Back in Busi­ness

What’s new in the Caribbean, you ask? Every­thing.

Robb Report (USA) - - NEWS - BY JACKIE CARADONIO, DANIELLE CUT­LER, PAUL RU­BIO, RAPHAEL KADUSHIN, KATHRYN ROMEYN, AND TONY PERROTTET

The Caribbean is re­built and bet­ter than ever. Re­sort ren­o­va­tions check ev­ery box, chefs re­turn to Puerto Rico, and Cuba’s con­tem­po­rary artists make is­land­hop­ping a pri­or­ity again.

You can’t talk about the Caribbean with­out talk­ing about the hur­ri­canes. Ever since last fall, when the names Irma and Maria be­came for­ever syn­ony­mous with de­struc­tion—caus­ing more than 3,000 deaths, the vast ma­jor­ity of which oc­curred in Puerto Rico—the con­ver­sa­tion sur­round­ing this idyl­lic chain of isles has been one of con­cern at best and anger at worst. But more than a year later, it’s time to change the sub­ject. Ask any­one: From the Ba­hamas to Bar­ba­dos, the word on the sand is that the fu­ture of th­ese is­lands is hap­pen­ing right now.

That’s not to say every­thing is back to how it was be­fore. But that’s the point: More than a year of blood, sweat, and tears—not to men­tion a whole lot of money (see page 219 for more on that)— has given rise to a Caribbean reborn, where a fresh at­ti­tude is shak­ing up the old stan­dards of lux­ury with ris­ing culi­nary cap­i­tals, new ad­ven­tures, and more than a few much-needed ren­o­va­tions. No doubt, there’s more work to be done, and the nar­ra­tive of re­cov­ery tourism—the idea that to help th­ese is­lands, the best thing one can do is visit—re­mains valid still. But we’re not sug­gest­ing a trip to the Caribbean as a means of char­ity. Th­ese is­lands are no con­so­la­tion prize: They’re prac­ti­cally un­charted ter­ri­tory, and ready to be ex­plored for what feels like the very first time. Here’s a blue­print for how to do it, start­ing with the five re­sorts that should be at the top of your win­ter wish list.

MORE THAN A YEAR OF BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS HAS GIVEN RISE TO A CARIBBEAN REBORN.

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