Any place in the carribean?

Old Jan 29th, 2006, 08:52 PM
  #1  
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Any place in the carribean?

What would you chose?

Given one week in the caribean, my favorite locale .... what location/destination would you choose and why?

My wife and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary and while budget is not a problem, it should be a consideration, or budget would not be problem thoughout our life!! Love to live on the beach in a shack ........


I look forward to your informed comments!!

Jay & Kim
Ohio
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Old Jan 29th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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Jay and Kim,

this is a mean question but easy for me to answer since I have only been visiting the Carribean for the last 2 years. My quick answers are:

Bucuti Beach, Aruba - stayed here in June 2004 just after the Tara Suites had opened, loved the suites, the relaxed atmosphere and the wonderful beach where all you had to do was put your flag in the sand and the bar staff would come and take your order, Aruba has wonderful restaurants and an amazing prompt, clean, inexpensive bus service used by tourists and locals.

Idle Awile, Negril (April 2005)- A small hotel owned by the Couples Chain - Non AI and on the middle of Negril beach. This is a good beach to stay on if you like to walk up and down the beach and try restaurants and bars. Only 14 rooms, personal service at it's best.

Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios (May 2005)- the only resort I would do AI, the food was amazing and while we didn't expect to eat here every night, We did! The rooms were very comfortable (we booked the cheapest) with a balcony that had a sofa, wing chair, table and chairs, a desk and a view of the private beach. It was good enough for Errol Flynn, Winston Churchill and it was certainly good enough for me

Coral Gardens, Provo, Turks and Caicos (august 2005)- Amazing beach and wonderful sea colour. The snorkelling outside the resort was very good, we saw turtles, barracuda and sting rays. A very quiet island with wonderful restaurants. If you click on my name you should be able to find my trip report

If any of these resorts are on your list of places to visit I would be happy to answer any questions.

Of the 4 I would be hard pressed to say which I enjoyed more because they all have major positives. All of these resorts have reviews on this forum just type the resort name in the search bar.

Happy hunting

BTW - where would you recommend?
alya is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2006, 10:12 PM
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Hmmmm...

I've just read your post on the 'Sandals' thread - we don't do AI and when we stayed at Jamaica Inn (non AI)we paid less than the AI package offered on Luxury Link.com - usually a bargain!

But when we stayed at Idle Awhile we were able to use Couple Swept Away's sports complex - it's across the road from the resort. It looked very well maintained, you might want to research it.

I don't want to be funny but I do find that most people who stay at AI's don't tend to leave the resort. I do hope you get out and about and support the local economy
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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"I do hope you get out and about and support the local economy "
since a lot of "locals" are employed by the AI resorts, just by virtue of staying there, you are in some way "supporting the local economy". I enjoyan AI when I want to do nothing but kick back and relax. Also, any AI I've visited brings local vendors in to sell their wares. Again, supporting the local economy.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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This is hard to answer because, while you say that "budget is not a problem," you also say that it is a "consideration." I assume then that the budget will matter to you. In order to properly answer your question, you should let us know what kind of budget you're thinking of for this trip. Also, when will you be traveling and how important is it that your lodging have luxurious amenities. You can find "beach in a shack" for $50 a night and you can find it for $15,000 a night but the two experiences will be very different. Let us know roughly how much you're planning to spend and when you're planning to travel so that we can better help you with this.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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One week in the Caribbean during spring, summer or fall, I would choose Bermuda simply because it is beautiful, friendly, good food, etcc. I would stay at the Reefs.
If you want to live on the beach in a shack, one consideration might be the British Virgin Islands. I am interested in going there. You can stay in some very nice accomodations on a beautiful beach, Little Dix Bay is an example. That would be a nice relaxing week at the beach to me.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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For beachfront ambiance, it's Caneel Bay Resort on St. John. 171 rooms scattered about 170 acres and 7 tree-shaded white sand beaches, all with wade-in snorkeling. In the National Park, so there is no development to be seen anywhere. Upscale casual living (much more than a beach shack, but no glitter and glitz). See www.caneelbay.com They have a video on the website, which is nice, but it
doesn't begin to do the place justice.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Mostly based (ironically) on places I haven't been to yet:

1. Bonaire (I dive), Capt. Don's, I guess.
2. Anguilla, Cap Jaluca.
3. St. John (been there a few times but have never spent more than a day)... would love to visit Caneel Bay.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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My choices from many years of travelling to the caribbean...in no particular order.

Eden Rock St. Barths
Biras Creek Virgin Gorda
Cap Juluca Anguilla
Jumby Bay Antigua

Great places with varied rates from expensive to very expensive. If budget is not a problem, you will find you get what you pay for..these are among the best resorts in the caribbbean, IMHO.
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Old Jan 31st, 2006, 05:00 AM
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If you really want to live on the beach in a shack, check out Small Hope Bay Lodge in Andros, Bahamas
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Old Jan 31st, 2006, 05:22 AM
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schmerl, while it's true that locals who are employed by AI resorts earn a paycheck by living there, the support of the local economy really is more of a SLOW trickle down effect. Many, if not most, large AI resorts don't support the local economy themselves by using food vendors from the US. Even some resorts that are not AI do this. My first trip to the Caribbean was to the Jalousie Hilton in St. Lucia. I was bewildered that on an island full of lushness that I could not get fresh fruits for most of my meals. It's not that they weren't available on the island, it was because the Hilton contracted with folks in the US to ship frozen food in from Miami.

And it's true that the service charge at smaller hotels & inns that goes directly into the staff's pockets is larger than the percentage the staff get at AIs where gratuities are included up front. Sometimes in places like Sandals, staff members are threatened with being fired if they accept additional gratuties from guests. It's no wonder that in smaller hotels & guesthouses that you find most of the staff have been employed there for years and that in some places (again, to use the Sandals example) there is an extremely high turnover. It's also true that Hilton and Sandals aren't the only ones that work this way, but they're the only examples I'm familiar with from my experience and research.

So, the more one leaves their resort to dine in local restaurants or to go diving with local dive companies, the more one is supporting the local economy in a meaningful way.

JAYBB1, I am facing a similar question. My husband informed me that we had a certain budget for a vacation this year that is higher than it has been in the past. I'm torn between trying someplace new, like Grenada, St. VIncent, or Virgin Gorda, or going back to Jamaica and seeing more of that lovely country.
While it's nice to splurge, I think I'll probably try to stretch our budget to include a 2 week stay instead of just one week, which is our usual amount of time when it's just the two of us traveling. It's a happy dilemma to have, isn't it, pondering all of the places one can go?
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