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Best Caribbean Resorts and Hotels 2014

Best Caribbean Resorts and Hotels: Curtain Bluff

Courtesy of Curtain Bluff Resort

The sun hangs lazy on the horizon. Your bartender Teddy just shook up another round of Planter’s Punch with the same recipe he’s been using for the past half century. The walls here at the Jamaica Inn have seen everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Katharine Hepburn—probably because they also share that intangible “it” factor.

It’s that undeniable energy, that nexus of setting and service, design and story, that scored Jamaica Inn the No. 7 spot on Travel + Leisure’s 18th-annual World’s Best Awards. Lots of hotels have great rooms and restaurants, but only a few—like this beachfront hotel—truly capture our imaginations.

That’s why we tapped our globe-trotting readers to weigh in on which hotels and destinations have it—and which don’t. The result: a definitive list of top Caribbean hotels, from glam St. Bart’s starlets to old-world Bahamas charmers.

One secret to ranking high: nothing beats a winning location. This year’s No. 1 hotel, Jade Plantation, has walls open to the emerald-hued crags of St. Lucia’s Pitons. Other top Caribbean hotels ramble over former sugar plantations, are tucked away on private islands, and cling to cliffs above pink-sand beaches.

Winning resorts also know how to serve up serious cuisine, be it locally foraged ingredients or star chef–certified kitchens, like Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s buzzy offerings at St. Bart’s Eden Rock (No. 11). The World’s Best winners redefine all-inclusive food offerings, know how to make local street food accessible, and even have their own organic farms.

The top 20 best Caribbean hotels and resorts have a stretch of sand for everyone. After this winter, isn’t it time for a vacation?

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