J5Travel enjoyed 2 great pieces of news this week. Firstly, we found out that we are one of five nominees for the "2019 Virtuoso Rising Star - Cruises" award. Virtuoso is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. With over 6,000 advisors globally, it's an honor to have made this short list just 5 months after joining the network. Special thanks to our Luxury Cruise Expert, Kanise Kelley, who has made this possible and Helen, who manages the magic spreadsheet that helps us to pursue our goal of continuous great, personal service. The support from our host agency, Gifted Travel Network has also been a major factor in our continued growth and recognition.
Secondly, and to emphasise our commitment to the personal service we are so proud of, we now, appropriately, have our 5th team member, Tori Springate, who joins us as Client Care Manager and Luxury Caribbean Expert. We've actually known Tori since the very first day we put down roots in USA in April 2002 when we moved in next door!
We've watched our children grow up together and start to spread their wings, and we couldn't be happier to have someone of Tori's considerable talents and huge heart be a part of our team. To celebrate Tori's arrival, this week's blog focuses on her area of specialty - the Caribbean, and in particular smaller, beautiful hotels, perfect for a couples retreat.
Top 5 Boutique Caribbean Properties
1. Amanyara - Turks & Caicos
Amanyara's signature low-lying rooflines and timber pavilions (some featuring private pools) belie one of the most luxurious properties anywhere. Amanyara never forgets its roots and is in constant harmony with its island environment. To welcome the outdoors in, your pavilion (below) features three retractable sides, as well as a king-size bed, daybeds, flat-screen television, terraces and a sunken table surrounded by cushions for cozy dining. The Spa Villa offers yoga and Watsu treatments in the privacy of the pavilion treatment rooms, pool and deck. Amanyara is nestled on the tip of a 5,000 acre nature and wildlife reserve, with the widely-acclaimed reefs of the Northwest Point Marine Park just offshore, and the snorkeling from the private beach is spectacular.
2. Jade Mountain - St Lucia
Every aspect of Jade Mountain’s organic design is extremely dramatic, from the suspended sky bridge to your decadent sanctuary (one of just 29 accommodations), where your infinity swimming pool seems to float in space. Guests enjoy the exclusive pleasure of dining on fresh, flavorful cuisine from award-winning Chef Allen Susser, and stargazing from the otherworldly Celestial Terrace. The location of the property is unsurpassed, rising majestically above the private estate of Anse Chastenet and encompassing 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft, sand Caribbean beaches with pristine coral reefs just off shore.
3. The Cove Eleuthera - Bahamas
For true escape and seclusion within the Caribbean, you will be hard pressed to beat The Cove. Located on the tranquil shores of Eleuthera this is an unspoiled enclave punctuated with swaying palms and white sand coves. The intimate, 57-room resort offers a selection of stylish seaside cottages and villas, embraced by endless turquoise waters. The Cove features private white sand beaches, a fitness center, spa, open-air sunset bar and a gourmet restaurant inspired by the island's tropical latitude and aquatic bounty.
4. Hermitage Bay - Antigua
Unusual among small properties in that this is an All-Inclusive resort, the intimate, privately-owned Hermitage Bay (above and below) is comprised of just 30 luxury suites so that even at its busiest, the place seems remote and quaint. Spanning 16 acres of lush tropical gardens, it's an eco-chic, luxury hotel providing all the comforts of a 5 star resort without compromising the natural habitat that thrives around it. With open-air facilities, extensive beach and detached private suites, it"s impossible not to unwind here in secluded luxury.
If your special interests include eco-friendly hotels, nature, yoga, pilates, meditation, natural organic food, premium drinks, fine wines, romance, island luxury, and tranquility then you will be especially happy at Hermitage Bay.
5. Hotel El Convento - San Juan, Puerto Rico
As Puerto Rico's recovery from the devastating 2017 hurricane season continues we are happy to include a non-beach resort among our top Caribbean boutique hotel picks.
Located in the heart of Old San Juan, El Convento (below) has set new standards of luxury, comfort and service while preserving the unique character and mystique of the hotel, which was created from a Carmelite convent built 360 years ago. Today the property enjoys an acclaimed reputation as San Juan's grande dame hotel.
Top tip: visit Patio del Nispero Restaurant & Alegría Patio Bar located in the interior courtyard, where you can enjoy great tapas and the best mojitos in town.
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