Checking in: Three New Caribbean Retreats

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Homey or historic, these recently opened Caribbean lodgings pamper you with extras.

The Island House (Nassau, Bahamas

On an island of soft sand beaches and big resorts, this newly built, 30-room inn feels like a cool, contemporary vacation home—if your vacation home included its own 48-seat cinema. Guests and locals catch a movie just steps from the airy lobby, which is brightened by Bahamian art.

There’s also a spa, a lap pool, and spicy wagyu beef salad for dinner—which happens all the time at your vacation home, too, right?

Condado Vanderbilt Hotel (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Jay Gatsby would have approved of this revitalized grande dame, a Roaring Twenties haunt of royalty and movie stars amid the shopping-and-nightlife buzz of the Condado neighborhood.

A 2014 renovation added two all-suite towers, a spa, and an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. But in the original 1919 building, which was designed by the same firm behind New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, old-time glamour reigns once more with Murano glass chandeliers and sweeping staircases fit for the likes of Daisy Buchanan.

Casas del XVI (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

Situated in three restored houses built for European settlers, this ten-room boutique hotel adds to the Zona Colonial district’s historic atmosphere with its checkerboard-tiled floors, antique maps, and shell-inlaid wooden furniture.

Loaner iPhones break the nostalgic reverie, but keep them turned off to fully enjoy breakfast served by house butlers under a mango tree in a serene courtyard where elegant señoritas once fanned themselves.

This piece, written by Christopher Hall, appeared in the December/January 2015-16 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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