20th anniversary

May 2nd, 2015, 05:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 71
20th anniversary

I've been daydreaming about a 20th anniversary trip for years. We've finally decided on the Caribbean (next July for probably 5-6 nights) and need to pick an island and resort. We're mostly looking for seclusion (DH says he'll pay $1000 a night to ensure we aren't on a beach with a million other people. I think he's exaggerating a bit but you get the idea...money isn't the issue...the experience is). We enjoy good food, aren't super into nightlife or water activities, and want an island that we can explore (one that has good hiking/exploring and not so full of crime you can't leave your resort). It would go something like this: sit on a gorgeous, somewhat private beach for 2 days to unwind, third day go hiking, maybe rent a scooter and find a secluded area to watch the sunset, fourth day go sightseeing in main town, last day get spa treatments. Would love something unique, beautiful & memorable, romantic and relaxing. Any and all ideas welcome. Thank you!!
Chrissy4 is offline  
May 2nd, 2015, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,589
First, July is a great time to visit anywhere in the Caribbean - it's low season so there won't be any big crowds - you are likely to find only a handful of people on any beach and you might be the only ones on many.

Check out Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda - the island and resort fulfills everything on your wish list except having a "main town" but you can easily take a day trip to Tortola for that experience. While there's plenty of interesting sights on Virgin Gorda the main town (Spanish Town) itself is quite small & quaint and can be seen in less than an hour. FYI - most Caribbean Island don't have "big" main towns so your "sightseeing day" will most likely entail touring around the island you are visiting, not spending your day "in town".

Another resort/island combination you might look at is Cap Juluca on Anguilla. Anguilla it's a flat island so hiking isn't a strong suite but it boast 35 spactular white sand beaches, bright turquoise blue waters and 80+ restaurants. You can take a short 20 minute ferry ride to St. martin for your "town" visit.

Jumby Bay on Antigua is another resort you should consider. Again, it won't be very crowded, there's plenty of sights to see around the island and the resort has the "romance" factor you want.

If cost is truly not an issue look at Sandy Lane on Barbados - Very upscale resort, big "town" for you to explore, very nice assortment of beaches around the island, good variety of restaurants and some interesting areas around the island for hiking.
RoamsAround is offline  
May 5th, 2015, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 21
I concur with the vote for Barbados!

For a good beach that won't be crowded then the West Coast is the best bet. All beaches in Barbados are public and Sandy Lane's beach is pretty popular with locals and visitors. If you really want a more secluded and private atmosphere then West Coast is better because it's less popular.

There are also A LOT of restaurants per area in Barbados so you really would never have to eat the same place twice if you don't want to and many hotels have their own on site spa. There are also free hikes organized every Sunday by the Barbados National Trust!

In Barbados, I'd recommend Tamarind Hotel, Mango Bay or Port St. Charles.

There's a big listing for accommodation in throughout the region on www.caribbeantraveller.com. I usually check there first when I'm organizing my travel in the Caribbean.
DeeRegis is offline  
May 5th, 2015, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,362
If you can give up hiking then Cap Juluca on Anguilla would be perfect. The beach is simply stunning. You will be sharing this stunning resort/beach with very few people. The island is extremely safe. Its known for its world class restaurants (some of the best food I've had and we live in the tri state area with easy access to NYC). Tons of other beaches to explore.

The BVI recommendation is also a good one for combination of privacy, hiking and good beaches (although not the same as Anguilla). The dining is so so..

Guana island if you can give up the center of town idea (although you can take a boat ride to Tortolla). I havent been but it looks super romantic.
mnag is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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Posts: 71
Thank you guys! We've decided on Cap Juluca in Anguilla. Since we're without kids we can focus on great beach (vs. pool) and aren't so worried about not having a direct flight. I love the idea of visiting St. Maarten for some exploring as that was one of our first vacations together. I was worried Cap Juluca was too touristy but I've read great reviews and like the idea of the calm water overlooking St. Maarten with fewer people than some of the other beaches. Now I just need to pick a room. Not sure if it's worth it to splurge on a bigger room (even one with it's own pool) or just get a standard room and have more money for meals, spa and excursions. Any advice welcome. First world problem for sure! Would welcome any advice on restaurants, spas or activities as well. Very excited - thanks again for the feedback.
Chrissy4 is offline  
May 8th, 2015, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,362
Congratulations. You simply cannot go wrong ...its a gorgeous resort on a breathtaking beach. Sorry I cant't help you with the room since we did not stay there. In terms of restaurants our favorite over a weeks stay on the island was Jucala on Meads bay. The food was so fresh and delicious (they showed us the fresh snapper they cooked for us). We also enjoyed Straw Hat. Both these restaurants for us also hit the ambiance mark - very romatic, open air dining, you can hear the waves and top notch service etc. Hibernia is on the other side of the island (atleast a 30 min ride from the west end) but we enjoyed the food and thought it was well worth it. Unique ambiance - its a restaurant in an art gallery setting. Picante is mexican with a lively atmosphere. Veya is very popular but we were not impressed. The ambiance is nice but it was very busy when we visited and we had to wait a real long time for our food. We had an outdoor table and it was quite hot/humid.
For lunch you may want to consider Blanchards beach shack. They have lounge chairs for use on Meads bay (our second fav beach on Anguilla).
For a robinson crusoe type experience look into Sandy island (for drinks or lunch). Its a small little island (10 min boat ride).
We also enjoyed Crocus bay (lessor know darker sand beach). Its very serene and the views are nice from that beach. There is a restaurant also that lets you use really nice lounge chairs.
Hope you have a great 20th anniversary on Anguilla.
mnag is offline  
May 8th, 2015, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,589
OP said: Not sure if it's worth it to splurge on a bigger room (even one with it's own pool) or just get a standard room and have more money for meals, spa and excursions.

Here's a way to look at things:

If money is no object always opt for the better room since you'll be more comfortable and the added cost won't burden you financially.

If, however, you are like most people, and you want to get the most from your travel budget you probably don't need to spend extra on your room. Think about it - how much time will you be spending in your room and what will you be doing during that time? The bulk of your time in the room will be spent sleeping, using the bathroom facilities and engaging in other "adult activities" where it doesn't matter one bit how big or well appointed your room is. Besides no one ever looks back on a trip and thinks the highlight was the room they stayed in.

During the day, you'll be out and about the island or lounging on CJ's spectacular beach. Even if you go back to your room in the afternoon for a brief rest, chances are you'll be sitting in a lounge chair in the garden area outside your room. None of these activities will be affected by the size of your room.

So, there's no downside to staying in a standard room vs. a premium room. Standard rooms at CJ are quite nice and you'll still have access to all the resort's amenities, the same as you would if you spent extra for a Premium Room.

The memories you create on this anniversary trip are going to come not from the size of the room but from doing things with your spouse. So really, the best options for someone who doesn't have unlimited funds is to opt for the less expensive room and use the money you save for activities that will give you the most pleasure and lasting memories.
RoamsAround is offline  
May 8th, 2015, 01:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 71
Thank you so much! This has all been extremely helpful. Now I just want to be there...
Chrissy4 is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 02:08 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
check out our home on vrbo property #642114
secluded on a beach with not many folks on it especially in July. Home is adjacent to the Westin, one acre, 20 coconut trees, bananas trees, plantains host of other fruit trees.
house is large but we have quite a few honeymooners due to the privacy our home offers.

sonyainva is offline  
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