If your idea of ultra-luxury includes lavish accommodations with room to spare for your private pilot, butlers who cater to your every whim, or a studio to record a jam session after you’ve tanned on a white sand beach, then here are 10 Caribbean hotels for you. They will impress even the most discerning traveler.
1. Musha Cay, Bahamas
If your desktop screensaver is a Caribbean version of Fantasy Island, then Musha Cay, owned by illusionist David Copperfield, is your escape come true. With over 500 acres and 25 sugary white sand beaches trimmed by tropical fauna, the Islands of Copperfield Bay in the Bahamas accommodate just 24 guests in five spectacular beach houses. Each is brimming with rich mahogany furnishings, wraparound decks, exotic antiques, and a private beach. After you sample the array of water activities, relax while your personal chef prepares the catch of the day pulled straight from the sea. You’ll feel as if you’ve vanished into a dream.
2. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
This architectural marvel by owner/designer Nick Troubetzkoy is so mesmerizing that you might retreat to your private sanctuary and not be seen for days. Complete with an iridescent tiled infinity pool and four-poster bed draped in billowing mosquito netting, Jade Mountain’s rooms, built into the mountainside, have no fourth wall so you can gaze out at picture-perfect views of the twin peaks of St. Lucia’s Pitons. While your major domo butler anticipates every need, you’ll be tempted to leave your sanctuary for a private dinner on the Celestial Terrace featuring Jade Mountain Club’s mouthwatering organic cuisine.
3. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Richard Branson’s home and 74-acre private island paradise, Necker Island, will make you feel like you’ve jetted off to Bali instead of the British Virgin Islands. If you don’t have 30 of your nearest and dearest to rent the entire island, you can still indulge at the resort’s newly rebuilt al fresco-style villa, the Great House, or one of the six Bali Houses during select Celebration Weeks. After you’ve spent the day snorkeling on the colorful coral reefs directly offshore, head to the spa for a pampering massage by one of the on-call spa therapists. Gourmet meals, flowing champagne and breathtaking sunsets included.
4. Amanyara, Turks and Caicos
Literally meaning “Peace Place” in Sanskrit, this visually stunning Balinese style resort is the ultimate Turks and Caicos haven. Ultra-sleek guest pavilions and villas are tucked along the turquoise shore where you can escape for romantic seclusion before venturing out for some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling and diving. VIPs find sanctuary in the sprawling five-bedroom Villa with its own private white sand beach and reflection pond to mirror all that lavishness.
5. Calivigny Island, Grenada
When money is no object and you want total beach solitude, Calivigny Island, a private island off the coast of Grenada in the southern Caribbean is your sanctuary. It’s the ultimate escape spread over 80 acres with two Balinese and French Colonial style residences and three luxury cottages for up to 50 guests. With a host of private chefs and a fleet of private boats and yachts at your disposal, it’s over-the-top extravagant in every last detail.
6. Viceroy, Anguilla
Contemporary meets Caribbean chic at this stylish resort set along Anguilla’s Barnes and Meads Bay. Expansive villas and residences are luxuriantly decorated by celebrated interior designer Kelly Wearstler, complete with gourmet kitchens, spa pools, and outdoor showers. With such lavishness, you’ll want to bring your entire entourage — including your nanny and pilot. At the Sunset Lounge, the chic set dip into sushi and creative cocktails while taking in the jaw-dropping sunsets. Hide away in the two-story 8,000-square-foot oceanfront spa for a Blue Tranquility massage that will leave you in an altered state.
7. Eden Rock, St. Barts
Where do you go when extravagant just isn’t enough? Check yourself into one of Eden Rock – St Barths‘ ultra-luxe villas such as Villa Rockstar complete with four sumptuous suites, two cottages for teenagers or staff, a sexy whisky bar, private pool and a recording studio and screening room complete with a vintage sound board used by John Lennon himself. Private butlers will ensure you and your 12 guests feel like rock stars while chefs cook up gourmet cuisine in the Italian-designed kitchen. It’s the ultimate beach house within a resort.
8. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico
Laurance S. Rockefeller fell in love with this exclusive enclave many decades ago and today, the stylish set flocks to the sands of Dorado Beach to luxuriate in the Ritz-Carlton’s new ultra-luxury eco-chic resort. With contemporary oceanfront villas and residences with private plunge pools just steps from the beach, you’ll pass the hours drinking mojitos and watching the palm trees sway. It’s a haven for foodies who can indulge in Spanish and Puerto Rican fare, spa mavens who want to get pampered on tree house massage platforms, and golf aficionados seeking the perfect round.
9. Sandy Lane, Barbados
Popular with UK celebs and trendy international jet-setters, Sandy Lane is the ultimate beach and golf getaway for those who want luxury with endless Barbadian charm. Tropically styled suites and villas offer enough space you’ll feel like it’s your second (or maybe even third) home. Sandy Lane’s three golf courses draw golf enthusiasts, highlighted by The Green Monkey, its crown jewel. This undulating course built into an old limestone quarry offers show-stopping views and an experience any golfer will appreciate. Late at night, head to the Monkey Bar for one of the bartender’s award-winning cocktails. You can recover the next day at the beach on one of the eye-catching pink lounge chairs shaded by umbrellas.
10. Cotton House, Mustique, Grenadines
With its laid-back, old-money feel, this sugar mill turned rustic-luxury resort on Mustique has been a celebrity playground for decades. Cotton House is the only boutique hotel and spa on this tiny piece of paradise in the Grenadines, and high-profile types retreat to the hilltop Residence — a presidential suite with private pool and butler services. At the island’s weekly cocktail party, hosted in the hotel’s Great Room, you might find yourself hobnobbing with members of the British royal family, rock legends or famous fashion designers. Celebs also hide away in some of the island’s many gorgeous villas available for rent.
Tiffany Dowd is a luxury hotel expert and founder/president of Luxe Social Media.