Top of the Class: Hotels in the Caribbean and Central America with the Highest Grades

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

As schools dole out final grades, we thought we’d call out Kiwi Collection’s top rated properties. Like the Harvard of hotels, we’re always grading, and the requirements are stiff. Herewith, this year’s honor students of hospitality sorted by region. Here are the five smartest in the Caribbean and Central America.

Cap Juluca
Romance literature come to life, this beach resort in Anguilla is a favorite for honeymooners. Its double major? Sunset dinners on the beach and starry-night cocktails on the candlelit terrace. An oceanfront private pool villa is the crème de la crème.
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Attention to Detail
Aptitudes: Continental breakfast included (and long list of other complimentary amenities), Greg Norman-designed golf course, four restaurants, babysitting service, and watersports readily available.

Cotton House
This one knows her history. The island this hotel sits on, Mustique in the West Indies, was home to pirates centuries ago, then sugarcane barons. Now the 18th century plantation house shelters vacationers. What a shelter it is; just 17 rooms, each one unique, surrounded by lush, green grounds.
Percentage grade: 85
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Wow/Hip Factor and Location.
Aptitudes: Nearby coral reef offering spectacular snorkeling, onsite spa, three bars and restaurants, and two bedroom Cotton Hill Residence comes with its own dedicated Butler.

Eden Rock, St. Barths
Also a bit of a history buff, Eden Rock was once the private residence of Caribbean aviator and adventurer Rémy de Haenen. Built in the 1950s, Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes were a couple of his guests. The 32-room property still hosts the celebrity set from time to time.
Percentage grade: 85
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Wow/Hip Factor, Architecture & Design, and Location.
Aptitudes: Cool furnishings, an art collection that includes Richard Prince and Will Cotton, bathrooms tiled in white gold, and a stunning circular ocean view from the On the Rocks restaurant.

One&Only Ocean Club
Another private estate turned luxury resort, the Ocean Club has a knack for film, as evidenced in a recent starring role in the Bond movie Casino Royale. This year, the Bahamian property celebrates its golden anniversary.
Percentage grade: 84
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Food & Beverage.
Aptitudes: Gardens modeled after Versailles, Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, and Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Dune restaurant for guaranteed gourmet gastronomy.

Necker Island
This one is Sir Richard Branson’s baby. In the British Virgin Islands, the private isle regularly hosts well-known names—Kate Winslet for example—and she’s good at it too.
Percentage grade: 84
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Wow/Hip Factor and Location.
Aptitudes: Three-person “Necker Nymph” submarine, Balinese-style architecture, Bali Leha spa personal chefs, and sporting activities galore.

Honorable Mentions:
The St. Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico
Percentage grade: 83
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Location and Fit To Promise.
Aptitudes: Rainforest on one side and sandy beachfront on the other, Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant.

Hotel Saint Barth Isle De France
Percentage grade: 83
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Wow/Hip Factor and Location.
Aptitudes: The secluded Flamands Beach on its doorstep, calming white decor, Molton Brown products, and exotic spa treatments (streamlining abdominal massage or Ionithermie detox?) that culminate with a bowl of sorbet.

W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island
Percentage grade: 83
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Location and Fit To Promise.
Aptitudes: Guest access to W Airport Lounge with refreshments while awaiting transfer to hotel, picnics-to-go, funky interior design, and island is home to the world’s largest bioluminescent bay.

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