From a storied retreat with French-inflected glamour in St. Bart’s to a resort with serious eco-credentials in less-visited Dominica, the Caribbean has no shortage of well-appointed hotels that put travelers in the heart of some of the region’s most spectacular natural settings. Whether you’re looking for ocean activities, fine dining, or even just a sun bed on a powder-soft beach, you’ll find your own version of paradise among these standout luxury resorts in the Caribbean.
- Where: St. Bart’s
- What to expect: A chic and storied retreat with a rare swimming beach
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Surprisingly, there are only so many good swimming beaches along the white-sand shores of St Bart’s. Eden Rock—a property from the luxury Oetker Collection in sheltered Sean Jean Bay—is located on one of them, and guests can wade out to the hotel’s ruby red floating dock located a few feet from shore. Eden Rock, which first debuted in the 1950s and became a respite for the camera-weary Hollywood set, also happens to be one of the finest places to stay on the island, with 37 white slatted guest rooms and suites and two villas, which were recently overhauled with wooden panels and flecks of bright red.
Each accommodation exudes personality, with wood-paneled walls, leather tub chairs, and splashes of color throughout. Some rooms are in the garden, while others are set atop a boulder or on the beach with a terrace that juts over the water. In the newly overhauled Rockstar Villa, there’s a lap pool with plenty of outdoor seating for lounging. Jean-Georges Vongerichten oversees the culinary program at the two restaurants, including the ocean-facing Sand Bar, which features truffle-topped pizza and locally caught fare like mahi mahi and lobster, all prepared with French flair.
Golden Rock Inn
- Where: Nevis
- What to expect: A contemporary, design-forward beach retreat
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The Golden Rock Inn’s owners are New York–based artist couple Brice and Helen Marden, and the palm-filled property brims with pieces from the contemporary international designers they love best. Set around an 18th-century stone sugar mill in the central-eastern part of the island, Golden Rock Inn is centered on a garden shaded by coconut palms and mango trees where monkeys climb. The six bright cottages feature colorful rugs, throws, and chaise lounges. Look for pieces by such design heavyweights as Patricia Urquiola and Vitra. Activities include hiking, biking, and garden tours where mangoes are plucked straight from the trees. But lounging around the spring-fed pool with a rum punch somehow feels equally virtuous in this nature-filled sanctuary.
- Where: Jamaica
- What to expect: A James Bond–worthy Caribbean getaway
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GoldenEye has changed significantly since James Bond author Ian Fleming first bought the original house in Oracabessa Bay in 1946. Yet a stay here still feels like you have a secret slice of Jamaica to yourself. Purchased by music producer Chris Blackwell in 1976, the property has expanded with 45 beach huts and villas spread along the shoreline, among mangroves, and by an emerald lagoon. Staying true to the resort’s easygoing vibe, the huts are chic but unfussy, with four-poster beds draped in mosquito nets, wicker chairs, and wood slatted shutters.
While the guest rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, the ample ocean breezes are often more than enough to keep things cool. Among the three on-site restaurants, one of the best is Bamboo Bar on Button Beach, where you can order grilled fish with scotch bonnet or Jamaican jerk barbecue with your feet in the sand. Between dips in the round, ocean-facing pool or jaunts to nearby Button Bay, where boats bob in the water, check out one of Blackwell’s many nearby restaurant recommendations. They include what he considers to be the best barbecue jerk chicken ever made.
- Where: Bahamas
- What to expect: A family-owned hotel with a locavore ethos
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For 25 years, Kamalame Cay’s family owners have embraced both barefoot luxury and a commitment to supporting local businesses. What started as four beach houses in 1997 are now 35 bungalows, cottages, and villas spread along three miles of pristine beach on the eastern part of the Bahamas. But the original boho-beach club feel has remained: The bungalows are sanctuaries of inviting white couches, crisp white linens, wooden floors, and distinctive design details like intricately painted cabinets. The resort’s six seasonal restaurants draw much of their fresh produce from Kamalame’s own sustainable farm, which also supplies organic eggs and honey.
Snorkeling or scuba diving along the Andros Barrier Reef, the third largest reef system in the world, is high on the agenda for many visitors. But so is a holistic sensory massage with marine-based cruelty-free products in one of the airy treatment rooms of the only overwater spa in the Bahamas.
Rockhouse Hotel and Spa
- Where: Jamaica
- What to expect: A laid-back home away from home (with Caribbean Sea views)
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Located in Negril, on the western tip of Jamaica, Rockhouse is a feel-good vacation for many reasons. The 40-room hotel is Green Globe Certified. And the hotel’s nonprofit, Rockhouse Foundation, has invested more than $7 million in the local school system, which guests can visit. The resort’s destination stewardship makes it that much more rewarding to indulge in the activities you’ve come to experience: snorkeling, paddle boarding, a day on Negril beach, or simply lounging around the infinity pool. The stone-and-thatch rooms with wooden four-poster beds, built from local materials and designed to blend into the rocky landscape, are equally enticing; some sit along a rocky volcanic cliff with terraces that jut out over the sea.
Jumby Bay Island Resort
- Where: Antigua
- What to expect: An off-the-radar hideaway along the island’s northern shores
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Only reachable by boat, Oetker Collection’s Jumby Bay sits on a private island off Antigua and Barbuda. It offers a true dose of seclusion on 300 acres of flowering Joewood trees, pearly white sand, and sparkling blue shores. The 40-room resort recently debuted refurbished suites in shades of sand and white, with palm wall coverings and tropical themed paintings by local artist Jan Farara. Throughout the property, meandering paths for walkers and cyclists lead to beaches with nearby coral reefs teeming with marine life.
The hotel is also home to a flock of sheep originally brought over from Spain 400 years ago that have been roaming the island ever since. At Jumby Bay’s own farm, only accessible by foot or by bike, guests can dine under the stars, sharing such dishes as poached Antiguan conch and lobster tartare.
- Where: Dominica
- What to expect: A sustainability-focused resort on a wildlife-filled Caribbean island
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Billing itself as one of the most sustainable hotels to open in the Caribbean, Dominica’s Coulibri Ridge was founded by Québécois entrepreneur Daniel Langlois, who fell in love with the island in 1997. The hotel debuted in October 2022 on a hillside facing the forested Sulphur Spring Valley of Dominica. The opening is significant for green initiatives within the region, as well as for the isolated, less visited island, where low foot traffic means more opportunities to connect with nature and resident wildlife without the crowds.
The solar-powered resort is completely off the grid, with a central bank storage system that ensures it will never be without power. The 14 modular suites were fashioned out of hand-chiseled stone with recycled teak wood finishes and ceilings constructed from 100 percent recyclable, mold-resistant aluminum. In an effort to lighten its footprint, the hotel has taken a holistic approach: Rainwater is collected for drinking, copper ionization is used to kill any bacteria in the pool, and all ingredients in the two restaurants are either grown on-site or purchased from local producers. Coulibri Ridge even has specially designed wind turbines so birds don’t fly into them. Next year, the hotel will open a greenhouse with a 10,000-gallon cistern with noncirculating hydroponics on the property’s small farm.
O2 Beach Club
- Where: Barbados
- What to expect: A swanky new hotel on the island’s more low-key south coast
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Barbados’s newest resort is the all-inclusive, eight-story O2 Beach Club, which is located on the relaxed south coast of Barbados. Unlike some of the more traditional retreats on the island, O2 stands out with its mix of top-notch service and more laid-back, contemporary-feeling vibe. The 130 fuchsia- and blue-accented rooms are all set on a sandy beach. With three swimming pools (one is a rooftop pool; not easy to find on the island), six restaurants, and a 5,600-square foot spa, the resort has no shortage of things to do.
With so much going on, it may sound like pockets of peace are hard to find, but there are places to find a respite: a private dinner around a firepit on the beach, paddle boarding on the water, or a meditative spa treatment with Osea products. Don’t miss an excursion to the nearby Barbados Boardwalk, which winds along the shoreline past outdoor pools and white-sand beaches.
Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel
- Where: Anguilla
- What to expect: A slice of Santorini in the Caribbean
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Set along the southern coast of Anguilla on Maundays Bay, lined with picturesque white beach umbrellas, Cap Juluca is filled with domed roofs and archways that frame mesmerizing views of the sea. The 128 accommodations are equally elegant, with white couches, blue throws, and slatted shutters. Yet even in such chic surroundings, the Santorini-inspired hotel manages to maintain an easygoing, barefoot luxury vibe. That might mean a beachside lunch at the Capshack with rum punches, watermelon gazpacho, and a tuna poke bowl from a food truck. A little less rustic but equally inviting, Pimms serves jerk chicken and Caribbean red fish curry next to breezy curtains and soaring arches. Spend sun-filled days snorkeling, sailing, or soaking up rays on the white-sand beach. For avid fishers, the hotel offers expeditions with a local fisherman who can take them to all his secret spots around the island.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay
- Where: British Virgin Islands
- What to expect: A reimagined historic resort with conservation-driven activities
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Originally founded by financier, philanthropist, and conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1964, Rosewood Little Dix Bay has always been a secluded place rooted in nature. Set on a hillside on Virgin Gorda island, the hotel was renovated in 2020, and the 82 guest rooms are now awash in maritime-inspired blue-and-white colors with rain showers and glass doors that lead to palm shaded pathways and ocean views. Some of the interiors still feature their original Pietra Cardosa stone walls, and the resort’s beachside pavilion has vaulted slate roofs modeled from the original ones that were destroyed in a hurricane.
With the renovation came new programming, too: Take a trip to the Baths National Park, where visitors can swim in pools flanked by granite boulders. Or head out during the day with scientists on a turtle tagging conservation excursion on the half-mile crescent beach, dubbed “wilderness beach” by Rockefeller, where hawksbill, green, and leatherback turtles lay their eggs between July and October.