For those with deeper pockets, the ultimate in Caribbean luxury can be found at Jumby Bay. It is located on its own private island, so "no room keys, no bills, no need to bagsy loungers, no Name, sir?' (because staff know it): it's like you own the joint", says Ed Grenby in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.
Don't try to do it on the cheap, however the lowest-priced rooms are "a little gloomy" and just a bit too far from the beach. Instead, go for one of the pool suites "they are lovely" and cost from £1,800 a night. Even then, you might get room envy: the resort's impressive private villas cost up to £13,000 a night.
Prices start from £682, all-inclusive. The best rooms are numbers 23 to 36, which are steps from the beach, according to Grenby (Rosewoodhotels.com).
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This hotel on the Caribbean island of Antigua opened in November 2003 and it has proved popular with "movie stars, rock musicians, the rich, the famous, the glitzy and the glamorous", says Cond Nast Traveller. "The suites are fabulous, as is the Zen-style spa and the setting at the end of Old Road, where Antigua's rainforest begins." The beach and pool are also "superb" and the restaurants "excellent". A cinema shows "carefully chosen classics" every evening.
Doubles cost from £438 B&B (carlisle-bay.com).
If you prefer smaller hotels, Lighthouse Bay would be a good choice. It has only nine suites and is "very remote and exceptionally low key, enabling you to get away from it all so guests should be happy to be self-contained or in a small gathering", says James Henderson in The Daily Telegraph. Activities include tennis, horse riding, snorkelling and walking the 17-mile-long beach. The rooms all face the sea and some have terraces looking over the lagoon.
All are finished in a contemporary style, with "bright colours and fabrics and with travertine marble floors offsetting the varnished woodwork, mahogany fittings and dark hardwood furniture". The restaurant on the beach has magnificent views of the sunsets in the evening. The menu is personally arranged for you in conversation with the chef, and you can choose to dine more privately either in your room or on the beach. Take a drink in the bar, which is set in the lighthouse that gives the hotel its name.
Prices start from £380 a night (lighthousebayresort.com).
"Dressing for dinnerTennis tournaments Threegenerations of the same familyon staff Putting green It's asif the place has been preservedin G&T since it was built in the1950s," says Ed Grenby in TheSunday Times Travel Magazine.The dcor reflects it: "marblesinks, rattan sofas, Jacuzzibaths: it's Caribbean luxe asyour grandma might imagineit, but it somehow works".
The bedrooms all overlook the beach and bay and "are beautifully decorated andeffortlessly contemporary", says James Henderson in The Daily Telegraph. "Theyare muted in colour, with dark wooden furniture and lighter-toned fabrics, save forjust a slash of colour in the cushions or pink bougainvillea on the veranda." The foodis "serious" too, says Grenby. Even the less formal beach restaurant adds truffle toits Black Angus fillet tartare and there is a 25,000-bottle wine cellar.
Doubles cost from £512, including food, drink and scuba diving (curtainbluff.com).
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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