The Caribbean welcomes millions of tourists each year and, though many are couples, it is also a strong market for families.
So for those seeking seclusion and romance, it’s important to choose the right island and the right resort, or their sweet nothings will be drowned out by the cries of over-excited children.
Follow our guide and send your clients to the Caribbean’s most romantic spots – you may well pick up a wedding booking or two when they return.
At the risk of sweeping generalisations, smaller islands without direct flights are less popular with the family market. Once clients have dragged their kids on a long-haul flight, they’re keen to get straight to the hotel and throw them into bed, or the pool.
By getting couples to take that short extra hop, they can find islands where they’ll discover peace and tranquillity.
Anguilla is great for couples, with mile after mile of quiet beaches to relax on. It’s not too built-up and has a generally laid-back and unspoilt atmosphere.
Cap Juluca is a favourite for those with cash to splash. Back before Brangelina, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt used to stay here, and thanks to a $22 million renovation it’s in great shape to welcome choosy guests.
It doesn’t look chintzy or over the top, designed in a simple Moorish style, and is set in huge grounds, so couples can stay far away from the main facilities if they want to.
The beach is big, too, so love birds can be alone, only interrupted by staff bringing towels or chilled fruit. They can dine on the beach, or have a meal served in one of the private pool villas.
A touch more affordable is Ku, a property with a minimalist Miami South Beach style. The all-suite property offers self-catering facilities as well as a restaurant, and is well suited to couples who like a lively resort. The 75ft-long beach bar is the longest on the island, so there’s plenty of room to spread out along it.
Choose St Vincent and the Grenadines for couples seeking seclusion and a glimpse of the historic Caribbean. Quaint and charming, with well-preserved plantation buildings, these islands are picture perfect.
Gold-plated clients should choose The Cotton House on Mustique. Much of the island is privately owned, and this extremely stylish luxury resort is definitely one for couples who want to feel like millionaires.
Hugely spacious grounds surround accommodation spread across the hillside and seafront of the estate, and there are plenty of corners to hide away in.
Staff will pack a picnic hamper for couples and drop them off at a totally private beach, leaving them a walkie-talkie with which to summon a golf cart when they want to be brought back to civilisation.
On the sleepy, friendly island of Bequia, visitors can enjoy barefoot luxury at Friendship Bay Beach Resort. Most of the rooms are on the beach and spread out in a 10-acre tropical garden. Privacy is there for the asking, but the resort is also only 12 minutes away from the quaint town of Port Elizabeth by taxi.
Mountainous neighbours St Kitts and Nevis offer nature and rich history, with hillside fortresses and a narrow gauge scenic railway through the sugar cane fields on the former and botanical gardens and museums on the latter.
The Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on Nevis is spacious, with rooms in small one-storey cottages set around the main area, a historic plantation house.
Montpelier Plantation is a similar boutique property, and on St Kitts, Ottley’s Plantation Inn has the same historic ambience and West Indian warmth.
The British Virgin Islands are similarly laid-back, and great for sailing and snorkelling. Long Bay Beach Resort and Villas on Tortola is a plantation-style property sprinkled across 52 acres of grounds between green hills and the beach.
The tiny island of St Barts is perfect for upmarket foodies. The French influence here extends to language, cuisine and even currency – the official one is the euro. Dollars are accepted everywhere, though, and English is spoken widely.
Eden Rock Hotel is great for wealthy trend-setters. Set out alone on a rocky promontory, each accommodation has been individually designed so couples can pick one to their taste. One, on top of the rock, has 360-degree views. Some are split level, and all are very private.
The larger islands welcome visitors of all kinds, but have such a wide choice of hotels that it’s easy to find ones that suit love birds.
Barbados is an island with plenty going on, so is perfect for couples who want to experience all the classic Caribbean has to offer.
Cool, white and serene, The House has discreet but attentive service, with an ‘ambassador’ assigned to each couple to look after their every need. Dining is of an exceptionally high standard, as the restaurant, Daphne’s, is twinned with the exclusive establishment of the same name in London.
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is also renowned for hosting special occasions with a romantic ambience. A private beach just round the corner from the beach bar means couples can dine without being overlooked. Suites are almost on the beach, so they can just throw open the doors and feel the cool Caribbean breeze.
In St Lucia, the suites at the Ladera are also recommended for couples, with private plunge pools and open-walled rooms exposing views of the Pitons and the ocean.
In Antigua, too, it’s possible to find the perfect option for couples by advising them to book certain suites. Carlisle Bay has 82 suites, all with large day beds on the balconies and terraces, all of which have ocean views, so it’s possible for couples to hide away in their own private world.
Hermitage Bay is suite only, with some directly on the beach. The Hillside Suites offer more privacy however, with spectacular views, private plunge pools and sunbathing decks.
Jumby Bay is a Rosewood resort on a private island off Antigua’s mainland, accessible only by boat. It’s undergoing a $26 million renovation scheduled to finish this summer. There’ll be new rooms, an oceanfront infinity pool and a spa.
Caribtours offers seven nights at Montpelier Plantation, Nevis from £1,658 per person in a premier room, including breakfast. Price includes scheduled flights and private transfers. (Tel: 020 7751 0660, caribtours.co.uk/travelagentzonelogin.asp)
ITC Classics offers seven nights at the Cotton House on Mustique from £2,200 per person including international and connecting flights. (Tel: 01244 355 550, agents.itcclassics.co.uk)
Caribtours offers seven nights at Ladera, Saint Lucia from £2,123 per person staying in a Petit Piton Suite with plunge pool, including breakfast. Price includes return scheduled flights and private transfers. (Tel: 020 7751 0660, caribtours.co.uk/travelagentzonelogin.asp)
ITC Classics offers seven nights’ bed and breakfast at the Royal Pavilion in Barbados in an Oceanfront deluxe room from £1,535 including flights and private transfers. (Tel: 01244 355 550, agents.itcclassics.co.uk)
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