The Best Caribbean Hotels 2011
Karibuni Lodge, St. Martin
In low-key French St. Martin, which is dotted with fishing villages and authentic Creole restaurants, the hillside Karibuni Lodge resembles an upscale African safari camp. The six rustic-chic studios incorporate rough concrete walls, Guyanese redwood bookcases, and just the right mix of Caribbean and sub-Saharan objets, from corrugated-metal mirrors to hand-carved wooden elephants. Large doors open onto wide terraces with in-your-face views of Cul de Sac Bay and its small islets. Although there’s no restaurant at the hotel, owners Marion and Erick Clement are on hand to take guests by boat to their perennially packed beachside favorite Le Karibuni, on the nearby island of Pinel (hotel guests get first dibs on tables and lounge chairs here). 29 Les Terrasses de Cul de Sac; 590-690/643-858; lekaribuni.com; doubles from $347.
T+L Tip: Don’t miss a dinner of grilled-to-perfection scallops and broad-bean risotto on the Victorian veranda at Ti-Bouchon, down the road. 110 Route Cul de Sac; 590-690/648-464; dinner for two $112.