Photo courtesy of Amanresorts
If you’re not an actual celebrity, walking down the aisle is an amazing approximation: the team of handlers behind the scenes, the hours of getting ready, the big entrance, the throngs of expectant fans — and lordy, those cameras at every turn! And you know what? A girl could get used to that life. Or at least she could relish the part about being ridiculously well tended to. So keep it going through the honeymoon: At these Caribbean resorts — each a favorite among for-real celebs — the service, gorgeousness and romance are so off the charts, you’ll be totally starstruck, whether you have TMZ-worthy sightings or not.
Even Padma Lakshmi has confessed to being starstruck here: “Oh my God,” she tweeted from Aman’s 36-pavilion, 20-villa resort on the island of Providenciales. “Prince is playing our New Year’s Party! Dream come true!!!” But in fact, Amanyara is dreamy no matter who’s around — as befits a spot whose name means “peace place.” The profusion of Asia-inspired architecture and infinity pools — set against T&C’s signature snow-white sand and transparent aqua sea — only adds to the east-meets-west vibe. And you’ll feel like you’re in a full-on sanctuary at the spa, with its seemingly floating yoga villa and massive reflecting pool. The onsite Nature Discovery Centre, with resident naturalist, offers great eco-hikes and paddling excursions — and also sets up not-to-be-missed kayaking and snorkeling trips. You won’t believe how much you’ll see once you’re in — or on the surface of — these waters (room rates start at $1,300 a night and include airport transfers, minibar and more; amanresorts.com).
Photo courtesy of Amanresorts
Kate Moss was clearly taken by the romance of this sweet Ocho Rios hotel: One of the in-house cocktails, the lime-y, bubbly French 76, inspired the “Kate 76” she served at her own wedding. And you’ll probably develop a taste for the property’s other potions as well: Two of them — the Planter’s Punch and Blended Fruit Punch — flow freely (in every sense) at the private, 700-foot crescent of a beach. When you’re not lounging under a palapa with a cocktail in hand, you’ll want to hit the warm, barely wavy waters — whether for a swim, kayak outing or sail. For what little time you do spend indoors, consider the famed Cottage 7 (where Rupert Everett, among others, has stayed): a two-story, seaview hideaway with a private infinity plunge pool that’s rivaled only by the private cove. Even the least expensive of the resort’s 52 suites and cottages offer sweeping views of the water, beach and mountains (room rates start at $310 a night and are all-inclusive; jamaicainn.com).
Photo courtesy of Jamaica Inn
When Gwyneth Paltrow posts the extremely rare vacation shot of her kids — and calls the backdrop “heaven” — on her website, you know the place can’t be half bad. And in fact, heaven isn’t much of an exaggeration in the case of this beachfront property. Picture a jungle-cloaked volcanic peak — one of the island’s famed Pitons — that anchors a stretch of white sand and cerulean water, plus a cluster of 78 extremely private rooms, villas and bungalows with views of all of the above. Oh yeah, and butler service, plunge pools and devastatingly chic interiors. There’s also an onsite PADI center and all kinds of water sports. But arguably the best part is the Rainforest Spa, with its tree-house treatment rooms, volcanically heated watsu pool for couples and decadent, all-natural offerings (room rates start at $800 a night; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com).
Photo courtesy of Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
Photo courtesy of Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Every kind of notable — from presidents to P. Diddy — has escaped to this Orient-Express resort on shimmery, sugary Baie Longue (so much more sonorous than the rough translation: Long Beach). With 83 rooms, suites and villas occupying 55 beachfront acres, La Samanna is the only hotel on this stretch of the island, so guests have full run of the beautiful beach. And while frolicking in the water is mandatory, the liquid turquoise is also worth taking in from a balcony hot tub or from a sumptuous sofa bed set in one of the bamboo, thatch-roofed beach cabanas. And as the premiere address on the French- speaking side of the island, the place has a gastronomic rep to maintain. One of the A-listiest ways to experience the resulting deliciousness is to book a private dinner in La Cave, the resort’s 12,000-bottle wine cellar (room rates start at $800 a night; lasamanna.com).
Photo courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
Where does James Bond — okay, Daniel Craig — go to get off the grid? This lush private island resort that’s so secluded, there are no room keys. Other things the 22 guest cottages don’t have: phones, TVs and internet access, though if you really need it, you can pick up a signal by the bar. Try to refrain, however, because dropping out together on a tropical island is pretty much the height of romance. And should you find your- selves hungry during your island explorations, unlimited room service delivery to anywhere you desire — yes, anywhere — is included in your stay. Want to eat on a pier? Or a peak? No problem. On the other hand, your driftwood-furnished, aqua-accented accommodations offer great dining views, too. In the resort’s public areas, watch the shoreline for A-list invaders: The Grenadines are a sailor’s playground, so the occasional celeb will dock off Petit St. Vincent and come onshore to eat, drink and spa (room rates start at $1,100 a night and are all-inclusive; petitstvincent.com).
Photo Credit: Charles Carroll
The very definition of highborn, this 166- room hotel began life in 1956 as a Laurance Rockefeller property and has lured endless bold-face names — the Jolie-Pitt clan, for example — ever since. They come as much for the nature (Rockefeller created a 5,000-acre conservancy that grew into a national park) as for the luxury, and the dual draws coexist quite happily, whether in the form of donkeys and deer that graze on the grounds, or sea turtles and rays that patrol the waters of the property’s beaches, or dolphins that leap on cue while you’re having sundowners on your wooden deck. But back to those beaches. There are seven of them — a buffet of snorkel- ing ops — and Scott Beach, home to the aforementioned turtles and rays, is just the appetizer. When you’re looking for something more romantic than snorkeling à deux, try a candlelit dinner among sugar plantation ruins that predate even Rockefeller on this land (room rates start at $480 a night; caneelbay.com).
Photo courtesy of Caneel Bay
Any given celeb is just John Q public on this disproportionately star-spangled little island, so even those who normally travel with bodyguards and entourages go without on Saint Barths. Not to be outdone, the local hotels are world- famous, too. And one of the most legendary, the Guanahani Hotel & Spa, (whose guest book includes Chris O’Donnell, Patrick Dempsey and Jon Bon Jovi), is more gorgeous than ever after a lavish renovation. The rooms’ pink, purple, yellow and blue accents — offset by white walls and dark wood floors — rival the vibrancy of the surrounding water. But once you factor in the rainbow of kite surfing sails that glide by — and you can get instruction right outside your front door, if you’d like — the Caribbean wins the color wars. If you don’t want to take up kite surfing, there’s still plenty to choose from: Non-motorized water sports are included in the cost of your stay. And while there’s not a non-romantic square inch on the property, consider staying in the Wellness Suite, the only one that’s attached to the spa. So once the treatment rooms close for the night, the spa pool area becomes your private playground. Wherever you stay, know that the chef can prepare an over-the-top romantic dinner there — or on the beach (room rates start at $390 a night; leguanahani.com).
What do the Beckhams have in common with Hugh Grant, Rihanna — and, oh, a billion other big names? A love of this 112-room resort that was opened in the 1960s — but with a decidedly 1760s aesthetic (think columns, marble, fountains, meticulous landscaping, grand staircases and massive stone walls). And while the service within those walls is stellar, the attention on the beach is the stuff of legend: the Evian misting; the sunglass cleaning; the dude handing you a towel as you emerge from the water — and he’s not even your husband. Another huge draw: the 18-hole Green Monkey, carved out of an old limestone quarry by golf god Tom Fazio. The 47,000-square-foot spa is just as spectacular. Enjoy the signature romance ritual, a couples’ treatment that includes a rose-petal foot soak in a candlelit room, side-by-side full-body massage — and treats and drinks by a private hydrotherapy pool (room rates start at $840 a night; sandylane.com).