Exterior of hotel and pool area show floor-to-ceiling windows and various seating areas
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Amanera

Perched between mountainous jungle and pristine beach in the Dominican Republic, Amanera combines elegant design with a lush, untouched jungle location.

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pool with umbrellas on other side reflecting in the water and a large white pavilion behind them
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Amanyara

The dreamy Amanyara comprises 36 pavilions plus 20 private villas, scattered around ponds, along the beach and on black rock ledges overlooking the sea.

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view from above of a pool and surround stone deck with pink building and palm trees in background
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Bahama House

Bahama House, just a block from the harbor, is the first Caribbean venture from luxury adventure specialists, Eleven. Here's our review.

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pool with teal tiles in the caribbean
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Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla

Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla sits on a white sand beach and welcomes guests with fresh accommodations and a classic Caribbean atmosphere.

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Main Entrance to hotel with staircase leading up to what looks like a house, surrounded by trees
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Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

The 33-room Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France on Flamands Beach epitomizes the island’s laid-back style. Here's our review.

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Arial view of the hotel and beach - the pools and buildings in a jungle setting.
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COMO Parrot Cay

COMO Parrot Cay evokes the castaway beach feel more readily associated with resorts in the Maldives or Bali. Here is our review.

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Aerial view of hotel pool and white umbrellas and lounge chairs on the beach
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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a historic resort in Puerto Rico with a three-mile stretch of beach and plenty of activities.

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looking over water to buildings on beach
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Eden Rock–St Barths

Eden Rock–St Barths is the address for those who want to be in the island’s epicenter, near the party scenes and shopping. Here's our review.

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Pool deck with lounge chairs and white umbrellas overlooks the ocean
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Four Seasons Anguilla

This sleek and glamorous property offers spacious accommodations, powdery white-sand beaches, a buzzy South Beach vibe and pampering service.

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looking towards four-poster bed in white-walled beach cottage
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Jumby Bay Island

Jumby Bay Island set on a pristine private island off the coast of Antigua, is home to lavish suites, villas and estate homes.

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Lounge area with tables and chairs and a pool table in a large open air hut
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Necker Island

Necker Island offers one of the Caribbean’s most stunning retreats. Here's our review of the private island resort.

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Exterior View - Àni Villas, Anguilla, Caribbean

Àni Villas

Home to such resorts as Cap Juluca, Anguilla has never been lacking for luxury, but two special villas on the north side of the island have raised the bar on blissful isolation.

Àni Villas—which are offered as either a separate four-bedroom or six-bedroom house or as a single, ten-bedroom home—is perched atop a cliff with sweeping views and a cooling breeze even in the most humid season. There are two pools, a tennis court, fitness room, game room, and two rooftop balconies to watch the setting sun while sipping on the chef’s special rum punch. Each villa comes with its own kitchen and airy living spaces with high ceilings and enormous sliding-glass doors leading to generous al fresco spaces, all designed to make the most of the ocean views. The predominantly white interiors are contemporary and sleek, with such unique touches as a gurgling pond underneath the stairs and a coffee table made from the gnarled roots of a teak tree. All rooms are outfitted with large-size Red Flower products.

The villas are located up on a cliff, about a 5-minute walk from a small beach and about 15 minutes away by car from the main beaches and restaurant area of Anguilla. Those unafraid of heights will love the drama of the glass-balconied overwater deck that leans far over the face of the cliff.

Guests who want to get close to Anguilla’s iconic clear-water beaches will appreciate Ànivilla’s private beach service: a staffer sets up a tent and chaises before you arrive, prepares snorkeling equipment and stays to ready lunch, which can include simple falafel sandwiches and grilled lobster. A host of amenities make life at Anivillas extra sweet: included in the rate is a seaport/airport pickup from St. Martin or Anguilla, a private chef who will map out the menus with guests pre-arrival, a 24/7 open bar and an SUV for the guest’s private use during their stay. The staff was accommodating whenever I had a request and completely unobtrusive when I didn’t.

From my solitary early-morning swim to evening cocktails on the rooftop terrace with a panoramic sunset view, I left Ani Villas feeling rejuvenated and already looking forward to my next trip to this special place.

Unknown image

Anse Chastanet

Russian-Canadian architect Nick Troubetzkoy first came to St. Lucia in the 1970s and bought a dilapidated 14-room property on the island’s southwest shore. Thus began a building project that ultimately took more than two decades to complete, culminating not only in Anse Chastanet but in Troubetzkoy’s pièce de résistance: the 29-suite Jade Mountain, which opened in 2006.

Situated on 600 acres of tropical hillside that roll down two beaches, one with gold sand, the other with black, Anse Chastanet helped pioneer the all-natural Robinson Crusoe look, which has since been widely copied by other resorts. The forty-nine guest rooms are built into the landscape so seamlessly that the only time you see the entire property is when you approach it from the water. There are no televisions or phones in the guest rooms, and air-conditioning is only offered in the beach-side suites, though most rooms don’t need it, as the “missing” fourth wall opens onto either a terrace or a patio (the lack of fly screens may deter some visitors, however). Furnishings are made of indigenous woods like teak, mahogany and greenheart, and the decor is enlivened by vibrant, locally sourced madras fabrics—the same colorful designs in St. Lucia’s national costumes—and paintings by regional and visiting artists. At once highly individual and site-specific, it’s the kind of design conceit that deliberately skips details like flat-screen televisions and iPod docks in favor of a more rustic island vibe. It’s important to note that Anse Chastanet is built into a steep hillside, and the trek to the beach, a flight of some one hundred stairs, is demanding unless you’re in relatively good shape. (The hotel does offer a shuttle service.)

The two-bedroom Casuarina Suite boasts its own infinity pool with views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Piton Mountains, while the one-bedroom villa is located beach-side. With the exception of the one at the Casuarina Suite, there’s no pool at Anse Chastanet. The property is situated in a remote location at the end of a road that the resort has purposefully kept rough to ensure exclusivity. But most guests are happy to stay put, taking advantage of the lovely stretch of sand, sprinkled with comfortable loungers under palm-thatched umbrellas. Diving enthusiasts will be happy about the proximity of Scuba St. Lucia, the island’s premier dive operator that is headquartered here, while active types should head to Bike St. Lucia, on adjacent Anse Mamet Beach.

There are four restaurants on the premises, including the excellent Apsara, and a spa whose therapists are very good (arrange for a treatment in your room, as space at the spa is limited)Yoga and meditation is included in the price along with access to complimentary snorkeling equipment and sunset cruises.

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Bedroom at Atlantis, Barbados, Caribbean

Atlantis

The most historic and the oldest hotel on the east coast of Barbados, the Atlantis bed-and-breakfast, is a charming and romantic hideaway. Far from the glamour and hubbub of the island’s west coast, this hotel, which was built in 1881, faces directly onto the rough seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

The hotel has eight rooms and two cottages, all of which have a similar layout with large four-poster beds, exposed stonewalls and hard-wood floors. Two nights at the low-key retreat is the perfect combination with a chic, beach hotel on the west coast.

Village & Beach Club at Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico, Caribbean

Bahia Beach

Directly adjacent to the St. Regis Bahia Beach is a series of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, townhouses and Estancias. All are privately owned, but only a few are offered as vacation rentals. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team to check availability.

The St. Regis'sMolasses restaurant and golf pro-shop sit on a slightly elevated platform on the far eastern end of the property, marking the end of the area designated for hotel guests only. Directly in front of the two buildings, the Bahia Village and Beach Club is being constructed on gradual steps leading down to the water.

About half of the accommodations offered to rent are condominium-style units located in Las Verandas. Units are two- or three-bedrooms or a ‘penthouse,’ which has three bedrooms and a family room. Entrances to the Las Verandas condos face the interior pool area and smaller clubhouse designated for residents, while most bedrooms overlook the course. Additionally, a small selection of two- and three-bedroom condominiums in the Las Ventanas area and a couple of townhouses in the Las Olas section are offered as vacation rentals.

While owners have the option to choose design elements such as wall hangings and bedding, the base décor, featuring neutral sand, wood and tree bark tones and state-of-the-art kitchens and bathrooms, is consistent throughout the residences. Most bedrooms have private or en suite bathrooms and all residences have private outdoor space equipped for grilling.

Unit owners and their tenants have access to the pool and clubhouse near Las Verandas, complimentary entry to the bird sanctuary, a concierge service and their own beachside club. However, only owners and tenants of the Estancias can purchase a limited number of entry passes to the St. Regis pool and that is the extent of their guest privileges.

The Bahia Village & Beach Club, completed in October 2014, brings more of what is missing from the rental experience.

Exterior View - Villas, Barbados, Caribbean

Barbados Villas

Many Barbados visitors seeking privacy or traveling with a group prefer to stay in a fully staffed villa. Houses available for rent run from one-room cottages to ten-room mansions and can be anywhere the island. Indagare has scouted several villas available for rent. Contact our bookings team for help finding the right property.

The beach at Belmond La Samanna.

Belmond La Samanna

Located on the French side of St. Martin (only 10 to 15 minutes from the airport), Belmond La Samanna offers an easy, short getaway or a jumping-off point for a multi-stop Caribbean adventure. In classic Mediterranean-Caribbean style, the property is made up of multiple white block buildings with vibrant red and pink-hued bougainvillea throughout.

The hotel’s 90 rooms, suites and villas cascade down the hill to the beach, and all offer ocean views from either balconies or terraces. Rooms closest to the main building at the top of the hill have the most spectacular views, but those further down the hill have the shorter walk to the beach. The décor highlights the ocean, with big windows, a neutral beige-and-white color palette and bursts of sea-inspired turquoise and aqua.

Diners can alternate meals between the fine-dining L'Ourisin, casual Corail, Laplaj the all-day beach bar (which turns into seaside Italian spot La Spiaggia by night), and Baie Lounge Bar, the best place on the island to watch the sunset with a signature rum punch. The hotel can also arrange private dinners on the beach or in Le Cave wine cellar. The five-room spa offers a variety of treatments, but many guests prefer to enjoy the services of the excellent masseuses on their private balcony or terrace. There is also a gym, three tennis courts, two pools and two boutiques selling resort-wear. Make sure to check the weekly schedule of programming, which offers complimentary tennis clinics, pilates, yoga and musical evenings.

La Samanna proudly displays work throughout the property from local artist-in-residence Sir Roland Richardson, who often visits the resort to host lectures and invites guests to watch him work.

The three- and four-bedroom villas are great for families looking for the privacy of a large home, but with the convenience of a personal butler and hotel facilities. Each has a private pool, kitchen with Italian marble flooring and teak accents throughout. These villas are set quite high up on the bluff, so have fantastic ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows, but no direct beach access (though the beach is just a golf cart ride away).

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Bitter End Yacht Club Exterior view from ocean with all the buildings

Bitter End Yacht Club

This low-key resort on Virgin Gorda is known for its excellent sailing instruction and has been revamped after Hurricane Irma.
Lounge at Caneel Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean

Caneel Bay

There are no monster plasma-screen TVs in the bedrooms at Caneel Bay—no TV at all, in fact. No tricked out 800-square-foot marble bathroom with double sinks. Not even a telephone (and pretty spotty cell coverage). Just 166 simple rooms with tile floors, tatami mats, casual wood furniture and celadon fabrics. At Caneel, the wow factor is the spectacular setting: seven of the prettiest beaches you’ll find anywhere and a gorgeous 170-acre property to get lost on.

Like all great resorts, Caneel began with a very personal vision. Laurance Rockefeller first fell in love with St. John on a sailing trip in 1952, when the island had very few inhabitants. He bought the land where the hotel now sits (along with 5,000 acres that he would later donate to the U.S. National Park) and began to design the very first RockResort. By the 1960s, Caneel had a loyal cast of regulars who cherished the deliberately low-key ambiance, right down to the famous lack of air conditioning. After it became a Rosewood Resort in 1993, Caneel did finally get A/C, but I suspect many guests turn it off, as I did, opting instead to open the louvers and sleep to the purr of the ceiling fan and the sound of the waves outside.

The property is great for children, with gentle surf and a kids club with a small jungle gym and tunnel slide. Walking through the main lobby in the morning, you may find toddlers coloring, while their parents plan the day’s activities. But keep in mind that the property is 170 acres, and the rooms are spread quite generously among them, which contributes to the priceless sense of seclusion. I usually like to walk home from dinner and it really did not make sense to do so at Caneel, given that my room (on Turtle Bay Beach) was about a mile away from the bar and restaurants. There is a shuttle service that circulates every fifteen minutes, so you just need to wait on a bench at the shuttle stop. If traveling with children, booking a room closer to the main buildings is recommended.

Caneel has three restaurants, including the stunning Equator, a round restaurant set in the ruins of an old stone sugar mill. Other options include the Terrace Bar and the Caneel Grill. In the morning, you can grab a croissant and some coffee at the bar, or opt for the breakfast buffet.

When you go to St. John, everyone will tell you to visit its most famous beach, Trunk Bay. While it’s certainly a knockout, it’s no secret, and God forbid you hit it when the cruise ships are in town. I will tell you that Caneel’s Turtle Bay Beach, an intimate cove of powdery sand and teal water, with views of neighboring islands, is just as beguiling—and on a recent March afternoon, I shared it with exactly ten people. That’s the charm of Caneel: the landscape is so lovely and varied (and uncrowded) that there’s no real need to ever leave the property. One day, you might try Scott Beach, popular for its sea turtle sightings, and the next go snorkeling off of Hawksnest or kayaking on Caneel Bay. Or have a massage in a wooden seaside cabana, to the sound of the ocean and the trade winds and the rattle of seedpods in the tam tam trees.

Given the high price tag, one might easily expect far more glamorous surroundings. Nothing is fancy here—not the beach chairs, not the bedding, not the crowd. If you dream of dazzling architecture, infinity pools and hovering beach attendants with spritz bottles and cocktails, this is not the place (try Las Ventanas or Amanyara). What you are paying for at Caneel is excellent service, an extraordinary location and blissful solitude. While there are a few fun dinner spots in town, St. John is fairly quiet. If you are looking for nightlife, a scene or action, you will be better off on St. Thomas.

In the end, I believe it is the resort’s simplicity that helps transition you away from the material world. This is underscored by small details. Instead of a chocolate at turn-down, for instance, guests find a shell. I dare you to try to accomplish anything at Caneel; I couldn’t even bring myself to read my book. It is too relaxing and soothing and spiritual a place. To quote Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I think you will find your mind “flattened by the sea; bare, open, empty as the beach, erased by today’s tide of all yesterday’s scribblings.”

TIP: To reach Caneel Bay, fly direct to St. Thomas. A Caneel Bay representative meets you at the airport and drives you to the dock in Charlotte Amalie (fifteen minutes), where you take the half-hour ride to St. John on Caneel’s private boat straight to the resort’s dock. You are greeted with a cool towel and a rum punch or fruit juice.

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Canouan Estate

Canouan Estate

Canouan Estate’s 14 luxurious villas offer a secluded island-hideaway experience. Read Indagare's review.
Pathway at Carlisle Bay, Antigua, Caribbean

Carlisle Bay

The resort Carlisle Bay in Antigua boasts a gorgeous oceanfront location and a family-friendly environment. Indagare Review

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Pool at Casa Colonial, Dominican Republic, Caribbean

Casa Colonial

Like the majority of five-star properties in the Dominican Republic, Casa Colonial is located within a sprawling development consisting of condos, villas and hotels. But unlike, say, Tortuga Bay and Eden Roc, its area is a bit depressing, full of three-star all-inclusive hotels, 1980s-style condos and some abandoned projects. But behind the ornate wrought-iron gates of the tiny property—squished between low-end properties—the building’s grand, white façade gleams.

Once inside the palatial estancia style main building, the soaring lobby and restaurant-cum-bar is lovely, centered around a cluster of live bamboo and amidst all-white upholstered furniture. Set on just two and a half acres of land (Playa Grande Beach Club, for instance, is on 2,000 acres of virgin forest), the property can feel claustrophobic. The 50 guest rooms, which are spread out between multiple condo-style indoor-outdoor structures are lacking. Furnishings feel tired and outdated, lighting is dim and strange decorative touches—such as a Japanese desktop sand and rock garden and burning incense everywhere—don’t help matters much. Rooms look out either to the ocean or the jungle that separates the rooms from the main building; less fortunate views are of the adjacent hotel’s derelict playground. The penthouse suite is a standard one-bedroom suite on the top floor, but it has a romantic—if silly—claw-footed bathtub on a private terrace with ocean views.

A redeeming factor is the property’s location nearby the kite-boarding capital of Cabarete, a cute, if touristy, town on the north coast of Dominican Republic that has long been famous for its excellent surf and wind. The town has developed a tourism industry but without any very luxurious hotel options, so Casa Colonial is the best option for a five-star property in the area.

The hotel’s only pool is located on the rooftop, a strange choice for a beachside destination, but one that makes sense when considering the crowds of people from adjacent resorts who use the same beach. There is a nice spa and a fitness room with ocean views and three restaurants in total. The lovely rooftop restaurant sits adjacent to the pool and has four hot tubs, and there is a petty eatery set just off the beach called Veranda, which is open for breakfast and lunch.

Aerial View - Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic, Caribbean

Casa de Campo

The hotel at this legendary resort has six restaurants, three award-winning golf courses and hundreds of hotel rooms and villas spread out over 7,000 acres.

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Aerial View - CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort, Anguilla, Caribbean

CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort

CeBlue Villas offers one of the most dramatic and stunning arrivals of any property on Anguilla. The island’s typical shrub-lined roads give way to electric blue water, stretching as far as the eye can see, and it immediately becomes clear why the villas were so fittingly given the name CeBlue.

Located on the island’s northern shore, the resort is composed of eight villas, all bordering a steep path leading down to Crocus Bay Beach. The villas can be configured into anything from three up to six bedrooms, making them a great option for larger groups and multi-generational families traveling together. While those set on beachfront accommodations might prefer resorts like Cap Juluca, for some, CeBlue's incredible vistas will make up for the lack of sand right outside the front door.

The rooms, while small, are comfortable and feature a modern décor with Asian-inspired details in calming hues of beige and brown. Each duplex unit also comes complete with its own private plunge pool, a fully equipped kitchen and an airy dining room. Additionally, the villas offer 5,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space with a grill, a seating area (perfect for sunset cocktails) and plenty of lounge chairs from which to soak up the balmy Anguillan sun.

What sets CeBlue apart from other villas on the island is the property’s fully staffed lobby area, which houses a concierge desk, alongside the Blue Bar pizza restaurant, a boutique, a small gym and a spa with two treatment rooms. The service is friendly and attentive, although fast-paced travelers should note that island time prevails at CeBlue (as it does on all of Anguilla, in fact).

Crocus Bay Beach is located a short, five-minute walk or two-minute golf cart ride down a steep hill from the villas. The beach is full-service and the on-site activity manager happily assists with water sport rentals, including paddle boards, kayaks, boogie boards, snorkel gear and sunfish sailboats. Brace yourself for the climb back up to CeBlue, though, as this trek can work up a sweat. Alternatively, the resort is happy to arrange a golf cart transfer back to the villa.

In addition, while Anguilla does not boast a high level of infrastructure and is not particularly walkable, the villas are but a 15-minute drive from the island’s best beaches and restaurants, which are certainly worth exploring. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team for assistance with car rentals, or to arrange a car and driver.

Indagare Tip: Be sure to set aside a night for a private dinner. During my stay, our chef wheeled in six live lobsters and grilled them on the terrace for us. Not only was this an incredibly special, local experience, but it also was the best lobster I’ve ever tasted.

Bedroom at Cobblers Cove Hotel, Barbados, Caribbean

Cobblers Cove Hotel

Cobblers Cove's pink-washed main building (dubbed the “Pink House”) was built in 1942 as a private mansion in the castle-like style of so many large Bajan villas. Its two upper turrets house the hotel’s largest and most luxurious suites, the Camelot and the Colleton, with canopied beds and marble floors. The rest of the property’s forty rooms are located in two-story cottages (with two suites per floor) that surround a large cluster of tropical gardens. All accommodations, which are elegant but modest, have sitting rooms with foldout sofa beds and terraces with gingerbread-house railings; most open into the gardens, though the ones in the back have views of the beach. Rooms, with their understated wicker furniture and fully stocked bookshelves, are meant to evoke a homey atmosphere, and most of the suites on each floor can interconnect for families and large groups.

The hotel is somewhat secluded, located just north of the main hotel drag in St. James, and the vibe here is extremely low-key but refined. You can expect lots of little British touches and customs like daily afternoon tea. Tennis and some water sports are complimentary. Children under twelve are not permitted from early January until late March and the hotel closes from late August through early October.

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Exterior View - Coral Reef Club, Barbados, Caribbean

Coral Reef Club

The Coral Reef Club could be mistaken for a member's-only enclave, so discreet and lovely are the property and service. The eighty-eight guest rooms are spread among little cottages and two-story buildings scattered throughout a maze of gardens and pathways. Each boasts a slightly different décor, but all reflect the property's "elegantly informal" dress code. (Read: lots of wicker and nothing too outlandish or colorful) Lush, tropical landscaping gives each building a secluded feeling though as a result, most rooms have garden views (some close to the water have ocean views). Families and large groups can choose from a wide array of possible room combinations and villas. The five Luxury Plantation Suites are the most spacious accommodations, and, with their mahogany furnishings and large canopied beds, they are also the most opulent. All have private pools and sundecks, as well as covered terraces and views of the Caribbean.

To maintain the hushed, country-retreat feel, only a few (the Luxury Plantation Suites) have TVs, though these can be rented on request and no children under twelve are permitted from mid-January to mid-March.

Tennis and nonmotorized water sports are complimentary, and the restaurant, set directly on the water, is a relaxed spot for meals throughout the day as well as sunset cocktails. The perfectly appointed spa is a favorite among guests, as well as people who have houses on the island.

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Red and white lounge at Coral Sands Resort, Harbour Island, Bahamas

Coral Sands

Coral Sands, a Harbour Island mainstay since 1968, is the island’s most family friendly resort (and the largest), but travelers have to know which accommodations to book.

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