Beachgoing travelers know the truth: not all Caribbean hotels are created equal. And during a long winter, when all you crave is warm sun and soft, colorless sand, you want to know that you’ve picked the right spot.
To help you make the best choice, T+L asks readers each year to score their favorite hotels on rooms, location, service, restaurants, and value. The top-ranked hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas run the gamut from affordable boutique hotels to clubby all-inclusives. But what they share is excellence—and a stamp of approval from thousands of travelers.
Related: World's Best Boutique Hotels
Four of the top 20 Caribbean hotels are in St. Lucia, but you won’t have to worry about fighting the crowds: it’s easy to find a quiet paradise on the shoreline of this volcanic atoll. Ladera Resort, in Soufrière, had the highest score here—its secluded, open-air cottages have sweeping views that stretch from the towering Pitons to the turquoise sea. And the view gets even better at night, when you can stargaze from a private plunge pool.
Jamaican hotels won big this year as well, with four top spots. Couples Tower Isle, the highest-rated winner in Jamaica and No. 2 in the Caribbean, has been a romantic getaway since the 1950s, when Eva Gabor and Noël Coward cocooned at the resort. Fresh from a recent $30 million renovation, the all-inclusive property offers twilight catamaran tours and unlimited time on the golf course—all, of course, without having to pay extra. A lesser-known Jamaican gem is the Rockhouse Hotel, set on a craggy cove and known for its affordable rates—often less than $125 a night.
Related: 10 Best Caribbean Resorts
Homing in on excellent accommodations is important to the 10.8 million American travelers who headed to the Caribbean last year, according to Sylma Brown Bramble, director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. According to Bramble, “The Caribbean has hotels that suit any type of traveler, from families to single travelers—and many have an affordable price point.” In fact, according to Smith Travel Research, the average price of a Caribbean stay is less than $200 a night.
So which Caribbean hotel nabbed the No. 1 spot? Head to eco-friendly Nevis, where Nisbet Plantation Beach Club comprises 36 breezy cottages on a stretch of beachfront sand so white it could be mistaken for snow.
Read on for all the winners in our list, your very own Caribbean Hotel Finder.