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YJ & the S's fabulous Island getaway

YJ & the S's fabulous Island getaway

By
Destinations: 
Amelia Island,
Bahamas,
Caribbean,
Dominican Republic,
Florida,
Grenada,
Harbour Island,
North America,
Punta Cana,
Samaná Bay,
St. Lucia

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ITEMS

$400 or more
Editor's Pick

Hotel

Gran Bahía Príncipe Cayo Levantado, Cayo Levantado island (off the Samaná peninsula), Dominican Republic

, Cayo Levantado island (off the Samaná peninsula), Dominican Republic
Tel: 866 282 2442
Email: bahiaprincipeusa@bahiaprincipeusa.com
Website: www.bahiaprincipeusa.com

The opening of an international airport and a soon-to-be-completed highway is transforming the Samaná peninsula from a ragtag whale-watching region to the Dominican Republic's latest hotspot. Leading the charge is Cayo Levantado, the crown jewel of Bahía Príncipe Resorts' nine all-inclusives. A modern take on a Victorian seaside manse, the sprawling 195-room resort feels more like a town than a hotel, so much so that you won't even know the rest of the island is there. A boat speeds you from the mainland to the island, where guests can choose between rooms with four-poster king beds, and modern rattan and wicker furniture or larger suites—many with terraces and both indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis—housed in villas throughout the property. The resort's private beach is not as huge as the island's public beach (popular with day trippers), but it is plenty serene with stretches of sand tucked into coves of placid waters. Especially impressive are the resort's two creatively landscaped pools, part forest, part open-bar party spot, surrounded by palapa umbrellas to shade you from the sun. Best of all, service has that rare balance of professionalism and fun. There's just one big letdown: the sit-down restaurants—one seafood, one Mediterranean, and one “gourmet,” which they take to mean French—seem to be having teething problems with both service and quality. Luckily, the main buffet in the central building is first rate, shifting daily from Italian to Spanish to Asian to local “Creole” cuisine.

$400 or more
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Hotel

Agua Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic

Uvero Alto
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Tel: 809 468 0000
Email: res@aguaresort.com
Website: www.aguaresort.com

$400 or more
Editor's Pick

Hotel

Cotton Bay Village, St. Lucia

Cotton Bay, St. Lucia
Tel: 800 544 2883 (toll-free), Tel: 758 456 5700
Email: info@cottonbaystlucia.com
Website: www.cottonbayvillage.com

Located between St. Lucia's only 18-hole golf course and a half-mile-long sweep of virgin beach, this newly completed 74-unit resort village is the first of its kind on the pristine northeast coast of St. Lucia. Trails leading from either end of the beach wind for miles along the undisturbed coast, yet a 15-minute drive leads you to lively Rodney Bay. The best rooms are the three-bedroom private villas located on the beach, each with a private pool and an always accessible butler. So, if you've lost your way while driving around the island, or want dinner for six prepared and set in your gazebo, simply hit the speed dial button on the hotel-provided cell. In addition to the villas, there are a number of one- to three-bedroom apartment suites built around the wide-decked pool. In design and proportion, they feel more like homes than hotel rooms, with fully equipped kitchens and mahogany-floored bedrooms with four-poster beds. With two very good restaurants—one serving Mediterranean cuisine, the other a more casual beach bar—and one of the best-equipped spas on the island, Cotton Bay serves up a full platter for both families and urban escapees.

Notes:
$965 PP for 3days plus airfare on JetBlue
$300-$399
ALT HERE

Hotel

Mount Cinnamon, Grenada

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
Tel: 866 720 2616 (toll-free), Tel: 473 439 0000
Website: www.mountcinnamongrenada.com

$200-$299
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Hotel

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, Florida

98 S. Fletcher Avenue
Amelia Island, Florida 32034
Tel: 800 772 3359 (toll-free), Tel: 904 277 4851
Email: innkeeper@elizabethpointelodge.com
Website: www.elizabethpointelodge.com

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Hotel

Coral Sands, Harbour Island, Bahamas

, Harbour Island, Bahamas
Tel: 242 333 2350
Email: info@coralsands.com
Website: www.coralsands.com

Harbour Island—or "Briland," the most chic Out Island off North Eleuthera—is where you'll find the first capital of the Bahamas, 300-year-old Dunmore Town. Harbour Island is also the home of this much-improved resort. The 37-year-old hotel, named for the famous pink beach, has entered a whole new level of luxe since Jacques and Pamela Brouchier took over management in 2002 and oversaw a total renovation, roping in Barbara Hulanicki (of Biba fame) to apply an appropriately English colonial look. The 36 rooms (plus one beach house and one four-bedroom villa) feature dark wood floors, white louvered shutters, teak beds, white wainscoting, and walls the color of sand (not pink), with matching tonal beiges, creams, and taupes in the upholstery and pillows—all very refreshing and understated. The loft room, with its private ocean-facing terrace, is the best, but even the most budget-friendly rooms are fine, set back from the ocean with views of hibiscus, jasmine, and bougainvillea in the eight-acre gardens. Details are good: a freshwater lagoon pool; no extra charge for tennis or beach toys (kayaks, boogie boards, snorkeling gear, shady palapas); L'Occitane products in the bathrooms; revamped menus at the Terrace restaurant; and best of all, come sundown, the island's top bar.

Closed August 28 to October 8.

$400 or more
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Hotel

Paradisus Palma Real, Dominican Republic

Bávaro Beach
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Tel: 866 436 3542 (toll-free)
Website: www.paradisuspalmareal.travel

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.