What To Do & Where To Stay In The Caribbean

Now that several Caribbean countries have been added to the UK’s green list, there’s never been a better excuse to go and experience blue waters and friendly locals. From lush, tropical greenery in Dominica to the stunning white-sand beaches of Barbados, we’ve rounded up five of the most beautiful Caribbean islands worth visiting – whether you’re after a romantic trip or an unforgettable family holiday. Just keep in mind that winter is the best time to visit, and be sure to take out adequate travel insurance and book flexible flights ahead of time...

Barbados 

Current Travel Info: All travellers from the UK must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within three days of arrival to the country. Passengers are also required to submit an Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card 24 hours prior to travel, to which they should upload their negative test result via Travel Form

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What To Expect

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for good reason. While there are countless beaches to explore, the island is a great choice for families and group trips, whether you want to surf along the east coast or take the kids to the marine parks. This winter should be a great time to explore Barbados’s north coast, too. The beaches, which have seen fewer tourists recently, have seen a resurgence in wildlife, so visitors can enjoy the white shores while spotting sea turtles and tropical birds. The Caribbean Sea is most gentle during the dry season, so make a beeline for Barbados between January and early June. Snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing are just some of the water sports on offer, while those after a quieter holiday can enjoy the crystal-clear waters and relaxed lifestyle in the coastal towns. Saint Lucy is a beautiful place to visit in the north, though Saint Peter is an SL favourite thanks to its glorious beachfront, quiet towns and friendly locals. 

Where To Stay

Cobblers Cove

Cobblers Cove is a luxury hotel set in exotic gardens that overlook the beachfront in Saint Peter. The bay, just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, has a beautiful reef where snorkellers can spot exotic fish and divers can make the most of the crystal-clear waters. Inside, you’ll find stylish interiors throughout, with signature Caribbean flair in the colourful furnishings. Guests can explore the extensive grounds, relax in one of the swimming pools, or book a guided tour of the local area. Ask for a room on the oceanfront so you can relax on a veranda and watch the sunset.
Rooms from £447 per night.

Visit CobblersCove.com

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Coral Reef Club

Set amongst 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the west coast of Barbados, Coral Reef is a stunning property that oozes glamour. Ideal for a romantic trip or relaxed getaway, the family-run resort has a range of accommodation options, from garden rooms to cottages with private plunge pools. The interiors have distinct nautical flair with Caribbean influences throughout, like decorative accents made from coral, and wicker furniture. Guests can relax at the spa, surrounded by lush greenery and waterfalls, enjoy al fresco sunset dinners at the restaurant, and finish the evening with cocktails at the bar. Little ones can enjoy swimming lessons while adults can try sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkelling.
Rooms from £289 per night.

Visit CoralReefBarbados.com

Dominica

Current Travel Info: Travellers must complete an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, and provide a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before reaching Dominica. This result must be uploaded and submitted with the questionnaire so your arrival can be approved by email from the Dominican Ministry of Health. Arrivals must also take a pinprick Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).

What To Expect

Often referred to as the ‘nature island’, Dominica is the jewel in the Caribbean’s crown. Renowned for its lush greenery, excellent diving spots and geothermal activity, it’s a nature lovers’ dream that’s been hailed as one of the eco-friendliest destinations in the world. The country doesn’t have an international airport, but a short connecting flight from a neighbouring island (like Barbados, Antigua or Puerto Rico) will get you there in about an hour. The island is relatively small – its 324 times smaller than the UK – but there are countless things to explore, from the boiling lake in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to the Sulphur Springs National Park in Soufriere where visitors can bathe in the warm waters. Batibou Beach to the north of the island is one of the most beautiful, while Scott’s Head Point in the south has spectacular views. Head to the capital of Roseau to try local Dominican food at the street markets and restaurants, then head to Trafalgar Falls to see two spectacular waterfalls shrouded is lush rainforest. Here, you can take a dip in the swimming hole below Mother fall, the larger of the two, then walk to Freshwater Lake – a beautiful and ethereal place. Dominica is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, night snorkelling and diving, so be sure to arrange a boat trip to explore the waters.

Where To Stay

Secret Bay

Secret Bay, one of the island’s most luxury hotels surrounded by a rainforest with plush greenery, has panoramic views of the island where guests can immerse themselves in nature. With a string of awards to its name, a trip of a lifetime can be spent relaxing in the villas – some of which have private pools and jungle-to-ocean views that extend to the island’s tallest mountain, Morne Diablotin – and dining on the beach. Ideal for a romantic getaway or group trip, guests can take cookery classes, and make the most of the abundant water sports and outdoor activities, including paddle boarding, scuba diving and hiking. 

Villas from £485 per night.

Visit SecretBay.Dm

Jungle Bay 

Having only opened in 2019, Jungle Bay has already established itself as one of the stylish hotspots on the island. A great place to relax and unwind, guests can make the most of the tranquil surroundings. The hotel is located on the southwest coast, just 20 minutes from Roseau, where guests can book adventure tours – which include excursions to the boiling lake, Emerald Pools and Scott’s Head – and enjoy kayaking, hiking trips and yoga classes. There are 60 villas nestles within tropical trees, all of which have simple yet stylish décor. For a luxury trip, choose one of the Villa Suites, complete with a ‘jungle spa’ bathroom with a rainfall shower, and a spacious patio and lounge. The hotel also has two outdoor swimming pools, one of which is an infinity pool, two yoga and wellness studios, a spa, and a restaurant and bar.

Rooms from £140 per night.

Visit JungleBayDominica.com

Grenada

Current Travel Info: Travellers must provide proof of full vaccination (two weeks after the second dose) and must quarantine for up to 48 hours, which can be done at your accommodation of choice. You must also apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate and provide a negative Covid-19 PCR taken up to 72 hours before arrival.

What To Expect

To locals, Grenada is known as the ‘spice island’ thanks to its production of nutmeg. The country also consists of two smaller islands – Carriacou and Petite Martinique.  Grenada itself is relatively small, but there’s plenty to see and do during a trip. To get there, a flight from London takes around 11 hours, including one stop in St Lucia, but it’s well worth the journey, where visitors can relax on the mile-long beaches, sample the luscious fruit in the hills, and swim among the coral reefs. Take a 90-minute ferry to Carriacou to explore the small island. It’s only 21 miles long, so has some of the best diving spots to explore, as well as unspoilt beaches with clear waters. Petite Martinique is also a must see for the beautiful Darant Cave and Sanchez beach – a great spot for a family day out on the water. Back in Grenada, be sure to visit St George’s, of the most interesting towns, and Moure Rogue Bay – a stunning beach with snow-white sand and crystal-clear waters. Hire a kayak or paddleboard for the day or book a sailing trip to see the islands’ highlights. 

Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa

For a romantic getaway for two, head to the all-inclusive Sandals resort in Grenada. Located on the exclusive Pink Gin Beach, this couples’ resort has private plunge pools, cascading waterfalls and 257 beautiful rooms and suites spread over four villages – Pink Gin, South Seas, Lovers’ Hideaway and Italian Village. For a special trip, book one of the SkyPool Suites which have private infinity pools and a butler service, or for something more lowkey, opt for one of the Pink Gin Beachfront Rooms which come with a balcony or patio. There are ten restaurants to dine at, plus six bars and a range of outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools. Guests can soak up soak up the Caribbean vibes on the beach, relax at the spa, or take advantage of inclusive scuba diving trips. 

Rooms from £550 per night.

Visit Sandals.co.uk 

Silversands

Since opening its doors back in 2018, Silversands has already established itself as one of Grenada’s top hotels. Located at the northern end of Grand Anse beach, there are 43 Studio Suites, plus nine three-bedroom Hillside and four-bedroom Beachfront villas dotted throughout the surrounding landscape. Choose a ground floor Garden Room or go all out with a Junior Suite, all of which have spacious balconies. Guests can take a dip in the 100m swimming pool – the longest in the Caribbean – relax at the on-site spa (complete with a cool ice cave) and dine at one of the many restaurants which make dishes with seasonal, local produce. The resort has partnered with local tour operators and guides so you can experience the best Grenada has to offer, from boat trips on luxury yachts and waterfall hikes to rum distillery tours. 

Rooms from £658 per night.

 

Visit SilversandsGrenada.com

Turks And Caicos 

Current Travel Info: All travellers are required to obtain pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal. This requires evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken less than five days prior to arrival, proof of health/travel insurance with Covid-19 cover and a completed health screening questionnaire.

What To Expect

A favourite destination with celebrities and those in-the-know, Turks and Caicos offers visitors a slice of pure luxury. Located at southern tip of the Bahamian Archipelago, you can get to the islands in 12 hours from London, with a connecting flight from Antigua. Ideal for a couples’ trip or unforgettable holiday with the girls, there are 40 low-lying coral islands to explore – some have a string of award-winning hotels, spas and restaurants, while others are unspoilt patches of paradise where you can swim in the surrounding waters. Turks and Caicos are the largest of the two where visitors can spot tropical wildlife, swim with humpback whales, dive coral reefs, and scuba dive around the bays. In terms of food, Conchs (shelled gastropods) are dotted around the islands and serve excellent seafood and local dishes made with jerk and Cajun spices. During a trip, be sure to learn about the country’s history at Wade's Green Plantation, discover tropical wildlife at Chalk Sound National Park and head to the island’s lobster festival during October at Governor's Beach. Bambarra Beach is a must-visit, too, as is North Bay – a great spot for kayaking.

Amanyara

Regular readers will know we’re big fans of Aman’s hotels, so adding Amanyara to this list was a no brainer. This seriously luxurious resort is set a secluded 18,000-acre nature reserve, surrounded by lush tropical pavilions, white sands, and the turquoise waters of North West Point Marine National Park. There are several types of villas and pavilions to choose from, some of which are right on the beach, while others have private pools and gardens. Guests can enjoy Asian-Caribbean fusion dishes at the restaurant, and head to The Beach Club for grilled seafood, sushi and cocktails. Amanyara also has a beautiful spa, as well as a Nature Discovery Centre where adults and children can head on kayaking and snorkelling expeditions. 

Rooms from £1,690 per night.

Visit Aman.com 

The Shore Club

This exclusive resort is located on Long Bay Beach, just minutes away from Provo’s town centre. Recently voted as one of the most Instagrammable hotels in the world, the location is truly breath-taking. Ideal for a romantic getaway or special group trip, guests can choose to stay in a suite or villa – the Double Junior Suite has a balcony overlooking lush greenery with a free-standing bath in the room, but if you really want to go all out, book one of the villas with a private pool. The resort has four outdoor pools, three restaurants, a tennis court and a luxury spa. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s water sports equipment, including snorkels, sea kayaks and paddleboards.  

Rooms from £571 per night.

Visit TheShoreClubTC.com

Antigua & Barbuda

Current Travel Info: Travellers must provide a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken within seven days of their flight. Further screening will take place on arrival (including testing and temperature checks) at Antigua and Barbuda airports, and passengers must complete a Health Declaration Form.

What To Expect

Antigua is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, mile-long beaches and small sheltered bays, while its small neighbouring island, Barbuda is equally beautiful, renowned for its pink-sand beaches and excellent diving spots. A two-week holiday is best spent exploring both, but if you simply want to relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand, Antigua is a failsafe option. The capital of St John's has an interesting English harbour with much of the architecture intact since colonial days and is worth exploring for a day, as are the historic sites dotted over the island, including Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and Betty's Hope (a restored stone windmill). For the most beautiful beaches, such as Blue Waters, Galleon and Darkwood, head to the north, where days are best spent snorkelling in the coral reefs and enjoying rum cocktails on the sand. Catch the 90-mimnute ferry across to Barbuda to visit the lagoons, swim in the coral reefs and try the excellent local seafood.

Where To Stay

Jumby Bay Island

One of our favourite beach resorts is Jumby Bay Island, located on a private island just off the northeast coast of Antigua. Set on a beautiful undisturbed beach, the hotel has everything you’d want for a secluded stay. With 28 newly renovated suites, 22 private residences and 14 villas, each room has a touch of nautical flair and has been stylishly decorated, though the best feature has to be the view. For a treat, book a Beachside Suite overlooking the sea with an outdoor garden shower and soaking tub. Guests can also use the wellness spa, book a day trip around the local beaches, or simply relax in one of the many outdoor pools.

Inclusive rooms start from $2,100 per night.

Visit OetkerCollection.com 

Curtain Bluff 

Ahead of their 60th anniversary, Curtain Bluff is currently undergoing an extensive renovation in time for the winter sun season. Nestled among palm-trees on a rocky outcrop between two secluded coves, the all-inclusive hotel has beautiful views with two private beaches. When the hotel reopens at the end of October, guests can expect updated gym and pool areas and choose from a selection of luxury rooms. Dine at the two restaurants and enjoy sundowner drinks from the Wine Cellar. A great choice for family holidays, children will love the kids club and playground, while adults can enjoy scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing and tennis.
Rooms from £580 per night.

Visit CurtainBluff.com

 

*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice and entry requirements to the caribbean before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information

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