Four Caribbean Islands to Watch
Dominica The Windward Island has undergone a major rebranding and will spend $1.5 million marketing itself as a responsible tourism leader. Rosalie Bay Nature Resort (Rosalie; 767/440-4039; rates not available at press time) will open next year beside a colony of 800-pound leatherback turtles, and at least three other sustainable properties—including a Six Senses—are being planned in untouched rain forests along the east coast.
Martinique This Gallic outpost dropped off many travelers’ maps when airlines stopped direct service from the U.S. in 2001. But with a $60 million overhaul to Club Med’s Buccaneer’s Creek resort in 2005 (Pointe Marin, Sainte Anne; 888/932-2582; clubmed.com; doubles from $220, all-inclusive), and new flights from Miami and Atlanta, it’s experiencing a second wave as the capital of Creole chic.
St. Lucia This Lesser Antilles island keeps getting hotter. Cotton Bay Village (Cas-en-Bas, Castries; cottonbayvillage.com; 800/544-2883 or 758/ 456-5700; doubles from $656) opened as the first high-end villa resort last winter; American Airlines and Air Jamaica recently added direct flights from New York; and the big-name resorts are coming (a Westin next September; a Ritz-Carlton in 2009; a Raffles in 2010).
Turks and Caicos The archipelago has recently seen a spate of private-island developments. Molasses Reef (800/ 542-8680; molassesreef.com; doubles from $699), the first "Ritz-Carlton Reserve" resort, opens next December on the previously uninhabited West Caicos. Meanwhile, Zaha Hadid is overseeing the master plan for Dellis Cay (delliscay.com), slated to launch in 2009; all residences on the 560-acre atoll will be managed by Mandarin Oriental.