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The Ultimate Caribbean Hotel Guide*

Ericka McConnell In front of a guest cottage at Kamalame Cay in the Bahamas.

Photo: Ericka McConnell


Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort This resort may not have invented the all-inclusive, but it has certainly put its own luxurious spin on the concept. Jumby Bay, set on its own 300-acre island two miles off Antigua, was recently renovated to the tune of $6 million. The 40 suites and 11 villas are done in a retro-colonial style. Guests can choose between a beachfront barbecue and a formal dinner in the 230-year-old Estate House, after lazing by the 80-foot swimming pool.

Couples Swept Away The all-inclusive vacation is a grown-up affair at this refined adults-only resort. The 312 airy wood-and-tile rooms and suites are spread out over 17 acres of gardens along Negril’s Seven Mile Beach. A recent $7 million expansion added nice touches, such as an infinity pool.

Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek Club Med recaptures its stylish joie de vivre at Buccaneer’s Creek. Located on one of Martinique’s finest beaches, this 293-room resort plays up a Creole theme with piquant seafood at the Pays Melés restaurant. Water sports on the Baie du Marin and tennis in an old coconut grove dominate daylight hours; when the sun goes down, the staff entertains guests with acrobatic acts and show tunes.

Family Hotels

Atlantis, Paradise Island An elaborate Mayan Temple with five waterslides—including a clear tube surrounded by sharks—and the Ruins Lagoon, a mammoth open-air aquarium containing the fabricated remains of the famous lost city, will keep kids entertained for days. By the beginning of 2007, a 30,000-square-foot Mandara Spa will have opened, as well as a lagoon for dolphins rescued from Hurricane Katrina.

Cambridge Beaches Guests of all ages at this 94-room bastion of preppydom are crazy about the dazzling new $2.5 million swimming pool, which features multiple levels, waterfalls—the works. While the kids head to the beach and Mom hits the spa, Dad can take to the links (the resort has privileges on all the island’s courses). Also new: the only rooms on Bermuda with private pools.

Grace Bay Club To defend its place as one of the top choices against all the newcomers to the islands, the Grace Bay Club is investing millions. The new two- and three-bedroom suites will be open to kids of all ages, unlike the resort’s existing 21 suites. The just-launched Kids Town program takes tykes on eco-conscious, educational excursions—all with cookies and milk upon return.

Best Views

Strawberry Hill Shrouded by the mists of the rugged Blue Mountains, Strawberry Hill is a different way to experience the Caribbean: 3,100 feet above the sea. Its 12 shingled cottages, which evoke the Georgian architecture of 19th-century colonial Jamaica, are accented by French windows and terra-cotta tiles and have spacious verandas and balconies. The sleek 60-foot infinity pool looks out on the rain forest canopy.

Jade Mountain at Anse Chastanet Spread over 600 mountainous, thickly jungled acres, Anse Chastanet salutes the island’s iconic peaks at every opportunity. Its latest addition, Jade Mountain—a resort-within-a-resort high up on Morne Chastanet—has 25 ultra-luxurious open-air suites, each with its own design. Hugging the mountainside, they’re anchored around oversize glass-tiled pools with unrivaled views of the Pitons.


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