The Best Boutique Hotels in the Caribbean

St Lucia is a paradise destination with a white-sand beach and turquoise water
St Lucia is a paradise destination with a white-sand beach and turquoise water | © Simon Dannhauer / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tamarin Fountain
14 January 2021

The Caribbean islands are a dreamy collection of sun-soaked nations with tropical beaches and vibrant culture. Deciding you should visit is easy; exactly where to go is less so. Dream vacations are to be had from Barbados to Jamaica, from Grenada to Haiti and everywhere in between. Make your holiday extra special by eschewing the large resorts for a boutique hotel; here are the best of them.

Hodelpa Gran Almirante Hotel, Dominican Republic

Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Hodelpa Gran Almirante / Booking.com

A Caribbean city break need not be a contradiction in terms when you stay at the Hodelpa Gran Almirante. Located in the centre of Santiago de los Caballeros, the hotel has a second-floor pool with urban views from its canopied daybeds, rather than overlooking a beach or jungle. It’s close to nightlife, shops and eateries, and there’s also an on-site tapas bar, breakfast buffet and 24-hour room service, perfect for post-partying sustenance. With 153 bedrooms, it’s at the larger end of the boutique hotel spectrum.

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Sweetfield Manor, Barbados

Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Sweetfield Manor / Expedia

Crafted from limestone and pinewood, Sweetfield Manor was once the home of Barbadian merchant families. It’s now a faithfully restored boutique with lush landscaped gardens and an outdoor spa where massages and yoga take place. An al fresco courtyard houses Pavão, a Caribbean and international fine-dining venue, while the rooms are split between the historic manor and its outer buildings. When you’re not chilling in the lagoon pool, head to Carlisle Bay, home to water sports and snorkelling.

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Karibe Hotel, Haiti

Boutique Hotel, Apartment
Map View
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Courtesy of Karibe Hotel / Booking.com

Designed by local architects and artists, the Karibe Hotel is found in quiet Juvenat, around a 40-minute drive south of capital city Port-au-Prince and 10 minutes from Pétion-Ville. The 174 rooms include long-stay apartments and there’s a jungle spa, a fitness centre offering muscle-boosting classes and a Creole-inspired fusion restaurant. The rooftop lounge is a nightlife spot after dark and a place to recline by day, with a pool overlooking the city centre, mountain range and bay area.

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Rabot Hotel, St Lucia

Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Rabot Hotel / Expedia

The Rabot Hotel sits on an organic, sustainable cacao farm in St Lucia. Guests are accommodated in 14 private ecolodges with four-poster beds and inside-outside architecture providing a meditative rainforest experience. The property is part of the Hotel Chocolat chain, which means guests can create their own chocolate bars from the estate beans, or indulge in cacao spa treatments.

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Golden Rock Inn, Nevis

Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Golden Rock Nevis / Booking.com

This early 19th-century cut stone mill provides 11 rustic bedrooms with exposed walls and pops of vibrant colour set over two storeys. Spread across a large area of high hillside, the verdant artist-designed gardens contain a green freshwater pool. Guests can dine on fresh local fish and lobster at the Rocks restaurant, either within the garden enclosure or on a deck facing the seafront. Keep your eye out for the resident green vervet monkeys and hummingbirds.

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Little Arches Boutique Hotel, Barbados

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Little Arches Boutique Hotel Barbados / Expedia
Miami Beach, Barbados, is home to the adults-only Little Arches Boutique Hotel. Inspired by Mediterranean architecture, the intimate 10-room retreat is lined with terracotta tiles, along with local pottery murals. There’s a freshwater pool that glows with green lighting at night and a dining terrace overlooking the bordering white-sand beach. Guests can book yoga classes, borrow the hotel bicycles, take a catamaran ride or try water sports. There’s also a mini spa, as well as a weekly manager’s cocktail party.
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  • Petite Anse Hotel, Grenada

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Petite Anse Hotel / Booking.com

    The fertile fruit, vegetable and kitchen gardens of the Petite Anse Hotel provide ingredients for the on-site farm-to-table restaurant. Owners Philip and Annie Clift have created a cottage-style resort with guided walks held every Sunday, followed by a barbecue luncheon. A stream runs through the estate, alongside a tropical pond and pool, with plenty of idyllic nooks and crannies, making it a popular choice for weddings, honeymoons and romantic breaks.

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    True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, Grenada

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of True Blue Bay Resort / Expedia

    This eco-friendly resort is in the capital, St George’s, just five minutes’ drive from the airport and 10 minutes from Grand Anse Beach. Book a customised wellness package or holistic retreat at the Sankalpa Yoga Studio. Tours, tastings, yacht charters and cooking classes are also available, as are organic treatments at the Blue Haven Spa. And guests can shop for artisan crafts, gifts and snacks at the Truebluetique.

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    Jakes Boutique Hotel, Jamaica

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Jakes / Expedia

    Jakes is a family-friendly boutique retreat with quirky oceanfront bungalows, cottages and villas, and sporting a vibe incorporating elements of Jimi Hendrix, Antoni Gaudi and Jamaican beach life. Two restaurants use the best ingredients in the area – collected by the local community – to put on an ever-changing menu of authentic Jamaican cuisine. Head to Jack Sprat bar to kick back with a cocktail. There’s also a spa, kids’ club, creative classes, yoga and a barefoot feel that’s far removed from that of the busier resorts of the island.

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    Tortuga Bay Hotel

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Tortuga Bay Hotel / Expedia

    This luxe boutique hidden within the exclusive Puntacana Resort features a selection of villas designed by the late Dominican fashion couturier Oscar de la Renta. The setting for his work could have hardly been prettier, with the Caribbean Sea gently lapping soft sands. Guests at Tortuga Bay benefit from the amenities of the wider resort, which includes six fine-dining restaurants, an Oscar de la Renta boutique and the Six Senses Spa.

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    These recommendations were updated on January 14, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.