The Caribbean lacks a systematic way of evaluating hotels, unless you believe price is everything.
The Choices Keep Growing
Everything you can imagine. From rental tents in campgrounds in the U.S. Virgin Islands to small inns and family hotels, from huge fantasy resorts to luxury villas and private islands.
The Caribbean has become a favorite playground for celebrities, and with good reason. You'll see why.
You won't find many Caribbean hotels rated from 1 to 5 stars like those in Europe. Instead, the categories tend to follow based on room cost, from inexpensive to moderate to expensive to very expensive or luxury. Those price ranges don't always reflect quality in terms of service, dining or anything else, only how much they cost.
Some luxury properties, in order to stand out, do distinguish themselves as 5 star resorts though you can't always be certain what the rating is based on.
Hotels which have been rated or reviewed by reputable travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure or Conde Nast, AAA and the like carry more weight when it comes to quality.
The highest room rates run from mid-December to Mid-April or May 1, depending on the island. When it turns cold in North America and Europe, it becomes high season in the Caribbean with rates typically 30% to 40% higher than in summer. For a detailed discussion, see Weather & Seasons.
Ironically, this also is the period when the Caribbean is at its most crowded. It's not due to the tourists staying in hotels but the influx of cruise ships. They move from Alaska and Europe to the Caribbean region for roughly the high season.
Pay Per Person or Per Room?
In checking out room prices, note whether the cost is per person (based on double occupancy) or per room. It's a huge distinction that's not always immediately obvious. Read the fine print. Paying for the room is usually less expensive.
You may find out that what seems like a bargain really actually costs two or three times more. Or what initially seems outrageous isn't so bad after all.
What About A Timeshare?
Timeshares are popping up on more and more islands. They may be right for some people but certainly not most. Find out more about Caribbean timeshares.