Using an unbiased methodology that aggregates the opinions of travel experts and guests, US News’ travel editors combed the Caribbean for the best hotels, analysing guidebooks, magazines and review-based websites to compile a list of properties that consistently receive accolades.
The resulting 2014 Best Hotels in the Caribbean rankings comprised a diverse group, ranging from small boutique hotels to sprawling all-inclusive resorts, but each hotel on the list reportedly stood out from its peers "thanks to its memorable ambiance, upscale amenities and exemplary service."
The top 10 Caribbean hotels, as determined by this survey, follow:
10. Caneel Bay Resort, St John, US Virgin Islands
Caneel Bay Resort made the top 10 for the first time this year. Whether it's the resort's location within the Virgin Islands National Park or its technology-free ethos (there are no TVs or telephones in the rooms), Caneel Bay is consistently described by guests as "an oasis." This boutique resort took home the AAA Four Diamond award and claimed a coveted spot on the 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold list. Visitors can explore the 170-acre peninsula or relax in their rooms, with accommodations featuring private balconies or terraces, Caribbean stone accents and views of the garden or Caneel Beach.
9. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St Lucia
The epitome of a room with a view, each of the "sanctuaries" at Jade Mountain is missing its fourth wall, offering unobstructed views of the Pitons. Along with the spectacular scenery, Jade Mountain's accommodations also boast 15-foot-high ceilings and contemporary interiors crafted from tropical hardwood, some also featuring private infinity pools. While it's not directly on the beach, this AAA Five Diamond property offers plenty of other amenities including private yoga lessons and treatments at the Kai en Ciel spa.
8. Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Charlestown, St Kitts & Nevis
Relinquishing its reign as the Best Hotel in St Kitts & Nevis to the Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis fell from the No. 5 to the No. 8 spot on the 2014 Best Hotels in the Caribbean ranking. This year, it nevertheless won the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award among other industry accolades. Stretched across the golden sands of Pinney's Beach, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis is reportedly a guest favourite thanks to its ample facilities, including an 18-hole golf course, 10 tennis courts and an outdoor spa sanctuary.
7. Rosewood Jumby Bay, St John's, Antigua
Rosewood Jumby Bay sits on a secluded, 300-acre private island 2 miles off the northwest coast of Antigua. This year it earned the AAA Five Diamond honour, the Condé Nast Readers' Choice award and a spot on Travel + Leisure's annual 500 World's Best Hotels list. The resort's 40 rooms and villas boast wrap-around terraces, private courtyards and outdoor garden showers, while guests say the staff caters to every whim.
6. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Newcastle, St Kitts & Nevis
Set on a retired 18th-century sugar plantation, this hotel is said to prove that small boutique properties pack as much punch as big, brand-backed resorts. The intimate hotel’s 36 guest rooms and suites are nestled in a lush, tropical setting spread out in cottages across 30 acres of greenery on Nevis' northeastern coast, offering hiking, horseback riding and other attractions. Nisbet Plantation earned an AAA Four Diamond award, plus recognition from Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.
5. Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, Baie des Flamands, St Barts
Though this AAA Four Diamond hotel fell three spots (it held the No. 2 place on the Best Hotels in the Caribbean 2013 ranking), the 40-room oceanfront hotel draws consistent praise for stylish interiors, impeccable service and its location right on the shore. Hotel Saint-Barth earned a place on the 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Travel + Leisure 500 World's Best Hotels lists. Guests enjoy the hotel's secluded setting, horseback rides along the shore, and the outdoor spa pavilion.
4. Eden Rock, St Barths, Baie de St Jean, St Barts
Beating Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France for the title of Best Hotel in St Barts, Eden Rock also received awards from AAA, Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure this year. This Relais & Châteaux property is perched on a rock overlooking St Jean Bay along St Bart's northern shore. Travelers can enjoy the scenery from the aptly named restaurant, "On the Rocks," or from the rooms' private terraces. Its luxurious Villa Nina boasts a private swimming pool, whiskey bar, butler and art gallery.
3. Spice Island Beach Resort, St George's, Grenada
A newcomer to the top 10 list, Grenada's Spice Island Beach Resort jumped 10 spots from the position it held last year. Set on 8 acres along Grand Anse Beach, this AAA Four Diamond winner is a 32-room boutique hotel renowned for its courteous staff and choice location. While Spice Island's location is ideal for exploring the island or participating in complimentary snorkelling, kayaking and sailing, the accommodations also receive a hefty amount of praise, especially the Seagrape Beach Suites. These feature a private patio and garden, a double hammock and a whirlpool tub overlooking the ocean.
2. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The intimate, 48-suite Jamaica Inn moves up two spots this year from No. 4 in 2013. Winning features include the inn's private shoreline, beachfront spa, spacious, antique-filled rooms and attentive staff. Visitors say they were treated like royalty, with every service member remembering guests' names and personal preferences. The accolades Jamaica Inn received this year include the Condé Nast Readers Choice award.
1. Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For the second year in a row, Punta Cana's Tortuga Bay claimed the title of Best Hotel in the Caribbean. With its private beachfront, Oscar de la Renta-designed decor and lavish all-suite accommodations, this small, AAA Five Diamond property earned top marks from travel experts and guests alike. While visitors appreciate the abundant amenities — like the two golf courses, the Six Senses Spa and the ample water sports equipment available for use — lodgers also praise the personalized service, with recent guests saying they felt welcome as soon as they set foot on the property.