10 Very Good Caribbean Hotels Under $199

(Photos courtesy of Jake's and Flickr members digitizedchaos and Nadya Peek)

A trip to the tropics doesn't have to cost a fortune. Check into ten of the best affordable hotels in the Caribbean for a sunshine-filled break that'll leave you smiling—not broke. Rates listed below were accurate on Tingo when we checked, but obviously are based on availability (as in, when you decide to visit).

  • Jake's, Jamaica, $115/night—The Caribbean is full of interesting, small hotels. Few, however, have been able to top this spectacular spot on the south coast of Jamaica, with its theatrical décor and dramatic rock-top location. Good food, fascinating furnishings, convivial service, and a great little waterfront spa make this one a huge winner.
  • Ports of Call Resort, Turks and Caicos, $129/night—Every hotel on Grace Bay Beach likes to talk about their location on Grace Bay Beach, but few of them are as affordable as this agreeable, family-friendly resort. With fewer than 100 rooms, the atmosphere is intimate without being too sleepy.
  • Butterfly Beach Hotel, Barbados, $173/night—Living the good life in Rihanna's glam (and sunny) homeland isn't as expensive as you might think. A handful of solid, affordably priced hotels such as this one make it hard to pass up a visit to one of the region's most beautiful islands. The décor isn't much, but the surf-side setting in Christ Church is just too much to ignore when the rates are low.
  • Boqueron Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, $144/night—Feel right at home (albeit far from home) in the village of Boqueron, proud steward of one of Puerto Rico's most-awarded beaches. This smart, modern condo hotel gets you right up next to it. A striking lack of over-development keeps the pace slow. Cook dinner in your own, fully kitted kitchen, kick back on the patio, and enjoy.
  • Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Bahamas, $195/night—It's absolutely true that Atlantis is one of the Caribbean's most incredible destinations. It's also absolutely true when its critics complain of it being overpriced. Of course, they could have stayed right across the street for a fraction of the money at this simple (seriously, this place is nothing special) hotel that has one major ace up its sleeve—guests get wristbands that allow them access to the insanely fun Atlantis water parks.
  • Barcelo Bavaro Beach, Dominican Republic, $160/night—If you just want a nice beach to lie on—no fuss, no running around hot and sweaty towns, no drama—Punta Cana's one of the best places, hands down. This adults-only (no kids under 18!) all-inclusive offers intense value for your money, as a 2011 renovation has this place looking more stylish than its price tag would suggest.
  • Coco Palm, Saint Lucia, $165/night—This accessible boutique hotel in Rodney Bay isn't on the beach—just near it—but legions of fans could care less. Charming Dutch Colonial-style décor, a botanical-garden-like setting, and excellent pool areas more than make up for the lack of ocean. The waves, incidentally, are just steps away, as is a healthy selection of restaurants and night spots.
  • Casa Mexicana Cozumel, Mexico, $153/night—This modern, waterfront boutique hotel, which is just a minute or so on foot from the ferry docks and right at the heart of Cozumel town, is a great alternative for those who like to be near the beach (here, you're staring right out at the water) but worry about not having enough to do. Besides lively Cozumel itself, there's Playa del Carmen, just a 45-minute boat ride away.
  • Paradera Park, Aruba, $105/night—Renowned for its reliably sunny and warm winters, Aruba isn't always the cheapest place during the colder months. But get away from the herd on Palm Beach and you'll find a kinder, gentler Aruba, home to places like this handsome 17-room apartment hotel. It's located not far from the famous Natural Bridge and other eco-delights on the island's rugged windward side.
  • Tensing Pen Hotel, Jamaica, $140/night—Become one with the tropics—two words: bed netting—at this simple but spectacular hotel that isn't necessarily for those who can't live without air-conditioning. It's more for the travelers who think that a trip to Jamaica should be all about slowing down and going with the flow. Make sure you jump off the rocks into the crystal-clear waters for a leisurely float.

About the Author: To learn more about George Hobica, visit him on Google+.

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