4 nights in early December

Aug 5th, 2007, 05:11 PM
  #1  
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4 nights in early December

I'm planning a surprise four-night getaway with my fiance in early to mid-December (the location is a surprise, not the timing). It's not our honeymoon, but I'm looking for something romantic and relaxing. We're going to be in Miami around that time, so I'm looking for places that are easy to get to from Miami, warm that time of year, and quiet/secluded. So far, I've identified Tiamo on Andros and Ti Kaye or Ladera on St. Lucia. Tiamo looks perfect, but the scheduled flights don't work well for the dates on which we can travel. Ti Kaye looks wonderful, but it sounds like it would be a 3.5 hour (direct) flight followed by a difficult 1.5 hour drive to the resort. It's possible to take a short helicopter flight to a resort near Ladera, but it doesn't look like that is a possibility for Ti Kaye. I haven't heard back yet from Ladera about availabilty.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Right now, Ti Kaye looks like the best deal, but I'm concerned about how long it takes to get there given that we only have four nights.

Many thanks.
honeyseeker is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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Mid-December should afford you peace and quiet and good rates at most resorts (the gap between Thanksgiving and Xmas is very slow in most places).

My personal recommendation is Strawberry Hill in Jamaica... Kingston is not much more than a one hour flight from Miami, then the driver will take about 50 minutes to drive you up the mountain to the resort.

Bahamas is a short prop flights from Miami, Cayman is just over an hour (ie much, much closer than St. Lucia), but also consider places in the Keys perhaps ?
TomCayman is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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What's your budget?
hills27 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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The keys would be fine if we were able to find a place like the ones I mentioned in my original message. Is the water going to be warm enough in December, though? I'd read some messages suggesting that the bahamas can be too cold that time of year, but I've never been there, so I defer to those with more experience.

In terms of budget, I would think $2-3K is about right. I don't want to go over-the-top, as this is just a little trip and not our honeymoon (that will be next summer). I've looked, and I don't think it will be a problem to use miles for our tickets if that becomes necessary for budgetary reasons. There are plenty of frequent flier tickets available to St. Lucia at this point, and I imagine the same is true for other Caribbean destinations.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
honeyseeker is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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I would pick Providenciales (Provo) in the Turks and Caicos. About 1 1/2 hour direct flight from Miami on American. If you want a lodging suggestion e-mail me [email protected]. Check out www.wherewhenhow.com the on line mag of the Turks and Caicos. Also do a Provo search here for lots of info.
HowardC is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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I think you are right about the travel time to St. Lucia. If you could find a flight into the smaller airport (SLU)near Castries, you could cut some time off your ground transportation, but the only major US carrier that I know flies into SLU is American Airlines (American Eagle) through SJU. I'm assuming you are looking at nonstops from MIA to UVF.

St. Lucia is gorgeous, but the travel time is a consideration for only four nights. I can't offer any specfics about those resorts because I chose to stay in the north part of the island. People like them for romantic getaways, but they are kind of secluded.

Provo is great but very different than St. Lucia. If you like mountains, rainforests, and land-based activities, St. Lucia is a better choice, but if you want to spend time relaxing on perfect beaches and enjoy the most unbelievable, turquoise water (snorkeling, scuba and excursions too), choose Provo. Most people choose to stay on Grace Bay beach, and although it has lots of resorts along it, it feels very uncrowded compared to other places.

P.S. I'm going back to Provo in early to mid December and understand that average air temperatues are in low 70s (night) to high 70s/low 80s (day) and water temperatures are around 78 - 80 degrees. Hopefully, this year will be average or warmer, because I really hate going on winter vacations to somewhere warm and having it be too cold to enjoy the beach.
beachdreams3 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Normally I wouldn't recommend St Lucia for such a short trip, but with a 3.5 hour direct flight it might not be too bad. I don't think landing in the Northern Airport (SLU) would help though because it would require a stop in San Juan which would just add on time in the long run. There is a regular poster Dominick2 who could be more specific with driving times if he sees this post. No matter how you look at it, two days are messed up with travel. I consider that to be the case with a lot of destinations. Some are just a little worse than others.

I remember when we arrived at the airport that there was a representative from Ti Kaye holding up a sign for their guests for the taxi/shuttle ride. Might not be too painful. Just relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
brenandg is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I understand that if we stay at Ladera or Anse Chastanet, we can take a short helicopter ride from the airport. Unfortunately, Ladera is booked up for our dates (apart from their dream suites, which are too expensive), and I'm waiting to hear from Anse Chastanet. So I guess I'm looking at the best accomodations at Ti Kaye + a long drive from the airport or the cheapest accomodations at Anse Chastanet with a short helicopter ride. I'm not sure what to do with that one. I'll also take a look at Turks and Caicos resorts, but I'd love to hear suggestions re secluded, romantic resorts that won't break the bank. Many thanks!
honeyseeker is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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From Miami, consider other Out Islands (other than Andros), especially the ones further south. In early December -- before the rates go up for the holidays -- your budget might be able to swing the Four Seasons in Exuma (haven't stayed there myself, but friends loved it); it's a quick flight on American Eagle to Georgetown, Exuma.

If you're willing to make the drive up to FLL, you can take a one-hour flight on Gulfstream Air to Cat Island and stay at Fernandez Bay Village (rustic chic; the beach is to die for). Or fly to North Eleuthera to get to Harbour Island.

Most of the Out Islands are quiet and secluded, especially in early to mid December. The water and air should still be warm. Of course, the Bahamas are the exact opposite, at least in topography, of St. Lucia, but the beaches are waaaaaay better.
Callaloo is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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I looked at Fendandez Bay, and it looks wonderful but perhaps not what I had in mind for this trip. I think we'll go to Fendandez Bay after we have kids, as it looks like a nice family place.

I heard back from Anse Chastanet, and they have availability for our dates, so I'm thinking of booking one of their standard rooms and booking the helicopter transfer. Hopefully, we'll get an upgrade to a hillside deluxe room, but who knows.

Thanks everyone for the help. If anyone has advice about Anse Chastanet, I'd love to hear it.
honeyseeker is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:25 PM
  #11  
 
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http://stluciahelicopters.com/index.html
Here is the link to the helicopter ride if you don't already have it. The flight will be very short and you will land at The Jalousie Hilton and take a short taxi ride from there. We have done the helicopter transfer twice but it was to the northern airport. We did it in the way in both times and took our hotel shuttle back to the airport. We couldn't see spending that kind of money for the round trip. We pretty much figure that the day home is already shot. Just wanted to mention that the second time we did the helicopter transfer, we had to wait about half an hour for a copter. They were really busy that day. Can't help you with Anse Chastenet other than to tell you that they have a greyish sand beach there.

Ti Kaye has always gotten great reviews on the forums. Good luck with your planning. I would pick the resort that you prefer over the travel time after arriving on island. AC is definitely more in the heart of the Soufriere area for exploring but it is easy to take a day trip if you want from any resort.
brenandg is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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The One and Only Ocean Club is fabulous and a very easy plane ride from Miami.
hills27 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #13  
 
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Have been to St Lucia and Provo. Provo wins hands down. Before you lock yourself into St Lucia might be worthwhile ot e-mail me. Up to you
HowardC is offline  

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