Privacy Is the New Luxury: 5 Caribbean Destinations Offering Ultra-Luxe Experiences
The last year has brought challenges and changes to the travel landscape, particularly luxury, but the concerted efforts and solution-oriented approach that the Caribbean region executed has been incredibly impactful and dynamic as we look ahead, together.
While each island nation has developed unique protocols and strategies to help maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle, the collective region has had a consistency in messaging that can and should be directly linked back to the recent growth in inquiries, web visits and bookings. At The Hartling Group, we already have seen a number of sold out weeks in 2021 and a promising forecast for the summer and fall ahead, a welcome change from 2020 and a positive outlook in travel trends moving forward.
What the Caribbean offers is a diverse collection of exceptionally private escapes that are easily accessible from the U.S., which in the current travel climate, has been highly sought after and in line with what the high net worth traveler is looking for. Travel Age West reported that an American Express survey found “44 percent…were willing to pay more for a hotel where they could easily socially distance” and “80 percent of respondents indicated that they were more likely to book a vacation to an uncrowded area or one offering private accommodations.” Searches and bookings for private islands and private flights follow this same pattern.
Here are the Caribbean luxury gems that are offering the ultimate in privacy, service and experiences:
The Shore Club Turks & Caicos is the only resort on Long Bay Beach, Providenciales’ most pristine stretch of oceanfront real estate—a less crowded and more discreet location to spend vacation or extended time away. Alongside the 106 guest rooms and suites, four pools, four dining venues, a wellness center and Dune Spa, the six private estate villas are the standout accommodations for exclusive escapes. With private plunge pools, personal beach access, stocked kitchens and even underground tunnel access, the stand-alone villas embody the best of indoor-outdoor living. They are the most sought after in the Caribbean and have hosted celebrities like actress Chrissy Metz and comedian Tracy Morgan. The resort itself offers direct access to the beach and a variety of activities like paddleboarding, kayaking and boat excursions.
Jade Mountain in St. Lucia is known for its three-walled, open-air sanctuaries that are accessible by private bridges that extend from the main resort. The oversized suites feature private infinity pools, sweeping views of the twin Piton mountains and Caribbean Sea and 24/7 butler service. The resort offers private experiences geared towards relaxation, adventure and cultural exploration, from en suite spa treatments and learning to make signature sweets at the onsite Chocolate Lab to organic farm tours, world-class snorkeling and scuba diving to hiking the Gros Piton with a personal hiking butler who comes equipped with gourmet canapés and cold towels.
Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands, has reopened following a two-year closure after its destruction by Hurricane Irma. Stays on Necker Island generally require a full buy-out, which means guests have the entire place to themselves. Guests visiting in 2021 will be among the first to experience the new island following its restoration, including the brand new Bali Hi complex featuring an extended pool and outdoor lounges, as well as private pools in the individual Bali villas. Travelers to Necker get to interact with local wildlife, like lemurs, and can enjoy an abundance of water sports, like snorkeling off the shore.
Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic is a Relais & Châteaux property, located in the high-end gated community of Cap Cana for next level privacy. Perched on a private beach, the property offers travelers an ultra-luxe boutique Caribbean experience. The 30,000-acre luxury resort is home to luxury accommodations (from multi-bed villas with private pools to beachfront suites), several dining destinations that celebrate regional produce, a brand-new spa and wellness experience and family-friendly programming.
The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, located on Paradise Island, Bahamas, is the ultimate destination for those seeking an ultra-luxe and private retreat. Some of the most sought after accommodations include the three- and four-bedroom beachfront villa residences that offer the glamour and luxury for which the resort is known. For an extended stay option, the new Home by The Ocean Club is a home-away-from-home concept designed to embody all the aspects of a luxury home with personalized pre-arrival designs (including family picture frames and decor).
Karen S. Whitt is the VP of Marketing for The Hartling Group (which owns and operates three Turks & Caicos luxury properties). She is also a longtime board member for the Caribbean Travel + Hotel Association and an award-winning former GM.