The Best New Hotels and Resorts in the CaribbeanBy
Each of these islands features a refurbished classic and a brand-new resort.
An Icon Reborn: The colonial-style, all-inclusive Curtain Bluff (from $800) is known for its position at the summit of a narrow peninsula, with private access to two dreamy, white-sand beaches below. Since its renovation concluded in October, the property now offers plunge pools and outdoor daybeds for select suites.
The Splashy Debut: It only has 79 rooms, but the all-inclusive Hodges Bay Resort & Spa (from $409) packs a big punch. It arrives in July on powdery Hodges Bay, a mere 10 minutes from the airport. A kids pool and club cater to families, and a “rum sommelier” and rooftop tapas bar take care of adults.
An Icon Reborn: Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (from $999), is on a former Rockefeller estate that straddles the sand and jungle outside San Juan. It will reopen in October with a beachside omakase and ceviche bar, an expanded spa, and 300,000 plants on the plantation-style grounds.
The Splashy Debut: In March, San Juan’s ritzy Condado neighborhood welcomed Serafina Beach Hotel (from $299), the first hotel from the popular New York-based restaurant group. Each of the 96 breezy, whitewashed rooms comes with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the water.
An Icon Reborn: The island’s Moorish-inspired mainstay Belmond Cap Juluca (from $725) reopens in November with gleaming multiroom villas, an infinity pool, and a food truck that serves barbecue and rum drinks on the beach. Exclusive access to that mile-long stretch of sand feels especially VIP.
The Splashy Debut: It took 10 years to transform Quintessence Hotel (from $650), a gorgeous mansion on serene Long Bay Beach, into nine individually decorated suites—each with Hästens beds, Turkish marble bathrooms, and art from Haiti. Julians, the “island soul food” bistro, provides the local flavor.
An Icon Reborn: The 13 tropical villas of Oscar de la Renta’s only hotel, Tortuga Bay (from $795), is a predictably chic oasis in Punta Cana. A style upgrade comes from decorator Markham Roberts; tech amenities include preprogrammed smartphones to call your butler. A rare perk: You can swim at the hotel’s airport lounge.
The Splashy Debut: A new Royal Hideaway Hotel (from $112) has replaced El Embajador in a storied Santo Domingo property that appeared in The Godfather Part II. After a $40 million investment, it has 298 marble-clad rooms and 125,000 square feet of gardens.
An Icon Reborn: After its $75 million makeover wraps in November, Half Moon (from $273) will be completely reimagined. At the heart of the 400-acre, 64-year-old beachside classic is a proper country-club-like great house. And 57 rooms feature woven-rattan light fixtures and custom fabrics from painter Laura Hamilton.
The Splashy Debut: Tucked into a private cove minutes from Sangster International Airport, Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa (from $331) bowed in January with 206 spacious rooms. The additional 11 three-story villas are a worthy splurge, and a 30,000-square-foot spa offers a Jamaican River hot stone massage.
And while you’re there … Sienna Creasy, the group wellness director at Montego Bay’s Jewel Grande, has invented a workout that must be tried to be believed. Reggaelates is a mat-based mashup of Pilates and Jamaican dance. Start with moves such as the Tiger Walk, a gyrating three-legged dog; experts can try the Bubbling Camel or Hot Wok, a low squat with jazz hands. Yes, there’s plenty of Bob Marley, and you’ll sweat enough to work off last night’s red, red wine.
— With assistance by Katie James