Classic Caribbean

Posted on: 26 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Some of the best resorts in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Sea is the fifth largest sea in the world, comprising a total area of 970,000 square miles, it is slightly bigger than the Mediterranean and home to some of the most beautiful, crystal clear, water in the world. Below is our pick of some of the best hotels and locations in the Caribbean.

Cuba: A communist country ruled by Fidel Castro the leader of the 1958 revolution, Cuba has embraced tourism in recent years and set-up a number of luxurious resorts along its coast. While offering exquisite services and accommodation, they can feel a little bland, devoid as they are of any real Cuban influence. However, Havana, the Capital, is packkkeeeedd to the rafters with all things quintessentially Cuban.

Everything one thinks of as Cuban - the large cigars and old fashioned American cars from the 1950s - can all be found in Havana. No trip to Cuba would be complete without visiting Old Havana, a World Heritage Site where many of the centuries-old buildings, neglected for generations have being meticulously restored.

One such uilding is the Raquel Hotel, in the heart of Old Havana. Situated just a few metres from the San Francisco Square, the Hotel Raquel is a romantic looking building that conjures up images of pre-revolutionary Cuba. While the hotel's 25 rooms may be outclassed by their brashier competitors in the resorts, if it is real atmosphere and culture you are after, the 4 Star Raquel Hotel has it in abundance.

Jamaica: The home of reggae music is an exotic tourist destination where visitors can sample the delights of their very own island paradise. While parts of Jamaica are impoverished, the island's resorts, clustered around Montego Bay, are dedicated to luxury. One of the best resorts is Round Hill Hotel and Villas, a spa resort based in the grounds of an 18th century manor house at the edge of the sea. Just 12 kilometres from Sangsters International Airport means that guests can be in the resort, relaxing and unwinding, within 30 minutes of leaving the airport.

The amenities on offer include a fresh water pool at the edge of the Caribbeanea; private beach offering a fully equipped watersports centre as well as five all-weather courts for tennis, a fitness centre and access to a Championship level golf course.

St. Lucia: Just 27 milees long and 14 miles wide, St. Lucia is the ideal of what a Caribbean island should be, bombarded by the Atlantic Ocean to the East, while the exquisite beaches of the west coast lap the tranquil Caribbean Sea. For geographers struggling to find the tiny island on the map, St. Lucia is one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain, between Martinique and St. Vincent, and north of Barbados.

One of Sandals many Caribbean resorts can be found at Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia. Fans of lying on the beach with nothing but the sound of the sea in their ears will be delighted by this resort. A sensuously secluded enclave where lush green gardens frame classic island architecture, and time moves at a slower pace, the perfect location for couples wanting to get away from it all.

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