting, perfect for those seeking romance. More than any other resort on Anguilla, Cap Juluca affords privacy: In their secluded villas, honeymooners (and other happy couples) can enjoy private pools and oversize tubs for two. The staff is superb and the handsome rooms and facilities are kept pristine—even the beach is impeccably groomed on a regular basis.
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Cap Juluca in Anguilla Cap Juluca
Recently redesigned by Rottet Studio, the same architecture firm that designed the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, the Belmond is newly outfitted with an infinity pool and several new restaurants. All guest villas and rooms are beachfront and six have private, freshwater swimming pools. Also onsite: four restaurants, a golf course, a spa, tennis courts, and what is arguably the island's loveliest beach. In summer there's a children's program.
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The villas of Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica are built right to the sea cliff's edge. Rockhouse Hotel

You might think the name is a reference to the musical legends—including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and reggae god Bob Marley—who first put this West End hotel on the map back in the 1970s. However, "Rockhouse" is the perfect description of the boutique resort itself: a collection of rounded stone, timber, and thatch cottages with outdoor showers strewn along the low sea cliffs on the westernmost point of Jamaica.

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A view of the Rockhouse Restaurant in Negril, Jamaica Rockhouse Hotel

The best villas—gorgeously simple cottages, really, with spare wood furnishings and canopy beds that don't distract from the beauty of the surroundings—are built right out of the rocks rising from the water’s edge, often with stone stairs down to a ladder where you can slip into the sea for a swim. The onsite Rockhouse Restaurant (pictured) is considered one of the finest in Negril.

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A woman gazes over the landscape of Guana Island from the resort's swimming pool Guana Island
One of the most secluded hideaways in the entire Caribbean, this resort  occupies a privately owned 340-hectare (840-acre) bird sanctuary with nature trails. Head here for views of rare plant and animal life and for several excellent and always uncrowded beaches (there are never more than 35 guests a night at the resort).
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A man gets an outdoor massage on Guana Island Guana Island
A guest enjoys an outdoor massage after a day of exploring. After the massage, he'll likely head to the evening cocktail hour at the resort's main house, which is followed by a candlelit dinner.
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A bird's-eye view of the Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia Jade Mountain

Jade Mountain is more or less a resort within a resort—that larger resort would be Anse Chastanet—and as such enjoys the same amenities and activities as the mother ship. But those who choose the "sanctuaries" of Jade (what they call the rooms here) enjoy art-filled suites of Barbados coral and rainforest hardwoods, with one wall nothing but air framing mossy Pitons poised against blue skies like a Corot landscape.  Children under 15 are not admitted.

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A bedroom with a view at the Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia Jade Mountain

Here's a guest room—whoops!—"sanctuary" at Jade Mountain. For further drama, each sanctuary is built along a forested hillside with a small but sinuous infinity pool positioned between the living space and the sea.

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Le Guanahani, St. Barts Goldeneye Resort

On the edge of Goldeneye lagoon, the FieldSpa offers facials, massages, and other spa treatments that use ingredients derived from herbs, roots, leaves, and flowers native to Jamaica, and grown at the resort's nearby farm, Pantrepant.

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Goldeneye, Jamaica Goldeneye Resort
Jamaica's Goldeneye resort offers private villas, cottages, beach huts, and a spa that border the ocean, for those who like to start their day by jumping in the warm water rather than (or maybe in addition to) a strong cup of Jamaican coffee. Resort restaurant I-tal serves up local seafood that's caught fresh, and the resort offers unique activities like deep sea fishing, exploring the nearby mountains with an overnight trip, and tennis.
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Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica Half Moon

Opening onto 160 hectares (395 acres) that take in a 0.8km (0.5-mile) stretch of white-sand beach, the Half Moon is one of the Caribbean’s grand hotels, without the snobbery of its neighbors, Round Hill or Tryall. Half Moon also has far more activities, excitement, amenities, and restaurants—and a better beach. The resort, going strong since 1954, sprawls over hundreds of acres, with about a dozen tennis courts and several squash/racquetball courts. Jamaica has a strong, British-based affinity for tennis, and Half Moon keeps the tradition alive.

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Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica Half Moon

Accommodations include conventional hotel rooms, suites, and a collection of superbly accessorized private villas. (Most villas have private pools and a full-time staff.) Each unit is comfortably furnished with an English colonial/Caribbean motif and a private balcony or patio, plus a state-of-the-art bathroom. Queen Anne–inspired furniture is set off by vibrant Jamaican paintings, and many units contain mahogany four-poster beds. Half Moon is a grand and appealing place—a true luxury hideaway with taste and style. It's also highly acclaimed as an eco-sensitive resort. And the restaurant, Sugar Mill, is one of the best in the Caribbean.

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Dorado Beach, Dorado, Puerto Rico Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico
Dorado Beach is a truly remarkable piece of paradise, with a primordial beauty to the landscape, despite the fact that the resort’s just 35 minutes from San Juan. The 1,400 acres of grounds include impressive nature trails, and all the rooms, including the restaurants, are close to the fabulous 3-mile coastline. Of the many golf courses here, Dorado East is our favorite. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., it was the site of the Senior PGA Tournament of Champions throughout the 1990s.
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Dorado Beach, Dorado, Puerto Rico Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

The rooms have all the comfort, style, and amenities you would expect from a hotel in the Ritz-Carlton family—with awesome ocean views to boot. If you really want to feel like you're at one with the natural splendor of the islands, consider a room with a private plunge pool and outdoor shower. At the center of the complex is Su Casa, a restored plantation house dating to the 1920s that's available for rent as a five-bedroom villa. The 5-acre Spa Botánico is a lush enclave within the resort.

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Curtain Bluff, Antigua Curtain Bluff

The serene oasis of Curtain Bluff is one of Antigua's premier resorts, with a price tag to match and enough ambience and class to make other resorts look like glorified Holiday Inns. Found 24km (15 miles) from the airport, the hotel occupies the most lushly tropical section of the island (the southwest shore) in the village of Old Road, a mango-rich hamlet where locals like to spend vacations. The property sits astride two beautiful beaches—one turbulent, the other calm. This place is for a mature, old-money crowd fond of the clubby atmosphere. It's also for tennis nuts: A well-known tournament takes place each spring on courts set in a low-lying valley.

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Curtain Bluff, Antigua Curtain Bluff
The beautifully furnished accommodations include deluxe units with king-size beds; a terrace room with a king-size, four-poster bed; and spacious suites with two balconies. Accommodations in the newer units are more spacious, with upgraded furnishings and two double beds. The two-story suites are among the most luxurious in the Caribbean.
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Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Caneel Bay
Mega-millionaire Laurance S. Rockefeller opened Caneel Bay, the Caribbean’s first eco-resort, in 1956. It was once the Pieter Duerloo plantation, where white settlers defended themselves against a slave revolt. It’s a sprawling, lushly landscaped property, some 170 acres, with seven stunning beaches and low-rise buildings fronting the bays or set back near the tennis complex. It's a place to escape—rooms have no phones or TVs, and that's just the way we want it. The bays are a snorkeler’s dream; on Hawksnest (pictured), you are almost guaranteed to see turtles, and the clear, placid waters of Honeymoon and Scott Beach feature fish in a rainbow of hues.
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Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Caneel Bay
The room decor is thoroughly updated but feels timeless, with dreamy bedding, Indonesian wood furnishings, and vintage-style tropical fabrics. Bathrooms are fashioned with native stone. Touches like beds turned down with beautiful helmet shells left on the pillows make staying inside a constant delight.
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Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in St. Barts Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Cheval Blanc offers exceptionally warm and gracious service from one of the top staffs in Caribbean hoteldom. Though owned by international luxury-goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton, the award-winning resort is a hymn to St. Barts' particular style of unstuffy elegance. Even the location is perfect, opening onto the blinding-white sands of Flamands Beach. The resort's main building—site of the ivory-hued reception area, restaurant, and hotel pool—has nine luxuriously outfitted (adults-only) beach rooms, each with its own patio or terrace facing the shore.
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Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

The resort's four one-bedroom beach suites are breathtakingly massive, each with its own infinity plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen, and big stone bathtub. A pair of three-bedroom Flamands villas (4,300 sq. ft. apiece) have been decorated by a world-renowned English designer in crisp eggshell pastels and are kitted out with a screening room, gorgeous artwork, and a private pool overlooking the beach. And we know it's heresy to say at a resort known for its beachside beauty, but we are smitten with the fairy-tale charm of the garden bungalows, nestled in tropical gardens of banana trees, palms, and bougainvillea.

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Rosewood Little Dix Bay Rosewood Little Dix Bay
This palace of casual elegance is mighty fine in every way. Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, Rosewood Little Dix Bay holds a special place in the heart of many, and one big reason is the warm, insightful service from the best staff in the Virgin Islands. There is a wonderful sense of ownership by the staff, a good number of whom have worked here 20, 30, even 40 years—Little Dix is the island’s second-largest employer, after the government. Endearingly, rooms have not had keys since the resort opened in 1964—Virgin Gorda is notable for its lack of crime—although you can lock yourself in securely at night. he setting doesn’t hurt either: Little Dix is comfortably sandwiched between a half-mile of crescent beach and tropical forest. 


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Rosewood Little Dix Bay Rosewood Little Dix Bay
All of the bright, airy rooms face the beach, with private terraces that offer sea views. Trade winds breeze through wooden louvers and screens, and bathrooms are roomy and luxurious. The details matter, little touches like wooden walking sticks and complimentary bottles of rum in your room. Step outside and snorkel right off the beach; we saw hawksbill turtles chomping on seagrass and rays skimming the bottom. The Pavilion is one of the most romantic dinner spots on Virgin Gorda, serving themed buffets six nights a week.
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Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Parrot Cay by COMO
This luxury resort is a favored retreat of celebrities, but you don’t have to be a movie star to enjoy Parrot Cay’s warm embrace and high service standards—standards that are impeccably maintained. Parrot Cay defines excellence. The resort, a compound of 10 white colonial-style buildings, lies on an isolated and private 400-hectare (988-acre) island—reputedly a former pirate’s lair—with a powdery white-sand beach. Many come to Parrot Cay for the sublime treatments in the COMO Shambhala holistic spa, the finest spa in the Caribbean, a wood pavilion wrapped in a sea of glass that looks out over the marsh wetlands.
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Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Parrot Cay by COMO
Now that a $10 million investment program is completed, all Parrot Cay's rooms and suites redesigned. The rooms now have louvered doors that open onto terraces or verandas, oyster-white walls with tongue-and-groove paneling, and mosquito netting over four-poster beds. The spacious tiled bathrooms are beautifully appointed with a big tub and a shower, and the spa’s Invigorate toiletries. The best units are the roomy, handsome beach houses and villas, which offer utter privacy and direct access to the beach, not to mention plunge pools and hardwood verandas. Beach villas (one to three bedrooms) are even roomier, with swimming pools and kitchenettes. If this isn't your idea of Caribbean heaven, perhaps you should consider a vacation in the Arctic.
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The palm alley at the Nisbet Plantation in Nevis David Massey

A respect for fine living prevails at this gracious estate house, set on a coconut plantation. It's the only plantation hotel on the island that opens directly onto a beach—a kilometer or so (1/2 mile) of pulverized coral sand backed by palm trees (the plantation's famous corridor of palms, pictured, leads to the strand). The grounds once belonged to the family of Frances Nisbet, who, at the age of 22, married British naval hero Horatio Nelson.

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A guestroom at the Nisbet Plantation in Nevis David Massey

The great house was rebuilt on the foundations of the original 18th-century manor house. The ruins of a circular sugar mill stand at the entrance, covered with hibiscus, bougainvillea, and poinciana. Gingerbread and fretwork-trimmed guest cottages (pictured), each with between two and four units, are set in a palm grove.

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Guests feed sharks at Fowl Cay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas. Fowl Cay Resort

Though not actually in the Caribbean, Fowl Cay makes our dream list because it has the hallmarks of the great resorts already listed in this slideshow. The waters off its docks are a crystalline blue, and, as pictured, guests may feed the nonthreatening sharks that come to the pier. There's a wonderful array of activities onsite, from bone fishing to tennis to lounging on one of three white-sand beaches. And the staff is tremendously attentive and friendly. What's unusual here are the inclusions in the initial price: Not only are all food and drink covered, but so is use of a golf cart to get around the island and a power boat to tootle to nearby beaches and islands. Gear for fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, and a number of land-based games are also included.

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A guestroom at the Fowl Cay in Great Exumas, the Bahamas Fowl Cay Resort
All guests are housed in 1-, 2-, or 3-bedroom villas, each of which comes with a fully equipped and fully stocked kitchen (the food is also included in the price). Villas feature airy, bright décor and lots of floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors.
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Cap Maison, St. Lucia from afar Cap Maison Resort
Cap Maison in the West Indies' St. Lucia is a secluded resort with plenty to offer, especially for visitors who don't want to spend their entire vacation sitting on the beach. The resort offers classes and tours in kayaking, Hobie Cat sailing, paddle boarding wind surfing and snorkelling. The resort also has private hiking and running trails, and is minutes from the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club. 
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Rooms at Cap Maison Cap Maison Resort
Besides gorgous garden- or ocean-view rooms and suites, Cap Maison is home to several privat villas. The Courtyard Villa has separate living/dining areas, with a large private terrace overlooking the resort's spanish coutyard. The resort also have two oceanview villas: one has a prviate whirlpool jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, and the other has a private pool.
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