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50 Caribbean Beaches


CocoBay, Antigua Forty-one Caribbean-style cottages (gingerbread fretwork, wooden shutters, private verandas, locally carved furniture) undulate down the lush hills toward the shore on the sunset side of the island. Between guided nature walks and lazy afternoons in hammocks on the porch, you can test the waters in the hotel's Sunfish or revive with a treatment in its Wellness Cottage spa. Cottages from $280; 800/816-7587 or 268/562-2400; www.cocobayresort.com

Jumby Bay Resort, Antigua Rosewood has just spent $6 million on a tropical-hued face-lift here, and it shows. The 50 villas at this 80-acre private-island resort off Antigua now showcase British colonial furnishings done up in powdery-pastel fabric, and garden baths with outdoor rain showers and pedestal tubs. There's rarely a reason to rush back from the island's three virgin beaches, but should you need a ride to the golf course or scuba center, bicycles are the only wheels you'll find. Cottages from $700; 888/767-3966 or 268/462-6000 www.jumbybayresort.com

Portofino, Belize Style has finally arrived in the diving haven of Ambergris Cay. Opened one year ago, Portofino's 11 thatched cabanas with Guatemalan textiles and glass walls flank one of the island's most striking beaches. At the oceanside restaurant, La Cuisine, mainland game—duck prepared à l'orange—is served along with herbs and vegetables from the hotel's organic garden. Doubles from $280 011-501/220-5096; www.portofinobelize.com

Laluna, Grenada Each of the resort's 16 cottages is as fashion-forward as the owners, an Italian fashion publicist (which explains why Zegna and Benetton are backers and Giorgio Armani has been a guest) and his Trinidadian wife. Indonesian sculptures and mahogany love seats are illuminated with raffia-grass sconces and protected from rain showers by elephant-grass roofs. The soft sands of Morne Rouge beach are only steps away, but there's much to distract from the sea: private plunge pools, outdoor daybeds, in-room massages. It's an ideal place to spend the holidays—which is exactly what Dave Stewart (from the Eurythmics) did last year. Doubles from $310 866/452-5862 or 473/439-0001; www.laluna.com

Bel Air Plantation, Grenada Next month, beach-lovers who prefer the intimacy of a private house but can't part with the convenience of a resort will be packing for Grenada. Susan Fisher left the world of luxury retail in the U.K. to create a dream resort modeled after her family's rice plantation in Guyana. Blooming gardens surround the 11 gingerbread cottages, which are scattered over 18 hillside acres and overlook a sailboat-filled cove. A spa, aviaries, butterfly houses, and an upscale boutique are in the plans for the future. Cottages from $295; St. George's 473/444-6305; www.belairplantation.com

Hotel Secreto, Isla Mujeres, Mexico The tiny island is in danger of becoming the next Cancún, making this small, stylish hideaway a welcome surprise. Hidden among the fishing shacks, the nine-room hotel, done up in glass and stucco, blends into the stark white of Half Moon Beach. It lives up to its name: secret yourself away in one of the hotel's suites—which have grand outdoor living rooms. Doubles from $165, including breakfast 011-52-998/877-1039; www.hotelsecreto.com


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