Island Charm | Caribbean Resorts
From wellness weekends to rainforest retreats, and cool colonial elegance to barefoot beach chic, Caribbean vacations take many forms. The following one-of-a-kind resorts each boast their own unique brand of island charm.
Words by Natasha Were
Perched high in the hills of Vieques, a Puerto Rican island known for its wild horses and bioluminescent bay, La Finca is a bohemian bolt-hole, replete with eclectic decor and natural healing vibes. The diminutive hotel offers a mix of simple tree houses and breezy rooms, scattered among lush vegetation and edible gardens. Days start with complimentary yoga and vegetarian breakfasts served at the communal table, and are followed by dips in the natural pool, hanging out in hammocks and perhaps a lesson in blending essential oils or a stress-busting massage. Regular retreats are also held.
Leave your worries behind and indulge in quality ‘me time’ at Hermitage Bay. A haven of soulful seclusion on Antigua’s southwest coast, Hermitage Bay invites you to practise sun salutations as day breaks, paddle serenely across the luminescent bay, and retreat to the spa for a rejuvenating rub. Stay in casually elegant wooden cottages strung along the beach or sumptuous suites tucked into the lush hills, and feast on top notch food. Much of the produce is grown in the resort’s own garden and complimentary cooking classes are offered. If more action is called for, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and helicopter tours can be arranged.
Nestled into the rainforest above a golden sand beach, Castara Retreats is not only a luxurious eco-lodge, it’s also a shining example of sustainable tourism. Home for your stay is in wooden cottages, built by the villagers, which are stunningly outfitted and provide unparalleled views of the beach and jungle. Watch the fireflies and hummingbirds from your veranda, snorkel in the bay, or hike to the nearby waterfall, before feasting on local organic produce seasoned with island spices. Conceived to support the wider community, guests are encouraged to wander through the village, to breakfast at local eateries, purchase fresh catch from the fishermen, lime at calypso bars and get to know the real Tobago.
Old world charm meets modern comfort at this enchanting colonial-style hotel. A little pocket of times past, Jamaica Inn promises gracious hospitality and the genteel ambience of yesteryear. Set on a private beach on the north coast, this romantic retreat features suites and cottages furnished with period pieces and decorated in cool whites and Wedgwood blue, surrounded by manicured gardens. Enjoy Blue Mountain coffee scrubs and tropical fruit facials at the seaside spa, practise water sports at the beach, or play a round of croquet on the lawn, before dressing up for cocktails in the wood panelled bar as the sun goes down.
Kick off your shoes and take off your watch – you won’t be needing them at Southern Cross Club. Drawn by its laid-back atmosphere and total lack of pretence, guests return time and again to this intimate beach resort, comprised of just 14 candy-coloured cottages with views of gin clear seas. Capitalising on the wealth of underwater life, days are filled with scuba diving expeditions and fishing trips, while afternoons and evenings are spent gathering at the bar and swapping stories over dinners of freshly caught fish.
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