So how to choose? Leave it to the jet-setting readers of Travel + Leisure who highlight their favorite resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas as part of the annual World’s Best Awards survey. In 2012, the 20 best resorts are spread across 10 islands, from Bermuda to the British Virgin Islands, and from romantic all-inclusive sanctuaries to private rainforest verandas. There’s a top-notch Caribbean resort out there, whatever your idea of paradise.
Ever-popular Jamaica, for instance, claims the most properties (for the second year in a row) with four winners, including secluded Couples San Souci (No. 5) in Ocho Rios. The 150 colonial-decorated suites come with wicker furniture, Gilchrist & Soames bath products, and latticework balconies for taking in ocean views.
Further south, St. Lucia is beloved for its black-sand beaches, dramatic jungle-covered peaks, and, according to readers, three top-ranked properties, including Jade Mountain (No. 4), with its private infinity pools and panoramic views of the Pitons, and its 47-room, art-focused sister property, Anse Chastanet Resort (No. 19), tucked among coconut groves.
Though many of the top-ranked winners have appeared on the list year after year, one hotel made a big debut: W Retreat & Spa (No. 16) on Puerto Rico’s offshore island Vieques. Set among low-key fishing villages, the stylish W Retreat added a dose of luxe island flair to a destination that’s on the verge of becoming a popular hot spot (Vieques was the No. 1–ranked island in the Caribbean this year too).
But there’s one resort that has truly won travelers’ loyalty: this year’s No. 1 winner, The Reefs, Bermuda. It’s the type of property that travelers return to again and again, thanks to perks like the private rose-sand cove and world-class spa. And here’s proof of its staying power: the cliff-side hotel has been on the list for the past 10 years in a row—it’s the only hotel that earned T+L’s Hall of Fame honor.
Ready to plan your own warm weather getaway? Read on for the top 20 winning resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.