The best Caribbean resorts to visit by superyacht

Visiting the Caribbean islands on a superyacht this winter season? We round up the best luxury hotels and resorts in the Caribbean worth stepping ashore for.

Sandy Lane

St. James, Barbados

With its marble pillars, manicured golfing greens and popping pink colour scheme, there are few hotels more synonymous with Caribbean luxury than Sandy Lane, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021. The brainchild of British politician Ronald Tree – who dreamed of a lavish hotel with a golf course while enjoying his winter home on the island – the resort has been a must-visit destination for A-listers for the past six decades. Its sparkling white walls could tell thousands of stories, from Aristotle Onassis being rowed to shore from his superyacht while Maria Callas swam with a pet marmoset on her back, to Elton John adhering to the strict New Year’s Eve dress code by wearing his black tie as a garter. This colourful history will be celebrated in the hotel’s Trip down Sandy Memory Lane initiative, which will share archive imagery from private albums and memories from the resort’s first visitors. There will also be lavish events where guests can knock back the hotel’s signature SL-60 champagne cocktail.

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Windjammer Landing

Labrelotte Bay, St Lucia

Aqua ocean, emerald jungle, ivory sand and coral sunsets: St Lucia’s Caribbean Sea coast is a vibrant artist’s palette of colours. Nestled amoung this tropical outlook is Windjammer Landing, an established Mediterranean style-resort with more than 200 rooms and cool white villas spread across 60 acres of flower-jewelled landscaped gardens.

Start your day with a pre-breakfast yoga class in the shady hilltop garden, practising your eagle and crow poses while tiny iridescent-bellied hummingbirds hover overhead. Snorkel the turquoise waters with turtles and baby rays right off the beach or head further along the coast to Anse Cochon to spot octopuses crawling among canary-coloured pipe coral.

If you need to unwind from all that activity then book in for a massage, followed by a cooling dip in your villa’s private infinity pool before sipping on a blush-red rum punch or icy daiquiri sundowner. Dine in the restaurant on sesame-crusted tuna sashimi and champagne shrimp risotto, or bring a chef into your villa to cook up a catch of the day feast with Lucian flair – think callaloo and okra soup, mango-dressed salad and pan-fried mahi-mahi followed by red wine and basil ice cream.

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The Lovango Resort

Lovango Cay, US Virgin Islands

Set on a crescent-shaped island just a short cruise from St John, the USVI’s first luxury beach club has opened its doors. The Lovango Resort + Beach Club on Lovango Cay is the first new-build hospitality destination in the islands for more than three decades and is completely off grid. Power is provided by solar and wind energy, while a desalination system converts seawater to potable water.

Visiting megayachts can anchor in the curved bay and tender in to spend the day lounging by the Beach Club’s 70ft infinity pool, which is surrounded by cobalt cabanas and chaise longues. Away from the shore there are numerous hiking trails through tropical foliage to the island’s 255ft peak or its wild North Beach, which is home to pelicans. Alternatively, snorkeling gear is provided to explore the colorful surrounding coral reef and experience first-hand the ongoing restoration work.

For sustenance, a waterfront restaurant overlooking the Pillsbury Sound serves a Caribbean-inspired lunch menu, with dishes such ahi tuna with coconut foam and pistachio. Guests staying past 3pm can dig into its Après Sea menu; small bites paired with themed cocktails keep the party island vibe going until sunset.

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Belmond Cap Juluca

Maundays Bay, Anguilla
Credit: Richard James Taylor

The elegant crescent and crystal-clear waters of Maundays Bay set the tone for all things aqua at Belmond Cap Juluca. Start your day with an invigorating swim to breakfast, emerging from the gentle Caribbean waves to be greeted by a member of staff ready with a fresh towel, robe and just-pressed juice. After breakfast at Cip’s by Cipriani, pick up a paddleboard or kayak and head out into the cove, explore the resort by turquoise-painted bike and VW campervan, or take a second dip in the infinity-edge pool that’s only a barefoot step from the soft white beach. Dream away the hours on your reserved sunlounger by the water’s edge before visiting the Arawak Spa, where the signature treatments, based on the holistic rituals of the region’s indigenous people, use locally harvested salt to sustain a firm connection to the sea. When the sun sets, walk across the cooling sand to The Cap Shack for a rum punch and catch-of-the-day tapas, or opt for Anguillan delicacies such as whole grilled lobster in drawn butter or red snapper with conch chowder at Pimms restaurant. It’s waterside too, so you’ll never be far from the sea.

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Park Hyatt St Kitts

Christophe Harbour, St Kitts and Nevis
Credit: Park Hyatt St Kitts/Tadeu Brunelli.

St Kitts has been slower to embrace tourism than most of its Caribbean neighbours, but this palm tree-strewn resort on its south-east peninsula is a stylish statement of what the island’s future might hold. As Park Hyatt’s first foray into the Caribbean, the hotel caused quite a stir when it opened in 2017 as part of the Christophe Harbour development, which also includes a new superyacht marina. 

The Park Hyatt seamlessly blends modern St Kitts with heritage touches: traditional stone arches line its elevated infinity pool and a replica sugar mill is used for yoga. Its 126 rooms are bright and modern, with vast stand-alone bathtubs and private balconies, but colourful furniture and wooden panelling keep the Caribbean feel. There are also plenty of opportunities to indulge in local cuisine. Formal sharing menus, with dishes such as yellowfin tuna with papaya, or rum baba, are served in the Stone Barn restaurant, or those seeking something more casual can head to the overwater Fisherman’s Village. Serving ocean-to-table cuisine, the restaurant offers some of the best views of the twinkling lights of neighbouring Nevis, which is just three kilometres (or an ambitious swim) away.

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Casa Colonial Beach & Spa

Playa Dorada, Dominican Republic

Set on a pretty stretch of Playa Dorada on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast, this beachside hideaway is the perfect place to relax after leaving your yacht at the nearby Ocean World Marina. The breezy architecture of the resort, one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, combines old-world charm with modern design: think high ceilings, whimsical art and oversized chairs and sofas in white linen.

During the day, Casa Colonial’s lush gardens are filled with the sounds of songbirds, gurgling fountains and, in the background, the rhythmic whoosh of waves. Once the sun sets, follow the lantern-lit paths to the resort’s fine-dining restaurant, Lucia. The menu incorporates fresh produce from a nearby farm and regional dishes such as goat marinated in local Brugal rum. Back in the colonial-style rooms, throw open the windows and let the sea breeze blow through the billowing cream curtains – the only sound the bell of a bobbing catamaran anchored a few metres away.

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Rosewood Baha Mar

Nassau, The Bahamas

Sitting on the blindingly white sands of Nassau’s Cable Beach, Rosewood’s first foray into the Bahamas has flourished since it opened its doors in 2018 following a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. It’s as grand as you would expect from the luxury hotel group, with an exterior wreathed in the greenery of tropical flower gardens, while the luxe interior is lined with shelves of books, coral sculptures and local artworks that add pops of colour to its British colonial style. 

Superyachts can dock at Albany Marina, a 30-minute drive away, and to get a taste of the surrounding cruising grounds, make the five-minute boat trip to Long Cay, Rosewood’s private island. A private butler will ensure your champagne glass is charged and waiting for you on shore while you’re snorkelling. Later, for an authentic Bahamian experience, head to Nassau waterfront’s “fish fry” and enjoy a rum flight at John Watling’s Distillery.

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The Crane Resort

Barbados

In-the-know celebrities scorn Barbados’s flashy west coast in favour of the palm-tree-studded grounds of the island’s oldest hotel. Built in 1887, the 16-hectare resort’s historic cobbled quarters artfully incorporate modern amenities; a spa pool with coastal views sits in the stone-walled carriage house, while a pink-sand beach is reached by a glass-fronted lift.

Have your tender drop you on the beach at sunset and sink into the powder-soft grains (the yacht can moor a 40-minute drive away in Bridgetown’s port), then head to one of the hotel’s five eateries for dinner. Try the local delicacy of crispy flying fish at the resort’s sea-breeze-scented, cliffside restaurant L’Azure, or spiced crab maki topped with fish roe at Zen, its Japanese restaurant. The only acceptable way to finish the night is with a sweet but strong rum punch at the suitably old-school Bar 1887.

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Marigot Bay Resort

St Lucia

It’s difficult to imagine a more quintessentially Caribbean escape than Marigot Bay, where every suite looks out on to the lush, palm-covered peak across the water and isolated beaches flanked by sugar canes are just a short kayak paddle away. The resort has undergone a major renovation in recent years: inside the chalet-style villas you’ll find cool white linens punctuated with pops of coral or sea blue, botanical prints on the walls and sculptures that reference the island’s abundant flora and fauna.

Three on-site restaurants make the most of St Lucian produce, from breadfruit tacos with freshly caught mahi mahi, to mangos, avocado and soursop picked from nearby trees. For a bespoke menu, there’s a secluded tree house, which comes with a private chef who’ll prepare everything from fine-dining dishes to his family’s fried chicken. Or, for additional local flavour, you can visit the local Anse La Raye fish fry. Back at the hotel’s many bars you’ll find a good-spirited crowd sharing stories from the day’s adventures and sipping rum cocktails that pack a punch. A good job, then, that your yacht will be just a few tipsy footsteps away at the resort’s marina.

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Mandarin Oriental

Canouan, Grenadines

The emerald islands and glittering turquoise seas of the Grenadines have been a celebrity bolthole for decades, and Canouan is the jewel in this Caribbean crown. Located at the northern end of the island, strung along the blindingly white Godahl Beach, lie the 26 colonial-style suites and six four-bedroom Lagoon Villas of the Mandarin Oriental, Canouan. Cruise into the island’s recently-opened Sandy Lane Yacht Club & Residences (which can accommodate yachts up to 90 metres) or arrive via jet on the private runway, before being whisked away to the palm tree scattered resort. Recently acquired by Mandarin Oriental, the chain’s first foray into the Caribbean, the property combines old school charm with state of the art technology – use your in-room iPad to set the temperature or order a rum cocktail. Ideal for golf lovers such as Eddie Jordan, guests can play on the Jim Fazio-designed golf course. Its verdant green fairways are lined with tropical flower boarders and all 18 holes provide spectacular ocean views. And the sport doesn’t need to end there with three flood-lit tennis courts, a mountain cycling circuit and guided hikes to Mount Royal, the highest point on the island.

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