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Quiet getaways.

Overworked, stressed-out, executives and entrepreneurs, in search of quiet hideaways that soothe the spirit, while gingerly stimulating the senses, will find an eclectic mix of resorts in the Caribbean. Some cater to your every need in worldly style, others opt for barefoot chic. There are large and small resorts, and those with and without telephones, cable television or morning wake-up calls. An assortment of villas with private pools, hotels with oceanfront rooms on secluded beaches and bungalows with tropical gardens abound. Dine in open-air settings with oceans views-from terraced restaurants to beachside snack bars. Through the environs may differ, any of these island destinations will make the perfect getaway.

BLISSFUL BAHAMIAN RETREATS

Lying quietly in the Atlantic Ocean at points west, north, east and south of lively Nassau are the Bahama Family Islands--Abacos, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Eleuthera, the Exumas, Cat Island, Long Island, Crooked Island and San Salvador. The emphasis in the Family Isles is on simple, outdoor pleasures such as sailing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sunning and relaxing.

The Abacos are a 130-mile chain of small islands and offshore cays (pronounced keys). Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco is the main town and commercial center of the island. It features a few ocean-view resorts, beachfront villas and a smattering of harborside restaurants and lounges. But, it is the Abacos offshore cays, or small islands, reachable only by plane or boat, that are the true getaways.

For bohemians, Treasure Cay Beach Hotel and Villas is an all-incomplete property complete with 150-slip marina, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and a three-and-one-half-mile-long beach. Green Turtle Cay Club and Marina, off the southern shore, is also known for its "country club" feeling, replete with fully equipped 35-slip marina and 19th-century decor. But beachcombers will enjoy Great Guana Cay and its seven-mile beach, which is almost completely deserted except for one property--Guana Beach Resort.

Only 20 minutes by water taxi or ferry from Marsh Harbour, Hope Town Harbour Lodge on Elbow Cay is perfect for overworked execs, who can spend Sundays looking out over the ocean while dining on a champagne brunch.

Only 50 miles from Miami lies Bimini--the big game fishing capital of the world. Its quiet, winding beaches on the West Coast are as popular now as when Ernest Hemingway and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. ventured there years ago. The reasons are also still the same: to enjoy its two world-class, deep-sea fishing marina resorts--The Bimini Big Game Fishing Club and the Bimini Blue Water Marina. Here, anglers can go out fishing for marlin on everything from charter boats to private yachts with guides.

The resorts found on Eluethera run the length of the 100-mile-long, two-mile-wide island. Off its northern shores lies beautiful and peaceful Harbour Island. Here, the narrow streets are dotted with colonial houses, clapboard cottages and five resorts, while the islands is encircled by miles of pink sand beach. On the main island of Eleuthera, rent a car and take a day trip around the island. In Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera's main town. Sigatoo Inn, is perched on a hillside overlooking seven miles of pink sand beach The 26-room hotel is equipped with a pool, ocean-view patios and balconies. At the southern end of Eleuthera in Rock Sound is a two-mile, three-lined driveway, leading to a curving bay beach, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, pool, seaside-dining terrace, 77 ocean-front rooms and the full-service marina and sports center at the exclusive Cotton Bay Club.

South of Eleuthera and across the Exuma Sound, is another 130-mile chain of islands and 365 cays called The Exumas. Its capital, George Town, is so peaceful that it has no traffic lights and only seven resorts, some located on private cove beaches. A few of the cays have resorts, but the area is primarily popular for sailing and one-day boating hideaways. One of the few resorts is the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Marina, which not only has tasty dining and elegantly decorated cottages, but its own airport and houseboat. For information on the Family Islands and its resorts, contact the Bahamas Reservation Service and the Family Islands Promotion Board at 800-327-0787 or 305-359-8099.

Reggae, Sun And Splash

Although Jamaica is known for its sun, fun and night life, it also has elegant hideaways with dramatic views of the Caribbean Sea tucked not far from the action. Villas dominate the resort scene here. Even the large hotels offers a villa section on their properties. While there are exclusive and expensive villas, such as Round Hill in Montego Bay, Sans Souci in Ocho Rios and Trident Villas in Port Antonio, more reasonable and just as private are the resorts of Nirvana and Charela Inn. Located on seven miles of beautiful Negril beach, both resorts have beach-front garden cottages. In Ocho Rios, the hilltop Hibiscus Lodge features an international restaurant with a view of the Caribbean Sea as does Port Antonio's Jamaica Palace: a trendy 80-room, white-pillared marble hotel with semicircular beds 114-foot swimming pool with a commanding view of the sea. For more information on these and other locations, contact the Jamaican Tourism office at 800-JAMAICA or 212-688-7650.

The Beautiful Virgin Isles

From hilltop retreats to ecological beach resorts, the U.S. Virgin Islands have resorts with some of the most dramatic views and private locations to relax in the Caribbean.

Pools and Pavilions on St. Thomas feature private villas each with its own 20-x-14-foot or 18-x-16-foot pool. There are only eight rooms with verandas and terraced gardens at The Mark St. Thomas Hotel, whose restaurant overlooks the Charlotte. Amalie harbor. On St. Croix, the seaside plantation estate of Sprat Hall Plantation features nine rooms and eight suites, complete with round and four-poster beds, stables and a beachfront restaurant. If the sound of waves crashing over the sides of its saltwater pool is appealing, check into The Waves at Cane Bay on St. Croix. Beautiful St. John is a serene, nature-lovers paradise and the most private island in the USVI. Two-thirds of the island is preserves as a U.S. National Park and only way to get there is by water taxi or ferry. This is the setting for the Hyatt Regency St. John, a 264-room beachfront hotel on beautiful Great Cruz Bay. Despite its size, the property offers serenity and quiet in a lush garden landscape. An 11,000-square-foot pool is the centerpiece of the resort, which also has six lighted tennis courts, two restaurants and complete water activities, including scuba diving. For more information, contact the U.S. Virgin Islands at 800-USVI-INFO or 212-582-4520.

The British Virgin Islands--Tortola, Virgin Gorda and the smaller islands--have had the legendary distinction of being reachable mainly by boat, which makes them excellent island hideaways.

Virgin Gorda, east of Tortola, has exclusive hideaways that are reachable only by boat. There is the distinct Bitter End Yacht Club, a resort with villas that extend down a mountainside to the beach with additional living quarters on several yachts. Conservative, expansive and grand, the posh 400-acre Little Dix Bay features 102 rooms and suites sprawled along curving beachfront property, affording lots of privacy to its guests. More affordable are the cottages of Guavaberry Spring Bay Vacation Cottages, which feature curving decks and nature trails that adjoin the boulders and grottoes at the Baths--a group of natural saltwater springs with their own beaches. Even more private is the offshore island resort of Guana Island Club, which offers 15 rooms in six hillside cottages, along with terraced dining and wildlife sanctuary. For more information on the British Virgin Islands, contact its tourist board at 800-835-8530 or 212-696-0400.

Caribbean French

St. Martin/St. Maarten have hideaways that sport continental cuisine and Mediterranean-style resorts. This single island has a French side, St. Martin, with excellent French and Creole restaurants, and a Dutch side, St. Maarten, which has narrow streets and small colorful Dutchstyle buildings. St. Martin's Le Meridien L'Habitation has opened a new luxury wing--Le Domaine, with 125 rooms and 20 suites facing the ocean and a new restaurant specializing in Italian and Creole cuisine. On the Dutch side of St. Maarten, Caravanserai, features rooms with seaside balconies and a gazebo-style restaurant, while the Oyster Bay Yacht Club offers a terraced pool with views of St. Barts and yachts in the bay. A special hideaway on the French side of St. Martin is the continental resort of La Belle Creole. It features 156 spacious rooms located in 21 low-rise villas on 25 sculpted garden acres; weary professionals will find La Belle a very private resting place. Its cobblestone walks fountain-decorated courtyards, gourmet restaurants and terraces overlook Marigot Bay, and its beaches are right on the peninsula--Pointe des Pierres a Chaux. For more information on St. Martin, contact its tourist board at 212-757-1125 or 900-900-0040 and for St. Maarten, call 212-989-0000.

Secluded St. Kitts

Travelers interested in a small island far away from the crowds will appreciate the seclusion of St. Kitts and Nevis. Montepelier Plantation Inn in Nevis is a quaint 16-room restored 18th-century plantation.

The inn features antique four-poster beds, nature trails, pool, tennis court and a restaurant on 100 acres. Transportation to its private beach is also available. Keeping with its traditional English style, afternoon tea is served daily.

Barbadian Luxury Hideaways

Barbados is known for its dramatic cliffs overlooking the surging waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is also renown as the creme de la creme of the Caribbean with its expensive, ultra-luxurious resorts by the Carribbean Sea.

Glitter Bay is a former estate beach-house-turned-condominium resort with 85 one- and two-bedroom suites on 17 acres of tropical gardens. But the star of this island is the Sandy Lane Hotel and Golf Club on 380 acres of luxury property. The coral-colored resort features 110 rooms and suites with marble bathrooms, multi-terraced dining areas overlooking the Caribbean Sea, a superb 18-hole golf course and vast tropical gardens. Guests can also reserve the restor's chauffered, white Rolls Royce to go to dinner off the property.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Caribbean Travel Guide
Author:Duncan, Pearl P.R.D.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Directory
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:1658
Previous Article:Island bargains.
Next Article:El Caribe Mexico.
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