It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not everyone is dreaming of a white Christmas.
Forget the snow, the ice, and the cold winds of the UK, and make your December holiday extra special with a sun-soaked Christmas in the Caribbean.
A festive getaway on one of these picture-perfect islands is a magical experience, with a mixture of traditional and local celebrations, as well as a balmy climate, tropical beaches and locally sourced food.
So, if you want to swap sub-zero snow for winter warmth on a beautiful island, here are our top Christmas holidays in the Caribbean.
Which Caribbean Island is best at Christmas?
Longing for a magical Christmas by the sea? Barbados welcomes guests with endless warm turquoise waters, powdery white sands, and beloved holiday traditions. At Fairmont Royal Pavilion on the coveted Platinum Coast, a festive programme awaits to get you in the Christmas spirit, brimming with themed activities and carefully curated menus.
For the little ones, Fairmont’s ‘royal elves’ have created a full calendar of kids’ programmes. Ranging from DIY projects to classic traditions, they’ll have fun with Christmas cracker decorating and ‘Dashing Through The Sand’ beach races.
For families there’s face painting, carols and classic Christmas movie nights with pizza and popcorn. Of course, complimentary watersports including kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding along with the hotel’s exceptional beachfront, will also keep you busy.
On Christmas Day, take part in the annual sandcastle building competition before savouring a delicious lunch or dinner with loved ones at Palm Terrace Restaurant. Expect traditional dishes with dashes of island flavour, served with a backdrop of ocean views. Menu highlights include maple glazed ham, cider brined turkey with roasted local sweet potatoes and poached lobster tails with pineapple chutney.
Read our Barbados Christmas Guide: Christmas in Barbados.
Grenada is known as Caribbean’s Spice Island with postcard-perfect beaches, colourful coral reefs and unspoilt rainforests. It’s a perfect destination for some last-minute winter sun and for a Christmas like no other.
Owned and run by the gracious Hopkin family, Spice Island Beach Resort oozes a welcoming atmosphere and is the perfect place to spend Christmas. Here, guests are treated like members of the family, and the festive period only heightens the feeling of warmth and compassion. With a wonderful programme of activities, you’ll feel like you’re home from home but with the backdrop of an idyllic paradise, where all of the finer details are taken care of.
Christmas at Spice Island is an impressive affair, with entertainment including live musicians and performers, from steel pan bands to soulful choirs. Christmas morning kicks off with a glass of bubbly and a magnificent breakfast overlooking Grand Anse Beach, frequently voted one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean.
Later on, join the owners for cocktails in the courtyard, followed by a traditional multi-course Christmas meal at the upscale Oliver’s Restaurant. Known for its imaginative cuisine and dreamy setting near the sea, there’s no better place to enjoy local specialties, fresh-caught seafood and spice-infused desserts.
In-between delicious dining, the all-inclusive resort offers a choice of complimentary watersports in the surrounding turquoise waters and the supervised Nutmeg Pod Activity Centre for children.
3. St Lucia
Caribbean islands don’t come much better than St Lucia, with its dreamy Piton views, blissful beaches and natural wonders.
Tucked on the shores of Rodney Bay with its own private yacht marina, the sophisticated, all-villa resort of The Landings Resort and Spa offers Riviera charm and luxury island living at its finest.
To begin the festivities, a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony takes place. There’s performances of Christmas carols by the members of a local primary school band and choir, and lots of carol singing for guests under the twinkling lights. Days following are filled with Santa Claus sandcastle competitions, ornament making, festive movie nights and an à la carte Christmas dinner at The Palms Restaurant or a bubbly-filled Beach Club buffet.
Several St Lucian delicacies you’ll likely see on the menu is black Christmas pudding doused in red wine and the famous Caribbean ham. Cooked on a coal pot on Christmas Eve, it is then baked in the oven and garnished with cloves and pineapple rings. Wash these delights down with traditional sorrel juice made with a hint of ginger and cinnamon or a glass of tropical rum-infused Egg Nog. Festivities cumulate with a lavish gala dinner on New Year’s Eve and live entertainment till the early hours.
“The Landings is one of the best properties for families with children of all ages. Every apartment offers either an ocean or marina view and when you stay during the festive season, you’ll enjoy an array of complimentary activities and authentic experiences to get into the Christmas spirit together. ” Peter, Travel Specialist
Read our special guide to Christmas in St. Lucia: How to Spend Christmas in St Lucia.
If you’re looking for some solid winter sun, then December is an ideal time of year to visit activity-packed Antigua. It’s a particularly fun time to stay at Carlisle Bay, which promises beach parties, family time and everything in between.
Their festive programme is filled with seasonal delights including fashion displays, spa events and the best live music on the island. Exquisite festive menus are prepared by culinary teams and served in the most spectacular settings, with live music from local choirs, pianists and Antiguan steel bands. Other foodie-focused activities include a rum-tasting masterclass and a cheese and wine pairing treat with in-house Sommelier, Michael Jones.
For families, there’s movie nights under the stars, gingerbread decorating competitions and water sports. If you’re looking for more relaxation this festive season, schedule some downtime at CARA Organic Beauty Spa which uses luxurious ESPA products.
On Christmas Day, you can expect extra treats in your suite and many festive surprises throughout the day. Children receive gifts from Santa at Coconut Grove and even enjoy their very own festive programme comprising beach bonfires with s’mores and storytelling, candy scavenger hunts and parties at the Cool Kids Club. Meanwhile, a traditional Christmas dinner is served at Indigo on the Beach, an open-sided room and terrace where wooden floors merge with the sand and sea.
5. St Vincent and the Grenadines
For a magical end to the year, it’s hard to beat a winter sun getaway on one of the beautiful Caribbean isles. In St Vincent and the Grenadines, Canouan is one of the Caribbean’s little-known islands, home to the ultra-luxe Mandarin Oriental, Canouan.
Here, five-star facilities blend with a series of special seasonal events catered to both families and couples looking for something out of the ordinary.
Among the resort’s holiday highlights is watching turtles return to the wild, arranged in partnership with Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. On the white powder stretch of the resort’s Godahl Beach, witness endangered Hawksbill turtles being released into the crystal clear waters — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the whole family to enjoy.
Kids will love the Pirates of Canouan Kids’ Club, where they’ll be able to splash around in their own full-size pool, whizz down the water slide, and get stuck into a fantastic range of festive activities.
For those looking to enhance their wellness regimen, there’s yoga at the Ocean Pavilion, sunrise breathing meditations on the beach and wonderful treatments at the spa. This year, the resort welcomes back guest Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Morelli to host special dinners and cooking classes for guests.
On Christmas Day, there will be a special arrival from Santa on Godhal beach, the Bloody Mary Brunch with live entertainment and the choice of Christmas dinner at either Tides Bar + Grill or Asianne.
As the small and personal resort comprises just 26 sumptuous suites and 14 spacious villas, book your festive stay before it’s too late!
“The kids’ club here really is the best kids’ club around! Set away from the main hotel with two pools of its own, it gives youngsters their own space while still being close by.” Helen, Caribbean Product Manager
Read our St. Vincent & The Grenadines Christmas guide: Christmas in St Vincent & The Grenadines.
What’s the weather like during Christmas in the Caribbean?
Our featured Caribbean Islands usually see highs of 28°C through December. In the evening, you will need a cover-up if you’re dining outside as temperatures can fall to 19°C with tropical breezes. Christmas in the Caribbean is considered peak season, when you’ll find the best weather and incredible activities.
Spend Christmas in the Caribbean
Speak to us today to tailor your own luxury holiday in the Caribbean, packed with beautiful beaches, turquoise water and festive wonders. Our experts are here to offer travel advice and insights so you can enjoy the perfect escape.
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