50 Best Holidays in the Caribbean


50 Best Holidays in the Caribbean

Sunday, January 12, 2020

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SO shared Part 1 last week of Thetimes.co.uk recent listing of its 50 best holidays in the Caribbean in seven parts: romantic retreats, new hotels, foodie spots, budget stays, family escapes, active and twin-centre trips.

Here's Part 2.


Part three: Foodie Spots


22. East Winds, St Lucia

Tucked into its own little crescent of sand by Rodney Bay, East Winds doesn't like to think of it

self as an all-inclusive, but it is. The food defies expectation thanks to relationships forged over the decades with local fishermen and farmers. It also has an organic garden.

As well as a spa, there are now 30 simple rooms and suites.

Details: A week's all-inclusive from £2,199pp with flights and transfers ( tropicbreeze.co.uk)


23. Turks Head Inne, Turks and Caicos

There are 40 islands in the Turks and Caicos and, despite the name, Grand Turk is one of the sleepiest and sweetest. The Turks Head Inne has been given a thorough refresh by new owners and has a new restaurant; expect snapper, lobster and curried conch on the menu. Built in 1830, this weatherboard house was once the British governor's guesthouse and still has a colonial feel, with verandas and a plant-filled courtyard.

Details: A week's room only from £759 ( turksheadinne.com). Fly to Grand Turk via Providenciales with BA and InterCaribbean.


24. Castara Retreats, Tobago

All 16 rooms here have a treehouse feel. They're a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, each with its own kitchen, meaning guests can buy fish from a boat in the village of Castara, where there is also a fruit and vegetable stall, to cook themselves. But Castara Retreats is also home to Caribbean Kitchen, one of Tobago's best restaurants. It's a relaxed, honesty bar sort of place, where the gap between tourist and local seems to narrow the longer you stay.

Details: A week's room only from £665 ( castararetreats.com). Fly BA to Tobago.


25. Four Seasons Ocean Club, Bahamas

Nassau escaped lightly from Hurricane Dorian, but with the rest of the Bahamian archipelago righting itself again, Jean-Georges Vongerichten — he heads Ocean Club's statement restaurant Dune — has been holding fundraisers. It's the most well-regarded restaurant in the Bahamas, giving an Asian twist to local seafood, such as ceviche and tuna tartare. Its terraced gardens are modelled on Versailles and rooms and suites are urbane. There's, also, that famously good Cabbage beach.

Details: A week's B&B from £8,759pp, including flights and transfers ( abercrombiekent.co.uk)


26. Peninsula House, Dominican Republic

This is the antithesis to the image that the Dominican Republic is a place of all-inclusive mega-resorts with indifferent food. Opened in 2008, Peninsula House has six suites, and its setting, ethos and cooking set it apart. It's a restored Victorian plantation house on the Samana peninsula, and its rooms are filled with antique African art, with balconies looking towards the ocean. An infinity swimming pool adds modernity and the Beach House, a pretty pavilion on Playa Coson, offers guests shady charm and freshly caught lobster.

Details: A week's B&B from £3,525 ( thepeninsulahouse.com). Fly to Dominican Republic with BA.


27. Round Hill, Jamaica

Jamaica's original hip hotel has no need to worry. This colony of cottages (some of which are owned by famous names) is still a quirky catch. Jamaica has superb produce, and few places showcase it better than Round Hill. Think full Caribbean flavours with fresh fish, and vegetables from its organic garden. Round that off with its most famous pudding, pineapple tatin with Scotch bonnet ice cream.

Details: A week's B&B from £3,899pp, with flights ( turquoiseholidays.co.uk)


Part Four: Budget Stays

28. Cabier Island Lodge, Grenada

On its own peninsula, a rough track away from the village of Crochu in Grenada's south-east, this 11-room lodge seems to operate on a need-to-know basis, but let's spill the beans. What you'll find is a golden beach shared with a Creole-based restaurant and bar offering tables under two giant mango trees. Single travellers are welcome, families can opt for a villa with its own kitchen, and there's also one with a private pool.

Details: A week's room only from £759 ( cabier.com). Fly to Grenada with Virgin Atlantic.


29. Le Village, St Barts

Not everyone who visits St Barts is a billionaire. For those who understand the notion of budgeting, Le Village is a boon. Close to the beach and cafés around St Jean, and a five-minute walk to Nikki Beach, it's a collection of cottages sharing a pool with a good-value restaurant, for morning croissants and café crème. Come before Christmas or after April for the best rates.

Details: A week's room only from £1,701 ( levillagestbarth.com). Fly to St Barts via Antigua with BA and Tradewind.


30. Keegan's, Bequia

Bequia, in the Grenadines, is the sort of island you dream of finding — tiny, laid-back, but assured. And Keegan's is the sort of beachfront guesthouse you want to find when the puddle-jumping plane drops you off. Set on beautiful Lower Bay, it has eight simple rooms with air conditioning and mosquito nets. Above all, Keegan's has the sort of restaurant and bar you want: right on the beach and popular with locals and visitors.

Details: A week's room only from £596 ( keegansbequia.org). Fly to Bequia via Barbados with BA and SVG Air.


31. Buccaneer Beach Club, Antigua

Enough sailors bed down on Antigua to sustain some good budget-minded hotels. A picket fence separates Buccaneer from the glorious crescent beach of Dickenson Bay and its bars and restaurants. The accommodation feels Caribbean — a series of cheerful cottages with kitchens surrounding a pool. There's no restaurant, but send the hotel a list of groceries beforehand and Buccaneer's staff will have them waiting for you in the fridge when you arrive.

Details: A week's room only from £1,030 ( buccaneerbeach.com). Fly to Antigua with Virgin Atlantic.


32. Salt Raker Inn, Turks and Caicos

Perched on Grand Turk, the most charming part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, this little inn has 13 rooms in a quaint weatherboard house in Cockburn Town, the capital. This strollable set of streets is dotted with cafés and restaurants and a white picket gate takes you from the inn on to an unsullied section of the famed Osprey Beach. Its Secret Garden restaurant and bar is a mellow place to eat conch, grouper and lobster.

Details: A week's room only from £623 ( saltrakerinn.com). Fly to Grand Turk via Providenciales with BA and InterCaribbean.


Part Five: Family Escapes

33. Fond Doux Plantation, St Lucia

For those who want to be more free-range, Fond Doux is a tropical take on the farm holiday, set on a working cocoa plantation. Of the 15 rooms, families should opt for the two larger cottages, although all are encased in a lush setting near the town of Soufrière. Eight have plunge pools, but there's also a main pool plus hiking trails and a spa. The two relaxed restaurants serve the estate's produce. Children up to ten stay free.

Details: A week's B&B in a one-bedroom cottage, sleeping four, from £2,250 ( fonddouxresort.com). Fly to St Lucia with Virgin Atlantic.


34. Nonsuch Bay Resort, Antigua

This is one for families who like all-inclusives to be small and, er, quite posh. Sailing is a USP; there is a large selection of dinghies and catamarans, with tuition included in the price for adults and children. It's low on gimmicks — you won't find a games rooms or a sports bar — but big on facilities and space. The suites are large, and even though this is now an all-inclusive hotel, there are kitchen areas and washing machines.

Details: A week's all-inclusive from £1,769pp, including flights ( ba.com)


35. Amanyara, Turks and Caicos

Aman's Caribbean hotels have a vibe that some of the group's other properties lack. Less seclusion and a higher toleration of inflatables make them suitable for families, albeit rich ones. Villas range from two to six bedrooms, while the nature discovery centre offers eco hikes, snorkelling and involvement in a sea turtle initiative. There's a children's pool and a jungle gym, with staff on hand to adapt Pilates and yoga classes for young guests. The beach is the biggest draw.

Details: A week's B&B from £3,152pp, including flights and transfers ( elegantresorts.co.uk)


36. Waves Hotel & Spa, Barbados

Spa-inclusive is the next big thing in the Caribbean, and this hotel has caught the wave nicely, with packages that include treatments. Over a week's stay, the cheapest rooms have one treatment per adult per stay, which rises in the more expensive suites. Yoga sessions for all the family, motorised sports, such as water-skiing and tubing, are all included. A steer towards healthier holidays continues with the main Asian-influenced restaurant, Shiso.

Details: A week's all-inclusive from £2,658pp, including flights and transfers ( virginholidays.co.uk)


37. Family tour, Cuba

Since there probably isn't a family who all like doing the same thing, this 14-night trip to Cuba throws a variety of excursions into the mix, including boats, bikes and salsa classes. It takes in Havana, Viñales and Trinidad with time for the beach and mountains. A few crowd-pleasing elements are there too, including tours by classic car.

Details: A fortnight's mixed board from £3,259pp, including all excursions ( journeylatinamerica.co.uk). Fly to Havana with Virgin Atlantic.


38. Beaches, Turks and Caicos

Families have all sorts of needs and this resort is one of the best in the Caribbean for guests with mobility issues; 19 of the 21 restaurants have wheelchair access and there are specially adapted rooms. It's at the premium end of the all-inclusive market, with 750 rooms across four themed villages. Adults get a range of swim-up bars, and kids' clubs offer everything from teenage karaoke to tennis clinics.

Details: A week's all-inclusive from £3,887pp, including flights and transfers ( beaches.co.uk)


39. Beach Enclave, Turks and Caicos

Villa resorts with concierge services, private chefs and privacy are the dream ticket. These villas on Long Bay and North Shore have between four and seven bedrooms, with kitchens. The concierges arrange everything from picnics to boat excursions (some trips are included in the price). Direct access to the beach and the hotel-style perks are pleasing; breakfast is delivered to your villa and there are yoga and fitness classes. Long Bay is best for young children because the waters are shallow.

Details: A week's self-catering, with breakfast, for up to eight is from £21,118 ( beachenclave.com). Fly to Providenciales with BA.


Part six: Active

40. Fishing, Cayman Islands

At 10 square miles, Little Cayman may be a tiny island, but the fish — mahi-mahi, wahoo, tuna and marlin — are big. Opened in 1958, the Southern Cross Club was originally a fishing club, and guests can still rent a full range of fly-fishing and spin-casting equipment. Guests stay in bright beach bungalows; the club has a restaurant (fish features strongly) and a bar. Hammocks are strung between palm trees. It is reached by inter-island aircraft from Cayman.

Details: Five nights full board from £1,546, with airport transfers, kayaks and bicycles ( southerncrossclub.com). Fly via Grand Cayman with BA and Cayman Airways Express.


41. Hiking, Dominica

There's adventure from the start of this six-day trip; your hotel is remote enough to make zip lining or wading through a river the most memorable way of arriving. The first few days are spent with gentle hikes along rivers, then it ramps up to tackle the Morne Trois Pitons National Park and the around the seaside village of Castle Bruce. Walks are led and a packed lunch is provided, as well as breakfast and dinner at the lodge.

Details: Five nights full board at the 3 Rivers Eco Lodge from £989pp, with transfers ( hikecaribbean.com). Fly to Dominica via Barbados with Virgin Atlantic and Liat.

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