Above All Expectations - Caribbean Resorts. Some travel for immersive experiences, others to enjoy luxurious surroundings. But what if you could have both? A handful of visionary Caribbean hoteliers are pushing boundaries like never before, offering over-water bungalows and treehouses for grownups.
Words by Lindsay Thompson
SECRET BAY, DOMINICA
Peeking above the forest canopy on Dominica’s north shore, Secret Bay simultaneously immerses guests in the island’s rich biodiversity and envelops them in blissful elegance.
The six stunning tree-house style villas are beautifully designed, offering far-reaching views through floor to ceiling windows, state of the art kitchens and outdoor showers. Add to this swaying hammocks, private plunge pools and the jungle soundtrack and you may well have all you need; if not, there’s a beach, a restaurant, a spa and a wellness pavilion for your indulgence.www.secretbay.dm
ARUBA OCEAN VILLAS, ARUBA
Aruba’s first Tahitian-style over-the-water bungalows have quietly made their debut on the island’s south coast. Located on an idyllic white sand beach, the artist owner has created an intimate little hideaway, with quirky surprises at every turn: bamboo-screened showers where water pours from conch shells, dining pavilions set over the sea, and lush landscaped gardens dotted with art installations. Each bungalow is different and furnished with an eclectic collection of mosquito net-draped beds, free-standing baths and hardwood antiques – but all have wraparound decks where one can relax in perfect seclusion.www.arubaoceanvillas.com
KANOPI HOUSE, JAMAICA
Hidden amongst 100-foot tall banyan trees deep in the Jamaican rainforest is a cluster of luxurious treehouses that redefine green living. Constructed from local, renewable materials without felling a single tree, all are beautifully designed with louvered walls opening up to views of the treetops. Furnished with hand-carved beds, decorated with paintings by island artists, and serving home cooked food, Kanopi House is a celebration of Jamaica’s nature and culture. Ideal for adventure- seekers, it’s well off the beaten path, but a stroll through towering bamboos and ginger lilies brings you to the Blue Lagoon – a perfect swimming hole and base for watersports activities.www.kanopihouse.com
SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN, ST. LUCIA
Situated on a private peninsula, Sandals Grande St. Lucian offers the ultimate seaside escape with a collection of palapa-thatched bungalows on stilts, stretching into a calm blue bay. Glass panels in the floor are perfect for watching aquatic life from your king size bed, open air decks feature built-in hammocks suspended over the sea and double soaking tubs for bathing under the stars. With a fully stocked bar and bistro set in-room, attentive butler service, 24-hour room service and spa therapists that come to you, there is no need to leave this earthly paradise for the duration of your stay.www.sandals.com