Antigua or T&C in June? Need Advice...

Apr 11th, 2005, 06:29 PM
  #1  
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Antigua or T&C in June? Need Advice...

My boyfriend and I are planning a vacation to the Caribbean at the end of June/beginning of July, and after a ton of research (because I・m the picky one!), I・ve narrowed it down to Turks and Caicos or Antigua. We didn・t want something very touristy, but didn・t want something too quiet either. I・ve found that it・s pretty hard to find exactly what we・re looking for, a place that・s relatively quiet with great beaches and some nightlife. I understand that both T&C and Antigua don・t have much going on at night, but I guess it・s a tradeoff for the beautiful beaches. Are there at least a few bars and clubs to go to though??

As for my main questions, I・ve read a lot of things about T&C being a very good island for families and children X does mean that it・s not a good place for us as 24 year olds to visit? How are the crowds during June and July? Are there specific hotels/resorts that are more geared towards adults? Also, I・m pretty concerned about the construction situation. Is the noise bothersome and do the construction sites detract from the natural beauty of the island (even though it・s not the so-called :prettiest; island to begin with)? Are there specific hotels/areas that we should avoid due to construction?

If anyone could shed some light on either of these two islands and which would be the best resorts for us, I・d really appreciate it!! I need to get moving and actually book something or I might not be going anywhere after all. Thanks!
Valerie512 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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I think Antigua is going to have more of what you're looking for. As you stated, you're only 24 y.o. I don't think you would be happy just laying around all the time. And, yes, you can find some nightlife in Antigua.
Knowing is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Are the beaches and water nice on Antigua?
Valerie512 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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The beaches and water in turks and Caicos are some of the best in the world! Not much nightlife, unless you get a club med pass. Pretty quiet at night, but oh those beaches! Antigua is pretty in general, but the beaches are better in Turks and Caicos.
blamona is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 05:37 AM
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No single beach on Antigua can compare with Grace Bay on Provo, which is many miles long and lots of hotels & restaurants set along it. On Antigua, the longest stretch ofo beach might be about a mile long, but there are TONS of them to choose from. You can go to a small cove built for two and spend the day with just your boyfriend or you can pick a busy one like Dickenson Bay with water sports and beach bars galore--and everything else in between. The water is beautiful & turquoise on Antigua, but the water gets deeper faster there, so you can't walk out 50 feet and still only be up to your knees.

I've not been to Provo so I can't really comment on it authoritatively. I've visited Antigua several times, however. It has more to offer away from the beach than Provo does, I think. You've got Nelson's Dockyard for some history dating back to the Napoleonic wars. There's a beautiful cathedral downtown worth stopping in for a moment of cool quiet. St. john's has a couple of strips of more touristy, duty-free type shopping and the rest of the downtown is filled with more interesting local shops.

Hiking is pretty good on the island, and if you go you should schedule your trip over a Sunday so you can go up to Shirley Heights for BBQ and live music--beautiful setting at sunset.

When I go I stay in a pretty remote place called Long Bay Hotel on the east coast, which generally doesn't have anything going on at night, but on Thursdays they do offer a beach BBQ for their guests and anyone else who shows up. My one brush with nightlife on the island was at a beach bar/restaurant called The Beach, located on DIckinson Bay. Very casual and 2-3 nights/week they have live music. We left when things were just getting started, but there seemed to be a good mix of local and tourist folks there.

If you want to be around more action, consider staying on Dickenson Bay. Everything else will have a secluded feel unless it's in the English Harbour area on the south coast. Let me know if you have specific questions about Antigua.
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 14th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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I don't know anything about T & C, but I live in Antigua. The beaches here are beautiful and there are lots to choose from. There are also plenty of daytime activities to do - snorkeling, boat trips, watersports, hiking, Stingray city, Nelson's Dockyard, etc, etc. If money isn't an issue and you want to avoid children, Sandals Resort is a couple's only, all-inclusive resort. (Not cheap, though.) There really isn't much night life here for tourists. The Shirley Heights thing is very popular. Steel pan music starting at 4 or 5 and then a reggae group later. Lots of tourists dancing and drinking too much Wadadli and rum punch. Everyone seems to have a good time. I've never stayed for the reggae band, but the pan is great. I'm sure you'll have fun wherever you choose to go.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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KJS: There's a Stingray City on Antigua? I'm completely unaware of that. Could you kindly provide more details?

I personally can't think of a resort that is more touristy and less authentic than the Sandals on the island, so I don't think the OP would be interested in that.
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 14th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Thank you for your responses and advice! I know that this (hopefully!)won't be my only trip to the Caribbean, but since it's my first, I want to make sure I'm picking the right island. After reading the posts, I've pretty much decided on Antigua. I'm very torn because the beaches on Turks & Caicos look amazing, but at this point in my life, we may need more than just great beaches to keep us entertained. The amount of beaches on Antigua is great, but also kind of overwhelming at the same time! How do you choose?? For the smaller beaches/coves, do you basically wander around until you find one that looks nice?

I'll probably be posting again in a few days once I narrow it down to a few hotels. I've heard the Long Bay hotel mentioned a lot, so I will look into that, and any other recommendations are appreciated. I don't think we'll be doing an all-inclusive, and plus the Sandals resort is probably to expensive for our budget. Thanks again!
Valerie512 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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Valerie, the Long Bay Hotel is where I stay on Antigua and I certainly love it, but if you want at least the option for nightlife, it might not work for you. For starters it's a good 30-35 minutes away from the activity centers on the island. If you just want to take advantage of the Sunday night Shirley Heights and maybe one other night out, it could work for you.

Don't know what your budget is. On the low end check out Siboney Beach Club on Dickenson Bay. Blue Waters is several steps up from that in both price and luxury. Long Bay is somewhere in between. Go to www.antiguanice.com for more info.
ejcrowe is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Hi Valerie!

Based on what you described that you and your boyfriend want in a first caribbean trip -- it's exactly what I'm looking for as well. Keep me posted on what you've decided. All I want is to be able to see the sunset from my balcony everyday....any suggestions?
ang891 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Valerie, my fiance and I are both in our 20's and we just came back from Turks and Caicos. The nightlife there is almost non existant unless you stay in Club Med. There was one pub called Danny Buoys and not much else. It was exactly the vacation we wanted but it doesn't sound like what you want. Good luck with your choice.
NYGiants27 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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NYGiants: (PS, love the Giants too even though it's painful to watch them sometimes!) Where did you stay in Turks?

Still trying to decide on an island, so I figure that maybe I will check out some of the resorts and THAT will help me decide where I want to vacation. I am the worst decision maker!
Valerie512 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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Sorry for another post, but I forgot to ask my other question...

ejcrowe, Blue Waters looks like a really nice resort, but isn't it actually somewhat secluded? Long Bay Hotel does look nice, but we'd prefer to be closer to "the action". Has anyone stayed at this resort? Thanks!
Valerie512 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Valerie, we stayed at a hotel called Sibonne. It's a small hotel (I think it has 27 rooms) and it doesn't have many activities like some other resorts. We picked it because we got an oceanfront room that was only a few steps away from the beach. There is construction next to the hotel, but the noise wasn't bothersome except for maybe a total of 15 minutes of the week while we were down there. If you want to see what the hotel looks like, they have a website.
Also, search for any posts by HowardC. He has many about T&C and he is very knowledgeable.
NYGiants27 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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Valerie, you're right about Blue Waters being secluded on the north coast, but it's a closer drive to the DIckenson Bay area for activities. Long Bay is a good ways away from EVERYWHERE on the island, so not a good choice for you.

If you're looking for something a little more intimate but within distance of the action, check out Siboney Beach Club on Dickenson Bay. Small, owned by an Aussie, on a beautiful beach, surrounded by beautiful gardens, and with a very good restaurant on site.

Unless you want to stay in an old but atmospheric inn that's not on a good beach, you'll have to drive to get to the shindig at Shirley Heights, so don't worry about proximity to that locale--you'll either go by car or by catamaran as part of a whole day sail.

Hawksbill Beach Resort is now an AI, I believe, but less expensive than Sandals or Galley Bay. It's on 4 beautiful beaches and is also somewhat secluded.

Other than Siboney, some condo-style apartments, and the humongous chain AIs, there is not much to choose from to stay on Dickenson Bay. All of the other places on the island I'm familiar with are going to be a good bit away from the action in that area.
ejcrowe is offline  
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