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Best Caribbean holidays


By Mark Hodson and David Wickers, Sunday Times Travel writers

We love the Caribbean – beautiful beaches, great hotels, fabulous food and lots to see and do. But which are the 10 best Caribbean holidays? Here are our personal picks.

Barbados has more top hotels than any other island, most of them found along the so-called Platinum coast on the west side of the island. Top restaurants too – though don’t come with too thin a wallet.

The tiny coral island of Anguilla has some of the best beaches anywhere in the world – white, soft, powdery and very often near deserted. It is also home to some of the Caribbean’s finest hotels including Malliouhana and Cap Juluca.

St Lucia is arguably the most scenic of all the islands, with dramatic mountains, lush forests, charming plantation houses and even a drive-in volcano. Best hotels include Windjammer Landing and the couples-only Rendezvous. See more holiday ideas in St Lucia.

Antigua boasts a beach for every day of the year, even one for leap years if you count the pink sands of its sister island Barbuda. This is an ideal destination for families. But do tear yourself away at least once to visit English Harbour, a tropical Greenwich restored as the old sea dogs would have known it.

Aside from beaches, rum and reggae, there’s a lot of Jamaica to get eco-excited about. Its 1,000ft mountains, cloaked in rainforest, have species of birds and flowers found nowhere else on earth as well as the world’s second largest butterfly, the giant yellow swallowtail. Stay at the lavish all-inclusive Sandals, which has new Over-the-Water Suites, or tuck yourselves away at Jamaica Inn, a charming boutique hotel on a private beach. Another option: head for Round Hill where you can choose between Ralph Lauren-designed hotel rooms or spacious villas with pools.

The Cayman Islands offer the greatest variety of catalogued dive sites in the world. Whether you are a beginner or an expert (Jacques Cousteau put the islands in his premier half dozen), you’ll be able to experience both reef and wreck diving. The islands also has some superb hotels including the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Westin Grand Cayman and new Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa.

Rented houses in the Caribbean tend to come ready staffed with at least a cook/housekeeper and, in the swankier properties, maids, laundresses, butlers and night watchmen. It’s like having a small hotel all to yourself. Check out these villas from CV Villas.

Though often regarded as being a Caribbean island, Bermuda is actually stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s too cold in winter but tends to have a wonderful climate between spring and autumn, with easy onwards flights to New York. It appeal lies in its superb beaches, quality restaurants, quirky colonial style and a general air of safety and civility.

See our expert guide to the best time to visit the Caribbean and details of the weather in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.

Last updated: 29 April 2019

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