Inside from £1,208pp
Outside from £1,441pp
Balcony from £1,613pp
Suite from £2,220pp
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Single from £2,367pp
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Ponce de Leon never did find the Fountain of Youth, but he did find stumble upon this lovely island, which had to be a close second. Just move to the rhythm of the ever-present salsa beat and you’ll be in the spirit in no time (secret – it’s all in the hips). Old Town San Juan is still partially enclosed by the original fortress walls dating back to the early 1500s. Attractively restored buildings with filigree cast iron balconies line its narrow cobbled streets, and cafés in shaded squares provide an ideal spot to linger. Outside the city the island offers an appealing array of golf courses, rainforests, and beaches galore.
Smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is only nine miles by three miles, and two-thirds of that area is national park. In colonial times almost the entire island was clear-cut to make room for sugar cane; now there is fervent support for protecting the new growth, much of it introduced. Hiking trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty traverse these acres, and lead through the ruins of plantations. The park also contains 5,650 acres of submerged land, with an abundance of coral gardens. Trunk Bay, one of the world’s most stunning beaches, offers a marked under-sea snorkeling trail so you know what you are looking at.
It’s hard to get lost in Philipsburg – one mile of colorful Creole houses long and four streets deep, it is easy to explore. It is also a place where you may find yourself on the brink of an adventure you have long imagined. Transfixed by those gutsy mariners sailing for glory in the America’s Cup? Now is your chance to race aboard one of those ace vessels as a working crew member. Thrilled by the stories of divers but intimidated by SCUBA? Try SNUBA and float carefree, tethered to the surface by a long hose and an ample supply of air. The reward: warm waters, a rainbow of tropical reef fish, sunken wrecks, and tall tales of your own to take home with you.
St. Barts is a tropical paradise with a French flair. Red rooftops cluster on deep green hillsides, and front an irresistibly blue bay. Tranquil lagoons and dozens of creamy white sand beaches vie for your attention with chic boutiques and French restaurants, and the air is filled with mingling scents of frangipani and fresh baguettes. Explore the dramatic scenery in your own ATV, cruise the coast in a speedboat, or hike to a secluded cove for a swim.
The largest of the British Virgin Islands and home of the capital, Road Town, Tortola has a way of making time feel like it’s standing still. Literally—don’t rely on the town clock in Road Town’s central square to stay punctual, the hands move on their own schedule. But that’s also the secret to really enjoying Tortola—the sooner you adjust to “island time” the sooner you can start to enjoy this topical paradise.
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