That’s right—if you’re looking for fun in the sun, there’s nothing better than an island getaway. From the Bahamas to the Caribbean, there’s an island to suit your every desire.
If you’re looking for family fun: ARUBA
Stay: Amsterdam Manor is conveniently located on Eagle Beach, home to two of the island’s rare Fofoti trees, and rated fifth best beach in the world by TripAdvisor. With only 72 rooms, Amsterdam Manor provides an intimate vacation experience perfect for families, with studios and suites that come equipped with a kitchenette. The lively and vibrant resort was constructed in the Dutch Colonial architecture style, making it stand out among the many high-rise hotels in the area.
The friendly concierge is more than happy to help you plan excursions all over the island, but there’s plenty to experience right on property, including the Horizons Bar (exquisite cocktails and two-for-one drinks during happy hour!) and Passions on the Beach, the ultimate dining destination just steps from the crashing waves
Play: Explore all the gorgeous terrain Aruba has to offer by taking an off-road jeep tour with De Palm Tours. Its Natural Pool Off-Road Safari isn’t for those who want to relax–the rugged terrain makes for a bumpy ride, taking you through Arikok National Park’s desert grounds all the way to Aruba’s Natural Pool. The tour also stops at the Natural Bridge, Alto Vista Chapel, and cruises past other iconic sites of the island like the California Lighthouse, Ayo Rock Formation, and the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins. For a more leisurely day, hop on a catamaran cruise with Pelican Adventures. Its Aqua Champagne Brunch Cruise visits three unique snorkel sites (including the Antilla shipwreck) and provides plenty of entertainment with an enthusiastic crew and an open bar.
Eat: Originally built as a home in the early 1900s, Quinta del Carmen has gone through many iterations over the years— including serving as the island’s first hospital. The interior has an old-school charm, while the outside gardens serve as the quintessential island backdrop. Order their take on Cheese Croquettes and Carpaccio & Truffle as an appetizer and follow it up with one of their many tasty mains, including traditional Dutch dish, Sucade Lappen.
If you’re looking for a quick trip: BIMINI
Stay: A mere 50 miles off the coast of Miami, Bimini is a hidden gem of the Bahamas. The tiny island is easily navigable via golf cart, but the sprawling Hilton by ResortsWorld Bimini has plenty to offer right on site. With 750 acres of beachfront property, you can take in the sandy beaches and aquamarine waters right at the resort. The hotel also boasts five pools, 10 restaurants, and 300+ guest rooms—each with a balcony or terrace. And did we mention there’s a casino on property, not to mention a slew of exclusive concerts and beach parties!
Play: The best part about a small island is that there’s plenty of time to do everything that it has to offer. Go on a snorkeling excursion to the S.S. Sapona shipwreck, a boat with an interesting history. Originally built for WWI, the ship completed construction too late and was eventually used as a warehouse for alcohol during Prohibition until a hurricane ran it aground. You can also get a taste of history by visiting the Dolphin House, Bimini Museum, or cruising through the island and exploring sites dedicated to beloved figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ernest Hemingway, both of whom were inspired by the magic of Bimini.
Eat: Conch is a popular commodity in Bimini and you’d be remiss not to try some. Stuart’s Conch Shack is the perfect spot to order some up; try their conch salad and pair it with a nice cold bottle of Kalik (a local beer). Edith’s Pizza is another favorite spot. Its infamous Bimini bread (light and sweet!) gives it a unique edge, especially the lobster pizza— man, it is good!
If you’re looking for something a little different: Guadeloupe
Stay: On Grande-Terre, one of the main islands that comprises Guadeloupe, sits La Toubana Hôtel & Spa with its sweeping panoramic views of the island’s beautiful beaches. This illustrious hotel overlooks cliffside beaches and features views all the way to some of Guadeloupe’s other islands–Les Saintes, Marie-Galante, and La Désirade.
Play: The nearby center of town in Sainte-Anne has plenty to see and do, including local markets where you can buy artfully decorated bottles of rum punch, local spices and seasonings, and neighborhood trinkets and clothing. Make sure to also island- and check out Guadeloupe’s other islands, including Terre-de-Haut. You’ll love its museum at Fort Napoleon! Afterward, drop your towel down at Pompierre Beach and relax.
Eat: Thirty minutes outside of Sainte-Anne you’ll find La Rhumerie du Pirate, a restaurant located right on the water serving authentic Creole cuisine. Make sure to try Ti’Punch, the country’s local rum cocktail. Over on Terre-de-Haut, we advise you to have a meal at Hotel Kanoa’s restaurant. Also overlooking the ocean, this dreamy restaurant serves up fresh seafood, fresh French Caribbean fusion, and of course, fresh rum.
If you’re looking for plenty of action: Barbados
Stay: Aptly situated right on Crane Beach, The Crane Resort is touted as one of the oldest continuously operating hotels in the Caribbean. Its pools are amazing, of course, but whatever you do, don’t miss out on the property’s own Zagat-rated #1 for food in Barbados restaurant, Zen. Perched over the water, the Asian-inspired restaurant offers mouthwatering cuisine, with stunning decor and even better views.
Play: Submerge yourself on the Atlantis Submarine, which dives to depths of 130 feet—perfect for dry underwater exploration of the island’s amazing marine life.
For a more calming and peaceful experience, take a tour of Andromeda Garden with its bright, colorful flowers and Monet-esque ponds. For more adventure, take the signature tram tour at Harrison’s Cave, where you’ll be guided through the history and natural wonders of the cave, which include stalagmites, stalactites, and even a waterfall. Whether you’re a veteran or novice, Barry’s Surf School offers surfboard rentals, as well as lessons to those who need a helping hand riding the waves.
Eat: Make sure to head to Oistin’s Fish Fry on a Friday evening. The fresh-caught seafood and side dishes are amazing–think mahi mahi, swordfish, tuna, fly fish, and lobster–all grilled or fried right in front of you. (Make sure to accompany it with macaroni pie!)
If you’re looking for a wellness getaway: ST. LUCIA
Stay: The Body Holiday is a much-needed reprieve from everyday life. The all-inclusive resort focuses on all aspects of wellness— from rest and relaxation to fitness to restorative beauty. Every day you will receive a complimentary 50-minute session that can range from massages, facials, and body wraps to Thalasso Therapy. All of the six restaurants on property cater to nutritious-minded guests, and you can even get a customized menu arranged by a resident nutritionist prior to your arrival.
Play: Keep the wellness theme going with equal parts activity and equal parts relaxation. We recommend hiking the island. St. Lucia is famous for its pitons, two mountain peaks that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also called the Twin Mountains.
Known as Gros and Petit Piton, you can hike Gros Piton, the larger of the two, and take in magnificent views.
Eat: Just a three-minute drive from the hotel lies one of the island’s best restaurants—The Cliff at Cap. Serving up French West Indian-inspired dishes, with a focus on seasonal and local produce, this restaurant is always changing up the menu so you can expect something different on every visit. The views don’t hurt either—located on a tall, rocky bluff, you can see all the way to Martinique and nearby Pigeon Island.
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