September 24, 2020

Top 10 romantic B&Bs in the Caribbean


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1411179179000-B-B-Casa-sol-facadeBy Mark Rogers, special for USA TODAY

The economist E.F. Schumacher said, in his classic book, Small is Beautiful, that “Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.” E.F. would probably grant high marks to bed & breakfast properties around the world, with an extra gold star to B&Bs in the Caribbean — where palm trees, breaking waves and lush jungle add a note of romance to the “small is beautiful” ethos.

These properties are a good choice for couples who crave a home-away-from-home ambience, sensitive service that respects their privacy, and the kind of insider knowledge of a destination that B&B owners are all too happy to share.

Cocoa Cottage, Dominica

Dominica is called the Nature Island, and a desire to commune with its serene green attractions — especially the waterfalls and verdant mountains — is what draws most visitors. Cocoa Cottage is a six-room B&B situated high in the rainforest, but still convenient to the capital city of Roseau. Each of the six rooms is decorated in a unique style, with rustic furnishings and bright colors. The eco-friendly property provides island-style breakfasts and dinners. They even have their own version of rum punch flavored with spices grown on the property, including bay leaf, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

1411179599000-Geejam-Ska-008Le Jardin Malanga, Guadeloupe

Lovers can jet to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies and stay at this Caribbean house built in 1927. They’ll have a choice of rooms in the main house or in three cottages, all surrounded by breadfruit, lemon and cinnamon trees. Scenic views of a dormant volcano add a dramatic touch and guests will enjoy their proximity — roughly 10 minutes — to the beach. The cottages offer the most privacy and have private terraces offering panoramic views of the countryside. The kitchen specializes in French cuisine prepared with fresh island ingredients.

Native Abode, Tobago

Tobago is a quiet and laidback island ideal for couples. If their idea of a perfect day is birdwatching or snorkeling, they’ll think they’re in paradise. Native Abode is a B&B in the simple village of Bon Accord, in the southwest part of the island. Native Abode promises lovers a “Triple R” experience – rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. The Native Abode Deluxe Room with King Bed delivers on the promise with a balcony, king bed, cozy dining area, and kitchenette.

Geejam, Jamaica

Ultra-cool and hip Geejam is tucked away on Jamaica’s coast, in the heart of magical Port Antonio, where there’s not a whiff of mass tourism in the air. The estate has three cottages, one suite and a self-contained three-bedroom villa with its own private pool, which also happens to be the only pool on the property. Geejam is about 10 minutes away from Frenchman’s Cove, a celebrated beach where lovers Liz Taylor and Richard Burton once frolicked in the waves. The hotel also has a recording studio, where musicians like Snoop Dogg and Amy Winehouse have laid down tracks, and where lovers can consider recording their own song.

Casa Sol Bed and Breakfast, Puerto Rico

The strong point here is the B&B’s location in the heart of Old San Juan, where a couple can stroll cobblestone streets, browse shops and dance salsa in sultry nightclubs. Casa Sol occupies a carefully restored 18th-century Spanish Colonial home. Its five rooms are decorated in Spanish colonial style — with clay bricks, iron wood beams and teak details. Lovers should score the La Muralla Suite, which has high ceilings, an indoor patio area, a mezzanine and its own private bathroom.

Ambia Bed & Breakfast, Anguilla

The island’s elegance and very secure ambience encourages travelers to get out and explore, especially at night, since there are scores of fine restaurants from which to choose (independent of big hotels and resorts). Ambia Bed & Breakfast combines an Asian and Caribbean aesthetic, with shoji screens and bamboo closets in the four rooms and one suite. The property overlooks the colorful port town of Sandy Ground and is convenient to several of Anguilla’s white-sand beaches. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, complimentary Caribbean breakfast, and — for something completely different — bocce ball.

Lloyd’s Bed & Breakfast, Anguilla

This island favorite has been hosting travelers since 1959, with many guests coming back year after year. The nine-room B&B sits upon Crocus Hill, the highest point in Anguilla. Lloyd’s has a homey, friendly feel and is perfect for lovers who crave a welcoming atmosphere over sleek décor: even meals are family-style in the dining room. Consider booking Miss Simone’s Boudoir, one of the more romantic rooms, with antique furniture and a spacious king-size bed. The beach is a 3-minute walk away.

Hummingbird Inn, Dominica

Eco-conscious couples will be a good match for the Hummingbird Inn, where iguanas lay in the sun and hummingbirds hover over tropical blooms. The hilltop B&B is only a few miles from Roseau and an easy stroll to Donkey Beach. Meals centered on local cuisine are served on the verandah. Opt for the honeymoon suite, with its mahogany four-poster bed, ceiling fan and views of the sea.

Coblentz Inn Boutique Hotel, Trinidad

Trinidad’s capital Port of Spain is known for its soca-powered nightlife and gritty-city vibe. Lovers can squeeze what they want from the city and then retreat to the upscale suburban peace of the Coblentz Inn Boutique Hotel. The 17-room hotel has themed rooms, including the “Central,” a room reminiscent of an opulent Indian Palace (Trinidad has a vibrant Indian community). The property’s semi-formal restaurant, Battimamzelle, serves Creole and international cuisine; a standout dish is the guava barbequed kingfish.

Mocking Bird Hill, Jamaica

An oasis tucked away in the green hills of Port Antonio, Mocking Bird Hill is a perfect choice for couples who want to power down and concentrate on each other. Mocking Bird Hill has 10 rooms cooled by the Caribbean breeze, with plantation shutters and doors. The absence of TVs on the property frees up couples to enjoy the marvelously prepared dinners in the celebrated restaurant, Mille Fleurs. A popular excursion for honeymooners and romance-minded couples is a slow and easy guided rafting trip on the nearby Rio Grande River.


(Photo: Geejam Hotel)

(Photo: Joe Colon, Casa Sol Bed and Breakfast)

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