Fleeing to the Caribbean is a wonderful way to get away from it all. Yet for some, the regionÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s aesthetic charm alone may not induce a relaxed state of mind. True escape can require a break from whirring thoughts and a fatigued body. That is where four action-oriented luxury resorts promising equal parts rest and recreation come in Ã¢ï¿½ï¿½ a prescription for pure rejuvenation.
Words by Maria Carter.
Caneel Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands
Fine-tune your serve or perfect your backhand in a serene environment that lends itself to mastering the art of tennis. Founded by Laurance Rockefeller, the beachfront Caneel Bay rests on a secluded peninsula covering 170 acres in the Virgin Islands National Park, flanked by mountains and private beaches. Guests at this dream tennis resort gather for weekly social round-robins, compete in skill-matched games and broaden their knowledge with lessons from professional instructors at Peter Burwash International, a 30-plus-year-old internationally acclaimed coaching firm. The property boasts 11 courts, racket-stringing service and a stocked pro shop. Court time, complete with racquets and tennis shoes, is always complimentary. Between matches, revel in numerous other amenities: cabana massages, rum-tasting demonstrations, ocean kayaks and other watersports, an outdoor pool and five dining establishments, including a wine room for private dinners.
Apes Hill Club, Barbados
It is possible that guests of the exclusive Apes Hill Club feel like royalty – soaking in infinity pools that overlook the sparkling Caribbean Sea, sunning on a private beach, having all concerns tended to by an expert concierge service – and that experience extends onto the polo field, where guests partake in the ‘Sport of Kings.’ Nestled in the heart of Barbados, this community of eight neighbourhoods spans 470-acres of custom-built homes and rental villas, coral stone quarries, lakes, oodles of green open space, tennis courts, an 18-hole championship golf course and a full-sized polo field. Book one of the Polo Villas to be near the action: these thoughtfully crafted accommodations are adjacent to the field and offer guests access to the polo club. Tournament season lasts December until May; enjoy a match as a spectator or sign up for lessons from a resident instructor qualified by the Hurlingham Polo Association.
Fort Young, Dominica
The ocean’s intriguing depths beckon to guests from Fort Young Hotel in Dominica, where they can safely stretch their sea legs under the supervision of certified pros. This historic beachfront resort features delectable on-site dining, duty-free shops, an infinity-edge pool overlooking the sea and a wellness centre offering spa services. As Dominica is an award-winning scuba diving locale, Fort Young would be remiss not to house a private jetty or collaborate with locally-owned operation Dive Dominica, both of which it does, to bring guests unparalleled underwater experiences. Certified instructors and divemasters guide beginner-to-intermediate divers as they mingle with seahorses, turtles, dolphins and sharks, explore marine flora, snap aquatic pictures with special underwater cameras or make a splash after hours with night diving tours. Seasonal dive packages, snorkelling, expedition kayaking and whale-watching outings are on the menu as well.
Buccament Bay Resort, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
For anyone who has ever fancied a career as a footballer, The Harlequin Sports Academy at Buccament Bay Resort awaits. Meant for children and adults alike, the hotel’s Liverpool Football Club Soccer School lets guests rub elbows with (and receive instruction from) football greats such as Steve Staunton, Jan Molby and Linvoy Primus. Each season brings a new roster of elite coaches who cover fundamental techniques and bring guests up to speed on the various components of the game. For those who prefer other types of fun, Buccament Bay also offers cricket, diving, golf, tennis and watersports. The all-inclusive resort fronts a pristine beach and backs up to the rainforest’s mountains; well-appointed villas and amenities like catamaran excursions to local cays, five palate-pleasing restaurants (with more opening soon) and beachfront spa treatments leave guests feeling pampered.
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