By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
July 08, 2020
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Credit: Noe DeWitt

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

With the hurricanes of previous years in the rearview, the Caribbean was ripe for rebound in 2019. And while resorts on Turks and Caicos, St. Bart’s, and Jamaica — three perennially popular islands — account for nearly half of this year’s winners, we were pleased to see that hotels on Dominica, Anguilla, and Puerto Rico — all seriously affected by storms — also made the cut.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

One big trend to note when it comes to Caribbean resorts: small is beautiful. Each of the top 10 hotels is an independently owned boutique property with fewer than 60 rooms. Readers clearly place a premium on privacy and seclusion.

In Jamaica, 71-year-old Couples Tower Isle (No. 17), proves it’s still got it, with fans raving about its “excellent staff” and “great atmosphere.” Ditto for another of the island’s grande dames, No. 3 Jamaica Inn, which debuted in 1950 and was described by one respondent as “no better place on earth for a luxury quiet beach vacation.” Anguilla and Turks and Caicos put on strong showings this time around, with four resorts each in the rankings.

Your No. 1 pick, Secret Bay, is found on Dominica — an island that’s known for its rugged beauty and rustic accommodations, but that is now making a play for the luxury market with more polished options. Read on for the full list of the best resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.

1. Secret Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica

Credit: Courtesy of Secret Bay

Score: 98.60

More information: secretbay.dm

The Nature Island’s lush rain forest and beaches feel channeled into this six-year-old oasis near Portsmouth. Secret Bay — described by one guest as a “rare gem” ­­—  melds a sustainable sensibility with luxurious amenities. Punctuating its cliff-top acreage are half a dozen villas, with four more set to debut this November. Each a modern house is made from local Guayanese hardwood, with amenities including a personal plunge pool and butler at guests’ disposal. Sample Dominica’s bounty with dinner on your villa’s deck or at the ocean-view restaurant Zing Zing, where “Chef Grant is a master.” Another reader enthused that “staff cater to your every need, and you leave feeling pampered, refreshed, and planning the next getaway.”

2. Tensing Pen, Negril, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Tensing Pen

Score: 97.78

More information: tensingpen.com

3. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Jamaica Inn

Score: 96.83

More information: jamaicainn.com

4. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Score: 96.62

More information: virginlimitededition.com

5. Kamalame Cay, Bahamas

Credit: Courtesy of Kamalame Cay

Score: 96.15

More information: kamalame.com

6. Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, St. Bart’s

Credit: Courtesy of Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Score: 96.00

More information: lebarthelemy.com

7. Rockhouse Hotel & Spa, Negril, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Rockhouse Hotel

Score: 95.43

More information: rockhouse.com

8. Frangipani Beach Resort, Meads Bay, Anguilla

Credit: Courtesy of Frangipani Beach Resort

Score: 95.41

More information: frangipaniresort.com

9. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Jade Mountain

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.10

More information: jademountain.com

10. Hermitage Bay, Antigua

Credit: Courtesy of Hermitage Bay

Score: 95.07

More information: hermitagebay.com

11. Point Grace, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

Credit: Courtesy of Point Grace

Score: 94.37

More information: gracebayresorts.com

12. Cap Maison, Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Cap Maison

Score: 93.76

More information: capmaison.com

13. Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France, Gustavia, St. Bart’s

Credit: Courtesy of Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

Score: 93.69

More information: chevalblanc.com

14. Eden Rock–St. Barths, Baie de St. Jean, St. Bart’s

Credit: Noe DeWitt

Score: 93.50

More information: oetkercollection.com

15. Jumby Bay Island, Antigua

Credit: Courtesy of Oetker Collection’s Jumby Bay Island

Score: 93.43

More information: oetkercollection.com

16. Le Sereno, Grand Cul de Sac, St. Bart’s

Credit: Courtesy of Le Sereno

Score: 93.27

More information: leserenohotels.com

17. Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Couples Tower Isle

Score: 93.08

More information: couples.com

18. Wymara Resort & Villas, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Credit: Courtesy of Wymara Resort & Villas

Score: 92.73

More information: wymararesortandvillas.com

19. Belmond Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay, Anguilla

Credit: Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 92.48

More information: belmond.com

20. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Credit: Courtesy of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

Score: 92.34

More information: marriott.com

21. Anse Chastanet Resort, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Anse Chastanet

Score: 92.22

More information: ansechastanet.com

22. (tie) Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Credit: Courtesy of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Score: 91.85

More information: ihg.com

22. (tie) Seven Stars Resort & Spa, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

Credit: Courtesy of Seven Stars Resort & Spa, Grace Bay Beach

Score: 91.85

More information: sevenstarsgracebay.com

24. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Dorado, Puerto Rico

Credit: Courtesy of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Score: 91.81

More information: ritzcarlton.com

25. West Bay Club, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

Credit: Courtesy of West Bay Club

Score: 91.48

More information: gracebayresorts.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.