Hot News in the Caribbean
Mount Hartman Estate
Opened last year on a secluded, thickly forested peninsula, this 12-room private compound has a sleek infinity pool and comes with amenities such as jet skis and a helipad. Chef Roger Williams's cuisine uses local ingredients like callaloo and tania, a root vegetable (from about $40,000 per week, all-inclusive; 473-444-4504 or mounthartmanbay.com).
Maca Bana Villas
Set on a hillside with a landscaped tropical garden and a waterfall, this new property is made up of seven villas. Private cooking classes teach guests how to prepare local dishes like a rich callaloo soup (doubles from $265; 473-439-5355 or macabana.com).
This nine-villa resort, one of Grenada's best values, features a new French restaurant called Aloe Vera, which uses ingredients from the on-site garden (doubles from $120; paradisebayresort.net).
Turks and Caicos
Luxe Asian company Amanresorts' first Caribbean property opened in March with 30 dark-wood pavilions—spacious open-air rooms—overlooking the water. At the restaurant, chef Fritz Zwahlen, an Amanresorts veteran, has created a menu that highlights Caribbean flavors, in dishes such as conch carpaccio with greens and steamed golden crab with chile jam and vegetables (Northwest Pt., Providenciales; pavilions from $1,350; 011-65-6887-3337 or amanresorts.com).
The two-year-old, $95 million resort has just debuted its 25,000-square-foot spa, with treatments like Mother of Pearl Body Exfoliation, which uses crushed conch shells. The Parallel23 restaurant serves dishes like grilled lobster tail with asparagus, mai tai sauce and lobster mash (Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales; doubles from $300; 649-946-8666 or thepalmstc.com).
A 53-room hotel-condo resort launching this month on Grace Bay, with private outdoor Jacuzzis in some rooms, an infinity-edge oceanfront pool and a surprisingly compelling restaurant, O Soleil, overseen by chef Stephen McGarrie, formerly of Palazzo Variete in Germany (Princess Dr., Providenciales; doubles from $300; 649-946-5900).
This new 50-suite retreat decorated by Oscar de la Renta has hosted celebs like Penélope Cruz and Jake Gyllenhaal. At the restaurant, 28-year-old Uruguayan chef Henry Horne is creating Caribbean-Asian dishes such as shrimp pot stickers served with passion fruit and oyster sauce (one-bedroom villas from $520; 888-442-2262 or 809-959-2262; puntacana.com).
Sivory Punta Cana
Last summer, Italian chef Silvestre Merlino took over the restaurant at this posh new resort in Punta Cana. Merlino's menus for the modern-Mediterranean Laveranda, the French Gourmond and the Asian Tau include everything from roasted pork tenderloin with sweet wine caramel to an excellent pasta Bolognese. Sommelier Juan Pierre can help select pairings from the resort's 10,000-bottle wine cellar (one-bedroom suites from $270; 809-552-0500 or sivorypuntacana.com).
This stylish beachfront hotel, with its massive spa, helped launch the Dominican Republic's boutique-hotel trend when it opened two years ago. Dominican-born chef Rafael Vasquez came on this summer and has perfected the menu at Lucia with dishes like passion fruit-spiked seafood seviche (doubles from $260; 809-320-3232 or vhhr.com).
British Virgin Islands
Little Dix Bay
This 42-year-old Virgin Gorda resort has entirely redesigned its rooms and added eight junior suites and three villas. The latter come with two or three bedrooms, private pools and outdoor showers. Little Dix's Sugar Mill restaurant was completely revamped last year (doubles from $375; 888-767-3966 or 284-495-5555; rosewoodhotels.com).
Bitter End Yacht Club
The Virgin Gorda yacht-crowd favorite has given many of its rooms a modern makeover, with teak floors, batik fabrics and custom-designed furniture (North Sound; doubles from $530, including meals; 800-872-2392 or 284-494-2745; beyc.com). Biras Creek Known for its excellent French-Caribbean cuisine, this Virgin Gorda resort on Berchers Bay recently opened a small spa with Decléor products and a yoga and Indian-massage combo (North Sound; doubles from $615; 800-223-1108 or 284-494-3555; biras.com).
This peaceful private-island resort—with 52 rooms and two villas on 1,800 acres—will offer a six-bedroom villa called Falcon's Nest starting in February 2007. The 10,400-square-foot space includes an infinity-edge pool, media room, private chef and alfresco bars, Jacuzzis and verandas (doubles from $660 per night; 800-346-4451 or 284-495-2000; peterisland.com).