Top 10 Caribbean Resorts
So you and the fam have decided to visit the Caribbean on your annual vacation, but you've never been and are looking for a resort experience that has something for everyone. Some places have the perfect beach, others feature world-class spas and pristine golf courses.
I’ve featured a few highlights from some of the Caribbean’s top resorts to help you, my dear reader, make the right choice for your next vacation. If you've visited any of the resorts mentioned below, please leave a comment with suggestions or things I might have missed in my descriptions. Enjoy!
Top Cribbean Resorts - Aruba Ocean Club
If you like your sand as white as snow then you’ll love Palm Beach. The resort’s staff actually sifts through it every morning to make sure it’s as fine as powder. For a family resort with lots to do, Aruba Ocean Club is a great choice. It has a full-service Mandara Spa, great pool, several restaurants, a Stellaris Casino next door, and lots of daily activities. There’s even an iguana feeding area, where kids (okay, and adults too) can feed the iguanas. Though I’m not much of a gambler myself, I always end up getting roped into it for the experience. One hand of Blackjack (well two or three, I must confess) is enough for me.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Aruba Surf Club
Next door, Aruba Surf Club has a marina with dive boats and fishing trawlers. But I also like hanging out on the lazy river, which flows between two pools. You may need to bring an inner tube, but a lot of times guests will leave them in the hallway before they check out. Staying at Aruba Surf also gives you access to all the amenities at Aruba Ocean Club.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Harborside Resort at Atlantis
Why is it that all the fun stuff in life has to be so crowded? Well, because people like the fun stuff. Luckily there’s a convenient loophole. Instead of staying inside the action, you can stay near the action. That’s where Harborside Atlantis comes in. The resort is like a quaint, Caribbean town right next to a family friendly version of Las Vegas. There is boutique shopping, a casino, dozens of restaurants, and an exotic aquarium just a quick shuttle ride down the road. Also, one of the world’s most innovative water parks is extremely close. Believe it or not, their lazy river is almost a mile long!
Top Caribbean Resorts - Marriott’s St. Kitts Beach Club
I’m an armchair adventure junky, definitely more of a day tripper than hardcore backpacker. That’s why Marriott’s St. Kitts Beach Club would be my perfect version of Into the Wild. St. Kitts feels like an adventure novel – tropical rainforests, hidden bays, an ancient volcano shrouded in clouds, the works – but instead of roughing it in the wilderness you’re at a world class resort. There’s a luxurious spa, championship golf, three swimming pools, a casino, and gourmet restaurants, all located at the resort or at Marriott’s nearby sister properties. But, don’t forget to take a day trip out to the secluded Shipwreck Beach – definitely worth the effort.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Morritt’s Tortuga Club
I don’t just like to get my feet wet, I like to dive. Morritt’s Tortuga has a fleet of dive boats that leaves the resort marina every morning and takes you to the world’s second largest reef. The water here is so clear that some say it’s like looking through a window. If snorkeling or scuba diving is not your thing, there’s also a submarine tour that people rave about. The resort has many types of equipment for rent at the dive shop and also provides windsurfing lessons.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach
Are you a swim-up barfly? Or maybe you’re a palapa pro. Between beach sitting, sunset dinners, and nightly dips in the pool, Divi Aruba is a classic Caribbean resort. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, hit up Pure Beach Bar later in the night for live music and karaoke.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Frenchman’s Cove
Staying at Frenchman’s Cove is like having your own private beach in the Virgin Islands. Located in a secluded cove, you can enjoy snorkeling and a water trampoline just off shore. But what I like most about St. Thomas is being able to island hop. The harbor is a short drive down the road from where you can catch a ferry to nearby St. John. If you want to take it slower and just appreciate the ocean, you can charter a catamaran across the channel. Once on St. John, I’d highly recommend swimming with the stingrays at Trunk Bay.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Costa Linda Beach Resort
“You can’t get a prettier beach with close proximity to beach bar, the pool, the room and coffee shop,” said one guest at Costa Linda. Yes, a great cup of morning coffee can make a big difference, even on vacation. I love the fresh morning feeling before a big day of relaxing and swimming. Costa Linda is great because it’s in Aruba, but on the less crowded Manchebo Beach.
Top Caribbean Resorts - La Cabana Beach and Casino
Live music begins every afternoon at 4 pm, and kicks off happy hour with 2-for-1 drinks. There are actually two happy hours, one from 4 - 6 pm, and another from 10 - 11 pm. La Cabana Beach Resort and Casino hosts daily bingo, casino games, squash, racquetball, tennis, and a tapas restaurant. Be sure to check out Las Ramblas, serving fresh fish and meat grilled over a charcoal fire, along with live music.
Top Caribbean Resorts - Westin St. John Resort & Villas
I can’t think of anything better after a long day of travel, than something free, delicious, and refreshing. Upon arrival at the Westin St. John, guests receive a glass of either rum punch or fresh juice. And that’s while you check-in. The resort has a nice pool and a decent beach, but you should really take advantage of being on St. John. Most of the Island is a national park and roads are mostly well-maintained. The main town of Cruz Bay is a few minutes away by car. The gorgeous beaches of Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Hawkness are also a must.