The best boutique hotels in the Caribbean, from hillside hideaways to funky beachside hangouts

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest guidance before travelling. Our writer visited these hotels prior to the pandemic.

The Caribbean has more than its share of vast all-inclusive hotels. But some islands also offer very enticing, small-scale places to stay that offer a much more personalised experience – you may even be looked after by the hotel’s owners. These boutique hotels vary enormously in their look and feel, from elegant plantation-style properties to funky beachside hangouts, but what the best have in common is a profusion of tropical character. And while some of the Caribbean’s boutique hotels are expensive, others are very affordable – the selection below includes options for all budgets. Our experts offer a guide to the best boutique hotels in the Caribbean, featuring the top hotels for chic villas, relaxing pools, beach access, Caribbean cuisine and stunning views, in locations including Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada and St Lucia.

Rabot Hotel

Soufriere, Saint Lucia

8
Telegraph expert rating

Rabot Hotel, part of the same company as the ubiquitous Hotel Chocolat shops, is situated on a historic estate in southern St Lucia. The familiar dark brown hues of the chocolate shops have been transferred, successfully, to the Caribbean, both in the bedrooms and restaurant – a dramatic open-sided pavilion with an open kitchen at one side where some of the most imaginative ‘cacao cuisine’ is served. Guests can tour the seedling nursery and groves, and be taught how to make a chocolate bar. The 14 bedrooms have a stylish, pared-down look, and are stocked with homemade cookies and slabs of chocolate.


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From


£
249

per night

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Golden Rock Inn

Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis

8
Telegraph expert rating

Golden Rock Inn is an enchanting, foliage-wrapped hotel set on a sugar estate dating from 1801. The owners, Brice and Helen Marden, are renowned New York-based artists who have brought their own style – and following – to the property. Interiors, including the 11 individually designed rooms, are filled with interesting and colourful finds from the couple’s globetrotting, and the gardens offer plenty of dreamy spots to relax in. Modern Caribbean comfort food such as crab cakes and curried chicken with mango salad is served at the restaurant, which offers attractive views over the gardens and ponds.


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From


£
153

per night

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Little Arches

Christ Church, Barbados

8
Telegraph expert rating

Little Arches is an intimate, romantic, adults-only hotel with a hacienda look. Mosaics of ceramic tiles accentuate arches and doorways, and on the first-floor terrace there’s a tent-effect, open-air lounge area with wicker sofas and a pool overhung by a chandelier. The hotel is privately owned and service is cheerful, chatty and helpful, with everyone on first-name terms from the word go. Beds in the 10 rooms are turned down in the evening, staff will take chairs and an umbrella to the beach for you, and there are complimentary bikes to use. Café Luna is a romantic spot with a good reputation.


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Petite Anse Hotel

Sauteurs, Grenada

8
Telegraph expert rating

This tropical version of an informal English country house hotel – the engaging hands-on owners are from Worcestershire – is located in the lush, little-visited north of Grenada. At its heart is the bar/lounge/restaurant, whose terrace basks in expansive views out to sea; the good food focuses on fresh fish and local fruit and veg. There are 13 bedrooms, all with a sea view and terrace, most with a four-poster bed. Though not luxurious, the rooms have a number of nice touches such as planters and chairs on the terraces, basins in bathrooms hand painted with palms and turtles, and fresh milk for tea and coffee. There’s also a pretty and decent-sized swimming pool.


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From


£
107

per night

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The Cliff Hotel

Negril, Jamaica

9
Telegraph expert rating

Tucked into the cliffs of the capital of cool’s West End, this chic boutique hotel offers total seclusion in its 33 suites and villas. Spaces are cheerfully decorated with island-themed art by Venezuelan artist Benjamin Garcia and colonial-style furniture, while the villas, clustered around the swimming pool, offer high ceilings, canopy beds and dark mahogany furniture juxtaposed alongside white, grey and pistachio-hued furnishings. All offer direct ocean views and are equipped with verandas and hammocks. The Cliff’s on-site restaurant, Zest, is excellent. There’s also a spa and natural saltwater pool.


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From


£
218

per night

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True Blue Bay Boutique Resort

St George’s, Grenada

8
Telegraph expert rating

Fun and funky. True Blue Bay is a colourful, informal waterfront hotel on a yacht-filled bay on Grenada’s south coast. Every wall – inside and out – is painted in bright colours, such as blue, indigo and orange, and stylish bedrooms, scattered over a hillside, are upbeat. The Dodgy Dock bar and restaurant, on a deck projecting out over the water, is a popular eating and drinking spot among locals and visitors staying elsewhere on the island. The place feels loved, spirited and proud of being a bit quirky. There is a well-regarded dive centre on site but no proper beach, so you may want to rent a car for some of your stay.


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From


£
121

per night

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ECO Lifestyle + Lodge

Bathsheba, Barbados

8
Telegraph expert rating

Expect a chilled, escapist spot perched on a hillside on the undeveloped and breezy east coast of Barbados. It’s owned and run by a couple who left the hustle of New York for the slower life of Barbados, and as the hotel’s name indicates, sustainable practices are to the fore (water is solar heated, eco products are sold in the reception). The 10 bedrooms, in an appealing boho-rustic design, all face the ocean and open onto wide (mostly shared) verandas furnished with relaxing Adirondack chairs and hammocks. Even the cheapest rooms are spacious and have bags of character. The meat-free restaurant serves imaginative and excellent food, and an eco-minded philosophy pervades the whole enterprise.


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From


£
139

per night

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Jakes

Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

8
Telegraph expert rating

Jakes is an offbeat hideaway with a really lovely, raffish charm and a very cool vibe. Buildings are painted in jangling tropical colours off-set by the tropical greenery, and there is a strong theme of artful rusticity, in the natural wood screens and polished driftwood in the decoration. It exudes an air of tropical calm, and with a spa and pretty gardens, it is an ideal escape for an independent traveller.
Other facilities include Dougie’s Bar, which stands next to the saltwater pool looking out onto the deck, beach area and sea, and an outdoor screen for film nights. The 33 rooms and suites – one or two rooms per cottage – are mostly set on the waterfront, with a cracking sea view from their own deck. Most have traditional West Indian features and pops of its signature funky style.


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£
74

per night

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Villa Marie Saint Barth

Saint Barthélemy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Lordly coastal views are the star attraction at this 22-room hillside hotel, along with the colonial-look François Plantation restaurant serving ravioles de langouste and pineapple flambéed in aged rum. There’s also a small pool, a two treatment-room spa and good walking to nearby Colombier beach.


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From


£
483

per night

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The Inn At English Harbour

English Harbour Town, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda

8
Telegraph expert rating

An upmarket boutique hotel occupying a stretch of sand at Galleon Beach. Enjoy the free water shuttle to Nelson’s Dockyard or relax in a hammock with a book from the library. Dine on first-class Italian cuisine teaming with local ingredients on the romantic fairy-lit terrace.


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From


£
347

per night

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