Three Caribbean islands on the green list
Barbados, Antigua and Anguilla have all been given the go-ahead by the government. Chris Carter reports
“In a crowded field of Caribbean islands to make the green watch list, Barbados is a stand-out option for a summer getaway,” says Hugh Morris in The Daily Telegraph. It has long been popular with British visitors. That will probably be more true than ever this year given the limited options presented by the government’s traffic-light system – green means you can now travel there without having to quarantine on your return.
The beaches are one of the main draws. Mullins beach is ideal for safe swimming. Gibbes, a “300-yard arc of pristine golden sand, backed by soaring trees”, just to the south of Mullins, is a “strong contender for the west coast’s most beautiful beach [and is] entirely uncommercialised”, rivalled only by Paynes Bay, with its long beach of fine white sand and safe swimming.
Sandals Resorts offers an ultra-high level of luxury on the island, says Jim Wyss on Bloomberg. When its Royal Barbados hotel (sandals.co.uk) reopened in mid-May, “elite guests”, paying up to $6,000 a night to stay in the top-tier suites, were met at the airport by Rolls-Royce Ghosts. The rooms come with personal infinity pools, butler service and balconies with soaking tubs for two. Prices drop with multi-day stays. Even so, the suites offer exclusivity in the Caribbean with a price tag to match.
Laid-back luxury on Antigua
Antigua’s new Hammock Cove hotel (around £810, hammockcoveantigua.com) is pure gold, says Katy Winter for the Mail Online. Each of the 42 villas at the property is “light and spacious” and comes with a large private deck and infinity pool overlooking a calm sea – the benefits of being situated on the less busy, Atlantic side of the island. “As well as the sugar-sand beach, postcard-worthy sea and some seriously plush cushioned beach loungers, [the hotel also has] a fully equipped and deliciously cool gym, luxurious spa, and a range of water sports on offer just yards from your room.”
Britishness with sunshine
Anguilla is a well-run British Overseas Territory with British overtones, such as driving on the left, a day off for the Queen’s birthday and a mahogany-lined avenue planted in 1937 to honour King George VI’s coronation, says Nigel Tisdall in The Daily Telegraph. It has 33 warm, white sandy beaches, among them Meads Bay, which is one of the finest anywhere in the Caribbean.
Visitors from Britain usually connect to the island via Antigua, a 50-minute flight away. But once you are here, “it’s all about the dream beach and dazzling ocean… backed up with a vibrant foodie scene that runs from starry hotel restaurants to funky food trucks – expect to dine on superb local fish and lobster”.
Over in Meads Bay, on the west side, “the buzz is back”, says Nicola Chilton in The Times. Diners at French restaurant Jacala come not just for the “fabulous lunch, but also the beachside location”. And just up the hill, hidden from view, is quite possibly “the greenest garden on the island, filled with palms, frangipani and bougainvillea”. Welcome to Quintessence Hotel (around £430, qhotelanguilla.com), a self-styled “tropical grand mansion” with nine suites and the largest collection of Haitian art outside Haiti. Alternatively, on the curve of Maundays Bay, sit the Moroccan-style pool villas at Belmond’s Cap Juluca (around £835, belmond.com). They are some of the most-coveted rooms on Anguilla.