As we flip the calendar to 2013, there is no better way to kick start the New Year than a vacation in the Caribbean. Warming the heart and the soul, the sunniest region on the planet is also romance-central for couples who want to keep the spark alive or ignite a new one altogether.
Whether it’s a stay at a swishy seaside resort, an all-inclusive on the beach or a few nights in a quaint Inn, the islands are open for business and welcoming couples who may be fitness buffs, foodies, spa aficionados or simply fans of an afternoon in a hammock. Hands-down, a getaway in the tropics is the 2013 must-have.
One Size Fits All
Marrying all-inclusive luxury with an authentic island experience, Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica is rolling out a delicious Jerk Mo Cart that delivers a piquant selection of spicy snacks to those taking five on the beach or at the pool. Built on the historic Rose Hall Plantation, the resort offers a bevy of perks to vacationing couples from shuttles to the Shoppes at Rose Hall, potent rum cocktails at the Bar King Frog, late night dancing at The Cricket Club and a menu of massages at the Soothe Spa like the wildly popular ‘Cool Caribbean Body Elixir’ that is ideal after a day on the beach.
In Grand Cayman, the Westin is fresh from a pricey facelift and ready to welcome couples for a winter interlude. A quick hop from the east coast and fronting the iconic Seven Mile Beach, the resort boasts the islands largest freshwater swimming pool and the Hibiscus Spa with fifteen pristine treatment rooms. Awarded the “Best Beach Resort” by Starwood Preferred guest members, the brand on the beach is all about location with close proximity to shopping, island attractions and the other hotels on the strip. For those looking for nothing more than unbridled relaxation, the Beach Ambassadors deliver fresh towels and frozen fruit chips directly to the loungers on the beach.
Bikes, Butlers & the Beach
Bike Butlers are the real deal at Antigua`s Jumby Bay Resort where every guest is matched with a bike chosen by the Bike Butler who also arranges cycle tours, fixes flat tours and leads training sessions. Fab facilities on the private island resort woo couples from around the world like the super swanky Rosewood spa, gourmet restaurants and tennis courts. Primo for the vino lovers in the family, Wine Down is Friday night fun at the Pool Grille with a menu that pairs old-world tapas with new-world wines.
A far cry from the mega all-inclusives in Punta Cana, Vista Mare Samana in the Dominican Republic is a cozy hotel ideal for eco-astute partners who covet a front-row seat during whale-watching season from January to March. Ranked by the World Wildlife Fund as a top viewing spot for humpback whales, the Samaná Peninsula is still one of the least known regions in the country. “Our condos with fabulous balconies offer just the right amount of privacy and the service, well, it’s second to none,” said Eliasal Juma, general manager, “the beach is tanning-central, the pools are perfect for cocktails and the spa is made-to-order for some serious pampering.” With eighty-seven spacious condos, the hotel is a magnet for whale watchers who can see the gracious critters from the balconies. Nightly rates during whale season start at $140.00 per night for a one-bedroom condo and US $395.00 for a four-bedroom condo.