Luxury has many different definitions. It can be as ingenuous as Caribbean resorts like The St. Regis and The Ritz-Carlton that are destinations unto themselves, delivering all the authentic splendor of their tropical settings within hotel grounds. Whether that’s one of your post-pandemic must-haves or it’s more the quality of your resort experience—from the role of local culture to thoughtful amenities and stylish aesthetics—these resorts demonstrate an exquisite sensitivity to all that travelers seek in a spectacular voyage. It’s the difference between merely a place to stay and accommodations that give you peace of mind, enrich your getaway, and become part of the joy and stories that you bring home with you.
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort, the first branded resort on the island, doesn’t take this distinction lightly—in fact, it makes the most of its storied location, paying tribute to it in charmingly creative ways. History buffs and all guests alike get the exclusive experience of not just visiting historic St. Catherine’s Beach and Fort, at the northeastern tip of St. George’s (a UNESCO World Heritage Site itself, renowned for its calm water and soft, white sand); they spend their days and nights there for a deeper, more immersive vacation. The resort is located steps from Gates Bay, the spot where Bermuda’s first settlers, the privateer Sir George Somers and his party, washed ashore in 1609 after their vessel the Sea Venture was shipwrecked.
Their story is said to have inspired Shakespeare in writing The Tempest. And so, the mural behind The St. Regis Bar depicts the waves that swallowed the ships of fact and fiction. It’s the work of Brooklyn-based artist Johanna Burke, who added little hands to the bottom of her composition (a reference to Prospero concluding The Tempest by asking the groundlings to clap him off the stage). This kind of attention to detail throughout the hotel is what makes moments like sipping the must-try cocktail The Gates Bay Mary—an inspired variant of The St. Regis signature Bloody Mary that blends Gosling’s Black Seal Rum with local island spices—all the more enjoyable.
Another thoughtful element making this resort such a special destination is afternoon tea, a beloved ritual of both The St. Regis and Bermuda. Guests may enjoy their favorite brew—Earl Grey, herbal, whatever they fancy—in The Drawing Room, along with scones and candy-colored macarons, a tradition inspired by The St. Regis founder’s mother Caroline Astor and perfected over 100 years.
You’ll discover a chic approach to design here too. In guest rooms, bright white walls maximize the light flooding in from windows that open onto brilliant ocean views, several with spacious balconies. The décor deliberately doesn’t try to compete with the magnificent, multi-colored sunsets Bermuda is known for.
A premium has been placed on relaxation and rejuvenation everywhere here. On the ground floor, The St. Regis Spa uses local ingredients and offers various healing and restorative massages. And the guest bathrooms throughout the resort are soothing spa retreats unto themselves, with custom bathtubs made for the resort by Claybrook Interiors of natural stone and cladding.
The resort offers manmade waters as calmly inviting as the sea at St. Catherine’s beach: two outdoor infinity pools, one strictly for adults and one for families. Lounge between laps on inviting chaises, and from the vantage point in a private cabana, take in the glorious views in every direction. Or bask in Bermuda’s brilliant blue space from a farther, greener distance: the lush links of the Five Forts Golf Club offer enchanting vistas from every hole.
Continue the communion with the sea at Lina, a casual eatery, and BLT Steak, where oysters and shrimp, Branzino, and local Snapper, satisfy the seafood-lover’s palate. And why not try one’s luck at the hotel’s classic casino? The very first for The St. Regis brand, it’s on par with the world’s most glamorous seaside destinations for gaming.
The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos
The irresistible allure of Grace Bay Beach—one of the world’s most desirable seaside destinations—informs every aspect of the first luxury branded resort on the Turks and Caicos islands, The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos. The crystal-clear waters and immaculate sands beckon travelers to explore the main island, Providenciales, with non-motorized water sports.
It’s the ultimate tropical playground, offering activities both outdoors and in, from scuba diving and kayaking, to teasing Lady Luck in the elegant Turks and Caicos salon, The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton. The 5,500-square-foot casino is equipped with clear protective partitions and features nine traditional table games (including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat), plus myriad slot machines.
Find your flow in one of the resort’s two outdoor pools—one for families, and the other, adults-only. For more private pool playtime, opt for the Pool Cabana Experience, featuring plush lounge chairs, personalized amenities, and refreshments, including a fresh fruit platter. After that, the sea-view rooms, with their spacious layouts and balconies, make the perfect spot for sunbathing. Or indulge in a spa treatment inspired by the ocean and incorporating Indigenous ingredients and customs, all in a tranquil seaside setting.
When it’s time to refuel, dining options include fresh local ingredients that make up a Mediterranean medley of flavors at Coralli, celebrating the cuisines of coastal Italy, Greece, and the Middle East—couscous or quinoa salad and dips such as hummus are deliciously healthy fare for a satisfyingly yet light meal. For a grander dining experience, head to BLT Steak, the ultimate contemporary update on the traditional American steak house where you can savor the freshest of seafood too.
Speaking of the delights of the sea, if just a quick bite is what the moment calls for, stop for a snack of steamed edamame and sashimi—or seaweed salad and grilled jumbo prawns—at Noori in the Lobby Lounge. Be sure to slow down over a craft cocktail and take in the views of Grace Bay, as invigorating as a whiff of the wasabi aioli that accompanies the ocean-fresh sashimi.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico
Whether planning a destination wedding, or temporarily migrating with a flock of friends and family, chart a course for your very own Caribbean castle: the just-opened Casa Estancias, a five-bedroom private estate that sleeps ten. The accommodations offer a cool, contemporary contrast to its lush tropical setting: an oasis of ultra-modern design, with a private pool right out of a James Bond film, located just steps from the resort’s two-mile stretch of beach. Access the 14,000-square-feet villa through a private drive that leads directly to the entrance, where guests literally walk on water—a tranquil pool landscaped with welcoming palm trees and fountains.
It’s the latest offering from The St. Regis Bahia Beach, where luxury meets sustainability and that rare bird of a St. Regis tradition—its legendary Butler Service—is right at home amidst some of the world’s most exotic and fascinating feathered creatures. The ravishing Rio Grande resort is a mere 30-minute drive from Old San Juan, and 16 miles from Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz International Airport (the Caribbean’s largest hub). Situated between the El Yunque National Forest and Espiritu Santo River State Preserve, The St. Regis Bahia Beach transformed a 483-acre coconut plantation into a leader in luxury accommodations.
Here, The St. Regis’s renowned hospitality extends to the wild neighbors with plumage. Upholding the highest standards of conservation, more than 65 percent of the property is preserved as green areas, sanctuaries, and nature trails—to the delight of eco-conscious guests. This property proudly features two bird sanctuaries, including the Caribbean’s first and only certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary.
Nature lovers will feel instantly at home. The resort takes eco-tourism to the next level with a tennis center, golf course, and boat house for water sports in addition to four miles of nature trails, 70 acres of lakes, and guest rooms with unforgettable ocean and garden views. And no matter how hard you stretch yourself, there’s a whirlpool to help you wind down (in addition to soothing massages on offer at the Iridium Spa).
Recharge at Paros Signature Restaurant, which transports the tavern-style flavors of Greece and the Mediterranean to Puerto Rico. You’ll dine formally on the freshest fruits of the sea, with brilliant beach views from your table. For more casual fare in the open air, Seagrapes serves eclectic cuisine in a colorful setting. Sit down to bistro fare prepared with fresh ingredients (there’s an adjacent nursery). The kids in your party—or your inner child—will especially enjoy the hand-tossed pizza.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Design lovers, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas is your destination in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The property underwent a $100 million total transformation and came out looking like a lavish film set—especially the trio of three-bedroom Presidential suites accommodating eight guests with five full bathrooms and a kitchen. And all rooms feature a balcony or private terrace with ocean views.
The resort’s beaches are Blue Flag certified—there’s even a living mangrove on the property—and the new swimming pool offers 11 poolside cabanas and a stately staircase that looks like a sound stage for a grand entrance by legendary movie mermaid Esther Williams. For even more drama, island-hop aboard the Lady Lynsey II, her sleek navy-and-white palette making her one of the world’s most see-worthy catamarans.
Indoors, the guest rooms’ soft, cool colors provide a tranquil contrast to the bright St. Thomas heat. After a respite, head to one of the resort’s restaurants that embrace local elements for the evening. At Alloro, bathed in moonlight over the Great Bay, diners can inhale the aroma of freshly-baked bread as they’re cushioned by canopied loveseat lounges and warmed by crackling fire pits—all the while enjoying robust Sicilian fare, including local seafood, handcrafted cocktails, and breathtaking beachfront vistas.