There is perhaps no tropical destination on the planet that is more endowed with luxury resorts and hotels than the Caribbean. Indeed, from the paradisal beaches and palm forests of northern Jamaica to the rugged Atlantic cliffs of Barbados, all-inclusive holidaying continues to prove the most popular option for tourists coming to the region year after year.
But, with so many resorts to choose from and so many recommendations flying around, it can be easy to miss the hidden gems. These lurk unassumingly in the secluded corners of the Caribbean, quietly providing high-luxury and bespoke services to any that come their way. However, without the renown of their bigger counterparts, these under-the-radar options can often go unnoticed.
Here are five that Hopper recommends any would-be traveler to the Caribbean take a look at before they book.
Oft-ignored in favor of Jamaica’s newer, more-renowned Sandals resorts, the Grand Palladium is one of the island’s hidden gems, enjoying pride of place on the coast of Lucea in the north. Not only does its location make for some impressive panoramas of the Caribbean Sea around, but also for great accessibility from the nearby airport at Montego. What’s more, the resort is one of Jamaica’s largest, with more than 450 suites, 10 separate dining spots and a claim to the biggest swimming pool on the island!
Can't decide between visiting Jamaica or Mexico? See Hopper's Destination Battle: Mexico vs Jamaica for our suggestion
The Petit St. Vincent Resort of the southern Grenadines is, well, petit. But proudly so. It’s home to just 22 beachside cottages, all done out to the highest degree of luxury and built in classic Caribbean island styles. Perhaps more importantly the resort sits on its own private island, making it one of the most secluded, quiet and exclusive spots in the entire region. Don’t come here expecting lively nightlife and endless entertainments. Come here for private beaches, empty shores and some of the most individually tailored holidays in the whole Caribbean.
This stylish and boutique resort on a spit just off the Yucatan Peninsula, focuses on providing high-luxury holidays to hard-working professionals and mature couples. Located just metres from the beachfront, the hotel has easy access to the Caribbean, along with a number of private infinity pools and no less than 217 individual suites. Sandos is also particularly proud of its on-site Del Mar spa, which covers no less than 15,000 square feet of the complex as a whole.
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Sandwiched between the roaring falls of Dunn’s River and the paradisal beaches, coves and stunning cliffs of Ocho Rios, this Jewel resort offers guests secluded luxury in a great location. On-site, the eating options range from casual beach-shack style barbecue grills to meticulously crafted a la carte arrays of fine-dining, while there are also six individual cocktail bars where all-inclusive guests can sip rum punches to their heart’s content. On-site there’s also a fitness center, beauty salon and fully-fledged spa.
Situated just to the south of Cancun on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, this sprawling Sandos resort enjoys its own stretch of pristine, pearly sand and gardens of quintessentially Yucatan dunes. The resort is well suited to families and more mature couples alike, boasting games rooms, dedicated children’s pools, a large spa facility and a real range of dining options, from buffet, to formal à la carte. On-site there’s also a dedicated diving center and a cluster of tennis courts to enjoy.
Playa del Carmen is also on Hopper's list of best family friendly Spring Break destinations in the Caribbean