With its crystalline turquoise waters and powdered sands, the islands of the Caribbean are a perennial favorite among honeymooners. The region beckons with lazy days, water sports à go-go and fruity rum punch, but we understand that settling on a single island may seem a bit constricting.
Why not jump around? Go island hopping and you’ll double your enjoyment and choice of beaches. And it’s easy to do: You can go by ferry, prop plane, even helicopter. The trick is finding islands that are conveniently close, but different enough in vibe that it feels like an adventure. Here are our top picks, whether you have two weeks or a day.
Photo courtesy of Cap Juluca
If You Have Two Weeks:
It’s said that time is the biggest luxury we have, but we think a gorgeous hotel comes in a close second. Indulge in both by spending a long, lazy honeymoon at two of the Caribbean’s sexiest resorts.
Start on Anguilla
Arriving to the tiny island takes some maneuvering (you need to connect by boat via neighboring St. Martin) but it’s well worth it, for the pristine beaches and unparalleled luxury service. Cap Juluca is the island’s most iconic hotel, a striking display of white Moorish-style architecture fronting one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches. Rooms are oversized and airy, with plantation-shuttered doors that open to wide patios or balconies facing the sea. Opt for the oceanfront luxury category and you’ll find another sweet perk: an oversized bathroom with an adjacent open-roofed solarium for private sunning.
There’s tennis onsite and golf five minutes away, but most couples stick close to home, enjoying the water and retreating back to their umbrella-covered chairs when the sun gets too high. Come evening, reserve a table steps from the crashing waves at Pimm’s, set on a promontory that juts into the sea. When it’s time for sightseeing, hire a taxi for a tour of the island’s art galleries or hit the friendly beach bars in Sandy Ground (room rates start at $495 a night; capjuluca.com).
Photo courtesy of Belmond
Hop to St. Martin
A ferry runs the 25 minutes from Anguilla to the Caribbean’s only dual-nation island: St. Maarten/St. Martin. (The former is annexed by the Netherlands; the latter is a territory of France). Keep the luxury going when you check into La Samanna. This 81-room Belmond hotel is located on the French side of island, yet close to the Dutch border so it’s an ideal spot to enjoy both. All of the rooms and suites here have patios or balconies facing the long, tawny Baie Longue beach. Upgrade to Baie royale suite, and you’ll have three balconies and a private plunge pool.
Dining is an event at Trellis, where Caribbean-influenced French cuisine is paired with selections from one of the region’s best wine cellars. When you want to explore the island, take a taxi to Dutch St. Maarten for casino gaming and duty-free shopping on Front Street in Phillipsburg, or head into Marigot for art galleries and the best pastries this side of Paris at Serafina’s (room rates start at $445 a night; lasamanna.com).