Five of the best romantic hotels
Candlelit dinners, a private pool, a secret beach just for the two of you… Why not celebrate St Valentine’s Day with an escape to one of these dreamy Caribbean boltholes?
Secret Bay, Dominica
BEST FOR A sexy escape
Where Ross Blvd, north-west coast
RATES From $475
INFO 767 445 4444; www.secretbay.dm
Secret Bay was founded upon romance. Dominica-born Gregor Nassief fell in love with Secret Beach as a child and dreamed of one day living on the land above. This dream was brought to fruition when his father-in-law, celebrated architect Fruto Vivas, gave Gregor and his new wife Sandra a villa blueprint as a wedding gift.
The resort comprises a clutch of dreamy villas, perched on the cliffs above Secret Bay’s two golden beaches. They are heavenly havens, with sunset-facing bathtubs, private outdoor showers and private plunge pools. In-villa dining, inclusive of a special aphrodisiac menu, can be accompanied by a one-man jazz band. And at any point during your stay, a ‘red flag’ can be lowered to ensure complete privacy.
The rooms are gorgeous. But it’s worth dragging yourself away, to have a couple’s massage or try couple’s yoga, to go night snorkelling, sunset sailing or forest bathing, or to take a waterfall-hike, just the two of you.
Cap Maison, St Lucia
BEST FOR Super sunsets
Where Smugglers Cove Drive, Cap Estate
RATES Doubles from US$365pn
INFO 758 457 8670; www.capmaison.com
This boutique villa resort teeters on the northernmost tip of St Lucia with the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the feistier Atlantic Ocean to the other. Views in every direction are out of this world.
A Spanish-Caribbean aesthetic flows throughout the 49 beautiful suites, which employ natural materials and vibrant colours. Some rooms have views of the tropical gardens or the sea, though most indulgent are the Ocean View Villa Suites with Pool & Roof Terrace – as well as big bathtubs, massive master bedrooms and huge verandas, you get your own private pool.
Cap Maison offers couple’s spa treatments, and has just introduced a new Sunset Moments package, the ultimate romantic experience. Lovers can choose where they’d like to watch the sinking sun: perhaps sitting on Pigeon Island viewpoint with a picnic; maybe aboard the resort’s luxury motor yacht; or maybe an intimate dinner on Rock Maison, a wooden deck perched out at sea where drinks are delivered by zipline from the bar above.
Keyonna Beach, Antigua
BEST FOR Perfect privacy
Where Turner’s Beach, Johnson’s Point
RATES From US$380pn
INFO 268 562 8880; www.keyonnabeachresortantigua.com
Want to escape from the world together? The Keyonna Beach is an ideal spot. This glorious resort, sequestered on a long white beach on Antigua’s south-west coast, is for adults only. It also has just 24 cottages and rooms, each with a king-size four-poster bed, each with its own private balcony or veranda, each with a spectacular view of the sea. This intimate set-up means you don’t have to see another soul if you don’t want to – though the staff are a delight, and always happy to mix you a refreshing cocktail or two.
Most romantic are the Beach Front Plunge Pool Cottages. These tumble straight onto the squeaky-white sand and have small private pools, Bali beds and beach loungers, and ‘his and hers’ outdoor showers. There are no TVs or radios – instead you can listen to the waves and melt into the authentic Antigua-luxe experience.
Dinners here are divine too. A new initiative for 2016 was the visiting chef programme, which saw UK chefs – many of whom have worked in Michelin-starred restaurants – flex their expertise on the local ingredients. The initiative will continue to bring over star chefs on a regular basis, keeping Keyonna’s menu fresh and delicious.
Peter Island Resort, BVI
BEST FOR your own isle
Where Peter Island
RATES From US$450
INFO 616 458 6767; www.peterisland.com
Peter Island is 1,800 acres of unspoiled tropical paradise that was once frequented by the likes of Columbus and Blackbeard, and is now home to a luxurious resort. Only a sixth of the island has been developed, leaving plenty of lush wildness. The area that has been developed has been done so sensitively. There are just 53 classy rooms, suites and villas dotted amid the palms and by the sea. There’s also a blissful spa, where you can have an Ayurvedic treatment, luxuriate in the beach-side Jacuzzi or enjoy a couple’s massage in an open-air hut.
If you’re feeling active and amorous, take a sunrise hike together – it’s a five mile loop around the island, with breathtaking views. Or how about a day of sailing aboard the resort’s yacht, complete with your own captain and cook? Or, for the ultimate romantic experience, reserve Honeymoon Beach for a morning. You’ll have the entire stretch of sand to yourselves – just you, your beloved… and a resort phone, so you can call for a champagne lunch!
Le Jardin Malanga, Guadeloupe
BEST FOR Getting back to nature together
Where Trois Rivières 97114, Basse-Terre
RATES From US$133pppn
INFO 1 4256 4698; www.jardinmalanga.com
This French West Indies hideaway, nestled on a former coffee plantation, at the base of an extinct volcano, offers a slice of heritage-luxe. The centrepiece is a characterful 1920s house, with a cool wooden veranda offering far-reaching views to the surrounding isles. Between the main house and three nearby cottages there are just 12 guest bedrooms, so the vibe is wonderfully intimate – a home-from-home. All are rustic-chic, with big beds and big windows.Perhaps the biggest draw, though, is the garden, a lush profusion of palms, flowers and lemon, orange and grapefruit trees.
If these make you hungry, fear not. Owner Julien Lucas is a classically trained chef, and previously worked at the Alain Ducasse Eiffel Tower restaurant in Paris. Expect delectable Creole and French dishes that use plenty of local produce, from seasonal vegetables to fresh fish. Or opt to have a picnic of artisan bread, cheese and wine delivered to your room, with views over the gorgeous garden to the sea.