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Any Upscale but laid-back Caribbean resorts?

Old Aug 8th, 2000, 11:37 AM
  #1  
Peggy
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Any Upscale but laid-back Caribbean resorts?

Help! Since Fiji (our favorite destination) is removed from consideration for a while, we are trying to find something comparable in the Carib. Meaning, small, upscale but not pretentious. Rather go barefoot. Privacy a must. Prefer accommodations on the beach. Have been to PSV already (loved it). No crowds, good food, watersports (sailing Hobie cats & snorkeling). Considering Peter Island (but does the beachfront 4plex have any privacy?) or Galley Bay, Antigua, same question though, too many people? How dressy is dinner? I love breakfast served on a private patio. Not fond of communal dining for all meals. I know it all sounds picky but that's what we're looking for! Price isn't too much of an obstacle except no, Necker Island for $10,000 a day is not in the running! Know of any hidden gems out there? I'd love some ideas.I've fell I've pretty well exhausted travel mags & internet. Not necessarily confined to the caribbean either. Thanks!
 
Old Aug 8th, 2000, 11:58 AM
  #2  
lisa
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I would suggest St. Lucia. Ladera meets your description perfectly with the exception of the fact that it is not ON the beach but is perched high upon a hillside ABOVE the beach. The open-air rooms with private plunge pools and views to die for more than make up for it though -- there is no fourth wall, so nothing between you and the great outdoors with the Caribbean, the Pitons, sunsets and rainforest all right there. Very casual, intimate, private atmosphere. Yes, they will serve breakfast in your room! Two beaches with watersports & snorkeling are 10-15 minutes away. Check out www.ladera-resort.com.
If you have to be ON the beach then look into Anse Chastanet (www.ansechastanet.com) which is near Ladera.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2000, 03:12 PM
  #3  
Kyle
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I think that Biras Creek Resort has everything your looking for. Check out www.biras.com or scubamom.com for a review. I just got back from my honeymoon and we were looking for the same things you mentioned. Biras exceeded our expectations in every way. Very private, staff are attentive but not overbearing, and 140 acres of resort are beautiful. See my trip report posted in the BVI section.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2000, 04:48 PM
  #4  
Karen
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Pretty comprable, I understand, to PSV is Meridian Club on Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos. "Barefoot elegance" and it is wonderful ... only 12 rooms on beachfront ... 1 "cottage" more isolated ... very private, wonderful rooms along the beach. Fabulous beach and a wonderful staff! Great snorkling and diving at the off shore reef, breakfast on your screened porch and picnic lunches and with so few guests, dinner is not even busy!!! Parrot Cay (T/C also )is wonderful but different atmosphere - spa/massages/the works - a little more "formal." You might want to look at Curtain Bluff (jackets in winter for men might rule that one out!)on Antigua or Jumby Bay (all inclusive) off Antigua ... one resort and private homes that are breath taking (Ken Follet, Robin Leach and others own breathtaking homes homes there!)as an alternate to Galley Bay! Beachfront at PIR feels "private" and is lovely ... only 20 rooms beachfront ... definately a great place! But the dining room can get busy as transients do come to dine - especially for the Sunday brunch and the buffet nite. Great picnic lunches on White Bay get you away from the restaurant atmosphere at lunch! Breakfast on the patio/balcony - but think it not full breakfasts. Dress code: pretty informal ... and you see everything from casually elegant resort wear to full dress! Guana Island is also an alternate in the BVI's ( really casual and wonderful - also closer to what you describe) and someone else mentioned Biras Creek! Not sure when you are planning but I would defintely give Meridian Club a long hard look! In fact if it weren't for all the PSV lovers there who lobbied for me, we would not be headed there in Feb! dh has been hesitant 'til everyone ganged up on him at Meridian! Many of the guests at Meridian also love and frequent PSV! www.meridianclub.com It fits the description perfectly!!!! You can go to scubamom.net for her reviews of the Grenadines and the BVI's and her comparisons!
 
Old Aug 8th, 2000, 05:52 PM
  #5  
Peggy
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Thanks everybody! Hi Karen, we have corresponded recently about PSV. All suggestions sound really good. I have thought about Ladera but my husband hesitates about the missing wall. But I will look into it again. Of course he'll go wherever I book! So far we have not had a bad experience, some just better than others. Biras has also been a consideration. I'm intrigued about Meridian Club & now will look it up. I was concerned about the rooms being too close at Peter Island so apparently you don't feel you're in "each other's face" concerning the patios & balconies? I remember the walls were so thin at Long Bay in the cabanas we had to whisper!
Thanks again for the suggestions, we are booked for the Careyes on the Mexican pacific coast for October & looking to make plans for next spring. Half the fun is the planning! Well I'm off the check websites!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 04:15 AM
  #6  
Karen
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Peggy, alto you are concerned about the "missing wall," I personally would not choose Ladera as you have to "commute" to the beach. You know I am really obsessive about beach proximity! The rooms do sound wonderful tho ... my son stayed at Jalousie and came home with the report that St. Lucia was "okay." He wasn't thrilled and definately did not like the long ride from the airport to the resort - opted for the helicopter back! He said that the beaches were "fair" and found the food the nite they went to Ladera and on the island in general just "okay." Now, everyone has favorites and st. lucia was obviously not his (so the st. lucia lovers do not have to get upset!) Even at Peter Island, we opened every and all the windows so not to use the a/c - might want to request upstairs room, maybe the a/c compressors wouldn't be so loud but didn't feel the others were "in your face!" at all. In fact, we often remarked that we seldom saw anyone else and certainly never heard them - couldn't figure out where they went! - and we had all the windows open all the time! They do have two fabulous villas there as well - up high with absolutely glorious views! Our biggest complaint was the "dinners" - very busy at times - and now they have enclosed the Tradewinds. (What a bummer!) You do know that Biras' swimming beach is a three-quarters of a mile bike ride away? Rooms are on beach but not a swimming beach! At my tottering ol' age, that would present a challenge as the trails are a bit challenging at spots - and I just didn't like the back and forth (again my obsession about beach proximity!). But a great beach with great snorkling! For awhile they were attemtpting to do the "cart-thng" when Jamie was manager but don't know if they continued it after he left for the Ritz in STT. Loved the complimentary Boston whalers to putt about North Sound in and they will do a picnic lunch so you can putt off on your own! Spring is absolutely fantastic in the Turks and Caicos - we were at Meridian in April and one of the airlines is adding flights to the T/C out of Atlanta - Delta <groan>, I think! Avoids that ZOO in Miami! We did the Caribb Mexico (Maroma) in March - couldn't decide East or West - absolutely wonderful (Maroma was so so - you are paying for their reputation NOT what they were when we were there!) and am probably going to do the west next Spring! Just starting to work on that again - or Anguilla! If you head to the BVI's, we overnite it on Tortola and head out early the next am to our destination. Saves arriving post dinner or missing a whole day - and arrive in time for breakfast on the first day of vacation! Stay in touch and you can email me!!!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 08:38 AM
  #7  
RJ
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Personally hoping you check out Guana - from their website it looks astounding (www.guana.com) but it's a bit rich for our blood. Then you could write up a trip report and we can live vicariously!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 12:17 PM
  #8  
Karen
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If you go to www.luxurylink.com, they do feature Guana once in a while ... think they did a short time ago ... you might check to see what price the auctioned stay went for and see if it that would fit your budget - then when it comes up again, try. The worst that happens is you'll be outbid and you won't go! The best is that you might get to go to a wonderful spot or other high end vacation at a more reasonable less budget-braking price!!!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 01:40 PM
  #9  
Peggy
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I did look into Guana, not quite what I want. It went for $3025.00 minus airfare. Great price. Believe me I know I'm being picky, but why not. Meridian Club does look very inviting! Getting a brochure & some quesitons answered. I will send you an e-mail Karen with some more inquiries. Actually Fernandez Bay Village www.fernandezbayvillage.com on Cat Island looks kind of interesting. Few accommodations on a huge beach, certain ones look private, breakfast on your patio, unless someone knows anything negative, let me know.
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 03:13 PM
  #10  
nancy5
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Hi Peggy~ I think that Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos might fit the bill for you... it is expensive but not in the Necker Island range!!! Our absolute favorite is Cap Juluca on Anguilla... took a massive hit after Hurricane Lenny, due to reopen in late October, but even on "Carib" time should be good for next spring. You sound like you enjoy the same things that we do...and we loved both of these places. If you can swing it and decide on Parrot Cay, the one bedroom beach houses are directly on the beach, as are all the accomodations at Cap Juluca. Happy hunting!
 
Old Aug 9th, 2000, 05:47 PM
  #11  
Tracey
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We have never been, but our friends love Curtain Bluff in Antiqua. They have been twice. They describe as upscale and quiet.
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 05:14 AM
  #12  
Trish
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You may want to check out Caneel Bay in St. John. http://www.caneelbay.com/ I have heard go things about it as we were planning our trip to St. John.
 
Old Aug 10th, 2000, 06:27 AM
  #13  
Peggy
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This has turned into a fun thread! Thanks for the ideas. I'm checking out Parrot Cay as to how "fussy" they may be with dress codes etc. Does look beautiful. Pink Sands also looks worth investigating in the Bahamas. You can get so spoiled with everything you get at the resorts in Fiji & though they are expensive you REALLY get your money's worth. I don't mind the price tag as long as they deliver. Some resorts are high priced just because they can get it. I guess that is where other's opinions really do make a difference. Thanks again!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 07:06 AM
  #14  
test
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Have you looked at or considered Mauritius or Seychelles? Luxurylink recommends (and also has auctions) for a couple of resorts there.

The only drawback is that the flying time is close to 20hrs from pretty much anywhere in the US
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 07:34 AM
  #15  
Peggy
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Yes I have tentatively looked at those & the Maldives. The flight time & transfers are a bit daunting though! Not too crazy about going through Sri Lanka, etc. Bali may be an option but though the culture is interesting the beaches do not compare.It's not JUST traveling for the sake of a great beach, we enjoy lot of things, but it doesn't hurt either! Thanks!
 
Old Aug 11th, 2000, 01:56 PM
  #16  
tweedy
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Iwould suggest 2 resorts on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, Pink Sands and Runaway Hill Club.

Pink Sands is very upscale, but not crowded, only 30 bungalows, and right on the beach with a nice pool. Excellent restaurant and it is quite the "people watching" place in the Bahamas these days.

We stay at Runaway HIll (www.runawayhill.com) which is small and intimate, only 10 rooms and again, right on the beach, breakfast and dinner is served on the porch, weather permiting and the food there is the best on island.

If you need any more info about Harbour Island or need some phone numbers, please let me know.

tweedy
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 08:59 AM
  #17  
Linda
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We stayed at Guana Island last April. It was nice, but not worth the hefty price tag. On the plus side: 1)gorgeous beach, with bar, restroom/shower/changing rooms, watersports gear right there. 2)great view from the dining area 3)large rooms with plenty of room to move around. On the minus side: beach isn't really private because lots of charter sailboats dock in the bay, and they can use the beach. 2)all accomodations and meals are up a VERY STEEP hill. (We got lots of exercise, but not for the lazy or faint-hearted). Transportation is available but limited. Also not condusive to late night walks on the beach; we went down one night and it was glorious. 3)While breakfast and lunch were consistently great, dinners were blah (same type of food and presentation each night, very limited choices). 4)Giant bugs in the eating area were quite unpleasant. 5)Wine, while included at meals, was haphazardly chosen by the staff. I had a few great glasses, but most was the $5-10/dollar a bottle stuff. Ugh! 6)Since all the rooms are on the hilltop, the wind at night sounds like a hurricane, and kept most of us awake for large portions of most nights. 7)bring your own entertainment, because there is nothing else to do after dinner. Guest rating: despite the fact that everyone who goes here can afford an upscale resort, most everyone was very friendly. A few repeat guests, but most everyone we talked to wouldn't come back, including us.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 10:31 AM
  #18  
Peggy
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Thanks for the info Linda. I had actually decided against Guana Is. after looking at a map of the layout & some pictures of the dining area.
We just returned from The Careyes in Mexico, 1 1/2 hour drive north of Manzanillo. Just what I wanted! Upscale & VERY laid back, dinner on the beach under tiki torches.......& I must confess I do have us booked for the South Pacific (Rarotonga & Aitutaki, overwater bungalow) for next April, just couldn't find what I wanted in the Carib this time. Thanks for the inputs though!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 12:05 PM
  #19  
Jen
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Try Pink Sands in Harbour Island. Amazing beaches, upscale, quiet, exclusive, fine dining, low key.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 01:13 PM
  #20  
felix little
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You have to go to Barbados - by far the best and most luxurious properties. I suggest checking out www.caribbeanway.com. We have booked a couple of trips with them and their young energetic attitudes and great customer service have led me to refer them along to you. They also have another private island called Little Thatch that you should check out.
 

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