Find your perfect winter getaway

When it comes to winter sun, it is hard to beat the Carribean


It is never too soon to start thinking of winter — and more importantly, about the best ways to escape the long dark nights and freezing temperatures. And when it comes to winter sun, it is hard to beat the Caribbean, where the palm-fringed beaches enjoy some of their best weather just as the UK is enduring its worst.

Fancy an island-hopping cruise, a family-friendly escape or a spot of all-inclusive luxury? Here are five of the best ways to enjoy some Caribbean sunshine.


The foodie escape

If you think Caribbean cuisine is all about fish and jerk spice, Aruba may change your mind. It is cooking up a new reputation as the perfect destination for vegans and vegetarians.

On the Dutch Caribbean island’s west coast, Elements offers the most extensive vegan menu on the island, while Ike’s Bistro (at Manchebo Beach Resort) has a three-course vegan tasting menu. Not far away, Fishes & More in Palm Beach serves sea-inspired vegan dishes, with heart of palm and enoki mushooms used to create a vegan version of calamari.

And in the second city, San Nicolas, a former professional baseball player has opened Mundi Health Café in an old 1940s building, with vegetarian and vegan food on the menu. There are also numerous options at the annual October Eat Local event, with more tips on

Seven nights at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa cost from £1,275 per person in a deluxe room with a garden view, B&B, including direct flights departing October 4. Book with TUI.


All-inclusive style

Who doesn’t love the idea of falling asleep above the waves and waking to a view of the sea from an over-the-water villa? Now Sandals has introduced these villas at three of its Caribbean resorts, you needn’t fly to the Indian Ocean or South Pacific for the experience.

The newest over-the-water bungalows to open are at Sandals South Coast in Jamaica. Lie back in a hammock for two over the water, gaze at the marine life through the glass floor inside, or dive in before swimming up to your own patio. Plus there is 24-hour room service and a butler on hand if you can’t tear yourself away. It is worth venturing out at least once, though — the resort also has Sandals’ first over-the-water bar, Latitudes, with more hammocks over the water and spectacular views.

Both Sandals Grande St Lucian and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica, offer over-the-water bungalows and villas as well.

Seven nights costs from £5,825 per person in an over-the-water honeymoon butler bungalow, all-inclusive including flights departing October 3. Book at


Family-friendly luxury

You do not have to stay on an island to enjoy the Caribbean — the same turquoise seas lap against the shore of Mexico and the Riviera Maya, where the Fairmont Mayakoba is ideal for families.

The resort is 40 miles south of Cancun, near Playa del Carmen, where the beach-restoration programme means there is an extra 30m of sand to enjoy, plus 240 acres of tropical forest. Along with watersports, boat tours and nature trails, the area contains the world’s second largest coral reef, not far from the resort, and dramatic underwater cenotes (cavernous pools).

Or if you would rather relax in the sun, kids get three hours free per day at the resort’s Discovery Club and Adventure Camp, for ages four to 12, including activities themed on the Mayan jungle, crafts and pirate games.

Ages five and under also eat free and six-to-12-year-olds at half price, with kids-only sections in some restaurants.

Seven nights costs from £6,350 for a family of four, all-inclusive including flights before December 19. Book with Turquoise Holidays.


Wellness in the Caribbean

If you need to wind down completely from the stress of day-to-day life, you can boost the relaxed feeling of a holiday in Grenada with a purpose-designed retreat at the True Blue Bay Boutique resort (

The resort has launched its True Sleep Wellness Retreat, running from October 10 to 17, to help guests achieve a better quality of sleep and switch off from being always connected.

Mixing yoga, meditation, Feng Shui and healthy eating, the retreat is perfect for those who are more used to dashing around than reposing on a yoga mat.

The Ayurveda workshops offer advice on how to quieten the mind before bed, as well as an introduction to Grenada’s traditional bush teas using local herbs.

Between these sessions, guests have free time to explore the island, including cocoa plantations, spice markets and Grenada’s natural beauty, or simply to relax further with a siesta.

Prices for the retreat start from £1,945 per person, all-inclusive, including return flights, based on two people sharing. Book with Just Grenada.


The Caribbean cruise

Why visit one Caribbean island when you could see eight? Book yourself on to Silversea’s Silver Whisper for a luxurious all-inclusive cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, with a maximum of 382 guests on board.

Sailing to the sleepy capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk, you will also visit the Dominican Republic, the culturally-rich city of San Juan in Puerto Rico, elegant St Barts and St Lucia with its rainforests and chocolate heritage.

Away from the larger islands, the cruise also passes through Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where the white sand beaches are as idyllic as any Caribbean fantasy, as well as Dominica with its volcanic landscape, before finishing in Barbados.

The ten-night cruise plus three nights at the luxurious Sandy Lane, Barbados, costs £4,999.

This includes an upgrade to a terrace suite, $1,000 on-board credit and return flights.

Book with Atlantis Travel.


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