Three of the Best – Favorite Caribbean Destinations
When it comes to the Caribbean, it’s amazing how unique each destination really is. From mountainous Montserrat to the desert island of Aruba, travelers can discover everything from rainforests to rocky coastlines. In considering Caribbean destinations for my family, I look for easy flight connections from the the East Coast, lots of activities, and resorts known for good service.
Some of our favorite Caribbean destinations include:
Okay, I agree. This is not the world’s most lush tropical island. It’s a desert island, located just across a calm sea from Venezuela. But there are good reasons that it’s “One Happy Island” as the ad campaign says… Clear blue water stretches away from powdery beaches which are dotted with the famed divi divi trees, bent and gnarled by the wind. Residents here represent a dynamic mix of Dutch and South American cultures, which results in great music, diverse cuisine, and good company.
We’ve always loved the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino on Palm Beach for its terrific service and great location. Now it’s got a luxury competitor right next door, in at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba. You can’t go wrong with either location. And while you’re there, take in a little golf at Tierra del Sol, have dinner at Madame Janette, and be sure to leave some time for snorkeling!
Paradise Island, Bahamas
If you are looking for an easy getaway, it’s hard to beat the Bahamas. Just off the coast of Florida, there are numerous flights to Nassau daily from many U.S. airports and some interesting hotels to choose from. Not generally a fan of big resorts, I must admit my family loves Atlantis. This sprawling property offers accommodations at a wide range of price points. We usually stay in the Royal Towers (the ones with the iconic bridge suite connecting the two buildings). There’s so much to do here, the last time we were in the Bahamas we never left the resort. From the waterpark and aquariums to the truly excellent restaurants, there’s a great deal to do here for adults and for children. We marveled at the dolphin encounter, went behind the scenes with sea lions, and snorkeled in the inlet.
For a quieter, more elegant environment, the One & Only Ocean Club is right next door. Green lawns stretch to the beach and the ambiance is sophisticated and peaceful. We had an extraordinary dinner at Dune, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant perched at the edge of the sand.
In my work, I’ve seen a lot of Caribbean beaches, but none more beautiful than Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. White sand leads to the clearest, most sparkling blue water I’ve even seen. The hotels are located on a relatively busy street, but pass through the lobby and you find yourself immediately on the sand.
Hotels run the gamut from family-focused to luxurious. We’ve recently stayed at the Westin Grand Cayman and the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. They are both right on the beach and make a great escape from the busy day-to-day. Of course, the Ritz-Carlton offers a five-star experience and all the luxuries that one can expect from the brand. Wherever you go, be sure to book an oceanfront or oceanview room! It would be a shame to look out on the roadway, after coming all this way to unwind.
Grand Cayman is known for some of the world’s best diving and sportfishing and is also home to Stingray City, where wild rays come up to a sandbar to feed and to interact with visitors. Amazing experience!
These are just three of our family favorites… We’re looking forward to future visits to new Caribbean destinations, as well. Our shortlist includes St. Kitts!