While there are many great budget-friendly hotels in the Caribbean, the islands are also known for their luxury properties, where guests are treated to day trips aboard yachts, couples are offered massages in sumptuous spas, and rooms are twice the size of a New York apartment (maybe that’s not saying much). Check out our list of the best luxury hotels in the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and other Caribbean destinations.
This is called One&Only for good reason -- there’s nothing quite like it on Paradise Island, or anywhere in the Bahamas for that matter. The 106 rooms and suites, split into two sections, are luxurious, though those in the newer Crescent Wing are a bit more modern and stylish. Guests have access to the amenities at the Atlantis but the advantage of being removed from the crowds. Expansive manicured grounds have two outdoor pools, a romantic garden and statuary modeled after Versailles (a dream for weddings), and the endless stretch of white-sand beach and turquoise waves. Health and wellness nuts are spoilt for choice with daily yoga, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, an indoor/outdoor fitness center, and a Balinese-style spa with private villas. After a day in the sun, guests return to the room to find champagne and strawberries waiting, and many choose to begin their evening with sunset drinks at Jean-Georges' Dune restaurant.
Accessed via a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales, this 1,000-acre resort on a private island is the definition of tranquility. With an incredible infinity-edge pool, world-renowned COMO Shambhala 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.
Part of a massive, 7,000-acre resort community that includes three world-renowned golf courses, an immaculate beach, a marina, the quaint "town" of Altos de Chavon, and numerous other on-site activities, the Casa de Campo hotel is the D.R.'s classiest and most famous resort. It can take some time to get from place to place, but each of the spacious rooms comes with a golf cart for guests' use. The 454 spacious and sleek rooms were decorated by two local designers and all feature high vaulted ceilings, sitting areas, and balconies.
What's it like to sleep in fashion icon Oscar de la Renta's bedroom? Take a cocktail in his living room? Or sun on his patio? Staying at the 30-room Tortuga Bay hotel is the closest most people will get to knowing, since de la Renta designed the entire property. If the resort is any indication, the answer is that it's posh, yet profoundly relaxing. The hotel offers amazing service (including preferential treatment at Punta Cana Airport), an on-site nature reserve, several superb restaurants, and three world-class golf courses.
This luxurious Viceroy is truly a stunner. It has arguably the best location on St. Lucia, right in between the Pitons, St. Lucia's famous volcanic spires, and on a beautiful white-sand beach. Its 79 rooms are minimalistic, chic, and mostly white, and all come with private plunge pools, butlers, and 24-hour room service; the larger villas and cottages offer living rooms and huge bathrooms (some with outdoor showers and hot tubs). Features include a family-friendly pool, fitness center, tennis courts, and free water sports. The romantic tree-house spa is one of the island's best. The resort's restaurants and bars are pricey, but all-inclusive rates are available to help guests keep costs in check.
Eden Roc is a beautiful all-suite boutique in the gated community of Cap Cana, home to tennis courts, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a marina, a beach club, and numerous vacation villas and second homes. Unlike the party-centric Punta Cana, Cap Cana attracts a more reserved crowd of couples and families. The sprawling property is best explored via golf cart, and all guests receive one with their suite. The 34 colorful suites are clustered around a small, man-made lagoon and feature elegant decor (picture four-poster beds, intricate floor tiling, and spacious bathrooms). Up-to-date amenities include iPad-controlled lights, sound systems, and TVs with numerous channels in Spanish and English.
Romantic? Undoubtedly. Unique? Absolutely. Expensive? For sure. The luxury resort's 29 enormous suites, called "sanctuaries," are hands-down the highlight; through the innovative, open fourth wall, each has a view of a sea from the entire room -- from the canopied bed, raised whirlpool tub, and (in all but the entry-level category) private infinity pool. Getting to Jade Mountain can be tedious, even nauseating, but its organic cuisine, doting service, unwavering silence (no TVs, radios, or children), and extraordinary design make the long journey worthwhile.
With fewer than 200 suites, this family-friendly section of Paradisus Palma Real all-inclusive offers a serene, luxurious environment. The property offers sprawling grounds, meandering pathways, and upscale amenities such as a top-notch spa, yoga, and a seemingly never-ending pool area; couples will find that the well-behaved little ones here are hardly ever a bother. Guests have free access to the services, facilities, and restaurants at next door Palma Real -- particularly the beach area, which this property lacks. Parents will likely appreciate the Kids Zone and babysitting services, while all can enjoy the daily excursions, quality restaurants and bars, and personal concierge service.
This Four Seasons sits on a large, attractive beach on the small island of Nevis. The gorgeous rooms here may be the highlight; the updated decor has a Ralph Lauren-like look, with a blue-and-yellow scheme accented by pops of color and dark wood furniture; the massive bathrooms feature separate showers and tubs. Plus, almost all rooms have beautiful views, of either mountains or the ocean. The hotel's remote location makes this a popular pick for couples on a romantic getaway. But with its long list of on-site amenities, this resort is well-suited for families as well. There are three pools, multiple tennis courts, a golf course, and a kids' club. The spa is a bit small by Four Seasons standards, but this hotel is top-notch -- and worth the time it takes to get there.
The Viceroy Anguilla the most modern property on the tiny island of Anguilla -- and arguably the most luxurious. The Kelly Wearstler-designed resort manages to mix an upscale look with a laid-back, beachy feel, and features sleek lines, modern amenities, numerous art installations, earth tones, animal prints, and wood, stone, and gold accents. This look continues through the 166 rooms, which have romantic balconies as well as marble bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs. Though the Viceroy certainly attracts couples, the resort features a kids' club and teen's club, and families can be seen splashing around in the pools and heading to the tennis courts.
This 23-room luxury boutique hotel is a Balinese-inspired paradise in Curacao where the details make the difference -- hand-carved teakwood pieces, gift bags left on the beds, and candles lit all around the property are just a few examples. The highlights of the resort are the elegant rooms and villas, some with private pools, the excellent fine-dining restaurant, and a lovely (though man-made) stretch of tranquil beach. This is the top luxury resort on Curacao, without contest.
Five-pearl Eden Rock is one of the more popular resorts on St. Barth’s, and with good reason: it has two top-notch restaurants, playfully unique rooms with luxurious amenities, and a lively location in the island's downtown area that attracts chic travelers from all over the world. The prices are certainly nothing to sneeze at, but the hotel’s attention to detail (like personalized welcome notes) is what helps to maintain their reputation as one of the top resorts in the Caribbean.
This luxury all-inclusive resort is one of the most elegant and well-regarded hotels on the island, with 64 posh suites dotting a quarter-mile of beachfront. Spice Island is a serene oasis amidst the bustling Grand Anse beach area, with a polished, upscale vibe that still maintains the laid-back charm of the Caribbean. The resort includes two restaurants, a beautiful spa, and a variety of activities, but peace and relaxation are also easy to find. The nice pool area is quiet and private, yet the beach -- though beautiful and clean -- is shared by locals and guests of nearby resorts.
The 21-room GoldenEye is hands down Jamaica's hippest and most luxurious resort. It's also one of the island's most historic, as the former home of Ian Fleming, and the hideaway at which the author scribed all 14 of his James Bond novels. Today, the property, which reopened in 2010 after an extensive $50 million renovation, includes stunning cottages and villas overlooking a private beach and lagoon, as well as two happening restaurants, two pools, a tree house spa, and an extensive roster of on-site activities. The rates might cause some to flinch, but those who can afford it will find little cause for complaint.
Sandals is the epitome of a couples-only Caribbean mega-resort. With 11 restaurants, 373 luxurious rooms, and six pools, it's expansive, if not a bit overwhelming. You could easily get lost in the 27 acres of meticulously groomed gardens and along the pathways winding between buildings. The Sandals brand is evident at every turn, and the experience can feel generic, pre-packaged, and lacking in authenticity. However, this popular upscale all-inclusive with elegant rooms is definitely dedicated to creating memorable, romantic getaways. (Just be prepared to share yours with a few hundred other couples.)
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is the perfect spot for BVI travelers who want it all at their fingertips -- and who don’t mind shelling out the cash to have it that way. The stunning 61-room luxury property is located on its own private island, but offers nearly every amenity available. Guests have access to a 55-slip deep-water marina, three beautiful pools, two gorgeous beaches, a clifftop spa and marina-view workout facility, and three restaurants and bars. To top it all off, rooms are huge and tastefully decorated with dark woods and island-inspired accents. Many have full kitchens, separate living and dining rooms, and laundry facilities. The only downside to Scrub is its massive sprawl and hilly terrain, which can make getting around pretty difficult.
If you ever wondered where the stars might go for R&R, look no further than the minimalist Le Sereno, a chic five-pearl boutique hotel reserved for travelers seeking all-around luxury. The simple, elegant interiors by famed designer Christian Liaigre are matched by top-notch amenities and lovely views of the ocean, and the option of in-room (or oceanfront) spa treatments as well as 24-hour room service makes for a truly pampering experience. The hotel’s restaurant, while tasty, is quite pricey -- even for fancy St. Barth's -- and the semi-private beach is not as pretty or wide as the island’s numerous other strips of sand. The hotel is best for couples who don’t mind paying a little extra and renting a car to reach the secluded romance of this hillside hotel.
Easily the most luxurious resort in St. Martin, the 55-acre La Samanna resort brings tranquility to an otherwise tourist-filled island. Featuring two beautiful pools, an extensive wine cellar, a yoga and Pilates studio, a European-style spa, and the island's most pristine beach, this 81-room, eight-villa retreat is hard to beat. The vibe is about as fancy as it gets for St. Martin, so of course everything -- from the nightly rates to the dinners and spa treatments -- comes at a sky-high cost.