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The Caribbean's Finest

Our panel of travel experts pick their favorite destinations across the region, and the best hotels, restaurants and golf courses on each island
Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Ernie Els, November/December 2012

(continued from page 1)

Honorable Mention: TIE Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman; Viceroy Anguilla.

Both of these luxury resorts easily won this category for their islands.

Best Small Resort or Hotel, Caribbean

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

No newcomer to our list, Jade Mountain successfully defended its Caribbean title from our 2010 World’s Best Hotels Poll. Why? This fantasy brought to life by its architect owner features 24 “infinity pool sanctuaries,” or suites on steroids, all with cantilevered infinity pools, one wall opens to some of the most stunning views on earth, and each is connected to the main house by elaborate bridges, set high on a mountain peak. With true private butler service and everything included, even room service, it’s no surprise some couples don’t leave their “sanctuary” for days at a time. “People come for the stunning views of the Piton mountains, but are seduced by the resort’s warm service, delicious food and ultimate exclusivity,” notes honeymoon specialist Carrie Wallace of MoonRings.

Honorable Mention: TIE Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos; Le Toiny, St. Barths.

“Management’s deft touch and willingness to cater to every need, however unique, makes Le Toiny a go-to for the demanding Caribbean traveler,” notes Wallace. Parrot Cay, a favored private-island celebrity escape and home away from home for Bruce Willis, Donna Karan and Keith Richards surged as a write-in, since Turks & Caicos was not on the ballot.

Best All-Inclusive Resort, Caribbean

The BodyHoliday LeSport, St. Lucia

The all-inclusive category is huge in the Caribbean, but this one rose to the top with panelists from every niche, be it romance, luxury travel or spa lovers. Luxury travel guru Becca Hensley explains the appeal: “As elegant as it gets, this hardly feels like an all-inclusive until you get the bill and nothing additional has been charged. Included in the price you’ll find daily spa treatments, golf lessons, scuba, pool stewards, meals and premium cocktails. Ooolala.” At BodyHoliday the focus is equal parts wellness, with a vast array of yoga and fitness classes, and decadence, with first-rate cuisine and cocktails.

Best Private Island, Caribbean

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