THE LUX FILES
Your guide to the best in luxury Caribbean travel
1. LUX ROOM
Eden Rock, St Barths
Playground of the rich and famous, with its designer boutiques and lavish yachts, it’s no surprise that the hotels on tiny Saint Barthélemy are the crème de la crème. Built in the 1950s as a Caribbean bolthole for Rémy de Haenen and his Hollywood friends, Eden Rock has regained all the glamour of its star-filled heyday. Brand new for 2016 is the spectacular Christopher Columbus suite, with its vast panoramic windows overlooking the white coral sands of St Jean Bay. Expect top-spec in this palatial signature suite, from the luxury spa-bathroom finished with Carrara marble to the private dining area on the air-conditioned terrace and the state-of-the-art entertainment systems.
2. LUX SPA
Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa, Grenada
One of CNN’s 2016 Top Ten Hotels of the World, the Calabash is indeed a very special place. With just 30 private suites set in eight acres of tropical gardens, you would be hard-pushed not to feel relaxed at this 5-star beachside resort. But the new Spa at Calabash is a personal invitation to turn the chillout-factor up another notch; a place where healing hands tend to mind, body and spirit surrounded by coconut trees and azure seas. Try the wonderful Skin Renaissance treatment for a truly tropical indulgence: dry body brushing and salt exfoliation re-energises the skin before a luxurious body butter massage.
3. LUX RESTAUARNT
One of the most prestigious resorts in the world, Barbados’ elegant Sandy Lane retreat is no secret. Set on the edge of a tranquil coral sand beach, shaded by mature mahogany trees, this classic Palladian-style hotel has long been a firm Caribbean favourite. Of course a hotel of this magnitude has four excellent restaurants, but if it’s fine dining you’re after, accompanied by a romantic Barbadian sunset, the stunning open-air L’Acajou restaurant is hard to match. Chic, beachfront dining on the platinum coast means a winning combination of refined French and Mediterranean cuisine paired with an amazing selection of Old World and New World wines from the hotel’s impressive cellar.
4. LUX BEACH
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
With over 30 miles of gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic’s eastern tip is better known as La Costa del Coco – the Coconut Coast. With its idyllic white-sand beaches and azure waters, sun worshippers and water babies will be equally at home in this little corner of Caribbean paradise. Snorkel amongst stingrays, paddleboard over colourful coral reefs, sail to deserted islands or simply lie back on the soft, powdery sand and drift off under the warm Caribbean breeze. The fabulous Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana has a range of Ocean View suites with French doors that slide back to let in magnificent views of the beautiful Coconut Coast beaches.
5. LUX POOL BAR
NIZUC Resort & Spa, Mexico
Nestled between beautiful mangrove forests on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, this 29-acre luxury resort is just a 10-minute drive from Cancun International Airport – but it feels like another world. With two gleaming beaches and five swimming pools to choose from, there is no shortage of places to take a relaxing dip. Our favourite is the tranquil pool bar, with its serene infinity pool looking out over the white sand beach and onwards across the Caribbean Ocean. The in-water bar provides refreshments to match the view: try the XI NIZUC Cocktail - a tropical blend of mint, cucumber, lime, orange, Gran Menier, Baron Tequila and spicy Tajin that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.