Craving an escape to the sun? The turquoise waters, white sand beaches and tropical climate of the Caribbean are reassuringly consistent.
But there is always something fresh and fabulous on these elegant islands, with luxury hotels and exciting experiences surfacing all the time.
Historic houses, hip hotels and horse therapy are just a few things that are hot this year in the Caribbean. Judith Baker picks out the best of the Caribbean’s new openings in 2020…
Lead image: Eclipse at Half Moon
Plantation style at The Great House
Both Antigua’s newest and oldest hotel, The Great House Antigua, gives holidaymakers the opportunity to experience a piece of the island’s history. Set in a 350-year-old former plantation house (the last stone plantation house on the island), it was once part of the Mercer’s Creek estate.
For the past 60 years, the plantation house was the home of the Howell family, who have opened it as an eight bedroom boutique hotel in 26 acres of tropical gardens. The Great House has undergone extensive renovation to create four individually styled suites with antique furnishings like Chippendale chairs, mahogany four-poster beds, china, silver and glassware.
New garden suites are housed in colourful traditional island cottages with pyramid roofs and vaulted ceilings, his-and-hers showers and private terraces. The hotel is the perfect location for relaxing by the pool, guided walks, meditating by the beautifully preserved sugar mill or being pampered in the spa.
Barefoot chic on Andros at Caerula Mar
The opening of new boutique luxury resort Caerula Mar is set to put the sleepy island of South Andros in the Bahamas on the map. The area’s first new hotel in nearly two decades and its only five-star resort, Caerula Mar is owned and designed by Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, an HGTV Canada reality power couple.
Visitors can dine at three on-property restaurants that range from a whimsical café and smoothie bar to an oceanfront fine dining restaurant. Guests have access to a pool, hammocks, a spa, non-motorized water sports, bicycles and excursions that include diving, snorkelling, boating and fishing.
Sheer Luxury at Eclipse at Half Moon
Framed by the glistening Caribbean Sea to the north and the lush hillsides to the south, Eclipse at Half Moon is one of the most luxurious additions to the Caribbean in a generation.
The new property features 57 luxurious and spacious accommodations, two restaurants, three bars, a market café, Fern Tree Spa, a sweeping infinity-edge swimming pool, and private beachfront with a natural swimming cove.
4 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Designer dreams at Little Dix Bay
Inspired by its natural setting with structures positioned to follow the lines of the landscape, the resort has been reimagined for the luxury traveller by New York-based design team Meyer Davis.
The 80 new guestrooms, suites and villas will span 500 acres on half a mile of beach. The resort also has a newfound sustainability focus that covers composting, an on-site sustainable farm and a ban on single-use plastic.
5 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Horse Play at Casa de Campo
Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic a new ‘Unbridled Retreat’ combines healing through horses with a luxury resort holiday.
In April 2020, Casa de Campo Resort and Villas is offering an event designed to bring people and horses together in an environment that promotes wellness and healing. The benefits of equine therapy are increasingly recognised, with Hollywood stars like Ben Affleck and singer Selina Gomez among those who have used interaction with horses as part of a therapy programme.
Casa de Campo and its mansion villa homes have attracted A-list celebrities, politicians and royals for decades. The five-star resort features 247 rooms and suites in addition to villas with private pools.
South coast style at The Sands
Barbados’ newest hotel, The Sands Barbados, opens this month on the South Coast of the island. Situated in one of the island’s most enviable locations, the brand-new all-inclusive resort blends contemporary style with a cool Caribbean vibe.
The 153-room oceanfront property features a luxury pool with sea views, spa, gym, two restaurants, two bars, and a variety of non-motorised water sports.
The hotel’s two restaurants include Noir, a speciality roof-deck à la carte restaurant by celebrated Barbadian chef Jason Howard. Howard came to our screens as a quarter finalist in the UK’s TV show MasterChef The Professionals and specialises in modern Caribbean cuisine, combining his Caribbean ingredients with the classical French training he gained as sous chef at the two Michelin-starred Connaught Hotel in Mayfair.
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