Hot hotels near airports
Want a retreat that’s classy, comfortable and incredibly convenient? Pick one of these super stays right by the runway, says Joe Shooman
1 Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa, Grenada
Best for… Easy-access, all inclusive
Where: Pink Gin Beach, St George’s
Room rates: FROM US$290 pppn
Info: +1 473 437 8000; www.sandals.com
There are 257 rooms and suites at the newest Sandals in the Caribbean, generously spread across four different on-property villages. Free non-stop round-trip airport transfers ensure that the five-minute journey is painless, whichever you’re staying in.
This all-inclusive complex has a huge range of facilities: abundant land and water sports, state-of-the-art fitness centre, spa, ten different restaurants and six full-service bars where you can enjoy unlimited premium spirits.
There are also various room categories. Top-end suites include the Italian Oceanview, which comes with king-sized bed, a private and solar-heated infinity plunge pool, wet bar, Carrara marble in the bathroom and Kohler claw-footed tubs. The South Seas Grande Rondoval Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary boasts a spectacular conical ceiling, a solid-stone bath, a whirlpool with waterfall and sublime isolation. Keep an eye out for sales and promotions to find the best rates at this plush all-inclusive.
2 Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, Sint Maarten
Best for… Dramatic views
Where: 1A Rhine Road, Maho Bay
Room rates: From US$377
Info: +1 721 545 3100; www.sonesta.com
This adults-only all-inclusive resort is situated within walking distance of Princess Juliana International Airport, and the view is certainly dramatic as a result. Floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows look onto Maho Beach and the planes coming in to land, seemingly within touching distance.
The Sonesta Ocean Point Resort has four bars, an outdoor rooftop lounge and three pools – including the Edge, a private beach pool that teeters on the cliffside. Head to the huge fitness facility for personal training and coaching classes, or relax in the Serenity Spa, a calming retreat of dark wood and low lighting with eight treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms. For more action, hit the vast Casino Royale, which offers 22 gaming tables. There’s also a weekly Vegas-style theatre show.
All 130 suites have ocean views and feature Italian Modena porcelain floors plus Greek marble bathrooms, safes, flat screen satellite TV and free WiFi. There’s 24-hour room service and, for the top-category suites, personalised concierge and butler service.
3 Ocean Terrace Inn, St Kitts
Best for… Reliable comfort
Where: 3 Wigley Ave, Fortlands
Room rates: From US$176
Info: +1 869 465 2754; www.oceanterraceinn.com
A swift seven-minute drive from the airport, the handily placed and always-popular Ocean Terrace Inn celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. An intimate four-star boutique hotel, it’s situated high up the hillside, giving sweeping views over lush terraces. A free shuttlebus is available to take you to nearby beaches, or you can stay on site and loll by the lagoon pool.
This intimate resort has 34 rooms. Smart Superior rooms have either garden or ocean views; each has a balcony and patio, free WiFi, office desks and air-con. Plushest are the Ocean Terrace Suites, which have private furnished patios, granite counters in the bathrooms (with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries), wet bars and separate living rooms.
A boardroom and conference room are available, and there’s a gym, yoga classes, 24-hour security, doctor on call and many other facilities.
4 Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino, Puerto Rico
Best for… Casino nights
Where: 8000 Tartak Street, Carolina, San Juan
Room rates: From US$202
Info: +1 787 791 0505; www.embassysuites3.hilton.com
Just a couple of blocks from Isla Verde Beach and yet mere minutes from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, the Embassy Suites offers the best of both worlds. Its Business Centre has all the amenities needed for keeping up with work. But it’s set up for fun, too, with a spa, playground, lagoon-style pool, video arcade and fitness room.
A big attraction is the epic Oasis Casino. This boasts 286 slot machines, plus seven gaming tables at which blackjack, roulette and three-card poker feature – there’s even bingo. Complimentary cocktails are served, and there’s live entertainment in the Oasis Lounge every Friday to Sunday.
As the name suggests, this is an all-suite hotel: every room has a private bedroom and separate living room with a dining/work area and sofa bed. WiFi is free, as are made-to-order breakfasts.
5 Karibea Valmeniere Hotel, Martinique
Best for… Business
Where: Avenue des Arawaks, Fort-de-France
Room rates: From US$90
Info: +596 596 757575; www.karibea.com
With a sea view on one side and the whole city of Fort-de-France on the other, this hilltop hotel is brilliantly situated – and only 6km from the airport. Its proximity to the Lamentin area is also a bonus for business travellers in particular.
The hotel’s 120 rooms are spread over seven floors. Comfort rooms are spacious and are equipped with free WiFi, desks, satellite TV and Digis network telephones. The Superior rooms also include tea, coffee, light snacks and, as they’re on the upper floors, offer the best views. Six modular, flexible meeting rooms feature natural light from large bay windows – so there’s direct access to the outdoors.
For relaxation, you can enjoy La Saphir Spa and the Rooftop panoramic terrace on the ninth floor, where you’ll also find the solarium and Jacuzzi, and there’s an infinity pool one floor below. Le Dome restaurant serves up Creole and classic dishes. Deals at the resort include early booking discounts and 20% reductions for stays longer than three nights.