Five Best Caribbean Hideaways

Rhiannon Batten finds that in a world of plantations and private beaches, small really is beautiful


Jake's Jamaica

Jake's, with its famously laidback vibe, is part of Chris Blackwell's Island Outpost group. It opened in 1993 with just two rooms. Today, each of the 24 pastel-coloured villas has been furnished with local materials - some feature al fresco bathrooms and exotic day beds - and each is endearingly named: Sea Puss, Starfish and Sweet Lip are among those with ocean views. The design has a Moroccan feel, but the atmosphere is distinctly Caribbean. There are no TVs; instead CDs are supplied, there's a saltwater pool and the restaurant offers cookery lessons.

Jake's, Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, Jamaica (00 800 688 76781; www.islandoutpost.com). Doubles from $148 (£106), room only.

Le Sereno, St-Barthélemy

This exclusive retreat has just re-opened following an extensive overhaul by the French interior designer Christian Liaigre. Its sleek suites and villas are practically on the beach and, unlike some of the more garish Caribbean hotels, this one has stylishly minimal taupe and cream furnishings. As well as plasma screen TVs and iPods, rooms come with private gardens and access to a cool freshwater pool. The USP? It's set on a shimmering turquoise cove listed by the Discovery Channel as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world (even if it is rather unromantically called "Grand-Cul-de-Sac").

Le Sereno, Grand Cul-de-Sac, Saint-Barthélemy (00 590 590 298 300; www.lesereno.com). Suites start at €450 (£305), room only.

The Cotton House, Mustique

This showbiz stalwart on the small Grenadine island of Mustique is the Carol Vorderman of the Caribbean hotel world. A few years ago it seemed jaded and, well, a little frumpy, but after a thorough redesign it has made a dramatic comeback. Created from an 18th-century coral warehouse and sugar mill, the hotel underwent a total renovation last year under the direction of owner Grace Leo-Andrieu and now provides accommodation that is as classy as its location with simple but characterful furnishings, a glamourous boutique, several restaurants and a spa.

The Cotton House, Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines (00 1 784 456 4777; www.cottonhouse.net). Doubles start at $643 (£357), including breakfast.

Montpelier Plantation Inn, Nevis

This award-winning, family-owned hotel on Nevis has 17 rooms, all of them newly renovated in simple but luxurious style, with tropical wood furniture, crisp linen and fresh flowers. Few guests come for the decor, though. With its private beach and spectacular island setting to explore (if you're feeling energetic, local ecologists will guide you on hikes) it's unlikely you'll spend much time sleeping. A popular honeymoon destination, the hotel's romantic credentials are long-established - Lord Nelson and Fanny Nisbet were married here.

Montpelier Plantation Inn, Nevis (00 1 869 469 3462; www.montpeliernevis.com). Doubles start at $336 (£187), including breakfast and afternoon tea.

The Landing Bahamas

It may be on the other side of Harbour Island from the famous Pink Sands beach, and lack a swimming pool, but this period-style hotel has plenty of harbour-side charm to tempt punters away from the competition. The seven bedrooms - designed by Lord Mountbatten's grand-daughter, India Hicks - are large and airy with antique furniture, clean white walls, wooden floors and, unusually for the Caribbean, an appealingly shabby chic feel. With its cosy red bar and restaurant and breezy upstairs library, The Landing has the air of a bohemian private home rather than a hotel.

The Landing, Harbour Island, Bahamas (00 1 242 333 2707;

www.harbourislandlanding.com). Double rooms start at $249 (£138), including breakfast.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas