The 6 Most Luxurious Caribbean Escapes

Caribbean Escapes: Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

Feel like you’ve been there, done that when it comes to Caribbean getaways? Think again. If you haven’t experienced ultimate luxury at one of the islands’ most exclusive haute resorts, you’re missing out. From butler service and private pools to toes-in-the-sand, oceanfront dinners, get royal treatment that’s just right for you with one of these indulgent escapes.

If your idea of luxury is

Escaping to a secluded hideaway

Fowl Cay Resort
Photo courtesy of Fowl Cay Resort.

Stay at your own private island. A world away from the traffic and cruise ship congestion you’ll find in other parts of the Caribbean, Fowl Cay Resort is home to six villas spread across 50 acres on a remote island that’s part of the Exumas, Bahamas.

Your villa comes with a stocked fridge and liquor cabinet, your own golf cart for exploring the island, and even your own power boat with unlimited gas and snorkel and fishing gear so you can drop anchor at any of the 365 deserted cays and islands that make up the Exumas chain. Each villa comes with a designated villa host, who arrives each morning, ready to help with whatever your needs are, from packing a picnic lunch to packing your suitcase at the end of the trip. Happy hour and dinner are included each evening at the island’s Hill House restaurant.

Uber sophistication

Viceroy Anguilla
Photo courtesy of Viceroy Anguilla.

Looking to get away from it all in high style? This chic island escape looks like it’s straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest. Decorated by hip L.A. interior designer Kelly Wearstler, the tony Viceroy Anguilla is a modern masterpiece on an under-the-radar island just five miles from St. Maarten and 20 miles from St. Bart’s. Enjoy secluded beaches, private bluff-top villas and a cliff-side beach bar.

Breathtaking beaches and eco-adventures

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman
Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman has one of the best spots on the island’s world famous Seven Mile Beach. A haven for diving and snorkeling, it’s no wonder Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, partnered with the Ritz to offer one of only a handful of its “Ambassadors of the Environment” programs here. The program, led by trained naturalists, introduces kids and adults to the island’s natural wonders through classes that include underwater photography, kayaking through mangroves, stargazing and visiting the endangered blue iguana.

Five-star oasis in the sun with activities for every age

Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
Photo courtesy of Moon Palace Jamaica Grande.

Your idea of paradise is a cushioned chaise lounge overlooking the ocean — tropical drink in one hand, a good book in the other. But your tween is looking for excitement and you need someone to watch your toddler while you enjoy a romantic dinner. Jamaica’s newest all-inclusive resort, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, makes sure everyone’s taken care of.

You’ll not only find 17 acres of private beach, but activities to keep everyone entertained. Among the resort’s $50 million in recent upgrades are the largest luxury spa in Jamaica, a first-rate kids’ club and children’s water park, hip teen lounge, a surf simulator, complimentary sailboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, a dive shop and “swim with the dolphins” program. No one’s getting bored here — unless it’s by choice!

For another kid-friendly Caribbean escape, check out St. Lucia.

Island hopping, but only unpacking once

Norwegian Cruise Line's The Haven
Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Many of today’s newer cruise ships offer luxe living as well. More than just a larger room with a balcony, these exclusive areas come with other special privileges, including their own dining area, priority embarkation and disembarkation (no standing in line with the masses) and their own concierge to book on-board activities and port excursions. Think of it as a ship within a ship. On Norwegian Cruise Line, this exclusive-access suite area is called The Haven and comes with 24-hour private butler service.

Easy access to total relaxation

Ocean Club West
Ocean Club West (Photo by Andrea Guthmann.)

As if 12 miles of sugar-white sand and calm beaches weren’t enough, now there are direct flights from O’Hare into the British colony of Turks and Caicos. This is your ticket to paradise, even if you only have a few days.

Forget the jacket and tie, instead think barefoot luxury. That’s the vibe at Ocean Club Resort and its sister property, Ocean Club West, named the “Top Hotel for Location in the Caribbean” by Travel and Leisure. Just a one-mile waterfront stroll apart, guests enjoy full reciprocal privileges at both properties.

Ocean Club is the kind of place where the beachfront bartender will know your name by the second day. When you’re ready to put down your piña colada, try your hand on one of the lighted tennis courts (rackets included). Make sure to book a candlelit oceanfront dinner … meaning your table is literally in the sand, just feet from the gentle waves. For a more formal experience, the resort’s upscale Opus gets well-deserved rave reviews for both its surf and turf dishes. (Be sure to order up some conch during your trip. Turks and Caicos is the Caribbean’s conch capital and Ocean Club Resort won first place in the island’s conch festival!)

Amanyara and Parrot Cay Resorts are Turks and Caicos’ celebrity magnets, attracting stars like Prince, Christie Brinkley and Heidi Klum, especially during the winter high season. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner wed at Parrot Cay, Donna Karan renewed her vows and Sofia Vergara honeymooned here.

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