Some Enchanted Evening
By Melanie Reffes
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.
Eleven hundred feet above the Caribbean Sea with the majestic Piton Mountains as natural bookends, each sunny suite at Jade Mountain in St. Lucia are beyond even the most vivid of imaginations. A jewel in the island crown, the swank resort was designed by owner and architect Nick Troubetzkoy and is especially striking when the sun dips between the mountains. With soaring fifteen foot ceilings and no walls between the sleeping area and living space, it’s no surprise sunset-happy couples make it their own home-away-from home, if just for a few days. www.jademountain.com
Sunsets are magical at the Grand Case Beach Club in St. Martin overlooking La Petite Plage, one of the prettiest beaches on the French side of the dual-nation island. Under an illuminated sky with Anguilla in view just over the water, the intimate hotel with an expansive rooftop pool is catnip for sunset-spotting honeymooners and the top pick for a grand wedding ceremony. www.grandcasebeachclub.com
It’s an uphill trek in Antigua past military ramparts from the 18th century that were once part of the British naval base but well worth it for the unrivalled sunsets over English Harbour. Every Sunday from 5 pm, the Look Out at Shirley Heights is a hive of fun as chefs fill bowls with goat stew and pumpkin soup; bartenders pour plenty of ‘English Harbour Five Year Rum and steel pan players keep folks on their feet. Popular with honeymooners, the Island Routes ‘Shirley Heights Jump Up ‘is the hottest sunset party in town. www.shirleyheightslookout.com
So Happy Together
With perfect sunsets overhead, the Caribbean’s first villas built over-the-water are open at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay. Over-the-top from infinity-edge soaking tubs, rope hammocks above the waves, gigantic teak beds and glass bottom floors, the 2,000-square foot suites also come with butlers, 12-year-old Appleton Estate rum, Molton Brown amenities in the massive bathroom with a rainfall shower and those fabulous sunsets guaranteed each day in the late afternoon. www.sandals.com/main/royal/rj-over-the-water-suites
In the Bahamas, sunsets aren’t really bigger at the largest resort in the Caribbean (3,414 rooms), they just seem that way. With a birds-eye view from one of the cavernous penthouse suites at The Reef Atlantis, the sinking sun is as rosy as it is regal. Sprawling with floor-to-ceiling windows, the terraces are coveted roosts for taking snaps of the sun setting over Paradise Beach on Paradise Island. www.atlantisbahamas.com
Best Seats in the House
Get there late in the day and stake your claim to a log or beach chair at Pigeon Point Beach for a breathtaking evening show that doesn’t require an admission ticket. The most popular strip on the island is also the best perch for awesome glimpses of the fire engine red sun and the sherbet-colored clouds that look like smoothies in the sky. For dinner and a show, blink and you’d miss it and that would be a shame for the vistas from Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen in the east side hamlet of Speyside. At the tree house turned eatery that is built in the boughs of an almond tree; sunset viewing is as treasured a Tobagonian tradition as Miss Jemma’s breadfruit pie. www.visittobago.gov.tt
In Jamaica, take your pick from a table at the Great House Terrace, from the patio of a posh villa or at the waterwheel that was built in the 18th century and still works, sunset spotting at The Tryall Club is a time-honoured tradition in Montego Bay. Big and bold, the Club is a National Heritage Foundation treasure and when the sun drops behind the horizon, a fabled venue for weddings and honeymoon stays. www.tryallclub.com.