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Le Sereno, St. Barts
Sleek and sexy, this hotel fronts a gorgeous beach on one of the Caribbean's most exclusive islands. The 37 suites -- all with ocean views -- have peaked wooden ceilings and canopied beds. lesereno.com
What not to miss: Snapping up a few bottles of locally made sunscreen, Roucou Sun Lotion by Ligne St. Barth. The cult favorite is loaded with rich, skin-soothing ingredients like vitamin E and calendula.
How to get here: Fly to St. Maarten, then take a puddle jumper or hop the Great Bay Express ferry to St. Barts.
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Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis
Step back in time at this gracious historic inn located right on the beach -- the great house dates to 1778. Most of the light-filled rooms have private patios or balconies perfect for liming (Caribbean-speak for relaxing). nisbetplantation.com
What not to miss: A romantic ride in an antique horse-drawn carriage at The Hermitage Plantation, another island property.
How to get here: Fly directly into Nevis's small airport. Or, to save money, book a flight to St. Kitts and take the public ferry over.
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Cayo Espanto, Belize
A teensy private island with just seven villas, this hotel is a pricey but fabulous getaway that's got "honeymoon" written all over it. Every room comes with a private butler who will cater to your every whim. aprivateisland.com
What not to miss: A day trip to explore the Mayan ruins at Lamanai, an archaeological site on the mainland. Set up your expedition through the hotel, and ask to go by riverboat.
How to get here: Fly into Belize City, where you'll be met by a Cayo Espanto rep for the flight to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye island. From there, you'll be whisked away on an eight-mile boat ride to the hotel.
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Cap Juluca, Anguilla
This Moroccan-style getaway is all whitewashed domes and arches set atop an expanse of sugar-white sand. Anguilla might be small, but it's home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. capjuluca.com
What not to miss: An island-style night on the town at Sandy Ground. The narrow strip of land between an ocean lagoon and a salt pond holds some of the island's best bars -- all a hop, skip, and jump from one another.
How to get here: Fly to St. Maarten. Then choose among several water-transportation options, from public ferries to private yachts.
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Live on the edge at this effortlessly cool stone-and-wood boutique hotel, where sections are built into cliffs overlooking the water. Music lovers will appreciate that this was once a prime hangout for Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and the Rolling Stones. rockhousehotel.com
What not to miss: A stay in one of the property's premium villas, which are nestled into cliffs on the ocean and are a steal, by Caribbean standards.
How to get here: Fly to Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport. Have the hotel arrange for a driver to meet you at the airport, or rent a car if you plan on exploring.
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This small hideaway comprises just 16 private cottages right on the waterfront. Expect plunge pools, day beds on breezy verandas, vistas to die for, and -- with only a handful of guests at any given time -- the feeling you're in on a sweet little secret. laluna.com
What not to miss: The couple's Balinese massage at the on-site spa, capped off with a sunset catamaran cruise.
How to get here: Fly to Grenada's Maurice Bishop International Airport (there are a few direct flights from the northeast United States). Then hail a cab.
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Caneel Bay, St. John
You don't need a passport to get to this elegant spot, but with seven secluded beaches and 170 acres of unblemished beauty, it will feel light years away from your life back home. caneelbay.com
What not to miss: A hike through the lush Virgin Islands National Park, which surrounds the resort. Download detailed maps at Trail Bandit.org before you arrive.
How to get here: Fly to St. Thomas, then make your way to the airport's Caneel Bay booth. They'll shuttle you down to the dock, where you'll take a ferry to the hotel.
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Jumby Bay, Antigua
This luxurious spread of cottages and suites sprawls across Long Island, a semi-private speck off Antigua that's home to only a handful of residences. Rooms embody an indoor-outdoor design ethos with wrap-around terraces and alfresco rain showers in private gardens. jumbybayresort.com
What not to miss: A bike ride on the hotel-provided beach cruisers to isolated Pasture Bay Beach. If you arrange it with the concierge first, they'll have a picnic waiting there with your name on it.
How to get here: Fly to Antigua's V.C. Bird International Airport. A chauffeured town car will bring you to the resort's dock, where you'll hop aboard Jumby's catamaran.
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Firefly Plantation, Bequia
The island's nicest property, on the grounds of a former sugar plantation, features upscale trimmings, relaxed vibes, great local seafood, and charming hosts. Spend your days, rum punch in hand, by the freshwater swimming pool, or check out the ruins of the 250-year-old sugar mill. fireflybequia.com
What not to miss: A private sail on the 44-foot Nicola IV to the uninhabited Isle de Quatre, where you can indulge any Robinson Crusoe fantasies you've been harboring.
How to get here: Fly to Barbados, then take a small plane to Bequia.
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