Happy Weekend from a Happy Beach : How to Pick Your Caribbean Island

how-to-pick-your-caribbean-islandRecently, I received word of this dreamy Tablet article Islands in the Sun : How to Pick Your Caribbean Island. My whole world stopped for a moment while I planned my ‘bbean vacay, dreaming I was kicked back in a hammock, sipping a crisp white wine, polka dot bikini clad. Thank you Tablet, for my weekly imaginative getaway. Here are my favorite highlights from the article, click here to read the entire piece if you like to daydream as well.

If you want to feel about as far as possible from the bright lights and noise of the city, Nevis is the place. There’s basically just one road of any consequence, making a circle around the island, and the drive takes all of two hours at a tropical pace. As for nightlife, think tree frogs calling to each other in the dark. The luxury on offer here is all about what’s absent — no noise, no light pollution, and above all no real cause for stress. What Nevis does have in abundance is natural beauty, with its vivid green slopes rising from the Caribbean. Read the full article here »

Puerto Rico has a little bit of everything, from Americanized mega-resorts crammed onto overdeveloped coastlines to elegant little hideaways in the middle of nowhere, with some fine Colonial-style hotels in Old San Juan in between. One aspect of the island that’s sometimes overlooked, however, is its more adventurous, outdoorsy side. Beyond the beaches, one can go horseback riding in the hills, biking in the mountains, hiking along rivers and lakes, even spelunking in the island’s extensive cave network.

This time of year, the weather’s a whole lot better in Bermuda. Technically that warm, crystalline water lapping against the beach is Atlantic rather than Caribbean, but the palm trees, blazing sun and soft pink sand don’t seem to have gotten the memo; choose the right beachside hotel and Bermuda still feels like a tropical island idyll. And the right hotel is the local outpost of the Mandarin Oriental. Despite the marooned-at-sea setting, the level of luxury on offer is perfectly up to standard, and each room comes with a breezy balcony or patio — a vantage point from which “real life” feels quite far away after all. Read the full article here »

There are more traditional Caribbean island destinations for diving (Turks & Caicos, for one), but few with quite the same bucket-list appeal as Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize. Second only to Australia’s, the Belizean Barrier Reef is home to a panoply of colorful fish, a couple sunken pirate ships, and a few underwater seascapes that look like pages of National Geographic come to life.

Somehow in Anguilla the sand just feels a little softer, the water a shade more crystalline than on the other Caribbean islands. There are beaches so perfect that even the palm trees seem to sway a bit more gently. It’s got more than just beaches, too. Anguilla is stylish but not blindingly glitzy; low-key but with just enough beach bars and barbecue shacks to keep the boredom at bay; with a music and art scene that never crosses the line into self-parody. And some of the hotels are stunners. The smartly designed Viceroy Anguilla, with its driftwood-inspired furnishings and eye-catching objets d’art, sits on thirty-five acres, alongside a private beach that spans the better part of a mile. Read the full article here »

All words a succinct version of the full article found on Tablet, right here »
Image above by Jim Covert aka LoudGazelle via Flickr »