Sun-Kissed Caribbean Resorts
The Caribbean region is perpetually popular with couples seeking a romantic getaway, whether romance is interpreted as peaceful seclusion, unchecked luxury, hip and happening or quirkily offbeat.
Words by Natasha Were
With tropical forests to explore, a miniature castaway island within swimming distance, a tree-top restaurant and a swim-up spa, to name just a few of the resort‘s unique amenities, Goldeneye feels like the hippest of boutique resorts set within an adult adventure camp. It‘s not only the James Bond association (for this is the property where Ian Fleming penned all 14 spy novels) that lends the resort a unique atmosphere: it‘s the laid back, low-key luxury with a full menu of exciting and unusual facilities.
Couples staying in the one bedroom cottages dotted around the serene lagoon can paddle up to their front doors in complimentary kayaks, and lounge on wooden decks suspended over the water. Over at Low Cay Beach, guests can step directly from spacious verandahs onto powdery white sands, where staff are on-hand to get them set up with any one of a multitude of water sports. At the end of a day filled with jogging trails, sunset yoga, open water swims and all-round fun in the sun, guests can relax in deep claw footed bathtubs, or reinvigorate themselves under private outdoor showers.
Spectacular sunsets, rum cocktails and sophisticated international fare is served among the tree tops at the casually trendy Gazebo in the evenings, while casual lunches at the Bizot Bar feature authentic Jamaican dishes served on the beach.
By far the best way to slow down and savour every moment of the Goldeneye experience though, is to indulge in one of the signature spa treatments in the open-to-the elements treatment rooms.
Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, Grace Bay Beach, TCI
Sleek, slick and exceptionally cool, the blue and white hued 91-room Gansevoort Turks + Caicos is the place where urban chic and island style collide. Voted one of the ten trendiest hotels in the world, the translucent waters and sugary white sands of Grace Bay Beach are reflected in the sparkling 7,000 square foot pool and echoed throughout the crisp, airy design of this one-of-a-kind resort. Conceived and executed with pure pleasure in mind, it‘s the ideal destination for couples seeking hedonistic indulgence in the most fashionable surroundings.
All manner of water sports and land-based activities are available to the adventurous guest, but for those who prefer to focus their energies on absolute relaxation, the Exhale Fitness + Spa centre offers a variety of mindbody exercise classes and full menu of spa treatments to help melt away the stress.
As the sun sets into the ocean and a bonfire is lit on the beach, the toughest choice is whether to enjoy the gourmet Mediterranean cuisine from Stelle restaurant on terra firma or to opt for one‘s own private ‘island‘ floating atop the signature pool.
When it‘s time to slip into dreamland, the 400-thread count linens, Sterling Hospitality Sleep System beds, Kohler bathroom fittings and spa tubs ensure the transition is seamless. But as exquisite as a night in a Gansevoort room may be, the unobstructed sea views from every room will ensure you rise and shine for each fresh new day.
Cotton House, Mustique
Easily one of the most exclusive destinations on the planet, the private island of Mustique has long been a favourite haunt of rock stars and royalty, and the Cotton House, a former sugar mill and the only hotel on the island, is the very essence of island-chic. The hotel‘s 17 rooms – a combination of suites, villas and cottages – are spread throughout the 13-acre estate, enjoying views of either the immaculately landscaped gardens or the azure Caribbean Sea.
The Residence, located on it‘s own hilltop is the epitome of secluded luxury, with its own pool, butler and maid service and golf cart for island transport. No matter where one stays at the Cotton House, however, the accommodation is sublime, with four poster beds draped in muslin, light and airy interiors and a host of extra touches – pillow menus, unpacking services, outdoor showers and luxury toiletries – that put the Cotton House in a league of its own.
Beyond sleeping arrangements, both couples and families will delight in the activities on offer: the water sports centre at Endeavour Bay can organise surfing, paddle boarding, diving and more, while the resort can prepare and deliver gourmet picnics to guests‘ choice of beach. Lobster and light lunches are available in an informal toes-in-the-sand setting at the Beach Café, while later on elegant à la carte dining is served at the Veranda Restaurant, which wraps around the Great Room – the geographical and social heart of the Cotton House. The weekly cocktail party at the Great Room, attended by many villa owners as well as resort guests is legendary, and an event not to be missed.
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