The Caribbean is back and better than ever. That means it’s time to rediscover the region, returning to your favorite spots and exploring uncharted destinations. We’ve hand crafted an enticing mix of famous and off-the-radar destinations, giving you our favorite places in the Caribbean to check out in 2018. Where will you be going in 2018? Tell us below in the comments section. But what are you waiting for? Start planning your next Caribbean getaway.
#1 Antigua Yes, this beach-heavy paradise is back and ready for you, with a truly wonderful, diverse hotel product, led by the Caribbean’s greatest concentration of unique, authentic all-inclusives, from the famous Galley Bay to the adults-only Pineapple Beach Club. It’s good a beach destination as there is in the Caribbean right now. And it’s just begging to be discovered.
Greenwood Beach on Cat Island.
#2 Cat Island The Out Islands of the Bahamas are one of the great undiscovered frontiers for many Caribbean aficionados, and there’s nowhere more intoxicating than Cat Island, the rugged, untouched island that’s less than an hour from Miami. There are myriad small, charming hotels (from the landmark Fernandez Bay Village to the Rolle’z Beach Resort to Shannas Cove), some of the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean and the unmatched feeling that you have discovered someplace truly special.
The famous beach bar at the Anegada Reef.
#3 Anegada We’ve long said that the best way to help the Caribbean in the wake of last year’s storms is to visit the Caribbean, and that’s particularly true in the British Virgin Islands, which has been making an inspiring recovery from Hurricane Irma. And the lobster-and-beach-filled paradise of Anegada is ready to welcome you, led by the imminent reopening of its Anegada Beach Club hotel — one of the region’s coolest places to stay.
#4 St Croix The Caribbean has a new foodie hotspot, and it’s St Croix, filled with a truly impressive collection of top-flight eateries, from Zion Modern Kitchen and Uptown Eatery to Savant, all set in the heart of the beautiful, historic town of Christiansted. And that’s just part of the story, with the island’s other main town, Frederiksted, seeing a renaissance of its own with the debut of the hip new boutique hotel, The Fred.
#5 Saint Lucia This has long been a haven for honeymooners, but the Helen of the West Indies is so much more than that, from one of the Caribbean’s best collections of restaurants to working cacao plantations to an ever-expanding portfolio of great hotels, from The Landings to the brand-new Harbor Club.
#6 Aruba Aruba just keeps getting better. And, remarkably, the more you visit, the more layers you discover: destinations like the island’s breathtaking East Coast; the bright, energetic downtown of Oranjestad; a culinary scene that’s right at the forefront of Caribbean gastronomy (led by Caribbean Chef of the Year Erwin Husken’s Screaming Eagle).
#7 Curaçao There’s just something exciting about Curacao right now, with its unmatched mix of urban culture and history and empty, magnificent beaches. There’s an energy, a vibe and a level of sophistication that takes all of these things to the next level. If you haven’t discovered this corner of the Dutch Caribbean, it’s time to fly.
#8 Harbour Island Some people call it the Nantucket of the Caribbean — but it’s really like an English-speaking St Barth; hip and chic but with the pervasive feeling of barefoot luxury. And while the shops and eateries put it on the map, it’s still the marvelous Pink Sand Beach that’s the biggest draw.
#9 Martinique It’s never been easier to get to the French Caribbean (thanks to Norwegian’s low-cost fares from the US), and that’s giving more travelers the perspective as to why Martinique is such a fascinating, rewarding destination. Its collection of rum distilleries is the Bordeaux of rum, its food is magnificent and its got the carefree elegance of the Riviera. And that’s without mentioning the unique capital of Fort de France.
#10 Providenciales The post-storm recovery has been very rapid in the Turks and Caicos Islands, whose tourism hub, the island of Providenciales, has seen a tourism renaissance. That’s thanks in large part to the destination’s forward-thinking hotels, from The Palms and The Sands to the Beach House and Ocean Club.
#11 St Barth No island rebounded from Irma faster than this tiny French Caribbean gem. And while most of its five-star properties are hibernating until next winter (although the Christopher is planning to open this quarter), scores of luxury villas remain, along with a number of boutique hotels like Les Ilets de la Plage and Le Village. And the reality is this: it’s still St Barth.
#12 Puerto Plata Long overshadowed by its more famous cousin, Punta Cana, this tourism hub on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is now seeing its time in the sun, thanks to the efforts of boutique hotels like the Casa Colonial and creative all-inclusives like the recently-opened VH Atmosphere.
#13 Grenada Finally on the radar of enlightened travelers, this Eastern Caribbean paradise has a mix of lovely beaches (from its crown jewel, Grand Anse, to smaller stretches of sand like BBC Beach), an emphasis on chocolate, from tree to bar, and an increasingly impressive slate of luxury hotels soon to expand with the debut of the Silversands, a Leading Hotel of the World, in March.
#14 St Kitts The debut of Park Hyatt’s first-ever Caribbean hotel has put what has long been one of the region’s best-kept secrets in the spotlight, with a truly world-class hotel that’s immediately catapulted into the pantheon of top luxury resorts. And it’s a gateway to experience the warmth of St Kitts’ people and the lush beauty of its natural environment.
#15 Barbados The opening of Nikki Beach on Barbados was a message to the Caribbean: Barbados is a luxury destination to be reckoned with. It’s also home to a wave of hotel renovations and debuts, with the relaunch of Elegant Hotels’ gorgeous Treasure Beach to Ocean Hotels’ rebranded Sea Breeze Beach House.
#16 Andros Some call it the Bahamian outback. But raw, rugged Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas, is also one of the most diverse destinations in the region, from the tony Kamalame Cay hotel to some of the world’s best bonefishing.
#17 Little Cayman If you think Grand Cayman is the Cayman Islands. Think again. You’ll immediately fall in love with this tiny speck of sand that’s about a 30-minute flight from George Town, home to a population of 200 people. Unless you decide to stay.
#18 Nassau Nassau continues to evolve, and it’s not just the debut of the Baha Mar which, for all of the turmoil surrounding its arrival, is an exquisitely executed resort complex. It’s really about the creativity and innovation that abound on the island right now, centered in colorful downtown Nassau. It’s this Bahamian energy that has even led the Atlantis resort to totally rebrand around the spirit of Bahamian culture. And that’s no small feat.
This article has been republished from www.caribjournal.com