A parade of cafes at the edge of the sand; tiny bars and art galleries; a soundtrack of clacking plates and mopeds and afternoon laughter, silent and loud in all the right ways. Across the wider Caribbean one can find some of the most charming beach towns in the hemisphere; they're not quite cities, they're a bit more than villages. They're energetic and teeming with personality. But most crucially, they're right on the beach. Here are some of our favorite beach towns worth making a trip to in 2022.
Grand Case, Saint Martin
Simply put, it's the Grande Dame of Caribbean beach towns. This tiny beachfront village just so happens to be home to the highest density of fine-dining restaurants of any place in the Caribbean, with an almost impossibly wonderful collection of eateries, all perched right above a terrific stretch of sand looking out at Anguilla. Even better? It's home to one of the Caribbean's most legendary hotels, the outstanding Grand Case Beach Club.
You feel it the moment you cross the “border” on the main highway into Negril; it's different here. There's just something about Seven Mile Beach; about its countless family-run boutique hotels and guest houses; about its bold and lovable personality; and about those magical, ethereal cliffs.
You may recognize it as the island of Saint Marie on the hit BBC show “Death in Paradise.” But this French Caribbean gem is a truly extraordinary place, with a vibrant gastronomic destination on the beach and a rainforest right across the road (home to the world-class Tendacayou eco hotel). Make sure you have an afternoon ti' punch at L'Amer and then dinner at La Savane, the main strip's culinary leader.
Le Diamant, Martinique
Hidden away at the southern end of Martinique, Le Diamant is the next big thing in Martinique; first, there's the epic beach looking out at the island's famous “Diamond Rock;” then there's the growing culinary scene; next, the island's best collection of sea-view villas; and an inarticulable feeling of French Caribbean cool.
There's an otherworldly quality here on the eastern coast of Barbados, home to rum shops and fishing boats and some of the best surfing in all of the Caribbean. Maybe it's the Atlantic breeze, or the beachfront coral boulders, but Bathsheba is another dimension entirely in Barbados; and you feel it the moment you arrive. (And especially when you check in and travel back in time at the town's venerable Atlantis hotel).
From the Caribbean Journal