This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
In the second half of 2020, when most Caribbean countries reopened, travelers made a beeline to the region in search of space and seclusion, as well as sun, sea, and sand. It’s not surprising, then, that islands which are either large enough to spread out on (Jamaica) or small enough to be relatively exclusive (St. Bart’s) were home to half of the resorts that made this year’s rankings.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Once on the ground in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, T+L readers continued to prioritize privacy, favoring hotels that were either small, spacious, or secluded. Their preferences are proven by the top 10 retreats on the list, which comprise a mix of private-island resorts, villa-based properties, or hotels with fewer than 60 rooms.
The Turks and Caicos islands drew many travelers, who raved about Providenciales hotels No. 9 Point Grace (“Awesome location, awesome employees!”); No. 19 Seven Stars Resort & Spa (“The spa is the best on the island”); and No. 24 Grace Bay Club (“Our seven-night stay was spectacular!”). Round Hill Hotel and Villas, which came in second, was one of four Jamaican resorts to make the list. Readers praised it for its “stylish yet timeless interiors” and “delightful afternoon tea.” “After 15 years of visiting we have never been disappointed,” one fan claims. St. Lucia also put in a strong showing with four resorts, including the ever-popular romantic retreat Jade Mountain, which earned the No. 3 spot.
Your top pick, Kamalame Cay, was the only Bahamian resort to make the list. Read on to find out why it stood out from the competition.
1. Kamalame Cay, Kamalame Cay, Andros Island, Bahamas
Described by T+L readers as “an amazing experience” that is “truly paradise,” this 97-acre private-island resort with just 20 accommodations (a mix of bungalows, beach houses, cottages, and villas) checks all the post-vaccination traveler’s boxes. Whether they arrive via puddle-jumper or hop seaplane, readers rave about the family-run boutique’s “great service, excellent food,” and “wonderful atmosphere.” Home to the archipelago’s only overwater spa, Kamalame also includes diversions like diving, fishing, and kayaking the Bahama-blue waters, as well as beach picnics and classic cocktails at its tiki bar, which draws patrons from Nassau, a 40-minute boat ride away. The sum total, according to one reader, is “spectacular and dreamy all around,” making the cay a “destination that you want to rush to get to and never leave.”
More information: kamalame.com
2. Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica
More information: roundhill.com
3. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St. Lucia
4. (tie) Cap Maison, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
More information: capmaison.com
4. (tie) Tensing Pen, Negril, Jamaica
More information: tensingpen.com
6. Hôtel Le Toiny, Anse de Toiny, St. Bart’s
More information: letoiny.com
7. Frangipani Beach Resort, Meads Bay, Anguilla
More information: frangipaniresort.com
8. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
More information: jamaicainn.com
9. Point Grace, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
More information: gracebayresorts.com
10. Secret Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica
More information: secretbay.dm
11. Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, St. Bart’s
More information: lebarthelemyhotel.com
12. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba
More information: bucuti.com
13. Le Sereno, Grand Cul De Sac, St. Bart’s
More information: serenohotels.com
14. Palm Heights, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
More information: palmheights.com
15. Anse Chastanet Resort, Soufrière, St. Lucia
More information: ansechastanet.com
16. Eden Rock-St. Barths, Baie de Saint Jean, St. Bart’s
More information: oetkercollection.com
17. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica
More information: halfmoon.com
18. Jumby Bay Island, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
More information: oetkercollection.com
19. Seven Stars Resort & Spa, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
More information: sevenstarsgracebay.com
20. Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, Soufrière, St. Lucia
More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
21. Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
More information: edenroccapcana.com
22. Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Maundays Bay, Anguilla
More information: belmond.com
23. Curtain Bluff Resort, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
More information: curtainbluff.com
24. Grace Bay Club, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
More information: gracebayclub.gracebayresorts.com
25. Zemi Beach House, Shoal Bay East, Anguilla
More information: zemibeach.com
See all of our readers’ favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World’s Best Awards for 2021.