From Jamaica to Cuba: 5 top budget Caribbean hotel rooms
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The Caribbean is a popular destination thanks to its tropical weather, abundance of nonstop flights from the U.K. and its laidback, rum-filled vibes. Factor in stunning beaches, great food and plenty of adventures and it’s a winner — especially in December to March while it’s bitterly cold in the U.K. and summer seems so far away. Flying to the Caribbean might seem like a long way, but it can be done in about eight hours — not much longer than going to New York — and can actually be cheaper than a skiing holiday in Europe.
Many think that you can expect to spend serious money on hotels there. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Certainly, you can expect to pay upwards of £4,000 a night in some really fancy places, but if you go do a bit of digging and set your expectations, you can still have the holiday of a lifetime without re-mortgaging your house.
We’ve made a short guide to some of the most fabulous and exciting places to stay, Caribbean-style, that won’t break the bank. In fact, all rooms — with the exception of one honeymoon suite — can be had for less than £200 per night.
This is said to be Jamaica’s very first boutique hotel and is located on the west of the island, away from the tourist traps of Montego Bay or Port Antonio. It began life as a restaurant and was such a success, tipsy guests begged the owner Sally to build a place where they could spend the night. So she built one, and then another, and then another of her striking structures in a style that can best be described as Jimi Hendrix meets Antoni Gaudi on the beach in Jamaica. Jakes is the very opposite of a hotel chain, hippy-chic vibes abound and there’s a saltwater pool, yoga, on-site painting lesson and a spa. And despite the low prices, each room comes with a rainfall shower and Netflix.
Prices: A Jack Sprat motel twin room (the motel is located opposite the hotel) starts at £68 while a deluxe ocean view room starts at £190 a night.
Head to True Blue Bay in Grenada for some retro charm. This colourful, playful property is located on the island’s south coast, close to Grenada’s underwater sculpture park. The rooms have all been personally designed by the owner, who is also an architect. Its jewel though is the honeymoon suite. It’s adorned, in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, with hearts and flowers almost everywhere. The suite is approached via a wooden bridge high among the trees and also boasts a spacious balcony with views over the sparkling waters. Turtles feature all over the property too, and the prices aren’t too eye-watering either.
Prices: The Honeybee Suite starts at £300 per night including bed and breakfast and a True Blue style room starts at £160 per night (with no extras).
This property describes itself as “modest luxury” and overlooks famed Grace Bay — it’s also just a few minutes walk from the beach. Turtle Cove Marina is also just around the corner. The hotel boasts two rooftop pools, two hot tubs, a fitness centre, shops, a restaurant and a bar. It prides itself on being the best of both worlds — a fun and friendly beach holiday but with a secluded, intimate atmosphere.
Prices: Queen rooms start at £150 per night.
Residencia Santa Clara is not your typical casa. Although you will find the same warmth that most Cuban hosts offer, the building, service and experience are of a different level. Residencia Santa Clara has been featured in FAC (Fabrica de Arte Cubano) as an exceptional example of modern architecture within the constraints of Old Havana whilst using recycled local materials: taps and showers made of galvanised steel tubes, recycled wood doors, furniture made of discarded old trees and more.
Prices: Standard rooms start at £50 per night.
Known for its pink sandy beaches, this long, thin island in the Bahama Archipelago has only 11,000 residents — so it’s pretty intimate. The Unique Village hotel promises “mile after mile of unspoiled splendour”. The resort is compact, only 14 units, and unlike other more budget hotels, access to the tennis court, snorkelling equipment, beach towels and chaise lounges are available free of charge to guests. The island has an interesting history — more than 300 years ago, English adventurers in search of religious freedom settled there, giving the island the Greek name Eleutheria — or Freedom.
Prices: A superior room starts at £120 per night.
The Caribbean is vast. Each island has its own unique charm and personality and if you do your research there is accommodation to suit even the lowest of budgets. Added to this, the plethora of nonstop flights from the U.K. and Europe, the fantastic weather and postcard-worthy beaches, there’s no reason not to book.
Featured image by Shutterstock/Simon Dannhauer
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