What’s your favorite Caribbean
Fair question. Having explored the region for 21 years, writing
Caribbean guidebooks for the last 12, when friends ask for my
perspective on ideal island destinations, I should be forthcoming.
On the other hand, it’s possibly the least-favorite query that gets
tossed my way, for there is no single landing that, to me, captures
all the things I like about the Caribbean. If I’m in the mood for a
long walk on the beach, it’s one island, but if I’m on a hunt for
great diving, it’s another.
What I appreciate most is how unique each island is. Some of the
differences are geological, some are based on historical events,
while other distinctions are created by the differing approaches
each island takes to entice visitors to land on their shores (St.
Thomas depends heavily on cruise ships, while Anguilla eschews the
Lush? Beautiful? Romantic? There are a dozen islands that
deliver individually on these subjective promises, and at least a
dozen more that don’t.
So, I shy away from the “favorite island” question. Instead, I
ask friends to tell me what they want in their vacation, just as
you would a client. Whether it’s golf, or shopping or simply lazing
away in a hammock with a novel, there’s a Caribbean island or two
or three that is perfect for the holiday they have in mind.
Here are the top 20 island destinations. You’ll find others
Grenada, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos profiled on
Anguilla is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet, easy-going
islanders and superlative restaurants, all of which makes it a big
hit with celebs who can afford the often-spectacular price tag.
It’s not the most attractive island mostly undistinguished
recumbent hills splotched with scrub but you won’t find an island
with a better collection of beaches, resplendent with loamy white
The hotel scene is also noteworthy, with a half-dozen posh
resorts, all under 100 rooms. The swank classic is Cap Juluca, with
Moorish-style villas that curl into a graceful bay like an African
oasis, but a new St. Regis is about to come on line with a Greg
Norman-designed Temenos Golf Club, the island’s first. Also new
this year is the Anguilla Tennis Academy, the Caribbean’s largest
tennis facility with seating for 2,000 spectators.
Antigua and Barbuda
This two-island nation is another beach-focused destination. The
terrain is scruffy, but Antigua’s lacy perimeter is scalloped by
dozens of gorgeous coves. There’s a robust colonial sailing history
English Harbour was Admiral Nelson’s headquarters in the 1780s.
Scheduled for April 29-May 4, the 40th Antigua Sailing Week is one
of the world’s top five regattas; it’s also a wicked party.
The varied lodging includes two all-inclusive resorts Jumby Bay
and Curtain Bluff which pour on the amenities and extras, and a
recently expanded Sandals property. A new arrival is Antigua Yacht
Club Marina Resort, next to English Harbour, with oversized rooms
and a contemporary blend of Indonesian wood and Italian linens.
Barbuda has just 1,500 residents and a trio of small resorts,
but long, superb beaches. It’s worth at least a daytrip.
Contrary to a few TV commentaries, Dutch Aruba remains one of
the region’s safest, most family-friendly landings an easy intro to
international travel for those indoctrinating a passport.
Infrequent rain, abundant sun and steady breezes blanket a
cactus-speckled and dehydrated environment. Along with siblings
Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, making
for good picks in hurricane season for concerned clients.
Accommodations along famed Palm Beach are mostly high-rise with
an Americanized veneer, led by brands like Radisson, Hyatt and
Marriott. A good alternative is the family-owned and newly
renovated Bucuti Beach Resort, which occupies the widest part of
Eagle Beach, away from the high-rise strip.
Just 30 minutes from South Florida this British Commonwealth
encompasses 700 islands, all supine and coral-formed with plush
white carpets of sand for garnish. Most are part of the scarcely
inhabited and relatively unspoiled Out Islands, retreats with
limited infrastructure, though the 365-island Exuma archipelago is
home to the three-year-old Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma.
Most visitors choose the faster pace of Freeport and Nassau,
cruise-ship ports with all the requisite diversions. The latter is
linked (by bridge) to Paradise Island, home to the famous Atlantis
Resort and its Kerzner-owned sisters One&Only and The Cove,
scheduled to open this month. The 600-room expansion includes a
Bobby Flay restaurant, Mandara Spa, dolphin attraction and
Aquaventure, a 63-acre waterpark the largest in the world.
One of the region’s most populous islands, Barbados has a
polished tourism product, solid air links and a distinctly British
air. The environment is gentle limestone hills blanketed with
forests and sugarcane fields, ringed by intimate coves of
Well-to-do types are catered to on the west coast, led by Sandy
Lane, one of the region’s most expensive landings. The resort’s
47,000-square-foot spa is the Caribbean’s most lavish. Considerably
more covert is the Lone Star Hotel, a four-room hideaway tucked
behind an art-deco filling station, with a chic restaurant
attached. The overall dining scene is not to be underestimated,
energetic enough that the tourist board hired Zagats to create a
guide for Barbados. The Cliff gets this author’s vote as one of the
most romantic dining terraces anywhere.
This less-developed corner of the Netherlands Antilles boasts
the region’s top diving with many sites easily accessed from shore,
which keeps dive costs down and makes it a great place for
beginners. At the Plaza Resort Bonaire, non-divers can take a
Discover Scuba class for just $77 and get a taste of the rich
undersea world; the half-day course takes participants to a depth
of 40 feet.
Outdoors lovers will also enjoy birdwatching, hiking, kayaking
and cycling in a stark natural setting that looks little like the
Caribbean we expect, a rugged desert landscape with sprawling,
flamingo-swarmed salinas used for salt production.
Bonaire is easily accessible from the U.S. with the recent
introduction of Friday-night red-eyes on Continental from Houston
British Virgin Islands
Treasured sailing waters have made the 60-some BVIs a hit with
the yacht set, but since 2002, cruiseship visitors have doubled to
half a million per year, calling into question the viability of the
destination’s tag line “Nature’s Little Secrets.”
Although development of the hub island Tortola is proceeding
rapidly, Virgin Gorda remains a bucolic escape, and there are still
hidden coves on neighboring isles, several of which are inhabited
by small, classic “private island resorts” like Peter Island, Guana
Island and Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
Parched and flat as a pancake, Grand Cayman was devastated by
Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Post-storm convulsions have largely calmed
and the island is back to its roots: offshore banking, stellar
diving, snorkeling at Sting Ray City and a major cruise ship port
(a new pier eliminates tendering in). In fact, the ratio of tourist
arrivals to residents remains higher here than any other Caribbean
Now one year old, the 365-room, eight-story Ritz-Carlton was a
significant factor in the island’s rebirth. The hotel features a
nine-hole golf course, restaurants by chef Eric Ripert (of Le
Bernardin) and an extravagant La Prarie Spa.
Less well-known are Little Cayman, ringed by staggering undersea
walls that display a panoply of sea life, and Cayman Brac, which
has a rocky spine and a forest inhabited by an endemic parrot.
Until recently, one of the Caribbean’s least recognized vacation
destinations, Curacao has beaches, casinos, shopping, diving and
dining in a cosmopolitan setting. The Dutch island’s 500-year-old,
multicultural history and architecture is another draw. Just don’t
come for luxuriant, tropical scenery: The island is arid, spiked
with mountains and the striking beaches are secreted between rocky
Major hotel developments are under way, including a new Hyatt
and Renaissance, but the island already possesses a solid tourism
infrastructure, led by the fine Hotel Kura Hulanda in the historic
capital of Willemstad. The new Lodge Kura Hulanda occupies a remote
cove at the island’s western tip, perched along 30-foot limestone
cliffs abutting cerulean seas with fine snorkeling and diving.
The rainforest environment at its most concentrated is revealed
on Dominica, the region’s steepest, greenest island. Overflowing
with waterfalls and beaches of black sand, the star attraction is
an epic hike to the world’s second-largest solfatara, the Boiling
Lake, a caldera choked by rainwater. The spectacle continues below
the shoreline, with vivid diving amid effervescent springs and
Whether on foot in the fertile mountains or diving the reefs,
the island’s natural assets are unfettered by extensive
infrastructure. The former British colony caters to adventurous
travelers with rustic inns and small hotels rather than beach
resorts. Dominica’s full-service property is the 70-room Fort Young
Hotel, a business hotel just a stone’s throw from the cruise-ship
dock with a dive shop and activities desk.
The setting is the region’s most varied, ranging from a
10,000-foot peak blanketed in sylvan pine forests to deserts, plus
tropical jungles and sprawling coconut and sugar plantations.
Spain’s first settlement in the Americas also has long, sugary
beaches, golf courses, baseball players, the Meringue and tourists
almost 4 million visitors in 2006, more than any other Caribbean
The “D.R.” is particularly popular with Canadians and Europeans
who stretch their pesos at huge all-inclusive resorts, largely
concentrated around Punta Cana. But the Samana Peninsula is a new
focus, with a new airport and a quartet of all-inclusives that
sprouted this winter under the Spanish Gran Bahia Principe
The north-coast town of Cabarete provides a laid-back beach and
windsurf destination for E.P. travelers. Iguana Mama is the
well-run tour operator providing cycling, whitewater rafting trips
and hikes into the mountains.
Shaped like a butterfly, each of Guadeloupe’s wings possesses a
distinct personality: the beach-fringed eastern wing has rolling
cane fields, while an active volcano and tall waterfalls are found
on the muscular western wing. Authentic French Creole culture is
alive and well throughout, as are the old rum distilleries, refined
restaurants and ambitious hiking. Captivating offshore outposts,
Les Saintes and Marie-Galante, add to the colorful medley.
The French region is most appreciated by those who aren’t
chained to the English language, and who enjoy exploring
independently in a rental car and on foot along well-maintained
The 329-room Club Med La Caravelle the island’s first resort
completed a $29 million renovation in December. The same month saw
the arrival of Delta Air Lines; Guadeloupe (as well as Martinique)
is now served twice a week by nonstop flights from Atlanta.
The Caribbean’s third biggest island is one of the most varied,
with colonial great houses, legendary beaches and a dozen golf
courses, all set against the rhythm of Reggae. Add in the trek up
Dunn’s River Falls, the cruise downriver on a banana raft and hotel
options at all price levels and sizes and you have the region’s
most well-rounded vacation destination.
Some are put off by Jamaica’s hawkers and other irritations,
although the hassle is greatly reduced from a decade ago. And while
crime here is a concern, troubles are primarily tied to the drug
trade and concentrated in Kingston, where few visitors tread.
Chukka Tours does an admirable job introducing the masses to
Jamaican history, culture and scenery; one daytrip visits Nine
Miles, where Bob Marley was born and now rests, aboard an old
country bus crested with produce.
All-inclusive resorts are a dominant force, but small inns of
character are found throughout; try Port Antonio’s Mocking Bird
Hill, Jake’s on the South Coast, and Negril’s Tensing Pen.
The Montego Bay airport is nearing completion of an $80 million
expansion and refurbishment.
The French Caribbean at its most exotic and cultured. Boutiques
stock the latest fashions and patisseries sell sturdy cheeses from
France. While Martinique’s gastronomy is the envy of its neighbors,
the scenery is some of the region’s most dramatic: Precipitous
volcanoes thrusting into the clouds and clad in dense tropical
forests, with honey-colored beaches in the south, evocative
black-sand coves to the north.
The variety of lodging options is impressive, but none is
classier than Cap Est Lagoon Resort, a 50-room luxury landing with
outstanding dining and spacious suites. Its east coast location
also avoids a growing problem: traffic snarls between
Fort-de-France and the resort districts and beaches of the
The oldest city flying the Stars and Stripes, San Juan is home
to El Morro and other Spanish forts, pulsating nightlife and
notable dining, against the heartbeat of Latin culture. Beyond San
Juan, honeyed beaches line the north coast while mountains and
dense forests fill the interior.
On the south coast, well away from San Juan’s hubbub is
Copamarina Beach Resort, a reasonable family-oriented resort next
door to a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Culebra and Vieques called the
“Spanish Virgin Islands” by some possess fine beaches,
bioluminescent bays and bohemian ambience. A W Hotel opening on
Vieques later this year should give the island a new twist.
Also notable: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the
only Caribbean destinations that don’t require a passport for
visitors flying home to the U.S.
Blessed with a clutch of picture-perfect beaches, the best
dining south of New York and shopping that sizzles with Parisian
haute couture, St. Barts, as those in the know call it, is the
Caribbean’s jet-set landing. Unfortunately, this means U.S.
visitors should prepare their wallets for an abrupt collision with
The top hotel is the superbly located Eden Rock, which has been
the island’s social hub for five decades, but in fact there are
more bedrooms in rental villas than hotels, represented by agencies
like French Caribbean International and WIMCO.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Two miles apart and with similar appeal of rustic plantation
inns and bucolic lifestyle, the islands have troops of green vervet
monkeys navigating forested volcano slopes. In some ways it feels
like Nevis entered the 20th century around 1990, with the opening
of a hugely successful 198-room Four Seasons Resort. And small
older inns, like Montpelier Plantation Inn and Nisbet Plantation,
continue to dominate the island’s style.
St. Kitts still has its beautiful green cane fields, but in 2004
the government opted for a major evolution as it switched from
unprofitable sugar production to full-scale tourism. A
convention-focused 648-room Marriott St. Kitts debuted and
dramatically altered the dynamic but as on Nevis it’s the historic
spots like Ottley’s Plantation that people cherish.
This British Windward beauty has as landmarks the extraordinary
Pitons a pair of volcanic fangs that vault from the sea next to the
fishing village of Soufriere. Elsewhere, rugged mountains are
covered in dense rain forests that descend to broad valleys filled
with banana farms. The island’s tourism is undergoing a significant
growth spurt this year with the addition of almost 1,000 new hotel
rooms and two 18-hole golf courses.
Tourism development has historically focused on the north around
Rodney Bay, but new properties are springing up around the island.
Discovery at Marigot Bay opened in November and features a spa
and 60-berth marina. And Anse Chastanet, one of the Caribbean’s
most successful small hotels, has opened an extraordinary 24-room
addition called Jade Mountain, where huge rooms are missing a wall
(facing the Pitons) in exchange for a private swimming pool.
St. Martin/St. Maarten
The French side has the lion’s share of gourmet restaurants,
sophisticated lifestyle and world-famous clothing-optional Orient
Beach; the Dutch have shopping, nightlife and casinos. But no
matter how one divvies up St. Martin and St. Maarten the smallest
territory in the world shared by two sovereign states Americans
land by the plane- and ship-load to enjoy the trilingual lifestyle
(everyone speaks some English).
The island has been experiencing the pangs of rapid growth for a
couple decades: Not only is it the mostly densely inhabited in the
region but it has the highest concentration of visitors. But that
hasn’t slowed development: Taking a prime spot on one of the
island’s last undeveloped coves, the 311-room, 120-condo Westin St.
Maarten opened in December.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Here clients will find three very different islands. St. Thomas
is a busy some say too busy cruise-ship port, but the duty-free
shopping (jewelry, electronics, liquor) is renowned. The largest
island in the chain, St. Croix, is less hectic and less expensive,
and two-thirds of St. John is a National Park with eco-camps,
unblemished forests and fine snorkeling. An impressive line-up of
watersports is found throughout, as are sweeping views and peerless
The 60-year-old Buccaneer Hotel is St. Croix’s top resort and an
all-around good value, while on St. Thomas, the recently expanded
Ritz-Carlton sets the pace. On St. John, Laurance Rockefeller’s
Caneel Bay is still a favored retreat.
San Diego-based freelance writer David Swanson is a
Contributing Editor to National Geographic Traveler and a columnist
for Caribbean Travel & Life magazine.
|Best of the Best|
Best beaches: Anguilla
Best snorkeling: St. John
Best diving: Bonaire
Best hiking: Martinique
Best sailing: British Virgin Islands
Best golf: Jamaica
Best for families: Aruba
Best for value travel: Dominican Republic
Best luxury: Barbados
Best fine dining: St. Barts
Best locally grown produce: Jamaica
Best historical attractions: Curacao
Best shopping: St. Maarten
Best gambling: Aruba
Best remote hideaways: British Virgin
Aruba: 800-TO-ARUBA; aruba.com
Bahamas: 800-BAHAMAS; bahamas.com
Barbados: 800-221-9831; www.barbados.org
Bonaire: 800-BONAIRE; infobonaire.com
British Virgin Islands: 800-835-8530;
Cayman Islands: 877-4-CAYMAN;
Curacao: 800-3-CURACAO; www.curacao.com
Dominica: 718-261-9615; dominica.dm
Dominican Republic: 888-374-6361
Jamaica: 800-JAMAICA; jamaicatravel.com
Martinique: 514-288-1904; martinique.org.
Puerto Rico: 800-866-7827;
St. Barthelemy: 011-590-590-27-87-27;
St. Kitts and Nevis: 800-582-6208;
stkitts-tourism.com; 866-55-NEVIS; nevisisland.com
St. Lucia: 888-478-5824; stlucia.org
St. Maarten/St. Martin: 877-956-1234;
U.S. Virgin Islands: 800-372-USVI,
Cap Juluca: 888-858-5822; capjuluca.com
Jumby Bay: 888-767-3966; jumbybayresort.com
Curtain Bluff: 888-289-9898;
Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort: 268-562-3030;
Radisson Aruba Resort: 888-201-1718;
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort: 888-591-1234;
Aruba Marriott Resort: 800-223-6388;
Bucuti Beach Resort: 800-223-1108;
Four Seasons Great Exuma: 800-819-5053;
Atlantis, One&Only, The Cove: 888-528-7155;
Sandy Lane: 866-444-4080; sandylane.com
Lone Star Hotel: 246-419-0599;
Plaza Resort Bonaire: 800-766-6016;
Peter Island Resort: 770-476-9988 800-346-4451;
Guana Island: 800-223-1108; guana.com
Necker Island: 800-557-4255;
Anegada Reef Hotel: 284-495-8002;
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: 800-241-3333;
Hotel and Lodge Kura Hulanda: 877-264-3106;
Fort Young Hotel: 767-448-5000;
Gran Bahia Principe: 866-282-2442;
Iguana Mama: 800-849-4720; iguanamama.com
Club Med La Caravelle: 888-WEB-CLUB;
Chukka Tours: 876-972-2506; chukkacove.com
Mocking Bird Hill: 876-993-7134;
Jake’s: 800-688-7678; islandoutpost.com
Tensing Pen: 876-957-0387; tensingpen.com
Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa: 800-735-2478
or 596-596-54-80-80; capest.com
Copamarina Beach Resort: 800-468-4553;
W Hotel Vieques: 866-716-8105;
Eden Rock: 877-563-7105; edenrockhotel.com
French Caribbean International: 800-322-2223;
WIMCO: 800-449-1553; wimco.com
Four Seasons Resort Nevis: 800-819-5053;
Montpelier Plantation Inn: 869-469-3462;
Nisbet Plantation: 800-742-6008;
Marriott St. Kitts Resort and Royal Beach
Casino: 800-228-9290; stkittsmarriott.com
Ottley’s Plantation Inn: 800-772-3039;
Discovery at Marigot Bay: 758-458-5300;
Anse Chastanet/Jade Mountain: 800-223-1108;
Westin St. Maarten, Dawn Beach Resort:
Buccaneer Hotel: 800-255-3881;
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas: 800-241-3333;
Caneel Bay: 888-767-3966; caneelbay.com
|Seven Additional Island Destinations|
The “spice island” also sustained a wallop from Hurricane Ivan
in 2004, but beaches are restored, hotels and restaurants are back
and an easy-going lifestyle has returned. The bantam, formerly
British island is ideal for those who prefer to bypass the tourist
circuit in favor of photogenic vistas of a beautiful harbor and
Hotels are concentrated in the south, particularly on two-mile
Grand Anse. The sweetly elegant Spice Island Beach Resort used
Ivan’s ransacking as a pretext to completely upgrade the resort,
much of which was completely rebuilt. New on the scene are the one-
and two-bedroom Maca Bana Villas, all fully equipped and hovering
above a beautiful beacha great option for families.
Things move at a snail’s pace on the rustic island of Carriacou,
largest of the Grenadines, also part of Grenada and reached by
Elton John and Paul McCartney once recorded albums here, but
today an 11-year-old volcanic eruption continues, making the
southern two-thirds of the island like a visit to Mother Nature’s
kitchen. The ash-laden volcano is a commanding sight, and the ruin
of the former capital is like a Caribbean Pompeii, though the
island’s north is fertile and green, and offshore reefs rich with
A new airport opened in 2005 and WINAIR offers daily flights from
Antigua. With British support, and a sideshow of bird watching,
diving and hiking, tourism is making a cautious rebound. Still, the
top attraction today is the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, where a
panoramic view of Soufriere Hills is supplanted with scientist-led
tours of the monitoring effort.
The 22-room Vue Pointe Hotel has cottages with views of the
volcano and a Wednesday night poolside barbecue that remains an
Of little use for travelers seeking beach resorts or duty free
shopping, Dutch Saba is just five square miles, but perfect for
those who like their islands steep and deephiking around a rocky
peak, diving over soaring pinnacles and plunging reefs, and
charming village culture. It’s petite, vertical and beach-freea
single five mile road links the tiny airstrip on one side to the
tinier port on the otherbut it adds up to a package that readers of
Travel + Leisure magazine ranked as their favorite Caribbean island
There are fewer than 100 rooms on the island, but one of the
original inns, Juliana’s, is well-located and owned by an attentive
young couple, while another inn, The Gate House, has Saba’s best
restaurant, with a Wine Spectator-commended wine list.
Better known as Statia, this eccentric Dutch back-of-beyond
covers just 12 square miles but possesses more history than most of
its more famous neighbors. Once the Caribbean’s richest port,
thousands of slaves along with silks and spices flowed through its
warehouses; today, oil courses through a major transshipping
facility and students through a medical university. Tourists are
A symmetrical volcano, The Quill, lords over the southern half of
the island, while narrow, dusky beaches are mined more for
construction sand than they are primed for sun. Still, the diving
and snorkeling through historical treasuresanchors, cannons,
pottery shardsis said to be very good, and in 2003 a 327-foot cable
repair ship was scuttled to create an artificial reef; Dive Statia
is one of three dive operators. Stay at the one-time cotton
refinery, the Old Gin House, an 18-room inn with attractive
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Three distinct vacations on offer here: St. Vincent is the
quaintly outdated Caribbean of a few decades ago; the Grenadines
are beloved hideouts dappled with private island resorts; sailing
between them is a yachtsman’s dream. Collectively they served as
primary shooting locations for Pirates of the Caribbean
The backdrop is lush and volcanic on St. Vincent, with forests
inhabited by a majestic endemic parrot. The tiny Grenadines are
dryer outposts with dazzling beaches and surprisingly varied
tourism: On one end of the spectrum is the sweet island of Bequia
with small, inexpensive guest houses, on the other is Mustique,
with two posh hotels and 60-some high-priced villas.
The best hotel remains Young Island, a classics 35-acre rock
outcrop and 28-room hideaway located 200 yards off St. Vincent.
Most convenient is posh Raffles Resort Canouan Island, the
Grenadine that is currently the country’s only point of entry from
the U.S. on American Eagle.
Trinidad and Tobago
A two-island nation with a split personality. Port of Spain’s
massive Carnival festivities and artistic culture head the list on
urban Trinidad, an island that has always pursued tourism lightly
(offshore oil wealth dominates the business agenda). But Tobago is
lush and untamed, with hideaway beaches, excellent diving and
Bird watching is outstanding at places like Asa Wright Nature
Centre, a much-lauded 200-acre retreat for bird lovers, located
1,200 feet above sea level (Venezuela’s proximity means many South
American species nest here). On Tobago, Kariwak Holistic Haven is a
24-room oasis of holistic living and excellent dining.
New air service to Port of Spain, on Continental from Houston and
Newark and on Delta from Atlanta, makes Trinidad more accessible
than ever. Oddly, although jets make the hop from Europe, Tobago is
accessed from the U.S. only via Trinidad.
Turks and Caicos Islands
A decade ago these chains of British islands were sleepy and
known best for stellar diving and indolent beaches, aficionados of
which required little infrastructure. Today, glam resorts and
seven-story condo projects line gorgeous Grace Bay on
Providenciales and a new cruise ship pier will unload a
quarter-million passengers into Grand Turk this season. Throughout,
the setting is mostly low lying and flat scrubland, lined with soft
beaches, ironshore and mangrove swamps.
The all-inclusive Club Med Turkoise virtually invented the Provo
holiday in 1984 (the island’s airport debuted in tandem). An
international crowd and dedicated social scene remain intact, aimed
at a wide cross-section of singles and couples of all ages (average
age 40, and no kids under 18). Drawing a more exclusive crowd, the
exquisite, year-old Amanyara has a sublimely peaceful Provo
location, and all the requisite Asian touches we expect from the
Caribbean’s first Aman Resort, and jaw-dropping prices to boot.
Saba: 011-599-416-2231; sabatourism.com
St. Eustatius: 011-599-318-2107;
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 800-729-1726;
Trinidad and Tobago: 800-816-7541;
Turks and Caicos Islands: 800-241-0824;
Maca Bana Villas: 473-439-5355;
Spice Island Beach Resort: 845-628-1701;
WINAIR: 888-255-6889; fly-winair.com
Vue Pointe Hotel: 664-491-5210;
Juliana’s: 888-289-5708; julianas-hotel.com
The Gate House: 011-599-416-2416;
Dive Statia: 866-614-3491; divestatia.com
Old Gin House: 011-599-318-2319;
Young Island: 800-223-1108; youngisland.com
Raffles Resort Canouan Island: 877-226-6826;
Asa Wright Nature Centre: 800-426-7781;
Kariwak Holistic Haven: 868-639-8442;
Club Med Turkoise: 800-CLUB-MED;
Amanyara: 866-841-8133; amanresorts.com