New resorts in the Caribbean for 2018-19

 

Whether you prefer lavish or laid-back, there is no shortage of options for families escaping the winter winds at home, couples in the mood for quiet time, and gaggles of pals celebrating a special occasion.  From Antigua to St. Maarten, check out and check into elegant new hotels, refurbished luxe resorts and rebranded bargains on the beach.

St. Maarten and St. Martin

Making its much-awaited comeback since suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Irma, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort opens its doors on Dec. 15. On the Dutch side of the dual-nation island, the upscale adults-only all-inclusive with 130 suites also comes with three pools, four bars, two restaurants, around-the-clock room service and butlers in the top-tier suites. The resort is so close to the Princess Juliana International Airport that the ritual of watching takeoffs and landings is as much a part of a vacation as a pina colada on the beach. Nightly rates start at $229 per person for a Junior Suite. 

In French St. Martin, Grand Case Beach Club is also taking reservations for 48 of 72 rooms, with the remainder reopening next year. Steps from Petite Plage, one of the prettiest sandy swaths on the island, the high-top infinity pool and Sunset Café have been perennial crowd-pleasers. Nightly rates, double occupancy, start at $295 for an Ocean Studio.

Following a top-to-toe restyle, Belmond La Samanna opens Dec. 10 on a mile-long stretch of Baie Longue Beach. Marrying a West Indian vibe with European flair, the resort serves French fare at Trellis, vintage bottles at La Cave Wine Cellar, and a champagne menu at the new glam Beach Bar. There are two pools, tennis courts and La Samanna Spa is hilltop and candlelit. Nightly rates, double occupancy, start at $545.

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