Your own sun-drenched islet afloat in turquoise waters, fringed with talcum-soft sand and studded with swaying palms. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. You can have all of the above — plus five beaches, three hiking trails and all the food and drink you can consume — at this private-island resort lying south of St. Vincent, north of Grenada and smack in the center of paradise.
Granted, it requires effort to reach the 135-acre outpost (formerly Prune Island, until American adventurer John “Johnny Coconut” Caldwell leased it from St. Vincent, drained the swamps, planted coconut trees and renamed it the infinitely more evocative Palm). What should be a quick hop from Miami turns out to be a 10-hour odyssey necessitating two planes, a golf cart and a boat. But all is forgotten the instant you glimpse Palm’s cinematically stunning profile and the retinue gathered on the dock to receive you, tropical drinks and chilled towels in hand. They’ll whisk you to your beach-view suite, but with an entire island at your disposal, you won’t be spending much time there.
Instead you’ll busy yourself with gentle hikes (on a clear day, you can see Carriacou and Bequia from the Cactus Hill trail), biking through the coconut grove, snorkeling or perhaps a day trip to the neighboring 3-square-mile metropolis of Union Island. Or not.
More likely you’ll be seduced by the waves’ constant rhythm into impromptu naps in beach hammocks. You’ll rouse yourself for nothing more strenuous than an ocean dip or afternoon tea on the terrace. And when you’re offered what is surely the world’s freshest water coconut, plucked from one of the island’s 1,852 palms and laced with Vincy rum, you’ll eagerly accept, raising a grateful toast to Johnny Coconut and his Caribbean dream. —Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
From $725, 866-237-2157; palmislandresortgrenadines.com
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Jumby Bay, Antigua
Accessible only by boat, this 300-acre, 40-room enclave two miles north of the “big” island wins raves reviews for its tranquil ambience and flawless round-the-clock service. No crowds, no room keys, no problem.
From $995, 888-767-3966; rosewoodhotels.com
Petit St. Vincent, the Grenadines
Complete privacy — plus thoughtful touches, such as cookies delivered daily — impressed us just as much as 115-acre PSV’s feature attractions: 22 chic cottages, five beaches, a spanking new beach club, and a hillside spa offering muscle-melting Southeast Asian therapies.
From $1,050, 954-963-7401; petitstvincent.com
Royal Belize, Belize
You’ll be the only (lucky) guests on this seven-acre outpost off Belize’s rugged coast, where a single three-bedroom villa is serviced by a solicitous team of six, and the pricey-but-worth-it rate covers everything from water sports to Wi-Fi to wine.
From $2,500, 501-610-1701; privatevacationisland.com
Peter Island Resort & Spa, BVI
Guests do have to shell out extra for drinks at this Virgin Islands honeymoon haven, but almost everything else here is covered, including meals, personal butler service and stunning views of both the Caribbean and Atlantic coast.
From $355 per person, 800-346-4451; peterisland.com