Good Life: Travel: Caribbean Dispatch
Stay-put siestas with your beleaguered, luxury-craving soul in mind
STUMBLE FROM YOUR SWEET SUITE TO THE SPA, HÔTEL GUANAHANI & SPA, ST. BARTS
Why: Hôtel Guanahani isn’t a hotel in the traditional sense — think plush multi-colored bungalows united by a private beach and restaurants like L’Indigo, with lobsters so huge, other diners gasp when your plate arrives. St. Barts is no place for thrift, so pony up for a suite with a private pool, and end your nights stargazing from the water.
What else: Pry yourself away from your modern-but-airy digs and the turquoise ocean to visit the Clarins Spa.
How much/How fast: Rooms start at $850; leguanahani.com. Flights are an adventure — there’s the direct flight to St. Maarten and a short leg on a twin-prop — but well worth it if you can stay a while. — Richard Rys
FORCE YOURSELF TO STUMBLE FARTHER THAN THE SPA FROM YOUR SWEET SUITE, THE WESTIN ST. MAARTEN DAWN BEACH RESORT & SPA
Why: This spa/resort is the newest, sleekest on the island, with luxurious rooms and a massive infinity pool, all on crowd-free Dawn Beach.
What else: Take a 15-minute cab ride to Philipsburg, capital of the Dutch side, to score duty-free Euro-goods. On the French side, hit the waterside BBQ shacks in funky little Grand Case by day; return in the evening for fine cuisine at L’Escapade (escapaderestaurant.com).
How much/How fast: Rooms start at $380; starwoodhotels.com. US Airways and United offer limited four-hour direct flights. — Jessica Remo
USE YOUR BUSINESS POINTS, ARUBA MARRIOTT RESORT & STELLARIS CASINO
Why: Yes, it’s kind of like the Marriott you stayed in for all those meetings in Chicago. Except that it’s got a beach and a casino. Plus, 411 swanky new rooms with LCD TVs, marble baths and soundproof walls, which you’ll appreciate even more (even if you never notice them) when you return exhausted from all the water sports. Most daring: kite surfing. Least daring: banana boat.
What else: For dining at the resort, there’s surf at Simply Fish (eat by moonlight, in the sand) and turf at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
How much/How fast: Rooms start at $469; 800-223-6388, marriott.com. Direct flights mean you’ll be there in under five hours. — Amy Strauss
HIDE OUT — AND BE SEEN, BIRAS CREEK RESORT, VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Why: Because the water taxi to this ritzy and secluded 140-acre resort gives you an excellent opportunity to tie your Gucci scarf over your hair, Jackie-style. And you can leave it on as you tour the lush island on the bicycle that comes with your suite.
What else: Rub elbows with fellow guests like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Morgan Freeman. Snorkel the reefs at the North Sound, where the glass-bottom boat puts you inches above sea turtles.
How much/How fast: Suites start at $675; 284-494-3555, biras.com. You’ll take a four-hour flight to San Juan, a 45-minute flight to Tortola, and a 35-minute water taxi. — A.S.