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Checking In: Caribbean Islands

Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance travel writer specializing in hotels and resorts. She's the author of The Food Lovers' Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appea...

Best Caribbean resorts

Travelers seeking surf and sun flock to the Caribbean. Here's a look at some of the region’s top luxury resorts.

Best Caribbean resorts

Best Caribbean resorts

Travelers seeking surf and sun flock to the Caribbean. Here's a look at some of the region's top luxury resorts.

Best Caribbean resorts

Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica opened in 1953 and was popular among the 20th century's social elite. Jackie and John F. Kennedy honeymooned here, and the president even rehearsed his famous inauguration speech in a villa once owned by Adele Astaire. Today, the resort is relaxed but lavish and feels more like a private club than a hotel with just 36 rooms and 27 private cottages. At the boutique spa, treatments feature ingredients good enough to eat, including Jamaican coffee beans, sweet vanilla and lime. Some are even grown in Round Hill's own garden, which also supplies The Grill restaurant with fresh produce. Don't miss The Grill's farm-to-table dinners on Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Best Caribbean resorts

Gansevoort Turks & Caicos

A Mediterranean-inspired getaway, Gansevoort Turks & Caicos sits on the western edge of Grace Bay beach, and offers a more intimate experience with just 91 rooms. Even the basic studios are a sleek retreat, featuring a city-meets-urban vibe complete with a pool-view terrace and an all-glass shower set in the middle of the room. Plunge into the Gansevoort's 7,000-square-foot pool or dip into the azure Caribbean water just steps away. Had too much sun? Visit Exhale Fitness & Spa to book a Calm treatment — a moisturizing body therapy of shea butter and jojoba.

Best Caribbean resorts

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort in St. John on the U.S. Virgin Islands is the Caribbean vacation of choice for celebs and political figures. Surrounded by seven beaches and 170 acres of Virgin Islands National Park, Caneel Bay was once the island home of the Rockefeller family. It's low-key luxury, characterized by a peaceful environment and lush tropical gardens. Rooms and suites are designed with natural woods and Caribbean stone, made to blend in with its surroundings. Each room has a full view of St. John's white-sand beaches and turquoise sea.

Best Caribbean resorts

Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe

National Geographic named the Dominican Republic's Bávaro Beach one of the Top 10 Beaches in the World. At the all-inclusive Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe, you have access to more than a mile of its pristine sand and protected coral reef. Take advantage of Barceló Bávaro's seaside location by kayaking or windsurfing. And when you've had enough open water, pull up a seat at one of its 11 restaurants or book some quiet time at U-Spa Bávaro. Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe is the family-friendly sister property to Barceló Bávaro Beach, which is an adults-only spot.

Best Caribbean resorts

Cotton House

British royals — yes, including Will and Kate — love Mustique Island in the Grenadines because of its privacy. A favorite hideaway of the world's pickiest travelers, this Caribbean vacation spot is speckled with 74 villas, each distinct in architecture. The island's only hotel, Cotton House, is a West Indian-style plantation estate with 17 guestrooms, cottages and suites — all with private verandas and many featuring personal plunge pools. Thirteen acres of gardens and white sand make The Cotton House a peaceful respite on one of the Caribbean's most exclusive island sanctuaries.

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