By Patricia Canole

Some romantics who choose an island getaway can’t do without a casino or a nightclub; others come to climb mountains, plumb the deep waters, or chill on a hammock. The marvel is that anything is possible. Each island has its own magical identity. The challenge is to pinpoint the island and resort that matches your needs. Here are four islands in the Caribbean which provide rest, relaxation, and lots of romance.

Romance Factor: Small enough to feel intimate, Anguilla packs a punch with endless stretches of beach. Only 35 miles long, it offers peace, quiet, and long, languid, pampered days and nights. Most sights on the island are of the natural variety. There’s exceptional scuba diving among the reefs, sailing and snorkeling.

Be sure to hop on a ferry from Marigot. The 20-minute ride will leave you on the French side of St. Martin, where it’s easy explore the many duty-free shops and relax at a fine restaurant before returning to your Anguillan hideaway. 

Best Stay: Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel If the state of being wonderfully spoiled had a capital, it would be called Cap Juluca. Don’t believe us? Enter your villa high above powdered sugar strands and coves and be mesmerized by the showstopping sunsets. The Mediterranean-style resort offers couples an oasis with food and wine of the highest quality. All rooms are tucked away in private villas and the main lodge. Understated island luxe is accented with treasures from around the world. For dining with a view, you can’t surpass Pimm’s for romantic dinners and its views of the turquoise sea. Info:

Romance Factor:  Jamaicans have a word for feeling happy and alive—it’s irie—and that’s how you’ll feel after letting the Jamaican ambiance soak in. You’ll want to see the entire island, but you’ll find plenty of views if you choose the island’s famous north coast, including Montego Bay. Here, you’ll find every kind of recreation, from water sports, horseback riding, golf, and tennis to mountain climbing, river rafting, and canoeing. Info:

Best Stay: Half Moon, Montego Bay
Luxury-savvy sybarites rank Half Moon at the top of the world’s “pure heaven” list. That’s why this chic resort, with more than 400 acres of manicured gardens and two miles of silky-white beach, is the hideaway choice for those in the know. 

There’s a championship course for golfers, while equestrians will enjoy a gallop through the nature reserve. Tennis buffs can practice their swing on one of 13 courts. Have you had enough? Then, indulge in a well-deserved massage at the Fern Tree Spa, where European treatments and hydrotherapy will soothe those weary muscles. There’s a wide variety of dining options. Be sure to include the Sugar Mill which boasts views of the historic water wheel of the former Rose Hall Sugar Plantation. Info: 

Romance Factor: Nicknamed the “Spice Island,” Grenada is picture-postcard perfect. With close to 50 white-sand beaches, it’s easy to find secluded strands where the only footprints in the sand belong to the two of you. The varying terrain of high mountain ranges, velvety tropical forests, playful waterfalls, and bumpy country roads offers no end to romantic outdoor excursions.

Best Stay: Laluna, Morne Rouge Laluna offers something for everyone, including lodgings cut right into the hillside and sheltered by foliage. The cool digs give you plenty of room to hide out and feature king-sized beds, open verandas, and an ambiance that hints more of Bali than the Caribbean. Add to that all the luxurious amenities you expect, antiques scattered throughout the resort, and soothing plunge pools, and you’ve got a resort that invites you to leave the world behind. 

Seagoing activities are on tap or hit the beach, where trees offer shady parking spots for you and your sunscreen. When the day’s fun is done, dine by candlelight at the seaside restaurant, serving exceptional Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Now head back to your cottage and count the stars as you dip in the plunge pool. After all, it was made for two. Info: 

Latin flair is in the air in DR. It is full of warm hospitality, the grace of days gone by, and the sophisticated vivacity of the 21st century—all cloaked in plenty of Spanish charm. Legendary resort towns like La Romana, Punta Cana, Cap Cana, Samana, and Puerto Plata dot the coastline, offering plenty of tropical fun. Try your hand at river rafting or opt for some mountain biking. Get out into the countryside for opportunities to meet with locals and even visit a sugar plantation. Raw sugar never tasted so good! This is an island where memories are around every corner! 

Best Stay: Eden Roc Cap Cana
Unquestionably, this all-suite boutique hotel with interior decor straight from the French Riviera is glamorous. Interiors juxtapose French classicism with sleek modern accessories. Guest rooms similarly boast sumptuously comfortable beds with fine linens, and outdoor and indoor showers with multiple shower heads. These glorious sanctuaries (with private pools) are ideal for romantic getaways. The Solaya Spa and Wellness Center has yoga, indoor/outdoor cabanas, and a juice bar. Later, reserve a table at the at the resort’s restaurant for its exquisite cuisine. Info:  

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