We asked luxury travel advisors for their tips on where to go in the islands with that special person. Here’s what they told us they recommend to their clients.
Jamie Mussolini of Beachfronts Travel says that her honeymooners rave about Turks & Caicos. For a romantic getaway, she suggests couples jet set off for a stay in a One Bedroom Suite at the Grace Bay Club’s adults-only section. “It’s spacious and has a breathtaking oceanfront view,” says Mussolini. How to spend the day? She advises some relaxation on the white-sand beach or at the adults-only pool and ending the day with a couples massage at the spa. “Grace’s Cottage is the place for an intimate dinner,” says Mussolini. How to wrap up the evening? “Take in the ambiance of the fire pits at the Infinity Bar or relax on your balcony with a glass of wine and take in the sounds of the waves crashing,” she says. “And don’t forget to reserve your VIP arrival at the airport so you can breeze through to maximize your first day in the sunshine.”
After spending all that time relaxing, couples can take a private boat charter for snorkeling and lunch with Moana Charters or zip around in a love buggy with Island Style Tours. To live like a local, Mussolini suggests lunch at Mr. Grouper or Da Conch Shack.
Samantha Collum of River Oaks Travel concurs that Turks & Caicos is ideal for luxury and privacy and says that her team loves Amanyara.
“This is no large-scale resort—all rooms are individual pavilions, many with private pools and pathways directly to the beach,” says Collum. “Between the top-notch service (this is an Aman after all) and spectacular beachside location, we can guarantee an unbelievably romantic escape.”
River Oaks Travel also recommends Jumby Bay.
“This private Caribbean island is just two miles from Antigua, and takes the concept of an all-inclusive and elevates it to a beyond luxurious level—think gourmet dinners, handcrafted cocktails, and Moet & Chandon as the house Champagne. Pampering begins the moment you land, as you’ll be fast-tracked through the airport and whisked by private boat over to the island before being escorted to your private villa or bungalow. Celebrating something special? We recommend a private beach dinner under the stars to really up the romance,” says Collum.
Susan Jeske of TravelWize says for her romantic couples she tends to seek out smaller, lesser-known islands and hotels, but where the vibe is always luxury.
“I have been to Jade Mountain and it is wonderfully romantic,” Jeske tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “Paired with diving, a sunset sail on a catamaran, or a hike to the top of the Pitons ending with playtime in the Sulfur Springs Mud Baths, St. Lucia is very romantic. Jade goes above and beyond with food, service and views.”
Another suggestion for special moments is to charter a boat with a captain and crew in either St. Vincent & the Grenadines or in the British Virgin Islands. “It is so romantic to have a captain to show you around and a chef to cook for you,” says Jeske.
Jaenine St. Hill Craig of JTS Travel Club has a list she keeps on hand for intimate getaways. Here are her top five options.
Barbados: Tamarind by Elegant Hotels: “This oceanfront mid-sized resort is not far from airport and close to Bridgetown. This resort is known for its customer service. It is a family resort, perfect for small weddings and couples who want to be close to known sights.”
St. Lucia: Royalton Saint Lucia: “The Royalton adults-only resort is perfect for couples as well as solo travelers. It’s located on a beachfront cove, so yes, the water is calm. Their activities are curated with adults in mind, so no one is excluded. There is so much to do off resort. Don’t miss the Gros Islet Party held every Friday.”
St. Maarten: Sonesta Ocean Point: “This is where the Dutch and French cultures meet. You can cross the border between Sint Maarten and St. Martin without a passport. This is a foodie’s holiday. Located five minutes from the airport, this adults-only oceanfront hotel offers butler service, a casino and golfing. Take a ferry to neighboring St. Bart or Anguilla for a day of exploration and shopping.”
Antigua: Cocobay Resort Antigua: “This has been acclaimed as ‘the most romantic resort.’ Could it be because the cottage-style rooms are situated for privacy? I think so. Have a moonlight dinner for two or swim in one of the several infinity pools or take advantage of the resort’s wellness program.”
Dominican Republic: Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Resort: “A helicopter will take you safely to this boutique-style resort. Afternoon tea service and a spa service are the perfect touches to end a day of snorkeling. There’s a coral reef just offshore. Amenities include a 24-hour concierge, room service, and even a wine tasting.”
Sanctuary Cap Cana Resort: “Known for its private beach, this all-suites and villas romantic resort is for the active couple. There are many daily and nightly activities to partake in. Golfers, they’ve got you covered. For an added touch, reserve a cabana. The staff will make sure it is filled with goodies, including champagne.”
Meanwhile, WanderLuxe Destinations told us they are now representing the brand-new Tropical Hotel, St. Barth. Jamie Jackson of Wanderluxe says the hotel is ideal for couples “wanting to spark magic once again.” It’s located in a lush jungle on a hill overlooking St. Jean Bay and has just 24 rooms and suites. Couples can stroll around the lovely gardens or enjoy time in their room; all accommodations have pastel colors with vintage furnishings. “You really feel as if you’re in a throw-back to an era that has passed,” says Jackson. For true relaxation, the hotel has a swoon-worthy pool overlooking St. Jean Bay. Jackson’s tip? “Share a bottle of rosé and get back to basics with the one you love.” For VIP reservations, contact WanderLuxe Owner Tara D’Agostino ([email protected]).
Luxury Travel Advisor was keen to hear about a new take-over option located at North Side on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
The Hideaway at Hull Bay, a private beachfront estate with resort amenities, opened in January. The vibe on the five-acre property is barefoot luxury, but really, with a takeover, you can make the vibe whatever you like, can’t you? All told, there are two villas and eight cottages that can accommodate up to 36 guests with double occupancy. We say this is ideal for groups or for that romantic getaway when you want three dozen of your closest friends around you. The general manager is Samantha Hodge (contact her at [email protected]), who says management works one-on-one with guests to create a completely customized experience for every group, thanks to “a stellar list of third-party vendors we can call on to make every guest’s wish a reality. We are not in the business of saying ‘no’ to anything,” says Hodge.
Good to know: There are plenty of al fresco gathering spaces at The Hideaway, ideal for social distancing. Management also takes advantage of the agricultural offerings around the estate, meaning locally grown produce such as guava, passionfruit, sorrel and coconut water are all used whenever possible (think afternoon cocktails, changed out every day upon request. Yes, please).
Four Seasons Resort & Residences Anguilla is promoting itself as “the dream destination for a long weekend of sun and romance.” We’re told that each ocean view suite has its own private outdoor plunge pool and that the best way to cap off a romantic day is with a sunset cocktail at Sunset Lounge before dining at the resort’s bluff-top SALT restaurant.