While multigenerational and family travel are on the rise, it’s important to note that parents need to getaway, too, sometimes. So, if your clients are looking for a luxurious escape away from the kids (maybe they’re just the four-legged variety), Travel Agent has a selection of Caribbean hotels that you need to know about.
How does a private island sound? Palm Island Resort Spa in the Grenadines checks that box. The adult-oriented resort has just 43 accommodations: Eight Palm View Rooms, four Palm Suites, two Superior Palm View, 12 Beachfront Rooms, three Island Lofts, two Beach Lofts, six Superior Beachfront Rooms, four Seagrape Suites, one two-bedroom Villa and one three-bedroom Villa. Of these, Palm Island says the Lofts are best for couples. The charming wooden cottages are perched above the ground on stilts on a secluded beach. The rooms also have king b, shaded terraces, locally made bamboo furniture and deep soaking tubs. Good to know: There are two Loft options: Island and Beachfront. In addition to better views, the latter offers even more privacy. For a bit more space, and a more modern look, opt for the Seagrape Suites.
The Superior Beachfront Rooms are newly renovated cottages with modern Caribbean architecture and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto a private outdoor living area with direct beach access. Note: Only the Seagrape Suites and the Villas have TVs.
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As for dining, the resort’s menus change based on season and availability, incorporating locally grown herbs and produce — some of which are from the on-property greenhouse. These ingredients are also used in flavor-infused waters and cocktails. Even better: The flavored waters are also frozen as fruit popsicles, which are served on the beach and in the pool areas.
Palm Island has two restaurants but also offers an array of private dining options — a must. Just pick the location and time of day and Palm Island takes care of the rest. Our pick? Dine alongside the Heart Tree. Make reservations upon arrival.
The spa on the island opened in 2016 and has two double treatment rooms with two bathtubs on the patio and a single room for manicures and pedicures. The Hibiscus Package is a favorite for couples. The 150-minute treatment includes a hibiscus oil bath to calm and relax, followed by a rejuvenating scrub and wrap. The experience continues with a relaxing body massage and is concluded with the hibiscus facial, designed to smooth, brighten and firm the skin.
It wouldn’t be a private island getaway if guests didn’t take in the nature at all. Sailing, diving and — for the more active — kite surfing are all very popular activities offered on the island. To check out the land, advise clients to borrow one of the resort’s bikes and take it for a ride. Or, hop on Palm Island’s private launch and take the short ride to Union Island for a hike up Mount Taboi, the highest peak in the Grenadines at 1,000 feet. For a more leisurely experience, suggest a stroll around Clifton, the main town before checking out some of the beaches and beachside bars and restaurants there.
The closest airport is Union Island; however, the resort provides meet-and-greet service from Grantley Adams International in Barbados. (Air transfers are included for guests from Barbados to Union Island.) From Union Island, guests take Palm Island’s private launch for a 10-minute ride to the resort where all arrivals are personally met by the general manager.
In Aruba, travelers concerned with sustainability would be happy to know that Bucuti Tara Beach Resort touts itself as the Caribbean’s first and only hotel to achieve becoming certified carbon neutral. Here, the vacation starts as soon as the plane lands. Guests are met at the jetway (of Queen Beatrix International Airport; 15 minutes from the resort) by a personal assistant and taken to relax in a private lounge (Champagne and goodies included) while luggage is collected. Guests then bypass immigration lines and are whisked away by private car for an in-room check-in.
Then, on property, there are myriad romantic experiences for couples. For the “Timeless Romantic Picnic,” guests receive a picnic-perfect meal, blanket, pillows and a map customized by Bucuti’s romance concierges with Aruba’s dreamiest hideaways. Or, they can stay on the hotel’s beach to catch a sunset while being served champagne and canapés by a beach butler. Also on the beach, Bucuti Tara hosts complimentary “Movies Under the Stars.”
Those looking to get out onto the water can opt for a sunset catamaran sail (open bar included) or a five-hour excursion on the Spanish Lagoon aboard Yacht Monforte, a teak schooner. Drinks, a meal and snorkeling, kayaking, Third Lung diving and rope swinging are included.
For the optimum experience, be sure to book one of the Tara Penthouse Suites. Perched on the rooftop of the Tara Wing, the four Penthouse Suites offer panoramic views of Eagle Beach and the ocean, one of the Caribbean’s best beaches. Each large, private terrace has a daybed and lounge furnishings. Inside, there’s a living area with a large flat-screen TV and dining room, next to the fully equipped kitchen and a dining table. Adjacent is a bedroom with king-sized bed and an en-suite bathroom with a double sink, granite counters and separate tub. The Penthouse includes a reserved private cabana (thatched palapa) on the beach for guests’ exclusive use during their day.
In total, there are 104 rooms but for the best (ocean) views, consider a Deluxe Guestroom, Bungalow, Junior Suite or Tara Suite (in addition to the Penthouses). Good to know: The resort is open year-round, and guests should book six months ahead.
About conservation: Bucuti’s location on Eagle Beach is not only prized by its human guests, but also endangered Leatherback sea turtles. Every March through September is nesting season with hatchling season being May through November. The resort’s full-time sustainability manager works with TurtugAruba to educate guests on protecting the species for generations to come.
Purun is the hotel’s spa facility offering two petite spa rooms with the ability to provide a wide variety of services. Good to know: Treatments are also available in the oceanview cabana on the beach or in-room. Purun’s Journey of Love is the most requested couple’s treatment; the Sacred Massage of Totomo is the signature treatment. Bucuti’s wellness program is led by certified wellness specialists who can customize programs and free activities to support guests’ goals in four areas: Nutrition, fitness, mental wellbeing and mindfulness.
For a can’t-miss, toes-in-the-sand dinner experience, Bucuti Tara’s signature couple’s Romantic Beach Dining is a must. Only four cabanas are available, so reservations are a must. There are two seatings a night: Sunset and Moonlight.
Ladera in Saint Lucia is all about the views. That view, of course, is of the Pitons. From a vantage point on a mountain ridge between the two peaks, most places on property have a view of one, if not both. For the best views, though, consider either the Suites at Paradise Ridge or the Heritage Suites. You can’t go wrong with any room category, but these have the most open views because they are the larger suites. They also, along with the Hilltop Dream Suite, Villa at Paradise Ridge and Two Bedroom Villa La Fleur, come with private butler service. Even better: Each room has a private plunge pool (some with swings).
It’s important to note all 37 accommodations have an open fourth wall and no TVs or excessive outlets.
To learn more about the property, consider one of Ladera’s many complimentary onsite tours. The Ladera Ridge Hike to the top of the volcanic ridge leads to breathtaking panoramas, where the guests can almost touch the Pitons. Opt for the Ladera Wellness Garden tour to learn about the fruit, fauna and herbs of Ladera and Saint Lucia. Or, pick the Ladera Carpentry Tour, where guests learn how Ladera craftsmen make the furniture from local wood.
Ladera in Saint Lucia has 37 accommodations and offers great views of the Pitons.
If you’re looking to explore the area a bit, most guests climb the Pitons, or go zip-lining, horseback riding, ATV riding, swimming in the mud baths at Soufriere’s Sulphur Springs or snorkeling. If the beach is more your clients’ thing, the resort has shuttles that ride down to the beach (about a five- to 10-minute ride).
The 18,000-square-foot Ladera Spa, which opens this April, has a theme of “Beyond the Rainforest.” The thermal infinity pool, sauna and steam room create the ultimate ambiance for a luxurious and zen atmosphere. Special tropical potions using natural and local products, created exclusively for Ladera, will be used for treatments. The most popular requests are the Ladera Swedish Massage, Romantic Bliss Couple’s Massage, Island Spices Buff and Hanakasumi Ritual.
A unique experience is the Sulphur Mud Treatment. One of Ladera’s therapists will accompany your client to the Sulphur Springs, five minutes away from the resort. On arrival, they take a dip in the largest hot tubs that nature has to offer. The smell may be a foul, but the water is full of minerals, salts and enough nutrients to make one’s skin feel better.
Guests will feel the richness of the volcanic mud on their skin, as the therapist applies it all over their body and face (optional). This black volcanic mud contains nutrients to hydrate, revitalize and nourish the skin. It is also very therapeutic and effective for conditions such as arthritis, swollen joints, fatigue and stress. Guests can sip a cup of hot, herbal tea, as nature goes to work on their entire body.
Book a Chef Dining Experience; this personalized experience will allow your clients to savor a meal prepared just for them by one of Dasheene’s chefs. The experience takes place in the intimate and cool atmosphere of the Dasheene Wine Cellar. Note: Twenty-four hours advance booking is required. Another option is to embark on a market tour that includes cooking demonstrations by Chef Nigel.
Good to know: All guests receive complimentary private transfers from Hewanorra International Airport (45 minutes from the resort). December through February is the busiest time of year. Be sure to book by July for the upcoming season.
Set high atop the peaks of Calabash Boom in St. John, U.S.V.I., Moonswept Villa is not specifically adults-only, but it can be a secluded getaway for up to six people (Think three couples). It has a pair of equal-sized bedrooms and bathrooms plus a queen-sized sofa bed in the Great Room. Amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, private patio with gas grill, a 12-by-20-foot solar-heated swimming pool and a hot tub.
Good to know: The on-site manager/caretaker lives in the apartment below the Moonswept site and is there to provide maintenance and concierge services, or for insider advice on island activities and anything else your clients might want to know. The owners assure, however, that guests’ privacy is completely assured. A rental agreement that spells out all the particulars can be found on the Moonswept Villa’s website. Advise clients that they will need to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the 45-minute drive to Moonswept; most of the rental cars on St. John have four-wheel drive.
On Location: Sea Cloud Guests Head To Idyllic Chatham Bay