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Want to Help the Caribbean? Book a Vacation!

By: Sarah Marcantonio

October 25 2017

As Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean continue recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we are hearing from a lot of clients who want to know how they can help. Here’s how easy it is:

Step 1 : Donate to the USVI Hurricane Recovery effort, for which Skylark is helping raise funds in conjunction with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. 

Step 2 : Plan your next trip to the Caribbean. Most of the islands in the region were either untouched by the storms or able to come back quickly. But since they rely heavily on tourism, the best way to help is to book a trip, spend some money and tell everyone else how beautiful and relaxing a Caribbean vacation still is.  

Here are just a few of our favorite Caribbean resorts that are ready to go for peak season:

Dominican Republic

Sunny yellow villas with French doors opening onto Caribbean waters, palm trees and bright white sands? Yes, that’s Tortuga Bay, and no, there aren’t any reasons you shouldn’t hop on a plane to Punta Cana this winter. The 13 ultra-private waterfront villas, all designed by Oscar de la Renta, are part of the larger Puntacana Resort, meaning you have access to the equestrian center, freshwater lagoons, golf courses and Six Senses Spa.

Not far from Puntacana, on the southern shore, is Casa de Campo, which has hosted Marc Anthony, Alicia Keys and plenty of other stars in its private villas. But this is no Hollywood hideaway—there’s a ton to do on the 7,000-acre resort, from window shopping in the central village to working up a sweat in their state-of-the-art sports facilities to grabbing a piña colada (made with Dominican pineapples) at Coco Mar.

Turks and Caicos

Barefoot bliss. Grace Bay Club. The two phrases are synonymous. Sitting along 11 acres of Grace Bay on the island of Providenciales, this is the hotel that put the Turks and Caicos on the luxury map. Post-storm, it’s time we return the favor and help these islands bounce back quickly from the storms. The beachy design enhances the sense of calm—and the Bellini-Tinis at the Infiniti Bar don’t hurt. 

A few islands away, Como Parrot Cay is emerging from a long-planned renovation that was worth the wait. You’ll find brighter rooms and new amenities like the Play by Como kids’ club and the Como Shambhala gym. But Parrot Cay has retained its luxe, exclusive atmosphere, and the two-mile beach and proximity to the States are still major draws. 

St. Kitts

Smaller and greener than its better-known neighbors, St. Kitts was unaffected by hurricanes and is an ideal destination for those more interested in exploring an island than just lolling on the beach. Case in point: Belle Mont Farm, a 400-acre hillside estate that emphasizes sustainable luxury and farm-to-table cuisine. The villas, cooled by Caribbean breezes, are positioned to take advantage of inspiring views of the Caribbean. 

Opening this November, Park Hyatt St. Kitts will occupy a secluded corner of the island with 126 rooms facing Banana Bay, all of them equipped with a private balcony or terrace. Also on offer: a spa, two swimming pools, hiking in the nearby hills and a golden sand beach—for those who insist on a saltwater splash. 

The Bahamas

Hotels reopened and cruise ships returned to port within a week of Irma’s visit to the Bahamas, and the islands are very much back in business. The Cove Atlantis achieves the near-impossible, feeling like an exclusive guest on a 3,500-room property. The resort within the Atlantis resort has a quiet beach, minimalist lobby and contemporary design that add to the sense of seclusion—the adults-only party pool helps too. 

Even more solitude is on offer at The Cove Eleuthera, a retreat on one of the Bahamas’ Out Islands with pristine white sand, turquoise water and a cluster of rooms, suites and cottages spread under swaying palms. Here the most pressing decision is whether to spend the afternoon paddle-boarding, kayaking or just lounging in a hammock.