6 Caribbean Resorts With Style

You’re a special snowflake—shouldn’t your Caribbean hideaway be unique, too? By Ann Abel. This appeared in the November/December 2015 issue.

St Kitts & Nevis
This eco-friendly property is unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean. A 400-acre working farm built within a sustainable community on Mount Liamuiga, the low-key luxury resort has St. Kitt’s requisite gingerbread trim and banana-plant landscaping. Here, however, signs tell guests when the fruit is ripe enough to pick—even the golf course is designed to be harvested. Belle Mont’s 84 clapboard cottages have open-air baths and wrap-around verandas that look out on the neighboring islands of Saba and St. Eustatius, but the resort’s real draw lies in its six farm-to-table restaurants, where guests can enjoy global takes on West Indian specialties (think papaya lamb stew and wine-braised pork with coconut, pumpkin, and chocolate) under the stars.
Malliouhana, Long Bay Village 2640, Anguilla
Located on a craggy cliff jutting between Meads Bay and Turtle Cove Beach, Malliouhana has views of the glittering aquamarine sea that will hypnotize guests from the moment they arrive to its chic porte cochere. The bright, cerulean open-air lobby with mirrored mosaic-tile flooring tumbles out to a deck where tiered infinity pools are punctuated by ruffled yellow umbrellas, and a cliffside restaurant serves fresh seafood and farm-to-table fare. Built in 1984, this is Anguilla’s original luxury resort, which reopened in December 2018 after a complete restoration following Hurricane Irma. While guests may find it hard to take their eyes off the dazzling Caribbean, the 46-room boutique hotel’s interior design offers its own portal to the sublime with an aesthetic that can best be described as tropical eclectic. Guest rooms are painted sorbet yellow or robin’s-egg blue and feature white lacquer four-poster beds, mural panels by Haitian artist Jasmin Joseph, Venetian glass lamps, and sea-green marble bathroom vanities. All of this somehow swirls together for a look that’s both regal and untamed. Beyond the rooms, guests can look forward to an extended pool deck with fresh cabanas, as well as the new Bar Soleil, which offers a prime spot to watch Anguilla’s famous sunsets. In early 2019, the resort plans to unveil a brand-new beachfront bar, a two-bedroom villa on Turtle Cove Beach, 11 beachfront and garden suites, and an expanded Auberge Spa with six new treatment rooms and an ocean-view pool.

Cabarete, Dominican Republic
At this luxury resort on the Dominican Republic’s lush northern coast, 25 clifftop casitas (one with two bedrooms and 13 with swimming pools) sit 60 feet above a mile-long stretch of Playa Grande. Each one features floor-to-ceiling windows for taking in the ocean views, plus teak pocket doors between the bedrooms and living areas, huge walk-in closets, and shaded terraces. Surrounded by 2,170 acres of jungle and almost 400 acres of protected rain forest, the resort itself offers spectacular seclusion. In Casa Grande, a building that’s pretty much all glass, you’ll find the lobby as well as a restaurant, library, and terrace overlooking an infinity pool, where you can gaze out over the jungle, ocean, and 18-hole Playa Grande Golf and Ocean Club (which includes 10 holes atop ocean cliffs).

Down on the beach, there’s Club de Playa for enjoying locally inspired dishes, seafood barbecues, and the catch of the day. Guests here should also make time for spa treatments and tennis on the clay courts. Apart from activities like big-game fishing, boating through the mangroves to a hidden swimming cove, and hiking to waterfalls, you may never want to leave the resort.
Dunmore Street, Dunmore Town, The Bahamas
On an island that’s less than two square miles with fewer than 2,000 people, new hotel openings are bound to cause a stir—as did Bahama House when it launched on Harbour Island in January, 2017. It’s the newest outpost from the folks at Eleven Experience, a vacation outfitter known for offering elegance after a full day of bespoke escapades. Spread across a restored colonial home built in 1800, an annex, and two authentic Bahamian cottages and enclosing a freshwater lap pool, handcrafted tiki bar, and hot tub area, Bahama House’s 11 suites have been appointed with eclectically curated furnishings, artwork, and wall coverings, eschewing island kitsch for beach-chic sumptuousness. Though the hotel leans toward softer adventures than sister properties in Colorado, Iceland, and the French Alps, the flip-flop–wearing “experience managers” are on hand to arrange snorkeling and bonefishing excursions and paddleboard or kayak outings. Or they’ll simply provide a fully stocked Yeti cooler for a day of lounging on famous pink-sand beaches.
Race Course, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Goldeneye, to be clear, is not an easy place to leave. The land—the former home of Ian Fleming, where he wrote each of the 14 James Bond thrillers that would cement his place in literary and cinematic history—sits next to the tiny town of Oracabessa, on the northern coast. A warm, blue-green lagoon curls from the ocean around a small island and then lets out into a bay. You can look one direction and see a jungle, then turn around and see pristine white sand.

Blackwell bought the property in 1976 as a vacation home and a space to entertain family and friends but later he decided to transform it. In 2016, Goldeneye debuted a jumble of new huts, arranged around a small cove, a short walk from Fleming’s house and the resort’s original villas. The huts vary in height, designed to capture cooling breezes and allow guests to forgo air conditioning. And, crucially, they’re much cheaper to book than the Villas. Which is key because, up until this point, if you wanted to plan a visit to Goldeneye, you needed to either know Blackwell personally or have the excess capital to shell out potentially five figures on a vacation. (Part of the resort’s enduring gravitational pull is that many of the celebrity guests check both boxes.) With the beach huts, Blackwell has expanded, once again, the ambition of his famous resort.
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