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Caribbean Romance Report by Travel Journalist: Melanie Reffes


Melanie Reffes is a seasoned travel journalist and television producer. She is often circling the globe in search of a good story or racing through airports trying to make a flight. Based on the sunny island of Montreal, she is a much-published writer in the USA, Canada and Caribbean and the most humble recipient of writer awards including from the Caribbean Tourism Organization  (CTO), Jamaica Tourist Board and Anguilla Tourist Board. Connect with Melanie on Twitter (@Reffes1)

Take a Walk on the Wild Side: The Caribbean Best for Nature-Loving Couples

Best known for the beaches, cocktails at sunset and couple-time in a swaying hammock, the many countries that make up the Caribbean are remarkably diverse with plenty of variety that is tempting for twosomes. Check out our nature island primer, leave the sun lounger on the sand and take your sweetie to the hills and the mountains, rainforests, gardens, bird sanctuaries and caves; you can always go back to the beach tomorrow. [more]


Tie the Knot in the Turks & Caicos Islands

Pointed southeast of The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands are a sunny collection of seven main islands and forty smaller isles and uninhabited cays. A British Overseas Territory, TCI packs a big punch from swanky resorts, fine dining and funky beach bars to historic sites like the former cotton plantation called Cheshire Hall, superb diving and the island’s crowning glory; uninterrupted stretches of white sandy beaches that front the sea blindingly bluer than a Tiffany gift box. [more]


Cozy in Curacao: Going Dutch in the Caribbean

Sitting pretty 70 miles east of Aruba and 35 miles north of Venezuela, Curacao is the gold standard for romance and a popular choice for weddings, honeymoons and vacations away from the fray. A multi-lingual melting pot of nationalities from around the world, the Dutch island is also one of a just a few Caribbean countries located outside the Atlantic hurricane belt making weddings and honeymoons a breeze to book year ‘round. [more]


The Big Day: Say I Do at Sandals Royal Barbados

You know you’ve hit the all-inclusive bullseye when the resort you’ve checked into is next to another one and there are exchange privileges between the two. On Maxwell Beach on the south coast of the island, Sandals Royal Barbados is the petite sibling to the adjacent Sandals Barbados. With both resorts a top-shelf favorite for weddings and honeymoons, the smaller newer resort is rolling out the royal welcome to twosomes looking to make their special day extra special. [more]


Summer Honeymoons: Bargains at the Beach

More often adored for cold weather lures rather than hot weather tours, a summer honeymoon in the Caribbean is easy on the wallet and a great way to audition an island before spending the big bucks for a winter vacation. There’s no shortage of beach chairs, the best seats in the house are waiting at top-notch restaurants, hotels are dishing up gratis nights and a boatload of local events are on the summer calendar. [more]


Beyond the Beach: Caribbean Weddings that Go the Distance

There are weddings and then there are really great weddings and although getting married in the Caribbean is reliably great, getting creative beyond a sunset ceremony on the beach comes with pretty good odds that you’ll never forget your anniversary. Check out our suggestions and say I Do at a sugar plantation, on an antique sugar train or under the waves in scuba gear. [more]


Rum, Reggae, and Romance: One Love in Jamaica

Perennially popular as a winter getaway, Jamaica is also red hot during the summer with plenty of rum, reggae and romance. From top-shelf to no-frills, resorts and hotels are rolling out the welcome mat for weddings, honeymoons, anniversary celebrations and mojo-filled weekends. “Jamaica’s allure is unparalleled,” said Donnie Dawson, acting director tourism, “we love sharing this charm and natural beauty so that our visitors have memorable experiences in the home of all right.”  [more]


Romancing Jamaica: Feeling the Vibe

Morphing big dreams into romantic realities is what a destination wedding is all about. The recipient of umpteen awards like TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice as ‘Best Destination in the Caribbean', Jamaica is the hands-down favorite for couples from around the world who come to tie the knot, enjoy a honeymoon, renew wedding vows and celebrate an anniversary.  [more]


Lucky In Love: Caribbean Casinos

With love in the air and Lady Luck by your side, couples will always find a winning gaming getaway in the Caribbean. Whether it’s date-night in a resort casino or a wedding party with a passion for poker, kick it up a notch, swap the beach for blackjack and check out our best bets in the tropics. [more]


Romancing The Caribbean

The region’s most influential tourism and travel gathering was held this year at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. Welcoming more than 1,000 movers and shakers from 30 countries, Caribbean Marketplace 2018 was a beehive of activity for wedding planners, tour operators, airlines, hotels and tourism folks including those from the islands rebounding from last year’s hurricanes who delivered upbeat updates about the most visited warm weather destination in the world. [more]


Sweet Treats For The New Year

Start the New Year in style with a decadent dessert and two forks. Sharing a sweet treat with your sweetie is as much a part of a Caribbean vacation as a massage in a ritzy spa and a cozy night in a spacious suite. Ditch the diet and dig into our couple-pleasing menu of the sunniest sweet treats in the Caribbean. [more]


Antigua Amour

With the hashtag #LoveAntiguaBarbuda, new marketing campaign called ‘Warm up Their Winter’ and the coveted ‘Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination' recognition at the World Travel Awards, Antigua is on a romance roll. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua is adored for its scenic harbours, spotless stretches of sandy perfection, big yachts, small sailboats, fine dining, funky mom and pops and top-shelf resorts at the water’s edge. [more]


Rum and Romance: A Match Made In Paradise

Nothing beats discovering rum on its home turf. Shaken and stirred with the finest spirits in the world, rum-fueled cocktails and rummy punches are the hands-down favorites of twosomes enjoying quality time in the Caribbean . Also popular for couple-bonding are tours through a rum distillery to see how the real stuff is made, sipping the gratis samples and learning how to create a creative cocktail guaranteed to impress.
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In Love With Aruba: One Happy Island

Affectionately dubbed ‘One Happy Island’, Aruba sits pretty fifteen miles north of Venezuela in the warm waters of the southern Caribbean. Perennially popular with the romance crowd, twosomes come to tie the knot, enjoy a honeymoon, celebrate an anniversary and renew vows. Whether you say I Do on the beach, on a cruise at sunset, in a green garden or at an elegant resort, getting married is a breeze and whether you choose a honeymoon stay in a resort, hotel or guest house, the island is ripe for romance. [more]


Barefoot On The Beach

Choosing to get married on a Caribbean beach might be a couple’s best first decision. Barefoot at sunset is a delicious wedding dream that can come true on any one of the sandy stretches of beach perfection. Many of the resorts, hotels and villas arrange beach weddings while a host of romance travel specialists both at home and on the islands will take care of the details from soup to nuts. Whether it’s the sandy stretches on the Atlantic coast or the tranquil hideaways fronting the Caribbean Sea, check out our suggestions for a dream wedding on the beach. [more]


Paradise in Punta Cana : Tie the Knot at the Paradisus Palma Real

At the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic abutting the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Punta Cana is the land of the lavish all-inclusive, many fronting Bavaro Beach, one of the finest stretches in the Caribbean. As popular for unlimited eating and drinking as it is for zip-lining, windsurfing and sailing, the resort town is also one of the most popular destination wedding locales in the Caribbean. [more]


Fabulous At Fifty: Romance In Anguilla

For a small island measuring just sixteen miles long and three miles wide, Anguilla packs a big punch with the romance crowd. Across the sea from St. Martin, the eel-shaped isle coveted for the lack of cruise ships, casinos and throngs of tourists is home to a slew of seaside resorts that ooze romance around every palm tree. [more]


Mais Oui: French St. Martin and the Grand Case Beach Club

Ringed by thirty-seven beaches, St. Maarten and St. Martin is a little French and a little Dutch wrapped up nicely on one island. On the winter getaway hot list courtesy of a plethora of flights from the U.S., the island is a cosmopolitan slice of Caribbean life with only a ‘welcome’ sign separating French St. Martin on the northern side from Dutch St. Maarten to the south. [more]


Some Enchanted Evening

It happens every day when the sun dips completely below the horizon yet despite how many times we’ve seen them, Caribbean sunsets never get old. The most coveted time of the day for a wedding ceremony and a party to celebrate the newlyweds, the tie dyed melange that is technically the start of twilight is nature’s daily pageant. [more]

Cost No Object: Caribbean Vacations For The One Percent

All travelers dream big, but only a handful can truly afford a six-figure vacation. With its world-class beaches, resorts and villas that exude exclusivity, the Caribbean is the primo perch for one-percenters who pay top dollar for privacy, plenty of space and top-shelf spoil-you-rotten amenities. Check out our big-bucks bucket list. [more]


Nuptials In Nevis: Marry In Style

Nuptials In Nevis: Marry In StyleWith 12,000 residents, not a single traffic light and ‘Nevis Naturally’ as its tagline, the scenic enclave across the channel from St. Kitts is the go-to for romantics who come to lie low, see the frisky monkeys munching mangos in the rainforest and the wild donkeys at the side of the road. Anchored by a volcanic mountain and surrounded by the sea the colour of a Tiffany blue box, the petite isle of Nevis is also the birthplace of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, whose story is told in the hip-hop smash musical on Broadway. [more]


Photo Tour: Sandal’s All-Inclusive Couples Resort in Barbados

Sandals Barbados is the latest addition to the all-inclusive, adults-only chain. On Dover Beach where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, the resort is fifteen minutes from the Grantley Adams International Airport and is compact enough not to need a Sherpa guide to get around. Next door to Sandals Barbados, Sandals Resorts will open Sandals Royal Barbados on December 20 which will include the signature romantic Rondovals, Millionaire Butler Suites and Skypool Suites.  [more]


Make A Date In The Dominican Republic

Two hours south of Miami and less than four hours from New York, love is in the air in the Dominican Republic. With plenty of flights from the USA, year round sunshine, endless strands of beach perfection, Punta Cana on the easternmost tip abutting the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is romance-central and one of the most popular choices in the Caribbean for a wedding and honeymoon. [more]


Good Mood Island Food: What You Should Try In Antigua

Bite by bite, the sunny island where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea is a foodie hot spot with a diverse roster of restaurants and local specialties guaranteed to please every palate. Spice up your stay and try West Indian recipes, piquant Creole dishes, habanero-tinged hot sauces and a picnic basket of sweet Antigua black pineapples and juicy mangos sold by the side of the road. At the culinary intersection of land and sea, check out our menu and get ready for a sweet, spicy and salty melange of island fare. [more]


Pop The Question

You can do it the old fashioned way and get down on one knee with a red rose and a bottle of champagne, the new age-y way using the hashtag #MarryMe or you could ditch the predictable and go for something truly unique. Take your pick from our Caribbean cornucopia of inspired ideas for popping the question that go way beyond bling in a box and breakfast in bed. [more]


Caribbean Resort Photo Tour: Atlantis Paradise Island

A hot spot during the 1960s, Paradise Island Hotel and Casino was owned by game show guru Merv Griffin. In 1994, it was bought by a South African hotelier and transformed into Atlantis Paradise Island, after an unprecedented $800 million investment. Modeled after the mythical lost city of Atlantis, the gargantuan playground across the bridge from downtown Nassau opened in 1998 and today is the largest resort in the Caribbean. [more]


Photo Tour: Caribbean Luxury at the Four Seasons Anguilla

For a small island measuring just 16 miles long and 3 miles wide, Anguilla packs a big punch with couples tying the knot or celebrating an anniversary. Across the sea from St. Martin, the eel-shaped isle coveted for the lack of cruise ships, casinos and throngs of tourists is home to a seaside slew of high-brow resorts that attract a moneyed crowd who pay handsomely to unwind and indulge. Formerly Viceroy Anguilla, Four Seasons Resort Anguilla upped the ante following a $10 million rebrand and upgrade investment.  [more]


Light Your Fire: Our Guide To Caribbean Aphrodisiacs

Yes, it’s true that a butler-drawn rose petal-scented bath and a rum aperitif at sunset may get some couples in the mood, but the real deal are the natural mood-enhancers that grow on trees or wash up on the beach that really get the juices flowing. From nibbling oysters, conch and chocolate to sipping herb-infused cocktails, our list of Caribbean aphrodisiacs will launch your mojo into high gear. [more]


Bean To Bar: A Chocolate Lover's Guide To The Caribbean

Chocolate is one of those things that will never let you down. The ultimate comfort food, chocolate is a romance-inducer, mood-enhancer and edible fixer of everything else. Although every bite is paradise found, dark chocolate gets all the good publicity because it typically has less fat and less sugar than milk chocolate. The champagne of cocoa, the Caribbean bean is world-renowned for its fine flavor, which comes courtesy of the hot sun and green hills that make planting and harvesting a year-round affair. [more]


Caribbean Luxury: CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla

CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa sits on 275 beachfront acres on Anguilla’s Rendezvous Bay, the longest beach on the small eel-shaped island across the sea from St. Martin. A cluster of buildings inspired by the bright whites and deep blues of the Greek island of Santorini, the cubist centerpiece with 91 suites and penthouses and seven beachfront and garden-view villas is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. [more]


No Kids Allowed: Adults-Only Resorts in the Caribbean

Staying up late, sleeping in and savoring a drink in-hand by noon is the pot of gold at the end of the vacation rainbow. Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a wild weekend, a stay in an adults-only resort can be the best kind of grown-up fun. Indulge in a guilt-free vacay away from the fray at home; you can bring the kids next time. [more]


The Caribbean's Most Romantic Seaside Restaurants

The most romantic night of the year is fast approaching, and what could be more perfect than an intimate dinner for two at sunset with your toes in the sand. We're certain that if you book one of our favorite sexy tables for two, you'll impress that certain someone with a mood-setting meal she (or he) will never forget. Reserve a table on the sand and spoil your sweetie with a dreamy date under the stars. [more]

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Caribbean Romance Report