With so many hotels opening in the islands over the next 12 months, 2020 just may be the year to find your favorite resort. From Antigua to Belize, from intimate boutiques to sprawling all-inclusive resorts and private islands, we’ve checked out the Caribbean class of 2020 and selected 10 newbies worth checking into.
Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski, Dominica
Until now, “The Nature Island” was typically known more for its stunning landscape than luxurious accommodations. But that changed last December when Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica, the island’s first five-star resort, debuted on its northwest coast.
With 151 plush rooms and suites (some with their own pools), three restaurants, four pools, and a spa where you can bathe in reputedly healing mud from the ruggedly beautiful island’s 10 volcanoes, it’s a decidedly deluxe basecamp for your island adventures.
Caerula Mar Club, Bahamas
Andros is the largest in the Bahamas’ archipelago of 700 islands but also the least inhabited. So, if you’re searching for a truly secluded getaway, consider Caerula Mar Club, an 18-suite, six-villa family-run boutique, which opens on South Andros in February and is just a 20-minute flight from Nassau.
Spend your days diving the world’s third-largest barrier reef, bone fishing on the Bahama Bank, or as we would—lazing on the beach with an ice-cold “switcha” (Bahamian lemonade) in hand.
Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda, Dominican Republic
The company that invented the all-inclusive resort back in 1950 unveils its newest in the Caribbean this spring. On the D.R.’s north coast, about a 90-minute drive from Punta Cana, Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda’s 335 rooms are spread across four “villages,” two of which are adults-only.
Other features we’re excited about: its 2,000-foot-long stretch of beach, proximity to Salta La Jalda (the Caribbean’s tallest waterfall), and Montaña Redonda, which boasts an Instagrammable swing at its peak.
Hammock Cove, Antigua
In a region dominated by all-inclusive resorts, it takes a lot to stand out. But this adults-only newbuild, open since last December near Antigua’s Devil’s Bridge National Park, aspires to do just that.
On offer at Hammock Cove: 42 swanky waterfront villas with plunge pools, a Michelin-trained chef at the helm of its two restaurants and three bars, and a team of “guest ambassadors” who act as personal assistants, delivering everything from breakfast in bed to poolside cocktails.
Keep an eye out for the Tunnel Gallery, a revolving underground installation of Caribbean art in a walkway that links one side of the property to the other.
Koi Resort Saint Kitts, St Kitts
This Hilton by Curio hotel debuted last December on Half Moon Bay, offering “local programming, global cuisine, and Asian-inspired design” (“koi” means love in Japanese). With amenities that include an oceanfront pool, the full-service Kaya spa, and Koi Japanese restaurant, the 102-room Koi Resort Saint Kitts is the latest opening in one of the Caribbean’s fastest growing tourist destinations.
Its prime location next to the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club makes it ideal for golf getaways. And it’s a convenient base for a day trip to sister island of Nevis, only a 30-minute ferry ride away.
Margaritaville Beach Resort at the Pointe, Bahamas
Parrotheads rejoice! By the end of the year you’ll be able to live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle in Nassau, where the resort will be the centerpiece of Margaritaville at the Pointe, a seven-acre residential complex on the Bahamian capital’s harbor.
We’re still awaiting details about the 300-room playground (which includes more than 100 rental residences), but word has it there’ll also be a Fins Up water park, several Margaritaville-themed restaurants and bars, and a St. Somewhere Spa.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, Mexico
Want to “vacation like a star?” As of May, you’ll be able to at the newest Planet Hollywood Caribbean resort (there’s also one in Costa Rica), where the whole family can relax like celebrities amid Hollywood memorabilia.
A whopping 898 suites, 21 restaurants and bars, four pools, a lazy river and a surf simulator are among the larger-than-life features of the newbuild in Costa Mujeres, just north of Cancun. Looking for a grown-up getaway? Adult Scene, the 380-room resort-within-a-resort, might be just the ticket.
Ray Caye Island Resort, Belize
Off the coast of Placencia, the seven-acre private island resort formerly known as Hatchet Caye was reimagined and relaunched in January as an eco-friendly retreat running entirely on solar energy. A total of 20 new villas, rooms, and suites at Ray Caye Island Resort feature plunge pools, marble-clad bathrooms, and 360-degree water views.
Snorkelers and divers can explore the waters surrounding Belize’s barrier reef (the world’s second-largest). And in the unlikely event that you tire of Ray, take a day trip over to Moho Caye, a nearby uninhabited palm-fringed idyll where you can live your castaway fantasies.
Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa, Antigua
Grab your gang and enjoy a family getaway on the shores of Deep Bay, where this all-inclusive newbie, which opened last summer, has practically every amenity you could desire. Among them: six restaurants, a brew house, 24-hour room service, a casino, and a kids’ club.
Of Royalton Antigua’s 294 rooms, the adults-only overwater bungalows (Antigua’s first), complete with glass floors, private plunge pools, and concierge service, are the most coveted category.
Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa, Grenada
When it opens in March, Royalton’s newest Caribbean roost (the renovated and expanded former Starfish Hotel) will be the largest on the “Spice Island,” with 269 suites on a beachfront property near Magazine Bay.
Guests can enjoy unlimited, reservation-free dining at eight specialty restaurants (including Royalton’s first French bistro), 24-hour room service, complimentary non-motorized water sports, and a spa.