The 14 best new Caribbean hotels and resorts
(CNN) — The 2017 hurricane season was not kind to the Caribbean, when Hurricanes Irma and Maria barreled across Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Antigua, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Turks and Caicos were also affected, but all either sustained minimal damage or have already rebounded.
But in a good sign of recovery for the region, a spate of new hotels will join those that have opened within the past year or that have already reopened their doors post-storms. Here are 14 of the best new hotels and resorts opening in the Caribbean:
1. Park Hyatt St. Kitts, St. Kitts & Nevis
This splashy five-star resort isn’t just the first Park Hyatt on St. Kitts, but the first Park Hyatt in the Caribbean.
Luckily, the fall hurricane season spared tiny St. Kitts, allowing the 126-room property to open this past November in a remote section of the undeveloped island.
Of interest is a replica sugar mill where guests can take fitness, yoga and meditation classes, but the real highlight just may be the 37,000-square-foot Miraval Life in Balance Spa, from none other than the renowned Miraval brand.
Those wishing to venture off-site have their pick of outdoor activities, including volcano hiking, but the Park Hyatt can also arrange trips to the UNESCO Brimstone Hill Fortress or provide an island historian for a truly local experience.
Park Hyatt St. Kitts, Banana Bay, South East Peninsula, Parish of St. George, St. Kitts; +1 869 468 1234
2. Baha Mar, Bahamas
True, the Bahamas are technically in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean, but we’d be remiss not to include this massive $4 billion dollar undertaking that’s rolling out in three stages.
Once the dust settles this spring, guests can expect three hotels adding more than 2,000 rooms, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course, the Caribbean’s largest casino, the first flagship ESPA spa in the region, more than 30 high-end shopping options, and enough restaurants and nightlife to rival a small city.
The first phase debuted last spring with the sprawling Grand Hyatt. This hotel alone encompasses 1,800 rooms, the aforementioned spa, casino and golf course, plus six pools, five restaurants and nine bars and lounges.
The second phase unveiled the trendy, higher-end SLS this past November, where scenesters have their pick of a rooftop lounge, nightclub and VIP pool – with invite-only parties, of course.
Good luck getting reservations at Katsuya (modern sushi) and Fi’lia, Italian comfort food from James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz.
The final phase is slated for this spring, adding Rosewood, the highest-end option, to the mix.
Its 185 rooms and five villas will sport Bahamian décor, while on-site dining will also skew local, from a farm-to-table restaurant to a lounge for afternoon tea.
Plus with a spa, fitness center, salon and barber shop, two pools and a private beach, guests will have little need to access the rest of Baha Mar – but that would be a shame.
Baha Mar, Baha Mar Boulevard, Nassau, Bahamas; +1 242 788 8000
3. The Other Side, Bahamas
The Other Side in the Bahamas offers the chance to stay in upscale beach “shacks.”
Courtesy The Other Side
On the completely opposite end of the Bahamian spectrum is The Other Side, a solar-powered collection of not-inexpensive tents and shacks on quiet Eleuthera Island.
While not a hotel in the strictest sense, the accommodations are far more luxurious than the average hotel room, with three beachfront sleeping “tents” that are more like cottages, each furnished with hardwood floors, four-poster beds, two couches and modern décor; meanwhile, the “shacks” take it to the next level with decks and dual sinks.
Air conditioning and WiFi are other indicators that you won’t be roughing it.
As for other amenities, these are separated into four different tent structures encouraging communal dining, drinking and socializing.
Even though The Other Side is all about decompressing with activities such as poolside yoga, guests needing a change can take a short boat ride to Harbour Island.
The Other Side, Queen’s Highway, Bahamas
4. Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa, Jamaica
No one would blame you for never leaving the Jewel Grande Montego Bay’s pools.
Courtesy Jewel Grande
Jamaica has experienced a boom of of new hotel openings this past year, but Jewel Grande in Montego Bay stands apart for its all-inclusive, all butler-service rooms – the first of its kind on the island – and all just 15 minutes from Sangster International Airport.
Vying for guests’ attention are 11 bars and restaurants, serving everything from local Jamaican to Asian-fusion, plus two pools and a 30,000-square-foot spa with 14 treatment rooms.
The bi-level spa even houses a Himalayan salt room, juice bar and fitness studio for yoga, pilates, barre and reggaelates – like it sounds, a blend of pilates and reggae music.
For something different, book a tour to visit the 18th-century Great House at Rose Hall, considered to be the most haunted spot (well, that you can visit) on the island.
Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa, Rose Hall Main Road, Rose Hall, St. James, Jamaica; +1 876 953 8000
5. Serafina Beach Hotel, Puerto Rico
Since tourists have been torn about whether or not they should visit Puerto Rico during the island’s recovery, Puerto Rico Tourism has recently declared the island officially open for business.
And in perfect timing, the boutique Serafina Beach Hotel – the first from NYC’s Serafina Restaurant Group – will be ready come March.
Combining the best of city and ocean, the beachfront Serafina is found in San Juan’s trendy Condado section, complete with a modern-bordering-on-hipster vibe.
With an emphasis on design, guests can anticipate rooms that are minimal yet inviting, with warm woods and pops of seafoam green complementing the stereotypically blue water beyond each room’s picture window.
This design scheme continues throughout the hotel, from the espresso bar by day, cocktail bar by night to the beachfront infinity pool.
And of course no happening hotel would be complete without offering yoga classes and loaner bikes.
Serafina Beach Hotel, 1045 Avenida Doctor Ashford, San Juan, Puerto Rico; email@example.com
6. Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Cuba
Hotel stock hasn’t been able to keep pace with demand in Havana, which makes the addition of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski all the more exciting.
Why? Because it’s supposedly the first five-star hotel to open in Cuba since the Revolution.
The Gran Hotel is also notable since it occupies what used to be Cuba’s first shopping mall, a striking building from the turn of the 20th century.
Inside, guests will find rooms decked out in understated luxury with colorful accents, while suites command enviable city views.
There’s also a European-inspired spa with eight treatment rooms, an infinity rooftop pool overlooking Old Havana, and six restaurants and bars, including a tobacco lounge.
(Although El Floridita, one of Hemingway’s old haunts, is just across the way.)
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Calle San Rafael, La Habana Vieja, Havana, Cuba; +53 7 8699100
7. Turks Cay Resort and Marina, Turks and Caicos
The incredibly luxurious Turks Cay Resort and Marina will be the latest project from Arik Kislin, co-owner of Hotel Gansevoort in NYC, and due to open next year in Grace Bay.
To be expected for this level of luxury, there will be a movie theater, three pools, a full spa with a hydrotherapy section and waterfall pool, plus a cigar bar.
And as it’s in Grace Bay, an underdeveloped section of the island, guests will have access to one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the Caribbean.
Turks Cay Resort and Marina, Turks and Caicos
8.Hodges Bay Resort and Spa, Antigua
Hodges Bay Resort and Spa brings a popular Barbaian brand to Antigua.
Courtesy Hodges Bay Resort and Spa
Elegant Hotels Group, known for its collection of high-end hotels on Barbados, will be unveiling its first foray into Antigua this summer.
Guests can expect the same level of luxury at the boutique Hodges Bay, an eco-friendly entity on the northern coast that will incorporate green walls and fluid indoor/outdoor spaces.
Its 79 modern lodging options will encompass suites (including rooftop ones with water views and private hot tubs), plus oceanfront villas and houses that include butler service.
Those who don’t want to lift a finger can also spring for laundry and grocery shopping services, while the pampering continues with pool and beach butlers at the heated infinity pool and prime stretch of white beach.
Rounding out the offerings will be three restaurants and six bars (a rooftop bar among them), and a holistic-oriented spa and cutting-edge fitness center.
Hodges Bay Resort and Spa; Sandy Lane, Hodges Bay, St. John’s, Antigua; 888 263 8011
9. Quintessence Boutique Resort, Anguilla
This brand-new addition is a positive mile marker for Anguilla, which is still recovering from Hurricane Irma.
The Quintessence Boutique Resort feels like staying in a private mansion, complete with round-the-clock butler service, a five-star restaurant serving locally sourced food, an expertly stocked wine cellar, yoga pavilion and tennis courts.
Of course there’s a spa, offering customized massages and facials, which guests can also opt for in spacious suites or villas.
These are designed not to leave anyway, thanks to four-poster beds with jaw-droppingly expensive Swedish Hastens’ mattresses and marble bathrooms with Roman soaking tubs.
But it’s worth emerging for Long Bay Beach, a perfect example of a white sand beach that stretches long and wide – and rarely frequented by anyone beyond the hotel.
Quintessence Boutique Resort, Long Bay, Anguilla; +1-264-498-8106
10. The Loren at Pink Beach, Bermuda
Like the Bahamas, Bermuda is also situated in the Atlantic, but its proximity to Caribbean islands merits a mention of The Loren at Pink Beach – especially since it’s Bermuda’s first new hotel in a decade.
The sleek boutique property on the southern coast is a worthy addition to the traditional lodging landscape, thanks to its clean, modern lines and décor.
As the Loren is parked right on the beach (which really is pink), it takes full advantage with floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize the turquoise water views.
The drama continues inside, where a floating spiral staircase makes a great first impression; artwork from developer Stephen King’s personal collection, found throughout the hotel, continues this impression, and doesn’t stop there.
The all-suite rooms contain private outdoor space, marble baths with giant soaking tubs and earthy colors and textures.
The two restaurants focus on locally sourced menus, while NYC chef Tim Sullivan of Great Performances oversees the more formal Marée.
The Loren at Pink Beach, 116 South Road, Tuckers Town Smiths HS01, Bermuda; +1 844 384 3103
11. Pink Sands Club, Canouan, St. Vincent and The Grenadines
Mandarin Oriental just assumed management of the Pink Sands Club, a little more than a year old, with the renaming coming this spring.
If you’ve never heard of Canouan (pronounced ka-no-wan), part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it’s probably because it’s all of five-miles long and geared toward the one percent (or honeymooners and anyone looking to splurge).
Maintaining the highest luxury standards, each of Pink Sands’ 26 suites contain Rivolta linens, plus his-and-her walk-in closets.
In-room tablets allow guests to bypass phones in order to make spa reservations, which can arrange for delivering treatments in palapa-style suites.
The resort just added contemporary patio villas in December, which were designed by Italian architects and contain an infinity pool and hot tub.
Venture outside for the 18-hole championship golf course and the uncrowded, pink-tinged beach.
Pink Sands Club, Carenage Bay, Canouan Island, St. Vincent; +1 784 4314500
12. Silversands, Grenada
The tiny island of Grenada often gets overlooked in favor of its larger neighbors (Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago), but that’s about to change when the upscale Silversands opens in March.
This will be the first resort on Grande Anse beach in 25 years, and, as is the trend for many new boutique properties in the Caribbean, its low-rise, modern design will blend into its environs.
The 43 rooms will also reflect the minimal aesthetic with earthy woods, neutral tones and marble accents, while playfully modern touches (hamster wheel-esque poolside seating) can be found throughout the resort.
The Sisley Spa if of particular interest, as is the rum and cigar bar, while the main standout is the Olympic-size swimming pool that appears to stretch right into the ocean.
Silversands, Grand Anse Main Rd., St George’s, Grenada; +1 473 533 8888
13. The Shore Club, Turks and Caicos
For the moment, The Shore Club holds bragging rights as the only resort on the pristine and less visited Long Bay Beach.
The $100 million all-suite property is all about wellness, from comprehensive spa treatments to its four pools.
And even its entry-level suites are conducive to relaxing, what with king-size beds,
comfy couches and a neutral color palette.
The Shore Club also took its offerings to the next level by adding three new villas this January, each offering a whopping 8,800 square feet with six bedrooms, butler service, heated pool and unparalleled beachfront location.
The Shore Club, Shore Club Beach, Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos; +1 888 808 9488
14. Bahama House, Bahamas
Those in the know are beelining to laid-back hotspot Harbour Island for Bahama House, a carefully renovated 19th-century colonial decked out in Bahamian style.
But what sets this apart from other hotels is that it’s the latest offering from Eleven Experience, an adventure travel company that specializes in customizing local experiences.
For example, Bahama House can arrange bonefishing, deep-sea fishing, jet skiing or horseback riding on the beach, although it’s understandable if Harbour Island escapees simply want to while away the hours on the beach.
Of course there are plenty of reasons to hang out at Bahama House as well, namely 11 rooms, some with four-poster, king-size beds; two cottages; proper tiki and rum bars; and a freshwater pool with underwater speakers.
Unlike other boutique properties, the nightly rate includes pre-arrival planning, customized itineraries, a gourmet breakfast spread, private concierge service and, get this – a full day of professional photography, guaranteed to inspire Insta-envy.
Bahama House, Dunmore Street, Dunmore Town, Bahamas; +1 970 349 7761
News credit : Cnn