The Big Six: Caribbean green retreats
Saturday 31 October 2009
Balenbouche Estate, St Lucia
This former sugar plantation is a heritage site and now an elegant "eco-lodge" and organic farm. The four little cottages (two-bed Almond and Banyan, one-bed Calabash and Frangipani) are scattered with antique furniture and local artwork, and are surrounded by luxuriant gardens. The family-owned estate is committed to sustainability, uses solar power, composts organic waste and is involved in various community projects.
Balenbouche Estate, near Sapphire, St Lucia (001 758 455 1244; balenbouche.com ). Cottages sleeping two start at US$80 (£49), room only.
Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Dominica
In what was once just an overgrown banana plantation, you now can stay in a wooden cottage, a bamboo treehouse or a traditional Carib jungle cabin.
Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Rosalie, Dominica (001 767 446 1886; rosalieforest.com ). Two-bed wooden cottages start at US$88 (£59), room only.
Cuffie River Nature Retreat, Tobago
Birdwatching and hiking tours through one of the world's oldest protected tropical rainforests are just a couple of the activities at Cuffie River Nature Retreat. Each of the 10 rooms has a balcony from which to gaze out over the forest canopy. During the day you can watch the hummingbirds hovering by the feeders as you eat. The rain-fed water system uses a charcoal filter for purification. The retreat has won Caribbean Travel and Life magazine's Best Eco-Resort award.
Cuffie River Nature Retreat, Scarborough, Tobago (001 868 660 0505; cuffie-river.com ). Doubles start at US$110 (£68), room only.
Hotel Mockingbird Hill, Jamaica
A romantic, 10-room "eco-chic" hideaway, Hotel Mockingbird Hill is cradled by acres of tropical gardens. With sunny Caribbean interiors blue and white floral fabrics, bamboo furniture and hammocks this whitewashed hotel comes with stellar sustainability credentials. Recycled bottles water the garden by drip feed and there's no air-con, television or telephones. Add home-cooked organic food and you'll understand why it has twice been voted the Caribbean Green Hotel of the Year.
Hotel Mockingbird Hill, Port Antonio, Jamaica (001 876 993 7267; hotelmockingbirdhill.com ). Double rooms start at US$135 (£90), including breakfast.
Higgins Landing, Bahamas
Palm trees, thatched umbrellas, turquoise water, white-powder beaches and a maximum of 12 guests in a cluster of little cottages. This award-winning resort can only be reached by boat. Activities include kayaking, snorkelling and sailing.
Higgins Landing, Stocking Island, Exuma, Bahamas (001 242 357 0008; higginslanding.com ). Cottages (sleeping two) start at B$511.50 (£319), including dinner.
Natura Cabana, Dominican Republic
This palm-thatched boutique hotel and spa,with 11 beachfront bungalows, sits among passion fruit and citrus trees by the shore. The cabanas have been built from local materials.
Natura Cabana, Paseo del Sol, 5 Perla Marina, Cabarete, Dominican Republic (001 809 571 1507; naturacabana.com ). Doubles start at US$209 (£139), including breakfast.
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