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From the Cayman Islands to Jamaica, 15 Tiny Beach Resorts to Try

cayman islands tourism eclipses

The Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman.

Tucked-away bungalows on a minuscule island in Cayman. A secret oasis in St Barth. An eco-retreat on a perfect stretch of white sand. These are the tiny beach resorts we all dream about during months of endless blizzards.  

So what do we mean by tiny beach resort? The formula is simple. The hotel has to be small, and no, we don’t mean “boutique” in the way some 100-room hotels now describe themselves. We mean tiny — think 20 rooms, or 10 rooms or 7 rooms. And the hotel has to be right on the beach — not a long stroll away, or set on a big cliff up the hill. Right on the beach. The rest is open to interpretation, because when you’re dealing with properties like these, no two are ever the same. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands This gem on lovable Little Cayman has 14 colorful bungalows on nearly 1,000 feat of blindingly white sand, in view of Owen Island. Set on Little Cayman’s South Hole Sound, it’s the castaway fantasy, with excellence Caribbean-fusion cuisine by Anu Christopher and an always-lively bar called Loggerhead. And did we mention it has some of the best diving in the Caribbean? 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

Bluff House, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas Fly to Marsh Harbour, take a ferry and you’ve found one of the most enchanting little islands in the Caribbean, where the Bluff House has been welcoming guests for nearly seven decades. Perched above a classic Abaconian white sand beach, the Bluff House has the spirt of a country inn with the charm and beauty you can only find in the Out Islands of The Bahamas. The hotel’s Tranquil Turtle beach bar is a must. 

st barth requirements
Les Ilets de la Plage, one of St Barth’s most beloved hotels.

Les Ilets de la Plage, St Barth This is one of the great secrets of the Caribbean, a tucked-away jewel on the Caribbean’s most glamorous island. A collection of bungalows and villas at the edge of the island’s lovely St Jean beach, Les Ilets is almost impossibly serene and secluded, a haven for sophisticated for travelers who know exactly how to experience St Barth — and those who love a classic beach resort. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

Coco B Isla, Isla Mujeres There’s nothing else like this high-design luxury boutique hotel collection in the heart of beautiful Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Equal parts hotel and villa collection, it’s the best of both worlds, with the privacy and comfort you look for in villa accommodations with the terrific service of a boutique hotel. Even better? The hotel’s location means it has no issues with sargassum, a significant problem in much of the Mexican Caribbean of late. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

The Sands Hotel, San Salvador, The Bahamas Intrepid travelers have known about San Salvador for years: its picture-perfect beaches, its great diving, its history (Columbus made his first landfall in the New World here). But it’s also home to a terrific place to stay: the Sands, set on a magnificent stretch of San Salvador white-sand beach, the perfect jumping off point to explore the natural wonders of this island. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands
Stocking Island is not to be missed.

Kahari Resort, Stocking Island, The Bahamas A collection of bungalow-style rooms, this solar-powered eco-boutique is set on Stocking Island, a short boat ride from the Exuma archipelago’s “main” island of Great Exuma. This is the essence of a hideaway, deliciously quiet, eminently calm and home to one of the most beautiful beaches in all of The Bahamas. 

the hideout

The Hideout, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands The buzziest hotel in the British Virgin Islands has instantly become one of its best, with luxuries you won’t even find at larger BVI resorts in a wonderfully small package. There are just seven villas here, all with their own private plunge pools, all set on the aptly-named White Bay. The best amenity, though, might be the legendary beach bar on-site called Hendo’s Hideout. 

cayman islands jamaica resorts beach

Little Arches, Barbados There’s so much here in a small package. While the beloved Little Arches is home to just 10 rooms, it’s a whole world unto itself, from its beautiful Oistins beach to the outstanding Cafe Luna restaurant to wonderful touches like a shuttle to explore other South Coast beaches and a roof-deck pool. Even better? It’s an adults-only hotel.

twilight at skylark
Skylark is the sister hotel to the famous Rockhouse.

Skylark, Negril, Jamaica This sister hotel to Negril’s world-famous Rockhouse Hotel is all about Jamaican cool. The music thumps, the energy abounds and the beautiful sands of Seven Mile Beach are right out your door. Just like its cliffside neighbor, Skylark has outstanding food. But the biggest reason to come here is the first Caribbean outpost of renowned New York bar Miss Lily’s, with the world-class DJing to boot. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

The Bonairian, Bonaire It’s hidden away right off the main EEG Boulevard near Flamingo International Airport. But walk through its high-walled entrance you and you discover a lovely little eight-room boutique, with a terrific deck above the water, several boutique-style beaches and the kind of Bonaire blue water that you can’t look away from. There’s a waterside pool, too, and sleek, minimalist rooms. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

Pearl Beach, St Barth Two tiny beach resorts in St Barth? Yep, and this one is completely different. A tiny resort that’s a daily party on the beach, this always-vibrant resort has 14 rooms right on St Jean sand, with a cool rooftop-style pool deck, colorful rooms and what just may be the island’s greatest beach bar. 

barbuda beaches are unmatched.

Barbuda Belle, Barbuda Every hotel on Barbuda is a beach hotel, but we’re particularly enamored of this one, the modern realization of the Crusoe fantasy. This eight-room, family-owned, bungalow-style hotel has a lovely restaurant, the Jelly Tree Bar and Grill, sleek, rustic-chic rooms and the kind of sublime serenity for which Barbuda has always been famous. 

pelican beach is family owned

Pelican Beach Hotel, North Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands This is not Providenciales. And that’s precisely the point. This family-owned resort is all about island living, with Clifford and Susan Gardiner cultivating an unrivaled, authentic, gloriously beachy experience on a spectacular stretch of North Caicos beach. There are seven units, comprised of six rooms right on the beach, joined by a beachfront apartment, along with the fantastic Barracuda Beach Bar. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

Cooper Island Beach Club, British Virgin Islands It may be a hotel on a private island, but it’s not like any private island resort you’ve ever been to. This is one of the breeziest, most fun places in all of the BVI, from its world-class rum bar to an always-lively beach that’s popular with yachters and day-trippers. There are eight rooms at Cooper, all comfortable and bright, the perfect places to retire to after an unforgettable island afternoon. 

jamaica beach resorts cayman islands

The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua It’s historic, it’s charming, it’s laid back. The Inn at English Harbour is everything you like about Antigua in a 28-room package. The Inn is place that marvelously marries elegance and barefoot fun, with postcard-perfect rooms with four-poster beds and an excellent Italian-Caribbean restaurant. Our suggestion? Go for one of the toes-in-the-sand bungalows. 

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