Whether you’re looking to break up the long, cold winter or simply think the sound of a weekend beach break is the ideal way to start the new year, a short Caribbean getaway should do the trick. Sure, a week in the sun seems ideal, but there are several destinations that are perfect for all those times you just need a quick fix. From Puerto Rico to Cuba, the Caribbean getaways that are best for a short break are the ones that will give you the most from your limited time. Below, we’ve factored in resort locations, quantity and quality of activities, and flight durations from New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. to bring you five of the best Caribbean resorts for a short getaway.
1. San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Puerto Rico
Direct flight time from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston: Approximately four hours
While the flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico is not a hop on, hop off affair (it's approximately four hours direct from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston), once you arrive, you'll realize it's worth the travel time. The vibrant city of San Juan has everything you need for four days of fun. San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, which happens to be about a 10-minute drive from the airport, has direct access to Condado Beach, several restaurants and bars, and a casino if you’re feeling lucky -- which, let's face it, you are because you’re in Puerto Rico. The resort has enough to explore (there's a spa with sauna, a pool complex with swim-up bar, and more), but there’s plenty of culture to be found beyond it. The historic Old San Juan and its attractions are a short, 15-minute car ride away. While there, take in the pastel colors and colonial houses, sculptures, museums, and more.
2. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Dominican Republic
Direct flight time from New York City, Washington, D.C.: and Boston: Approximately four hours
When you only have a limited amount of time, staying in a place that has plenty of first-class amenities can be a dream. The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana is one such spot. And after an approximately four-hour flight plus a 35-minute taxi ride to the resort, guests will appreciate having everything they need close by. With 1,790 rooms, 13 pools, multiple restaurants, 23 bars, an 18-hole golf course and mini-golf course, casino, a kids' club, and not to mention, a spectacular beach, the resort gives you the option of staying on-site for the entire duration of your stay. As cliche as it sounds, there really is something for everyone here. However, if you do want to explore Punta Cana, a fun way to get around is by water taxi, which will pick you up from your resort and sail you along the coast.
3. Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Direct flight time from New York City: Approximately four hours
Direct flight time from Washington, D.C.: Approximately three-and-a-half hours
Direct flight time from Boston: Approximately four-and-a-half hours
After flights, the hotel is the other big financial outlay when booking a trip to the Cayman Islands. Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach, which is a 10-minute drive from the airport, is arguably the best affordable option on the expensive Seven Mile Beach area of Grand Cayman. Rooms are spacious and modern, and the hotel is located 50 yards from the beach -- a minute-and-a-half walk down a private, well-marked sandy path. With an attractive pool area and and an on-site restaurant, the resort has everything you need for a short break. On top of the Grand Cayman's stunning natural beauty, the nearby shopping, nightlife, and fine dining of Camana Bay -- a five-minute drive away -- offers a change of pace if you want some action alongside the relaxation.
4. Melia Habana, Cuba
Direct flight time from New York City: Approximately three-and-a-half hours
Direct flight time from Washington, D.C.: Approximately five hours
Direct flight time from Boston: Approximately six hours
Combining a resort vacation with a city break, Havana offers two-for-one appeal. And it's not just last year's lift on travel restrictions that will lure you to Havana, which is just 20 to 30 minutes from the airport. The historic sights and architecture of Old Havana are enough to fill a weekend, as are the beaches and nature hikes available in the iconic city. Stay at Melia Habana, an upscale resort with sea views and a huge pool that's the largest of any hotel in the city. Combining resort relaxation and the city’s numerous pleasures is easy thanks to a shuttle bus that runs to Old Havana six times a day. Bonus: Katy Perry and Mick Jagger have both stayed at the Melia Habana -- if celebrities are your thing.
5. Grotto Bay Beach Resort, Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Direct flight time from New York City and Boston: Approximately two hours
Direct flight from from Washington, D.C.: Approximately two-and-a-half hours (during summer months)
Sure, Bermuda is only an honorary or associate member of the Caribbean region (it’s a British Overseas Territory), but being so close to the U.S., this tropical destination can’t be overlooked. Plus, has loads of history to go along with its tropical good looks. Calm and quiet, this vacation spot is more about poolside lounging than all-night partying. Recharge your batteries at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort, a family-friendly retreat that not only has a large beach with calm waters, but is also mere minutes from the airport. Excursions can be arranged from the hotel and the on-site dive shop offers kayak and snorkel gear rentals. And if your idea of fun means relaxing by the pool with a cocktail in hand, head to the swim-up bar at this bang-for-your-buck resort.
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