When Tony Shellman steals away from the demands of his business, his island of choice is Jamaica. “The energy is great, and the people take good care of you,” says the owner of the new contemporary men’s clothing company, Parish/Nation. He flies a private plane into Montego Bay to “hit the White Witch of Rose Hall,” the scenic, 600-acre golf course at the Ritz Carlton. When he’s in the mood to be pampered, Shellman heads over to The Rock House, which is known for its garden spa treatments and 60-foot swimming pool carved into the Pristine Cove cliffs in Negril.
The Caribbean for many is an escapist destination. Whether it’s golfing, tennis, boating, or just lounging on powder-soft sand under wide-open skies, there’s a hideaway calling your name. Here are a few of our favorites.
Cap Juluca, Anguilla
Named for the Arawak Indian rainbow god of Anguilla, Cap Juluca (www.capjuluca.com) sits on 179 acres, offering 72 luxury and junior suites and six private villas nestled along a mile of talcum-soft shoreline at Maundays Bay ($520 to $1,785 daily rate, per couple). All rooms have a generous patio, king-size bed, terrace with privacy walls, and sea view. Several upper-floor rooms also have a turret with a private sunning terrace. Spacious bathrooms feature Italian marble and tile; some include a deep soaking tub for two, and most have a private solarium. All are stocked with bath salts and amenities by Bvlgari. After a bath, dine at Kemia (Moroccan for “small bite”), which offers bite-size delicacies from around the world, or at Pimms, the resort’s signature waterside restaurant. For the sports enthusiast, there are three omni-turf tennis courts, a croquet lawn, and an Aqua golf driving range situated on a lagoon. Adjacent to Cap Juluca is an 18-hole championship golf course.
Ladera, St. Lucia
An out-of-this-world view of St Lucia’s two breathtaking volcanic mountains, the Pitons, is the most coveted attraction for travelers to this lush island with French heritage. Ladera (www.ladera.com), set on a forested ridge 1,100 feet above sea level, is the only resort to deliver this prized experience. Each of the 27 sumptuous suites at this mountainside hideaway is “missing” a fourth wall to blend its environment with nature. This dramatic architectural construction offers guests intimate panoramic vistas of the emerald green rainforest that soars from the azure seas to the 3,000-foot summit of the majestic Pitons. Yet each is sheltered, safe, and completely private (five-night all-inclusive stays range from $1,670 to $3,345 per person). Plan to disconnect from the modern world–there’s no television, telephone, or radio to disturb your tranquility. Elegant appointments include four-poster king- or queen-size beds and personal butler service. At dusk, slip into your own cozy plunge pool (some include a private waterfall), which overlooks the Soufriere valley, and gaze at stars above the mystical Pitons. The Ti Kai PosÃ© Spa includes complimentary mineral pools of restorative waters, thanks to St. Lucia’s volcanic past. Luxurious, peaceful, and sophisticated, Ladera caters to a maximum of 70 guests at a time to