It’s impossible to resist the siren call of the Caribbean (and let’s be honest, why try?). Soak up the sun lying on the soft island beaches, explore the underwater coral forests and diverse marine life, get to know the locals, and discover some well-kept island secrets. For a holiday spent in paradise, check out our top 12 Caribbean seaside towns.
Image courtesy of Iren_Key
1. Meads Bay, Anguilla
Celebrities flock to Anguilla to escape the crowds and the tourist hotspots found on the surrounding islands. While Shoal Bay may be the most famous of the 33 exceptional beaches and bays on Anguilla, it’s Meads Bay that offers complete luxury. Head to Meads Bay for the best beachfront dining, unparalleled oceanside fun, and the crème de la crème of accommodation.
Among the luxury villas and hotels that line the shore at Meads Bay is the Auberge Resorts Collection hotel – Malliouhana. This stunning hotel takes ‘luxury’ to a new level and is sure to be a highlight of your time on Anguilla.
Image courtesy of Auberge Resorts
2. Trinidad, Cuba
No visit to Cuba is complete without a visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad. Get lost among the colourful colonial architecture, cobbled lanes and historical sites. Music is the soul of this city, and you’ll find yourself moving those hips and dancing through the streets in no time. Step out of the city hub and cycle to one of the most beautiful beaches in the area: with white sand and turquoise waters, Playa Ancon is perfection.
For five-star accommodation, the Iberostar Heritage Grand Trinidad is filled with Cuban flair and extreme luxury. This adults-only resort is simply stunning: the pastel green façade and white trim of the sixteenth-century World Heritage-listed building is a testament to the city’s history and charm.
Image courtesy of Iberostar Heritage Grand Trinidad
3. Negril, Jamaica
Found on the western tip of Jamaica, Negril offers seemingly endless stretches of white sand beaches, pristine waters and stunning rocky cliffs. You’ll never tire of Negril’s incredible natural beauty and wide variety of activities. Seven Mile Beach, yes you guessed it… is almost seven miles of soft white sand. Take the time to walk this stretch of beach, stopping to gaze out at the ocean or take an ocean dip to cool off. For those who love a little adventure, head to the cliffs to watch the locals engaging in some adrenaline-pumping cliff-diving.
There are plenty of luxury hotels to choose from in Negril, including the stunning, Green Globe-certified Rockhouse Hotel. The likes of Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones were some of the hotel’s first guests when it opened in the 1970s, and the hotel continues to offer high-end luxury today.
Image courtesy of Visit Jamaica
4. Rincón, Puerto Rico
Known for its sunsets and surf, Rincón is the perfect destination for who like to balance chill time with adventure. Rincón made its international debut as a surf destination in the World Surfing Championships of 1968, and since then, it’s been the top destination in the Caribbean for winter surfing. If surfing isn’t your thing, there is no need to miss out on the beauty Rincón has to offer: watch the humpback whale migration, scuba dive below the waves and enjoy a beachside coconut rum cocktail.
Some of the top hotels in Rincón include: Horned Dorset Primavera, Rincón of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotels & Villas and Tres Sirenas Oceanfront Boutique Hotel.
Image courtesy of VicBruno
5. Speightstown, Barbados
Speightstown is one of the most well-known towns in Barbados – this sleepy seaside town exudes colonial charm. Explore the coastline, witness the beautiful Barbados sunsets, and taste the fresh fruit and vegetables sold in the street stalls.
Our favourite luxury hotel in Speightstown is Cobblers Cove – a stunning hotel which brings some 1940s charm to Barbados, with an elegant powder pink and floral design. The hotel offers plenty of activities including water skiing, paddleboarding, coastal cruise and picnic, yoga, tennis and everyone’s favourite holiday treat: massages.
Image courtesy of Cobblers Cove
6. Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe
Sainte-Anne is the poster child of the Guadeloupe islands. This picture-perfect town offers turquoise lagoons, impossibly beautiful beaches and all the water sports you can imagine. From swimming to windsurfing, you can enjoy it all. When you fancy a break from the ocean playground, explore the beachside markets, which offer exotic fruits and vegetables, spices, handicrafts, and, of course, rum punch.
When it comes to luxury hotels, Saint-Anne has three standouts. Experience the panoramic views of Sainte-Anne’s Bay at La Toubana Hotel & Spa. The hotel offers 32 stunning luxury bungalows with ocean views and access to a private beach. Nestled in a tropical garden, Le Relais du Moulin offers modern luxury and historical charm. The former sugar mill was transformed into 60-room hotel, offering the excellence in comfort and style. La Créole Beach Hôtel & Spa is equally lush – just steps away from the golden sands, it’s in a prime position for beach-lovers.
Image courtesy of La Créole Beach Hôtel & Spa
7. Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera
The island of Eleuthera is one of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean, and home to some of the Caribbean most extensive beachfronts. To make things more fun, the sand is pink – Eleuthera’s powdery-pink beaches are some of the most unusual and beautiful in the world. Head to the charming town called Governor’s Harbour, found in the heart of Eleuthera, where you can sign up for a range of experiences including diving, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, cliff jumping, caving, beachside bars, and so much more.
For two unique island stays, choose from Eleuthera’s glamping style hotel The Other Side or the boutique hotel and restaurant La Bougainvillea, found on the outskirts of Governor’s Harbour.
Image courtesy of La Bougainvillea
8. Cruz Bay, St John, British Virgin Islands
Cruz Bay is a bustling island metropolis – with wharf-side shopping, happy-hour drinks and some of the happiest people in the Caribbean, this island knows how to have a good time. Nicknamed ‘Love City’, you can be sure love is in the air here, and the island is perfect for those who enjoy hiking, snorkelling and kayaking.
Just a 5-minute stroll from Cruz Bay is Gallows Point Resort. From the resort’s private oceanfront villas you can experience panoramic views – they are among the best locations on St. John to watch the magic of the Caribbean sunset.
Image courtesy of Gallows Point Resort
9. Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Cabarete is the adventure capital of the Dominican Republic: from surfing to windsurfing, Cabarete has it all. One of the best things to do in Cabarete is exploring the island’s hidden, natural limestone caves, which are thought to be over five million years old. Because the caves are connected to freshwater rivers in the area, the water in the caves is pristine – it’s so clear, you can actually see twenty feet to the bottom of the cave pools.
Villa Taina is in the centre of Cabarete. This boutique 61-room hotel is perfectly located for beach-dwellers. Just five kilometres outside of Cabarete lies Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel & Spa – inspired by nature and promoting a calming, tranquil stay.
Image courtesy of Visit Dominican Republic
10. Le Carbet, Martinique
Escape the city life and head for the tranquility of Le Carbet in Martinique. This quaint town is nestled between the island’s black volcanic beaches and lush mountains, and is home to its fair share of historical monuments and buildings. Visit the beautiful Baroque-inspired 18th-century church, Place Jules Grévy, and the famous grave site of the Spanish Lady, to learn of her tragic tale. Wander through the botanical gardens (formerly a sugar plantation) near Latouche Cove. For beachside dwelling head to Big Cove (Grande Anse), Le Coin, or Turin Cove.
There some excellent hotel stays to be had in Martinique. Within close proximity to Le Carbet is Le Simon Hôtel in Fort-de-France. This modern 4-star hotel was designed by renowned architect Didier Lefort. A little further from Le Carbet, in Les Trois-Îlets, is the four-star Hotel Bakoua and five-star La Suite Villa – both offer excellence in accommodation.
Image courtesy of Marc Bruxelle
11. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is known for its incredible coral reef system, the Mayan ruins overlooking the ocean, and its sizzling-hot yoga scene. There are three areas to explore in Tulum: Tulum town, Beach Road North and Beach Road South. Tulum Town is warm and welcoming with an authentic feel, but it is further from the beach than the other two. If the beach is your priority, Beach Road North offers excellent beaches and Mayan ruins, but it can be a little over-crowded; those seeking chill vibes, beach proximity and vegan delights should head for Beach Road South instead.
For an eco-friendly stay, head to boutique hotel, Casa de las Olas. This hotel is the perfect fusion of bohemian decor, sustainable practices and modern luxury. Alternatively, leave the beach behind and head into the jungle for a stay at Holistika (never fear, beach lovers, for there are still beaches nearby). Holistika is a luxury yoga and wellness centre, and host of the Tulum Vegan Fest, which showcases vegan foods, yoga and music.
Image courtesy of Holistika Tulum
12. Oranjestad, Aruba
Oranjestad is the charming, colourful capital of Aruba. Dutch influence can be seen in the stunning architecture across the city. There’s a lot to see and do in Oranjestad: from cultural activities to shopping and dining, you’ll find excitement and fun around every corner. Head to Eagle Beach for one of the most picturesque beaches in the Caribbean, and venture into the pristine ocean for swimming, snorkelling or diving.
Oranjestad is overflowing with luxury hotel options. Adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is an eco-friendly oasis found on Eagle Beach, as is Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa, a magical hideaway that’s a perfect escape for wellness seekers.
Image courtesy of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book any of these incredible holidays, contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.