While these lesser-known Caribbean islands are a bit off the beaten path and might require an extra flight or private jet to get to, they are well worth it if what you crave are small hotels offering privacy, space and plenty of opportunities to be outdoors. Whether you’re a sun seeker or an adventure enthusiast, pick one of these luxury island hideaways for your next warm-weather getaway.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL | CANOUAN
Located at the southern tip of the Caribbean in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, on the tiny island of Canouan, the Mandarin Oriental Canouan is the type of place where celebrities can fly under the radar. This exceptional hotel is big on oceanfront views and over-the-top amenities, many of which are included. Surrounded by the Caribbean’s largest living coral reef, a long stretch of white-sand beach and turquoise-blue water, this all-ocean-view property offers guests seclusion in a blissfully relaxing setting.
Oozing warmth, all staff members, including your dedicated butler, go the extra mile to provide five-star service at all times, making you feel like the most important guest at the hotel. They can arrange a private afternoon sail on the resort’s catamaran, where you’ll snorkel with the sea turtles or plan an intimate beach picnic for two under their signature pink umbrellas in a secluded location. No ask is too big … even organizing a private sunset cocktail on the 13th green of their golf course.
There are only 26 suites and 13 villas on the property. With pops of pink, cool marble floors and robust wooden elements, the one- and two-bedroom colonial-style beach and oceanfront suites are just steps from the sand. They have separate living and sleeping spaces, generous walk-in wardrobes, enormous bathrooms and a furnished private balcony or screened-in terrace, depending on your floor.
Conversely, the spectacular Italian-designed patio villas are sleek and modern with natural elements, including stone floors and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Located at the top of the hillside, these impeccable two- and three-bedroom homes have private infinity pools, jacuzzis and panoramic ocean views. Perfect for families, there are also four-bedroom lagoon villas with full kitchens.
The resort’s chefs utilize the best local and international ingredients to create flavorful dishes at the hotel’s five restaurants. Guests can start the day with breakfast at Asianne and feast on Peruvian-style dishes poolside or have Mediterranean tapas for lunch. Finally, make a reservation at Tides Bar + Grill, a modern grill with an elegant focus on fresh seafood and premium steak. Their French-trained pastry chef creates decadent post-dinner treats.
Pamper yourself with a signature spa experience at one of the two ultraprivate, over-the-water spa bungalows. As you listen to the soothing sound of the sea below or look at it through a glass window on the floor, therapists rejuvenate your body and soul with a Himalayan Salt Stone massage and a full-body scrub. Or indulge in a holistic facial to restore radiance to your complexion at one of the 10 hillside treatment suites overlooking the ocean.
If you don’t arrive by yacht or your own private jet, the hotel recommends flying into Barbados and then over to Canouan on the resort’s private charter plane for the most hassle-free and shortest journey. VIP treatment begins the moment you touch down in Barbados, where you’ll be met by a team member who whisks you through the arrival process, navigates the immigration process and settles you into the private lounge before your short flight to the resort.
KAMALAME CAY | ANDROS ISLAND, BAHAMAS
Just off the coast of Andros Island, the largest in the archipelago of the Bahamian Islands, lies a luxury hideaway with a casual, laid-back vibe. At Kamalame Cay, you’ll have the freedom to do as much (or as little) as you want. It is not a megaresort: Surrounded only by greenery, flowering bougainvillea, miles of deserted beaches and picturesque tidal flats, this family-owned and -run island resort is the perfect place for a secluded vacation.
A vacation at Kamalame Cay feels like coming home. Part of its charm is that you’ll feel like family after just a few days. Expect to make friends quickly with other patrons, many of whom are repeat guests and homeowners. A perfect place for families, it offers freedom for kids (and their parents) to be independent of one another in a secure location.
It’s also a great place to disconnect. If fact, there are no televisions or Wi-Fi, except at the concierge desk in the Pineapple House. Although if need be, the hotel can provide hot spots upon request with a range of data plans for purchase. Instead, bring a book or two and nap in one of the hammocks around the resort.
While you could spend all your time reading on the beach, Kamalame Cay is an angler’s and diver’s paradise. The team at Kamalame Adventure Center and PADI-Certified Dive Shop is available to take guests bone, spear or reef fishing, as well as snorkeling in blue holes, free diving or scuba diving along the world’s third-largest great barrier reef. They can also arrange more tranquil outings, like a casual kayak paddle through the mangrove channels, private picnics in secluded spots or a sunset cruise.
Whether traveling as a couple or with family and friends, Kamalame Cay has a range of accommodation choices to suit your needs. The larger oceanfront villas, with kitchens, large living rooms and indoor and outdoor spaces, accommodate four to 10 people. In comparison, the cozy whitewashed cottages and bungalows are perfect romantic getaways, with French doors that can be left open so that you can watch the sunrise over the water from your bed. Splurge on one of the North Beach Cottages that have outdoor soaking tubs. All have sensational views and beachfront palapas and come with a golf cart for guests to use to get around the property.
Start the day off in bed with a continental breakfast delivered daily to your door. If that isn’t enough, you can wander to the Great House for a full breakfast. The Tiki Bar & Beach Club serves al fresco lunch adjacent to the pool. And if you time it right, you might be on the property when The Luncheon, an extraordinary monthly meal, is offered.
Sip predinner cocktails in the Lounge and imbibe in an after-dinner drink in the snug Monkey Bar. For dinner in the Great House, ladies wear beachy chic dresses, while men don casual linen attire, although bathing suits or caftans are equally acceptable any time of day. Kamalame offers two meal plans: Standard Suite with only the continental breakfast included, or Guest of the House, which includes unlimited meals, spirits and house wines.
Talk about a spa with a view! Located at the end of a long pier, the hotel’s full-service, overwater treatment rooms have glass-bottomed floors and huge windows that open right over the sea. While you enjoy a hot stone massage or seaweed body polish, feel the warm ocean breezes blowing through the gauzy-white curtains and hear nothing but the ocean waves lapping in the distance. It is calming enough to lull even the most restless into a deep state of calm and relaxation.
Getting to Kamalame Cay is an adventure, requiring a sequence of planes, automobiles and ferry rides. Guests who fly into Nassau take a short shared or private flight to Fresh Creek Airport on Andros. Next, a 20-minute taxi ride drops you at the Kamalame’s dock for a short, five-minute ferry that shuttles you from Andros to the Cay. By far, though, the most convenient way to arrive is by seaplane from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, which lands directly on the shoreline in front of the hotel in under two hours.
SILVERSANDS | GRENADA
Fronting one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Caribbean, Silversands Grenada offers guests access to a stunning two-mile, palm-fringed stretch of shoreline known as Grand Anse Beach. Facing the ocean and just steps from the beach, the centerpiece of this intimate luxury resort is the impeccable 100-meter infinity pool surrounded by daybeds and sun loungers for maximum relaxation.
Showcasing sea views from every angle, the resort’s minimalistic, modern aesthetic blends clean lines with natural materials. Soaring ceilings and open spaces contribute to the sophisticated design of the hotel. The result: The property never feels crowded. Instead, there’s more than enough room for guests to spread out with plenty of privacy.
Take the time to get to know the authentic side of Grenada during your visit. Known as the Spice Island, a visit to Laura’s Herb & Spice Garden is a must and can attest to the immense variety of vegetation that thrives here. Everything from cacao to mango, avocados, peppercorn, nutmeg, thyme, mint, turmeric and more flourishes on this lush island. See some of Grenada’s centuries-old historical sites like Fort Frederick, which has panoramic views from its hilltop location, or dip off at Annandale Falls, one of Grenada’s 15 picturesque waterfalls. Finally, stop at Belmont Estate to witness how organic chocolate is made at this 300-year-old former spice plantation.
There are 43 ultra-modern, impeccably designed rooms and suites. The sleek minimalist design incorporates warm wood, natural white tones and marble accents, with splashes of teal reminiscent of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in tons of light and give the suites on the top floors unobstructed Atlantic views. All accommodations feature balconies or terraces and innovative technology, allowing guests to control everything from the window shades to the climate, lights and sound. There are also eight hillside and oceanfront villas with private pools, indoor/outdoor living and dining spaces, as well as fully equipped kitchens, which are great for families or groups.
A highlight of a stay at Silversands Grenada is the food. Globally inspired menus showcase international cuisine using Grenadian spices and fresh local ingredients. Adjacent to the beach, the Grenadian Grill serves Mediterranean-style fare for lunch and dinner. Asiatique, the hotel’s elegant restaurant, features beautifully plated, Asian-inspired dishes. Everything from the Thai beef salad to the green chicken curry is magnificent. End the day at Puro Rum & Cigar Bar, which offers small-batch rums and whiskeys from some of the world’s most respected distilleries, as well as some local favorites.
The Silversands Spa is the kind of place you never want to leave. The serene inner courtyard, designed to promote inner calm, is the focal point. With filtered natural light pouring into the sanctum from above, this retreat has a heated pool surrounded by daybeds and loungers. Book a therapeutic journey that combines aromatherapy and reiki with a massage, or try psammotherapy, which integrates the healing properties of heated quartz to renew energy. Allow extra time before or after your treatments to utilize the sauna, the experience shower, the ice cave and the hammam steam room.
Grenada sits at the tail end of the Caribbean islands (and the hurricane belt); it’s closer to South America than to the United States. So, despite direct flights from Miami, New York, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, the flight duration is longer than to the Bahamas. The Silversands team is happy to send the Tesla to pick you up at the airport for the quick 10-minute ride to the property.
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