Caribbean islands lure millions of visitors annually with their flour-soft, white-sand beaches and beautiful blue-green waters. But an emerging culinary scene is making the Caribbean a food paradise, too. Gone are the days when travelers were limited to lackluster hotel buffet spreads, Jamaican jerk-chicken shacks, and Bahamian fried-conch joints (though the latter two are still amazing authentic options). Nowadays, renowned chefs are utilizing the islands’ fresh seafood, bold spices, and rich cross-cultural culinary heritages to create dishes that dazzle as much as the sea itself.
The resorts on this list make their restaurants just as high of a priority as their rooms, grounds, and service. So take a look at the 19 Caribbean hotels that are the best for foodies.
There are several superb restaurants throughout Casa de Campo's massive property, providing some of the best food in the D.R. The most noteworthy two are the Beach Club by Le Cirque, an award-winning French restaurant on the beach with a casual vibe by day and a romantic, candlelit scene at night; and La Piazzetta, which serves delicious homemade pasta in Altos de Chavon, a section of the property that's open to the public and is an exact replica of a 16th-century European village. Several restaurants are also located at the marina, and the poolside La Cana, located in the main area of the hotel, is a popular spot for pre- and post-dinner drinks. All restaurants have children's menus and high chairs. However, the excellent quality comes at a very sizable price tag, and not all restaurants are available on the all-inclusive plan.
One&Only's quality food and beverage options are led by Dune, celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's first venue in the Caribbean. The French-Asian restaurant features sensational views of the ocean; One&Only's Courtyard Terrace doesn’t have Dune's enviable ocean views, but the Mediterranean restaurant is nonetheless a romantic scene, with glowing candles, fire pits, and fountains. Other eateries include the Pool Terrace Café, next to the main pool, open for lunch and drinks during the day (with a large rum selection) into the early evening, and the indoor/outdoor Clubhouse, part of the golf course. One&Only also offers a free shuttle to nearby Atlantis for more choice in restaurants and bars.
Opened in 2000, this resort quickly became known for having some of the best dining on St. Lucia -- and in all of the Caribbean for that matter. It appeals to foodies because, not only does it have five dining options to choose from (a rarity on the island, particularly for a hotel with just 49 rooms), but they all emphasize produce grown on the 600-acre property. The elegant Treehouse Restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner, has wood-beamed ceilings, white-linen covered tables, and hilltop views. Piti Piton Bar is set just off Treehouse Restaurant. It’s sunny and airy, with wonderful views of the grounds and pillars decorated with hand-painted murals. The views are equally impressive at neighboring Emerald’s, which serves an all-vegetarian dinner menu.
Undoubtedly one of the most prestigious hotels in St. Barts, this exclusive 15-villa luxury resort sits amid 28 lush acres of natural hills and beachfront. The ocean views are jaw-dropping, and can be seen from the hotel’s French restaurant -- one of the island’s most renowned and one of the main reasons celebrities come here to relax. Featuring special themed meals such as a three-course “Fish Market” experience and a famed Sunday brunch, Le Gaiac puts a local spin on French favorites, and incorporates many ingredients grown in its organic garden. Along with its impressive wine menu, Le Gaiac is known for dishes such as braised Seabass and crispy Guinea fowl.
Part of the same upscale resort and condo complex as the Puntacana, Tortuga Bay has a range of excellent dining options, including an Oscar de la Renta-designed restaurant, Bamboo. The inventive menu is based on Mediterranean cuisine, and features a variety of innovative fusion dishes (black Angus tenderloin with stewed edamame, dorado with beet reduction) made from top-quality ingredients.
The Dutch side may not be known for its fine dining, but St. Martin (thanks to its French influence) has quite a few top-notch restaurants, the best likely being found at La Samanna. Now part of the luxe Belmond brand, the resort features one fine-dining restaurant overlooking the beach, as well as a casual spot for breakfast and daytime drinks, and two quality bars with cocktails and light bites. The highlight here, though, is the 12,000-bottle wine cellar (one of the largest in the Caribbean) that guests can book for private dinners and events.
Eden Rock is one of St. Barth’s most popular resorts for many reasons, the top-notch on-site restaurants being one of them. On the Rocks restaurant, headed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is perched on a breathtaking overlook above St. Jean’s Bay, and serves high-end French cuisine with exotic twists. And the seaside Sand Bar serves contemporary breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere (guests can eat barefoot on the beach).
Run by award-winning chef Martin Maginley, the restaurant at the Round Hill hotel focuses on elegant, classic cuisine with a Caribbean twist, like lemongrass lobster bisque, chicken liver pate made with 30-year-old rum, and seared snapped with callaloo puree. The food is phenomenal, but pricey; prospective guests might want to consider Round Hill's all-inclusive package.
The larger Atlantis complex has an endless supply of food and beverage options both inside and out: breakfast buffets, chain outposts, pool bars and grills, and mid- and high-range options, like the Cove's upscale Mosaic buffet and Mesa Grill, the Southwestern restaurant and steakhouse from celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a space designed by architect David Rockwell. There is a Cove dining plan available for Cove and Reef guests only. It is a set price per day and includes breakfast and buffet or a la carte dinner at a number of Atlantis eateries (it does not include gratuity or alcohol). A shuttle can also take guests to One&Only Ocean Club for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's first Caribbean restaurant, Dune.
Other than its breathtaking setting, this Punta Cana resort may be best known for its charismatic service and standout food and beverage program. Quality international buffet spreads for breakfast and lunch are likely to impress even the most doubting and discerning of all-inclusive resort-goers. A la carte options include an upscale steakhouse, a globally-influenced Mediterranean restaurant, and the romantic adult-only Passion, which has a menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui. Royal Service guests have access to the Italian restaurant Palazzo, which has a sunny terrace for lunch. Pre- and post-dinner cocktails can be enjoyed at bars sprinkled around the resort, including the Avenue Bar in the courtyard where guests can sit back, listen to the fountain, and look at the stars.
The restaurants at this romantic all-inclusive are fantastic in their own right; the fact that none of them require reservations (unlike many all-inclusives) is a huge bonus. Many guests consider the highlight to be the seafood-focused Blue Marlin Bar and Grill -- composed of a series of thatched-roof huts that sit over the ocean -- and there are also a steakhouse, a dinner-only Italian restaurant, and a "floating" Chinese restaurant in the hotel's Castle section (the resort is designed to look like a Spanish castle town).
With its upscale boutique vibe and dramatic cliffside setting, the Caves is considered one of Jamaica’s most romantic escapes. Dining is included in the room rates and local, seasonal ingredients dominate the creative menu. While offerings are limited given the hotel’s small-scale, guests consistently rave about the quality of meals. There are several grottos at the base of the cliffs, where private five-course dining by evening candlelight is available (and is beyond compare). This is also included in the rates, but reservations are required. Blackwell Rum Bar occupies another grotto, while the clifftop bar -- The Sands -- offers outdoor imbibing and authentic jerk-barbecue nights. Room service is also available, and the hotel offers cooking classes on request once a week.
Located in a colonial mansion in the heart of Nassau, the upscale Graycliff Hotel has a beautiful facade with a two-story veranda, frequent live jazz music in the lounge, a chocolatier, cigar factory, three restaurants, and a world-class wine cellar. The elegant, five-star Graycliff Restaurant serves continental cuisine with Bahamian flavors in one of four beautifully decorated dining areas or on the outdoor patio. Graycliff also houses an enormous wine cellar with the third largest private collection in the world at 273,000 bottles. The cellar has rare wines and cognacs, and even has its own private dining room that hosts small events and dinners.
The CuisinArt, one of the best-known resorts in Anguilla, prides itself on its food -- and for good reason. On-site dining options include a Japanese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant, a poolside cafe, a beach grill, and a lobby bar. Though many foods must be imported to the island, the menus here boast fresh seafood as well as ingredients from the hotel's hydroponic farm -- a rare find not only in the Caribbean but at hotels in general. The restaurant decor, like the decor throughout the hotel, feels more island-y than upscale, but contributes to the relaxed atmosphere.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach is yet another luxury property in the Caribbean that benefits from the culinary expertise of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is behind the resort's signature Fern restaurant. Guests can also dine at the casual Beach Club Restaurant, with ocean views, or Seagrapes, where options range from s'mores on Saturdays to a daily tea ritual. Of course there's a bar with signature cocktails as well, but what really stands out here is that the St. Regis organizes an annual gathering of food trucks on-site, so guests can sample authentic Puerto Rican cuisine without having to trek far from their rooms or the beach.
There are 10 dining options in total at Sandals LaSource, including a casual English pub, a French bakery, a fine Italian restaurant, a seafood spot on the beach, and a steakhouse (Sandals' first), Butch’s Chophouse. There are also five bars scattered across the property, with nightly entertainment ranging from karaoke to live reggae music. Other events include cocktail parties, wine tastings, and a weekly chocolate buffet.
There are three food options at this quiet, 55-room adult-only boutique hotel in Punta Cana. Laveranda is the main restaurant, with Mediterranean cuisine and both indoor and alfresco dining for all three meals. Tau is the Asian restaurant in the lobby, and La Gourmond is the upscale option with an 8,000-bottle wine cellar (one of the best selections in Punta Cana); both are for dinner only. Blu bar serves tapas under the palapa next to the pool during the day, and Sybbar serves cocktails and offers live entertainment throughout the day and evening. There's also a Cigar Lounge. Guests can book a package just covering breakfast or one that covers all meals and drinks. All-inclusive guests also get free 24-hour room service.
Named after the Creole term for cocoa-drying sheds, the St. Lucia luxury hotel Boucan was founded by British chocolate firm Hotel Chocolat. Perched high above sea level, the hotel is set on a working cocoa estate outside Soufriere that dates back to the 18th century. Boucan has a number of wonderful features, most with chocolate-themed touches, but the "cacao cuisine" Boucan Restaurant is the clear stand-out. It draws travelers and locals alike with its imaginative, farm-to-table fare and 180-degree views of Petit Piton. Cacao is included in both sweet and savory dishes, along with other locally sourced ingredients. A blackboard menu lists cocktail specials, including chocolate-infused drinks like martinis made with 12-percent dark chocolate and cocoa bitters. Breakfast is included in room rates and provides an impressive spread of fresh fruits, porridge, muffins, as well as hot items like eggs and bacon.
This turn-of-the-century hotel-mansion in Bermuda pours on the charm, especially at its romantic Ascots Restaurant -- an attraction all of its own. The bar exudes the same Gilded Age swank as the rest of the hotel -- from plush wingback chairs and a dark wood bar to barkeeps in traditional attire and a whisky-swilling clientele -- and the restaurant has more of a modern edge, with Cubist paintings and an evocative ceiling mural. In the cellar is one of the island’s most impressive wine collections, as well as a private dining room, and outside is a beautifully lit garden with an Italianate fountain and statue. The menu is filled with intriguing flavor combinations like chilled banana soup with Bermuda rum and toasted almonds and North Atlantic cod wrapped in Parma ham. A more casual dining option, Just 24, is open for lunch and dinner.