Island Interests

Paul Rubio | October 31, 2013 | Articles

Ooh La La
Commencing due north of the island’s Dutch-French western border, St. Martin’s Terre Basses and Lowlands regions are a commingling of beautifully designed hilltop and beachfront residences, surrounded by the island’s most crystalline waters. In this secluded cove, the acclaimed Orient Express property La Samanna offers an idyllic respite from city life, a sanctum where it’s all too easy to perfect the art of doing nothing. The resort’s 2011 renovation brought the hotel into the modern age and blessed the property with a new and improved spa. It specializes in multihour treatments for the pampered prince and princess—the Just Arrived package, for instance, eases you into vacation mode with a Swedish and a sun-prep scrub. Overnight rates from $445,, @lasamanna

Well, Well, Well
Beyond beachside pampering, mental and physical rejuvenation beckons at the Regent Palms, Turks & Caicos. Wellness is high on the T&C agenda with daily yoga and Pilates classes, personal training sessions, and extraordinary treatments in the 25,000-square-foot Regent Spa and fitness center. After a jog along picturesque Grace Bay Beach, a morning yoga class, afternoon tennis or weight training, indulge in a 90-minute Zareeba treatment (an herbal cleansing and head-to- toe detoxification) or a hard-earned deep-tissue massage. Admit it: Breaking a sweat never sounded this appealing. Overnight rates from $625,, @theregentpalms

Main Ingredient
Think St. Lucia, and gorgeous beaches, honeymooners and dramatic mountains come to mind. Here’s something else: chocolate. Along the island’s southern reaches, the Boucan Hotel is reviving St. Lucia’s cocoa industry in a completely original way. The luxury boutique hotel was built on a working cocoa plantation, where guests can learn all about the chocolate-making process hands-on. From harvesting cocoa pods to drying the cocoa beans, these gourmet courses cover chocolate’s myriad of possibilities. What’s more? The hotel restaurant infuses chocolate into every one of its dishes, so expect creations like chocolate pasta and tuna with cocoa nib pesto. We bet tasting the (sweet) fruits of your hard labor has never been this interesting. Overnight rates from $400,, @hotelchocolat

Water Wonders
On the heels of unveiling its latest renovations, Deep Water Cay is making major waves across the Atlantic and Caribbean. The small private island off Grand Bahama isn’t just for bone-fishing anymore. Nowadays, while the avid fishermen wade, the rest of the family can take to the water for supreme diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and even lighter water-sports fare—say, sunset cruises. There’s also plenty of fun in the sun to be had in and around the infinity pool or the island’s private beaches. DC’s new one-bedroom cottages are ideal for outdoorsy couples or guys-only getaways, but families will want to rent out one of the island’s luxury homes for a full-on beach-vacation experience. Overnight rates from $615,, @thedeepwatercay

Golf is the Word
Twelve miles west of Montego Bay, The Tryall Club is Jamaica’s most esteemed private club. While this 2,200-acre oceanfront community is indeed famous for a wide-ranging portfolio of luxury villa rentals, it has earned its global recognition for the Ralph Plummer-designed, 18-hole, 6,836-yard, par-71 golf course. The villa resort screams golfers’ paradise with a golf academy, golf pros on hand, and endless days playing on what’s often called the best golf course in the Caribbean. Tennis here also garners a lot of hoopla, with a dedicated concierge, daily clinics and renowned tennis pros on-site. The panoramic views of Jamaica’s turquoise waters and downy sands ain’t bad either. Overnight rates from $395,, @thetryallclub

Tropical Flavors
While the cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has already branded the property as the epicenter of Grand Cayman’s foodie movement, the hotel’s myriad restaurants now have the design personalities to match. Thankfully, the menus haven’t changed a bit; this recent face-lift simply means style is now a more prominent ingredient. Feast on day-caught seafood in the raw or creatively cooked at Blue by Eric Ripert—request his tasting menu, and prepare for an ambush of the senses. Gorge on innovative tempura rolls at Taikun and Parmesan truffle fries at Periwinkle. And don’t miss the local pumpkin bisque at legendary steakhouse Seven. No counting calories on this vacation! Overnight rates from $329,, @ritzcarlton

All-Out Fabulous
With celeb-studded beach bars, over-the-top water toys, glam squads in beach-inspired haute couture and an oh-so-St. Tropez ambience, St. Barths is the apex of Caribbean glamour. The island’s most coveted address, the Eden Rock-St. Barths, is a perennial playground for the rich and famous, hosting A-listers over a collection of high design, personality-driven rooms, suites and villas along stunning St. Jean beach. Within the exclusive Eden Rock enclave, the 16,000-square-foot Villa Rockstar ($19,950 a night) is the ne plus ultra of St. Barths envy. And on an island where all that glitters is 24K gold, that’s saying a lot! Overnight rates from $480,

Royal Treatment
Chances are you’ve never heard of Saba, a tiny yet high-rising Caribbean island that stands as one of Earth’s last untouched places. Five lush square miles zigzagged by one dozen breathtaking hiking trails and surrounded by 26 dive sights, Saba is unadulterated fodder for extreme castaway adventure. The Queen’s Gardens Resort cushions these exhilarating exploits with classic Caribbean accommodations and resort-style creature comforts, like in-suite plunge pools, remarkable cuisine and stellar service. For true luxury, book the Queen’s Villa, also known as the Haiku House, a Japanese-inspired retreat in the mist-shrouded jungle, decorated by Jan des Bouvrie. Overnight rates from $220,, @queensgarden


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