The Caribbean certainly ticks all the boxes for a luxury holiday – beautiful beaches, five-star resorts, irresistible island hideaways, fantastic food and exceptional experiences from snorkelling to gourmet dining – if you can drag yourself away from the pool and the pristine sands on your doorstep. It’s hard to narrow it down, but we have picked our top five Caribbean hotels for the ultimate luxury beach holiday, where you really can have it all…
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, has an outstanding location. It’s nestled between the famous UNESCO-listed Pitons, set amongst 100 acres of lush tropical rainforest, and has a marine conservation site offshore that offers amazing snorkelling and diving. However, it is its wow-factor accommodation that is the real highlight. All rooms have the minimum of a plunge pool, while the larger villas and residences have bigger pools to splash in while taking in the views over the Caribbean Sea. The style is contemporary Caribbean chic, featuring lots of whites and dark woods, with louvered doors and windows creating a traditional plantation house vibe, but with strikingly modern touches and little luxuries thrown in.
The spa is also exceptional, perfect for a spot of pampering, and while we’re on the subject of indulgence, nightly cocktails at the Cane Bar are a must!
Petit St Vincent, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Petit St Vincent is a private island resort that is all about disconnecting from the world and reconnecting with yourself, and what a fabulous setting to do it in. If you’re after a digital detox, with no Wi-Fi and no guests making noisy phone calls on the beach, this is the place to be. Stay in an idyllic, secluded and spacious cottage, where, if you want room service, instead of the latest in-room technology, just raise a flag outside (yellow for service, and red for ‘leave me in peace, please’). You can also enjoy world-class dining, including fresh catch-of-the-day fish, and lose yourself in that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages.
We can’t think of many other places in the world that get it so right. This is a stunning retreat on its own, but it’s also just a short hop by air from Barbados, making it ideal for a twin-centre island-hopping holiday.
Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Anguilla
The luxurious, boutique vibe of Malliouhana is simply irresistible, and its location certainly helps. It’s no secret that Anguilla is renowned for some of the world’s best and most award-winning beaches, with pristine bright-white sands (sunglasses required!), turquoise waters and shimmering tropical vistas. Add in the island’s bustling culinary scene, and Malliouhana really becomes one of the most quintessential luxury boutique hideaways in the Caribbean.
From the beach-chic decor to the multi-level pool, fine dining and sheer romance of the setting, this is a hotel that is a destination in its own right. Can’t choose a beach? You’ve got three to pick from here, all secluded, private and Instagram-perfect. The level of service from the long-standing staff is not just attentive, it’s whatever you want, whenever you want it, and undertaken with the warmth and charm for which the Caribbean is renowned.
Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada
The Spice Island of Grenada captures the very essence and the best bits of its bigger sisters, Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, which all come together in one perfectly-formed island of lush green hills and first-class beaches. The Spice Island Beach Resort is the only recipient of the AAA Five Diamond award in Grenada, and one of the few hotels in the Caribbean to receive this accolade. It elevates its setting to new heights, focusing on the finer things in life, and the combination of beautifully-appointed suites, superb service and an eye for detail is simply flawless. The hotel is owned by celebrated retired cricketer Sir Royston Hopkin, who has spared no thought or expense in ensuring his guests are welcomed like family, but treated like royalty.
The coveted Seagrape Beach Suites are one of our favourite places to stay in the Caribbean. Gorgeous, warm and inviting, they have pole position, with a terrace that steps directly on to the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach, which occupies a permanent position on lists of the world’s top 10 beaches, year after year.
Jumby Bay Island, an Oetker Collection Hotel, Antigua
It’s impossible not to mention Jumby Bay Island – this is one of the most exclusive, enchanting and idyllic private island resorts in the Caribbean, with accommodation options from beautiful rooms to a five-bedroom private villa: there is a space and place for everyone at this iconic resort. It’s all about the little touches and nuances here, with everything created, served or experienced being the best of the best. The spacious suites offer opulent privacy in a chic, understated, yet authentically Caribbean way. The luxurious Pool Suites are ideal for those who can’t choose between the beach and the pool – why compromise? You’ll get both here.
A highlight is the White Night dining experience: this beachfront dinner is designed to be indulgent, luxurious and unapologetic, and is spectacular, featuring the very freshest lobster, snapper and intricate delicacies, elegantly served.
If you can pull yourself away, the island of Antigua is just 10 minutes away by speedboat, and it’s a mere five- minute drive to the airport, so the resort is also easy to reach. There’s nothing left for you to do except relax in ultimate luxury.
Thomas Ryves is Marketing Director at Exsus Travel. Exsus Travel specialises in creating the very best luxury tailor-made holidays, honeymoons and family adventures in over 80 destinations worldwide.