Known for a stomach-wrenching runway built into its cliffs, Saba is nothing like sister island St. Martin. There are only 1,800 residents, a small harbor, 4 villages and not much more. In fact, there are no beaches, shopping centers, casinos or, thankfully, mass tourism. The beauty of the volcanic island is its sprawling nature; no wonder it was nicknamed “Unspoiled Queen.” European travelers abound due to the Dutch commonwealth, and the island is becoming a favorite for the LGBT community.
The island’s commissioner, director of tourism and one member of the island council are all openly gay. Couples of all orientation like to shack up at Queen’s Resort (again, “queen” is a curious coincidence), a 12-suite property that is notorious for its timeless appeal, with suites averaging 1,200 square feet. Known mostly for hiking and diving, Saba is all about truly getting away and disappearing in the rolling green hills for much-needed R&R.
Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is all about mountains, rainforests and natural attractions. The “Nature Island” is only 298 square miles and home to Morne Trois Pitons National Park. What makes Dominica unique is the 365 rivers that flow throughout the island. One of the most peaceful excursions is a boat tour on the Indian River, which is flanked by mangroves and lush foliage, with its unexpected stop for a cold beer at the Bush Bar.
Due to the geothermal activity, plenty of hot springs abound, whether at Wotten Waven or Papillote Wilderness Retreat, which has a garden featuring more than 200 plant species woven into the tropical setting. Snorkelers can head to the black-sand beach at Champagne Reef for exciting underwater adventures or take the 3-mile hike to Boiling Lake, a hot, flooded fumarole at the bottom of a sinkhole. Well-heeled travelers make a beeline to Rosalie Bay Resort, a 22-acre eco-resort that feels like a small village, with 28 spacious, cottage-style accommodations (many oceanfront) and a new, pampering spa.