One&Only Hayman Island
Hayman is one of the reef’s big resorts, with 234 guest rooms, 500 employees, acres of marble ﬂooring, and five dining venues. The once-before-I-die icon has been accepting paying guests since 1935. Back then, the clientele was largely fishermen, and the accommodations were basic cabins. The next year, the American novelist Zane Grey filmed White Death on the island. Capitalizing on a sensational crescent of vanilla-sand beach, a luxury resort soon replaced the cabins and flourished for two decades before a 1970 cyclone. After the resort reopened six months later, 650,000 trees and shrubs were introduced to the island; of the 1,000 palms, 22 form a glamorous avenue. Rooms fronting the seven-times-Olympic-size swimming pool—so gigantic it loses 1,500 gallons of water in evaporation and runoff per day—have terraces that jut into the water, so you can jump right in from your bed. Are the pools a little splashy? Yes. Are they fun? Absolutely.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.