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Caribbean for Less

Undine Pröhl Stone-walled paths leading to the thatched villas at Jamaica's Rockhouse.

Photo: Undine Pröhl

St. Bart's
$203 Staying at Le Manoir de Marie is like stepping back into 17th-century France. Two decades ago, the Manor House was transported here by boat. Now set amid fragrant lush gardens of mango, banana, papaya, and bougainvillea, the two rooms in the main building along with eight additional brown-and-white-striped cottages are all unique in their own way—canopied beds, oil paintings, traditional antiques. While there isn't a formal restaurant, guests can take custom-catered picnics (lobster, champagne) to the wooden deck by the pool, which has a natural stone waterfall, or to Lorient Beach, within walking distance of the hotel. Rte. de Salines, Lorient; 590-590/277-927; www.lemanoirstbarth.com.

St. Kitts–Nevis
$189 Typically an island of small-scale B&B's, tiny St. Kitts got a big shot of grandeur with the opening of the Angelus Resort last summer. With French glass doors that open up to panoramic views of Half Moon Bay or the Royal St. Kitts Golf Course, the 90 rooms—soon to be 144—are set among 15 tropical acres, which include a full spa and the all-organic Caribe restaurant. The fun never stops: every Monday night there's a bonfire after sunset and Thursday it's all Latin with live salsa, merengue, and mambo music. Don't want to leave?The resort's new luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments—each with a balcony and full kitchen—are now on the market, starting at $200,000. Frigate Bay; 869/466-6224; www.angelusstkitts.com; breakfast included.

St. Lucia
$145 Native Creole tradition meets modern design at the newest venture from Caribbean guru and co-founder of the Island Outpost hotel group Allen Chastanet: Coco Palm, located in Rodney Bay Village. The 83 rooms are clean and simple, decked out in the usual island colors (yellow, blue, green) and detailed with native artwork, and—to satisfy techies—iPods and speakers. If you want to be close to all the outdoor action and don't mind a little extra noise, ask for one of the seven "swim-up rooms," where testing the waters means simply stepping from your terrace into the hotel's serpentine pool. Reduit Beach Ave., Rodney Bay Village; 758/ 456-2800; www.coco-resorts.com.

St. Thomas
$250 Each year, more than 900 cruise ships dock in the duty-free hub Charlotte Amalie. What few realize is that St. Thomas's real treasures lie on its more rugged East End , where Pavilions & Pools, an all-villa hotel, sits just minutes from Sapphire Beach. Interiors can suffer from tropical-print overload, but each of the 25 airy guest suites has a kitchen, a spacious living room, and an outdoor garden shower. The biggest draw: private sundecks and swimming pools and an abundance of hibiscus and bougainvillea. Smith Bay; 800/524-2001 or 340/775-6110; www.pavilionsandpools.com; breakfast included.

Written by Richard Alleman, Laura Begley, Mark Ellwood, Jim Glab, Michael Gross, Gail Harrington, H. Scott Jolley, David Kaufman, Shane Mitchell, Anya Strzemien, and Elizabeth Woodson.


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