By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
July 08, 2020
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

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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

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3. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Jamaica Inn

Score: 96.83

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4. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Credit: Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Score: 96.62

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5. Kamalame Cay, Bahamas

Credit: Courtesy of Kamalame Cay

Score: 96.15

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

Credit: Courtesy of Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa

Score: 96.00

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7. Rockhouse Hotel & Spa, Negril, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Rockhouse Hotel

Score: 95.43

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8. Frangipani Beach Resort, Meads Bay, Anguilla

Credit: Courtesy of Frangipani Beach Resort

Score: 95.41

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9. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Jade Mountain

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.10

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10. Hermitage Bay, Antigua

Credit: Courtesy of Hermitage Bay

Score: 95.07

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11. Point Grace, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

Credit: Courtesy of Point Grace

Score: 94.37

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12. Cap Maison, Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Cap Maison

Score: 93.76

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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

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

Credit: Noe DeWitt

Score: 93.50

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15. Jumby Bay Island, Antigua

Credit: Courtesy of Oetker Collection’s Jumby Bay Island

Score: 93.43

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

Credit: Courtesy of Le Sereno

Score: 93.27

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17. Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Credit: Courtesy of Couples Tower Isle

Score: 93.08

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

Credit: Courtesy of Wymara Resort & Villas

Score: 92.73

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19. Belmond Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay, Anguilla

Credit: Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 92.48

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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

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21. Anse Chastanet Resort, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Credit: Courtesy of Anse Chastanet

Score: 92.22

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

Credit: Courtesy of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Score: 91.85

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

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

Score: 91.85

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

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

Score: 91.81

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

Credit: Courtesy of West Bay Club

Score: 91.48

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