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The 12 Best Hotels for a Caribbean Escape Right Now

From post-hurricane re-openings to new designer digs, here’s what’s new and notable on the Caribbean resort scene.

Malliouhana Photo: By Shawn Walters

There are many reasons to start planning a Caribbean escape right now: hurricane season officially comes to an end in late November, many direct flights are relaunching for the season, and winter is coming—or, depending on where you live, has already arrived. Best of all, there is also an exciting crop of Caribbean resort openings and renovations rolling out over the next few months, in islands from Domenica to the Grenadines. So whether you’re looking for a new villa for a weeklong respite or simply taking a long weekend away to escape the cold, here are 12 luxurious spots to check out.

TURKS & CAICOS

Wymara Resort and Villas

Wymara Resort

An overwater deck at Wymara Resort & Villas  Photo: Courtesy of Wymara

Celebrating its 10th anniversary (and a new name) this year, Wymara Resort and Villas in Turks & Caicos opened its final two units in a series of four- and five-bedroom luxury villas this fall, with five more coming next year. Contemporary without being overly modern, and with an airy, white aesthetic, the villas are reminiscent of ones you might find in the Maldives. Guests have access to the restaurants, pool and beach at the main resort, but with views like these—as well as private infinity pools and over-the-water swim platforms—you never really need to leave.

The Shore Club

Shore Club Villa

A new villa at Shore Club  Photo: Courtesy of Shore Club

The only hotel on Turks & Caicos’ stunning Long Bay Beach, The Shore Club unveiled four new six-bedroom villas earlier this year, with two more scheduled for completion by November. Celebrities from This Is Us star Chrissy Metz to comedian Tracy Morgan have flocked to the expansive villas, which measure 8,800 square-feet each and offer total seclusion, along with private butlers. A dedicated villa specialist can set up every aspect of your visit before you even arrive, from private chef dinners to kiteboarding lessons, car rentals, live entertainment and grocery stocking.

Seven Stars Resort & Spa

Seven Start Resort

The adults-only pool at Seven Stars Resort  Photo: Courtesy of Seven Stars

The oceanfront Seven Stars Resort & Spa in Turks & Caicos completed a $12 million enhancement earlier this year that included a complete redesign of its 167 suites and open-air lobby, upgrades to the fitness center, the addition of a second adult pool and an expansion to the spa. Each of the rooms, including the VIP oceanfront premier suites, feature one-of-a-kind paintings by New York-based artist Andrew Humke, who spent six months in residence here working on the pieces. This fall, the resort also rolled out its first wine tasting and pairing program under direction of its new sommelier.

 

THE BAHAMAS

Caerula Mar Club

Caerula Mar Club

The new Caerula Mar Club  Photo: Courtesy of Caerula Mar Club

Opening in December just in time for the holidays, the new Caerula Mar Club is helping to put South Andros Island­—the largest, yet least inhabited island in the Bahamas—on the map. As the area’s first new hotel in nearly 20 years, the five-star resort is owned and designed by HGTV power couple Bryan and Sarah Baeumler. Their Canadian TV show Island of Bryan chronicles how they transformed this formerly abandoned 1960s resort into a gem with 18 suites and six private villas. The main takeaways: A trip to Caerula is a lesson in relaxation, with outdoor living spaces, meditation paths and hammocks aplenty.

DOMINICA

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Spa

The Spa at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski  Photo: Courtesy of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

Nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the unspoiled island of Dominica—which is roughly the same size as New York City and rife with waterfalls, hot springs and rivers for exploring—got a new five-star resort this month with the opening of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski. Part of Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, the 151-room resort offers mountain or ocean views from every room. The luxuriously appointed, 4,600-square-foot Presidential Villa has dedicated butler service, a separate lobby entrance, its own terrace and a private pool.

 

ANGUILLA

Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection

Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection

The beach at Malliouhana  Photo: Courtesy of Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection

Sixteen new accommodations—including four garden-view rooms, eight oceanfront rooms, three suites above the spa, and the two-bedroom Turtle Cove beachfront suite—are all the reasons you need to book a flight to Malliouhana Resort in Anguilla. Located on Turtle Cove, the glamorous villa is destined to become the most-requested accommodation, with a lushly landscaped portico, its own private plunge pool and garden patio, and a free-standing tub. Book the new beach ceviche class to learn to transform fresh-caught conch, crayfish and sea urchin into the perfect picnic.

RELATED: What’s the Best Caribbean Island for You?

 

ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

Bequia Beach Hotel

Bequia Air

The new Bequia Air service  Photo: Courtesy of Bequia

Getting to Bequia, the 7-square-mile island in the Grenadines, will get easier this December with the launch of transfer service on Bequia Air, the latest offering from Bequia Beach Hotel. Board the nine-seat Beechcraft King Air B200 in Barbados for VIP transportation to the resort, which is launching new ultra-luxury real estate villas for this winter season (you can also charter the planes for an island-hopping experience around the Caribbean). Situated within their own gated community, Friendship Bay Estate, these three villas are slated for a late-2019/early-2020 opening, and will have private infinity pools, a dedicated staff and Restoration Hardware furniture.

 

ANTIGUA

Curtain Bluff

Curtain Bluff Bay beach

Curtain Bluff Bay beach  Photo: Courtesy of Curtain Bluff

When it reopens for its 58th season on October 26, the family-owned Curtain Bluff in Antigua will unveil a dozen completely refreshed Bluff Suites (read: new interiors, tiling and furnishings), all with views of the resort’s Surf Beach. The upscale-yet-unpretentious property is entering its first season as a PADI-certified resort, offering scuba courses and open-water certification dives. Prefer to stay above water? Meet with the new wellness concierge team, who can customize spa treatments and activity options (including tennis lessons, for which the resort is famous) to suit your fancy.

Jumby Bay Island

Jumby Bay Island

A new private residence at Jumby Bay Island  Photo: Courtesy of Jumby Bay Island

Part of the Oetker Collection and accessible only by boat, Jumby Bay Island in Antigua revealed a full refurbishment of its 28 suites in early October, incorporating a color palette that reflects the island’s soft blush sunsets, lush foliage and cool blue waters. Also new this season are two additional beachfront private residences: the 6,000-square-foot Allamanda, which accommodates up to eight guests, and Lost Puffin, a nearly 14,000-square-foot home inspired by Swedish beach houses that sleeps up to 14. Both come with dedicated staff including a housekeeper, private chef, butler and gardener.

VIRGIN GORDA

Valley Trunk

Valley Trunk Beach

Valley Trunk Beach  Photo: Courtesy of Valley Trunk

Tourism on the island of Virgin Gorda in the BVIs is finally coming back to life after Hurricane Irma, and the December reopening of Valley Trunk is one sign of a turning tide. The estate encompasses 10 suites across five standalone villas, and while the original structures of each were retained, the interiors have been extensively redesigned with a clean, coastal aesthetic and natural materials. Hangout spots like the cinema-style screening room, tennis courts and pool were also refreshed, adding to the resort amenities of what otherwise feels like an intimate enclave.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Rosewood Little Dix Bay

A two-bedroom suite at Rosewood Little Dix Bay  Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Also on Virgin Gorda, Rosewood Little Dix Bay, the conservation-focused property founded by Laurance Rockefeller more than 60 years ago, is reopening in January 2020 following a four-year closure. Among the most notable accommodations of the 80 new guestrooms, suites and villas are the Tree House Suites, which pay homage to the original stilt houses erected on the 500-acre property back in the 1960s, and have both indoor and outdoor showers. Dedicated butler service for each guest ensures you’ll have everything you could need (save for your Netflix queue, as there are no TVs.)

St. Barth

Le Sereno

Le Sereno

The beach at Le Sereno  Photo: Courtesy of @emilylab

Following a year of rebuilding after Hurricane Irma, Le Sereno is back and better than ever. The romantic hideaway on St. Barth, which draws clientele like Alessandra Ambrosio and Michael Kors, increased its room count to 43 and debuted four new Suite Piscines in October. Each features a private pool overlooking the aqua-blue waters of Grand Cul de Sac, with the option to connect rooms for a private villa experience. Also new this season: a grand spa and fitness facility, a redesigned Italian restaurant, and a retail boutique with curated finds from luxury Italian brand Larusmiani.

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