There is a common misconception amongst many would-be visitors to the Caribbean that the only types of accommodation available are large, all-inclusive resorts. Whilst these five-star luxury palaces are exactly what the doctor ordered for some tourists, others prefer something a little more tailored to their individual requirements. Fortunately, this belief is not founded in truth and there are a whole host of accommodation types on offer for every type of traveller.
From beach condos to rent in the Turks & Caicos Islands to private idyllic inns on the island of Jamaica, no matter what you are searching for, the Caribbean has something to offer you. This guide looks at five fabulous, but perhaps lesser known types of accommodation across the islands. And, if nothing takes your fancy, there is always a five-star, all-inclusive to fall back on!
Guest houses in the Caribbean are unlike anywhere else in the world. These easy going, inexpensive answer to accommodation allow visitors to come and go as they please and explore the Caribbean at their leisure. Private rooms or entire guesthouses can be hired, bed and breakfast is usually provided as are optional evening meals. You’ll have the chance to meet other likeminded visitors, without feeling crowded or surrounded by other people’s holiday. Whilst there isn’t the same round the clock service as you might expect in some accommodation types, this is more than offset by the freedom to do however you please.
Who should stay here? Anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience without a rigid schedule for meal times and activities.
Elegant rooms in traditional colonial style mansions on working plantations? If you want your visit to be steeped in history as well as surrounded by magnificent views, consider visiting one of the several plantations that offer accommodation to tourists. The guest rooms are usually situated in rustic old buildings that were once used by the owners of the plantation or for drying cocoa. The plantations have all the amenities and dining you’ll want during your stay, although shuttle buses and taxis can take you into the local towns.
Who should stay here? Couples or friends searching for a magnificent setting, brimming with Caribbean history.
Now, hotels in the Caribbean are usually fairly extravagant affairs. Here however, we are talking about small-key, family run hotels that can be found in the many towns and cities of the Caribbean islands. In these tranquil environments you’ll feel far closer to the islands and be able to experience first-hand the culture that makes each island so unique. You’ll be supplied with ample chilled beer and fresh fish, without the overbearing holiday reps or noisy children. Ensure you check with the establishment before you book as many are rather basic and may not have air conditioning installed as standard.
Who should stay here? Anyone seeking a break from the hustle and bustle, travellers taking a step back from hostelling or older couples who would savour the peace and quiet.
Private accommodation that opens up straight onto the shoreline is exactly what many people are searching for when they visit the Caribbean. Personal space, the opportunity to swim, sunbathe and surf in some of the most beautiful waters in the world is exactly what is on offer from a beach condo. You’ll have unlimited access to a sea without crowds, as well as your own space to relax after a day in the water.
Who should stay here? Surfers, fun loving groups and anyone who wants to be able to take a swim in the ocean every day before breakfast!
If being at one with nature is up your street then perhaps a cottage stay is what you are searching for. Dotted across hillsides, hidden in idyllic fishing villages or located near the shoreline, a cottage allows you to immerse yourself in the nature and culture of the island. If you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with the locals and want to get a feel for the real Caribbean countryside, a cottage stay may just be for you.
Who should stay here? Adventurers, nature enthusiasts and anyone who wants to find out more about life in the Caribbean.