Rockhouse Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

There's nothing quite like the sense of discovery one feels when arriving at a hidden gem hotel -- a truly special spot that is intimate, remote, underrated, or all of the above. Some people like to brag to their friends about their insider secret; others prefer to keep it all to themselves. First up, the Rockhouse Hotel. The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates. (The slightly chicer Caves costs significantly more.)

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9 Gorgeous Hidden Gem Hotels in the Caribbean (1 of 9)

 There's nothing quite like the sense of discovery one feels when arriving at a hidden gem hotel -- a truly special spot that is intimate, remote, underrated, or all of the above. Some people like to brag to their friends about their insider secret; others prefer to keep it all to themselves.
First up, the Rockhouse Hotel. The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates. (The slightly chicer Caves costs significantly more.)
There's nothing quite like the sense of discovery one feels when arriving at a hidden gem hotel -- a truly special spot that is intimate, remote, underrated, or all of the above. Some people like to brag to their friends about their insider secret; others prefer to keep it all to themselves.
First up, the Rockhouse Hotel. The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates. (The slightly chicer Caves costs significantly more.) Offering eco-friendly bungalows in a lush, friendly setting, Natura Cabanas is a taste of serene, northern coast luxury for a remarkably fair price. Guests enjoy delicious, fresh food, a clean, crowd-less private beach, yoga classes, and a fabulous spa. It's quiet, and a bit rustic without TV or AC in rooms, but that's the point. Owned by the same couple for decades, the historic Gallery Inn is run like an informal B&B -- guests are greeted by name, much of what the restaurant serves is grown in the garden, and no two rooms are the same (though they do share lots of Spanish-style charm). Also like a B&B, the hotel lacks amenities such as TVs and a fitness center. The property's main draws include the convenient Old San Juan location, ocean views from the wine deck, and the artsy, laid-back feel. The innkeepers are both artists, and it's evident they put thought into every detail of the restoration -- expect beautiful old-world details like brick floors, wood beam ceilings, rich rugs, sculptures, and antique knickknacks. With just 11 freestanding cottages on 130 acres, this eco-minded resort is intensely lush, filled with coconut groves, fruit-bearing trees, and a working cocoa plantation. Amenities are surprisingly plenty for a property with so few beds, including a small spa, a small three-tier pool, and two organic restaurants. The rustic experience won't appeal to everyone, as TV, Wi-Fi, and A/C absent in the rooms, but adventurous travelers on a budget will surely appreciate the gorgeous authentic surroundings and affordable rates. The Biras Creek Resort is a rustic-luxe retreat with just 31 suites. It features two beaches -- one calm, looking out to the North Sound, and the other slightly rocky. Most suites do not have TVs, but guests get access to free Wi-Fi and bicycles, as well as a long list of on-site amenities: tons of water sports, tennis courts, an attractive pool, a spa, a game room, and an on-site restaurant (which has a dress code for dinner). Even when occupancy is at its height, the 140-acre resort can feel empty, though its sheer size can also make it difficult to get around. However, Biras Creek's quiet, secluded nature is just why visitors come. Accessed via a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales, this 1,000-acre all-inclusive resort on a private island is the definition of tranquility. With an incredible infinity-edge pool, world-renowned spa, waterfront Balinese-style villas, doting service, and more than three miles of pristine beaches, it's easily one of the most luxurious and romantic options in the Caribbean. But hefty price tags put it out of reach for many, and the rare level of privacy comes as the cost of convenience -- a boat commute is required to reach any nightlife or shopping. If the name “Atlantis” conjures up images of the megaresort in the Bahamas, then think again. The Atlantis Hotel in Barbados -- a historic property from the 1800s with only eight rooms -- is the polar opposite. The boutique hotel re-opened in 2009 and offers freshly decorated nautical-themed rooms with canopy beds, stylish furnishings, and modern amenities. (For families, there are two two-bedroom apartments in a separate building.) Located on the remote and rocky east coast, the beach is more suitable for surfing than swimming, and a car is recommended to get around the island. The Atlantis restaurant is popular with locals, and the varied cuisine comes with outstanding views from both indoor and outdoor tables. This former coffee plantation nestled among the steep and winding hills of Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain is a little oasis above the very un-resort-like city of Kingston. The resort offers plenty of intimacy and privacy, with just 12 cottages on more than 26 acres. It also has the features of a larger property: an expansive spa, a breezy restaurant and bar, a hilltop pool with panoramic vistas, lush gardens, and ample relaxation space. Rates might be considered a steal given the property's level of luxury -- if it weren’t for the inaccessible location and lack of beachfront. For those in search of a truly intimate boutique experience on Aruba, the Boardwalk Hotel is an excellent mid-range choice. This peaceful 14-room property, tucked behind three massive Marriott properties and situated on a former coconut plantation, remains an oasis of calm. Adventure sport seekers have called this their secret vacation home for years, but the property also appeals to couples and families. The bright, spacious rooms -- more like apartments -- have fully equipped kitchens, fine linens, and private patios. Snorkel gear is provided free to guests, as are beach towels, coolers, chairs, and umbrellas. There's no direct beach access, but guests can walk to nearby Palm Beach (full of bustling restaurants, casinos and nightlife) or get in the car and head to a hidden beach recommended by the owners -- they know the local scoop, so guests should be sure to ask their advice.
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