Earlier this summer, numerous Caribbean islands began cautiously re-opening to international visitors, doing so by following governmental regulations and implementing health requirements for those arriving by both air and sea. While there were a few hiccups (the Bahamas, for example, opened and then closed its borders again for a bit), the roll-outs for the most part have gone well—prompting more Caribbean resorts to announce that they will be re-opening to guests this fall.
Whether due to the COVID 19 situation on their islands or because they were still re-building following recent hurricanes—or because they normally close for the summer, anyway—some of the region’s top luxury hotels have remained closed since the pandemic hit. From Antigua to St. Vincent, here are 10 top tropical getaways opening their doors between now and the end of the year. Note that opening dates are subject to change according to the latest health and safety guidelines.
Closed since April, this all-suite resort on Antigua’s south coast will start welcoming guests again on October 10th. When you get there, you’ll find an array of new programming designed with the current situation in mind, from remote working and learning programs, outdoor dining options and Antiguan cooking demos to activities that get you out into nature, such as rainforest hikes and private cruises. Appealing to both families and couples, the resort has also created an outdoor gym and fitness class area, and will host fireside rum-punch-and-live-music evenings as the weather gets cooler. At the time of this writing, Antigua requires travelers to have a negative PCR test taken within seven days of their flight.
Petit St. Vincent Resort
Following a nearly seven-month closure, this private island resort in the southern Caribbean’s Grenadine Island chain will start welcoming guests back on November 1st. The beloved getaway was designed to celebrate physical distancing before that concept was even a thing: with 22 freestanding accommodations spread over 115-acres, the set-up means that even if the place was at full capacity, each guest could have two-acres to themselves. Because of that, Petit St. Vincent has been designated a “Bubble Resort” by the St. Vincent and Grenadines government, which means that arriving guests will not be required to quarantine upon arrival (provided they have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight.) Not that you’d leave the resort, anyway—after all, there are spa treatments, outdoor restaurants and bars, tennis courts, an outdoor fitness course and the Caribbean’s only Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Center to enjoy. Rates include all meals (including unlimited room service), non-alcoholic drinks and non-motorized sports.
Located three miles off the coat of San Pedro, Belize, this private island resort is set to host guests again starting on October 1st, the same day that Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport re-opens to air travel. The resort is home to just seven villas, each with its own dock—so guests arrive directly to their hideaway from San Pedro, following a 15-minute private boat ride. Each villa also has its own pool, beach area and butler, and meals crafted by the culinary team—and tailored to your preferences—can be delivered to your residence. When you feel like leaving that bubble, enjoy non-motorized water ports, snorkeling, fishing and movie nights on the beach (all of which are included in the rates), or ask the team to organize a private yacht trip out to a secluded beach for a picnic lunch, or a helicopter tour over Belize’s famed Great Blue Hole.
Hotel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf
Part of France’s Barrière Group, this St. Bart’s resort is making its debut this October—albeit a slightly delayed one, due to the pandemic—and it’s good timing, as the island has seen an uptick in US visitors over the last few months. The first Caribbean property for the luxury brand will feature 23 junior, loft and bungalow suites, all with terraces, many with sea views and some with plunge pools. (A private residence with six bedrooms and a pool is also available.) Dining options include an outpost of Paris’ Michelin-starred Le Fouquet’s and a beach-set restaurant for island-inspired fare, while the spa also brings over a touch of France with its Biologique Recherche treatments. Enjoy private yoga, Pilates and aqua bike sessions, walk to nearby boutiques, or have the hotel arrange for sailing excursions and visits to the local fish market with the chef.
Oil Nut Bay
Privacy is key at this 400-acre resort and Marina Village on Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, which is re-opening on December 1st, along with the rest of the British Virgin Islands. Guests arrive by boat or helicopter (there are two helipads), then check in to private villas that have been designed to blend into the natural setting. Once settled, enjoy a beach club with three pools and a swim-up bar, a wellness center with two tennis courts, and activities like kayaking, mangrove snorkeling, sailing and movies under the stars. Dining options include gourmet restaurants and a lively Sunday brunch, while rum fans can’t miss checking out the “Rum Bible,” which features 52 rums from all over the world. If you’d like to stay longer, real estate is available for between $2.95 and $50 million.
Re-opening on October 15, this intimate resort is set 3,100-feet above sea level in Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountains. In the past, the getaway—which is owned by music industry vet Chris Blackwell—was a favorite of guests with last names like Marley and Jagger, who came for the privacy that appeals to today’s travelers, as well. Check in to one of the 12 cottages and villas, then enjoy the peaceful setting, gourmet New Jamaican fare at the restaurant and the legendary drinks at the bar—many made with Blackwell’s own rum. Off-property, hike to a historic coffee estate for a tour and tasting, or trek along the lush Settlement Trail. Note that Jamaica requests all US travelers over the age of 12 to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 10 days of their flight.
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina
When this St. Lucia resort re-opens on October 1st, guests will find a property that’s been re-imagined during its recent closure. Among the additions is a new collection of 57 hillside one-, two- an three-bedroom and penthouse residences (some as large as 3,200-square-feet) that speak to the privacy guests are seeking; each has an Italian Aster Cucina-outfitted kitchen, dining and laundry rooms, and expansive living areas. Meals can be prepared and enjoyed in your sanctuary via the Chef In-Residence Dining program—or you can savor pre-selected meals in the famous treehouse. Also new are Marigot Moment Maestros, a team of butler-concierges that will do everything from greeting you at the airport with a private transfer to booking spa treatments and arranging island activities like ridge climbs and sunset yacht trips.
Set on mainly-residential Pointe Milou, on St. Bart’s north shore, The Christopher will re-open on November 25th with three new four-bedroom villas ideal for families and travel “bubbles.” These join the existing 42 room and suites, all of which have spacious terraces overlooking the water or gardens. Relax with a signature Hot Shell massage in one of the open-air spa treatment rooms, take dips in the infinity pool and savor lunch with your toes in the sand at the Mango Beach Club, which boasts views of St. Jean Bay and nearby islands. At the Christo Lounge Restaurant, Chef Nicolas Tissier crats gourmet meals using responsibly-sourced ingredients.
Lovango Resort & Beach Club
Set on a private island that’s accessible by ferry from St. John and St. Thomas, the fully sustainable Lovango Resort & Beach Club is opening in phases over the next year. While the main hotel (which will be made up of cottages and luxury tents) won’t be online until fall/winter 2021, this December will see the launch of a three-bedroom villa that can be booked either for exclusive use or as three separate units. Enjoy blissful peace and quiet and the stunning natural surroundings (the University of the US Virgin Islands is partnering with the resort to restore the coral around the island), then find “civilization” at the full-service beach club, ocean front restaurant and retail village—all of which are also opening this December. A limited number of private homes will also be available for purchase on the island.
Bequia Beach Hotel
Re-opening on October 10th, this family-owned resort is located on the seven-square-mile island of Bequia, home to just 5,000 residents. The nostalgic feel of the island—there are no traffic lights, chain businesses or neon signs—is also represented in the laid-back-luxury of the resort, which combines contemporary services and amenities with vintage 1950’s style. In addition to the existing 58 rooms and suites (which include beachfront options and an Estate Villa), the resort will be rolling out a collection of Friendship Bay Estate villas starting in November; these lavish new private homes are equipped with things like offices and media rooms, private pools and gyms, outdoor living and dining areas and butler service. The resort offers VIP transfers from Barbados or St. Lucia aboard Bequia Air, its own nine-seat private jet, and also has its own Italian-built yacht for sails to nearby islands like Mustique and Canouan. On-property, enjoy a spa, gym and dining options like the signature Bagatelle restaurant and the popular Jack’s Beach Bar.