Aruba, Grand Cayman, Bahamas or Anguilla?

Dec 5th, 2002, 04:32 AM
  #1  
Cat
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Aruba, Grand Cayman, Bahamas or Anguilla?

'm planning my 2003 vacation and have never been to any of the Carribean Islands. I'm trying to decide between Aruba (Hyatt Palm Beach), Grand Cayman (Westin), Bahamas (Sandals) or Anguilla (no hotel picked yet). My husband and I are in our late 20s, looking for a 5 star resort with fabulous pools, gorgeous white sand beaches with beautiful torquise water (like in Cancun), and some local nightlife/shopping. We spend most of our days at the beach/pool so this is a top priority. Please help me choose. Thank you
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 01:08 PM
  #2  
Sally
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Can't comment on Grand Cayman or Bahamas, but have been to both Anguilla and Aruba. For your requirements, Aruba sounds like your best bet. Lots of nightlife and shopping, and gorgeous beaches esp. in the 'low-rise' section. We went to Anguilla for the 1st time this summer. We loved it because it was exactly what we were looking for - very very quiet, incredible beaches, no shopping or nightlife to speak of (well, there probably is some, but not very noticeable anyway). As I said, we loved it but in view of your requirements (and your age), you might be bored.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 07:03 PM
  #3  
Greg
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Anguilla is out if you need any amenities outside the resort (nightlife, shopping, etc).

Sandals/Bahamas does not belong on this list IMO. Not "5 star" in any way, shape or form.

Both GC and Aruba have the great beaches you're looking for, the right weather, the restaurants and the activities.
There are no true 5 star resorts on either Aruba or GC.
The closest you'll get are the Hyatt Aruba (a solid 4, but rooms are pretty generic, service good but not great, an all around solid beach hotel), and the Westin GC, which ranks slightly below the Hyatt in my opinion. My biggest gripe with the Westin is that for what you pay, it should be a much better hotel. Rooms are basic for what it charges and food is not very good. Beach there is better than Hyatt Aruba's beach.

For value the Hyatt is more satisfying...you get what you pay for. If the Hyatt Aruba were moved to the Westin GC's location you'd have the best of both worlds.
 
Dec 5th, 2002, 07:08 PM
  #4  
Susan
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We have been to all four and I think that Aruba would best suit your nightlife needs. It offers gambling, fantastic restaurants, duty free shopping, etc. But I was less than thrilled with the island. It was much more windy than I expected and not nearly as green as I would have liked. We were in Anguilla last year (we stayed at the Carimar Beach Club, not five-star but suited our needs perfectly) and I fell in love with the island. Gorgeous beaches - all of which are public - wonderful restaurants and some of the friendliest people. Sally is right, there is little, if any, nightlife, but if relaxation, sand and water is a priority for your trip, then Anguilla can't be beat. Good luck with your planning and have a great trip!
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 05:55 AM
  #5  
Nancy
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Since a gorgeous beach is your top priorty then I would suggest Anguilla. I have been to all 4 islands and in my opinion Anguilla wins hands down. Anguilla is also the only island with a 5 star resort.....no real shopping and nightlife, but Johnnos and The Pumphouse does have dancing. You can take the ferry to St. Martin for the day which has excellent shopping. In my opinion, while GC and Aruba have nice beaches, they cannot compare to Anguilla. The Bahamas does not even come close. If you want nightlife every night and shopping most of the time, then I would suggest Aruba, although I was also less than thrilled with island. Good luck!
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 10:14 AM
  #6  
Tabatha
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Nassau...just not sandals. (unless you really want something quiet, not much going on there!)Try the Radisson Cable Beach (best beach on the island) See this site:http://www.radisson-cablebeach.com/ it was amazing, I was married and spent 2 weeks there. I can't wait to go back! Have fun in whatever you decide!
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 10:49 AM
  #7  
Come On
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Tabatha: Sorry sweetie, Cat is looking for a 5 star hotel and the Radisson Cable Beach is definitely not 5 star. Probably more like 3. I stayed there and while it is a good value for the buck, it is in no way amazing.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 11:37 AM
  #8  
Tabatha
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That sounded like Nancy, SWEETIE!
I dont think she is looking for a real 5 star hotel, since all of those are only 4. She didnt say the ritz. The radisson is more than comparable to the sandals that cat had listed. Yes, radisson and nassau were amazing. Sorry you didnt have a good time, that attitude must have gotten in your way.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 01:41 PM
  #9  
Come On
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Don't know what you mean by "that sounded like Nancy". Re-read my post, I never said I didn't have a good time, I just said that in my opnion, the Raddison is not an amazing hotel. I just didn't want Cat to think that the Radisson is an AMAZING HOTEL. I did say that it is a good value for the buck. You are right that the hotels that Cat listed are not 5 star, but she did say that she is looking for a 5 star hotel. Maybe she thought that they were. I am curious as to what you thought was so amazing about the Radisson and Nassau?
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 04:47 PM
  #10  
Marcia
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Have you looked at package deals? I think I would cross off GC and the Bahama's. The Sandals Bahama's doesn't have very good food and the playmakers don't have much success in organizing events. Although the Bahama's, in general, do have casino's and a nightlife. The Westin on GC has a nice pool and a nice beach,but,conventions often make the pool unavilable. Also, the hotel is not anything special and very expensive. While GC does have some comedy clubs and great restaurants, the shopping and nightlife are limited. Aruba should probably be your first choice.
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 06:09 PM
  #11  
Kevin
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The original poster clearly requested a "5 star resort".
There is not a 5 star caliber Radisson property of any type in the world, let alone Nassau.
The rooms at the R Cable Beach are 3 star quality rooms.
And while the beach there is nice, the resort itself is just OK and Nassau in general is big letdown for someone with classic Caribbean images in mind.
 
Dec 8th, 2002, 10:57 AM
  #12  
cris
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probably redundant... definitely not anguilla. though i absolutely loved it, it is only if you really want to get away. there isn't much to do other that sit out on the beach and get a tan and eat good food; all within the vicinity). it's pretty exclusive (at least where i stayed Cap Juluca), so there aren't many people around, which can be great if that's what you are looking for...and i don't think it is.

i think the bahamas (but not the hotel mentioned) would be your best bet.

good luck!
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 07:54 AM
  #13  
Tabatha
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"I am curious as to what you thought was so amazing about the Radisson and Nassau? "


I do believe the original poster was asking for advice, that does include opinions? right? and YES! WE thought Nassau and the Radisson were amazing!
geeezzz! get over it:


The hotel had excellent food, nightlife and festive events, the staff went out of their way, especially for our wedding.
The island people were the best we had ever met and we spent a lot of time downtown and partying at the local bars! everyone was extremely nice and helpful. We met up with our bahamian photographer after the wedding and went to many out of the way restuarants and shops, in 2 weeks, were were told to: enjoy the island, got lots of free marriage advice and were told hundreds of times to come back for our anniv. - from the islanders.
We couldn't have asked for anymore.
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #14  
Nancy
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Tabatha and Come On, Did something I said offend you?
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 12:25 PM
  #15  
Cat
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Hi, its me again, Anguilla is recommended quite a bit for the gorgeous beaches, but I have one question regarding the resorts. As much as I love a beautiful beach, I would also love to find a resort that has a beautiful pool, as most of our day is spent between the two. Does Cap Jal (not sure of spelling) have a large and gorgeous pool on their grounds? What type of atmosphere would you describe it?
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 12:51 PM
  #16  
Sally
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When we were on Anguilla, we did not stay at Cap Juluca but we did check it out on various occasions. As far as I have seen, and as far as I understand from everybody who has stayed there, the pool is not the reason why one should go to Cap Juluca. In other words, the beach is absolutely gorgeous but the pool is nothing to write home about.
And anyway, as I wrote earlier - if you are looking for nightlife and shopping Anguilla is NOT the place to go! Aruba is a much better bet in that case.
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 01:57 PM
  #17  
Diana
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If you are looking into Aruba, the beaches are nice (although Eagle Beach in the low-rise section is nicer than Palm beach in the high-rise section), with turquoise-blue waters. The water is pretty calm, not much for waves, but there are plenty of watersports. The Hyatt is very nice with a beautiful pool, but their balconies are too small for sitting on if that is something you would like to do. I think the Radisson is pretty equivalent to the Hyatt except that you can get a balcony and the grounds are a little bit nicer. They have a wonderful pool. The people in Aruba are wonderful, there is almost no crime, there is duty-free shopping downtown, and many nightlife activities. It is arid so you don't risk a rained-out vacation, but the wild part of the island is pretty much desert, but the north side of the island has some spectacular views of wild waves crashing on the rocky shore. Baby Beach, on the east end of the island, looks almost artificial with white sands and perfectly clear blue water.
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #18  
Nancy
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Cap Juluca's pool is just OK and the location is pretty bad - right next to the kitchen. Most people don't even use it. However, as Sally points out you don't go there for the pool. The beach is absolutely incredible. The Cuisinart resort does have a beautiful pool and their beach is also incredible, as are all beaches in Anguilla and there are over 30 of them! We stayed at Cap last summer and highly recommend it, but if a pool is a priority you may want to try Cuisinart. If money is not a problem, Cap has pool villas (they are very pricey) and then you can have the best of both worlds.......an incredible beach with a private pool! These websites may help:
www.capjuluca.com
www.cuisinartresort.com
www.newsai.com

Good luck
 
Dec 10th, 2002, 05:09 AM
  #19  
xxx
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Rather an interesting mix of choices but Anguilla certainly doesn't belong in that mix. You are deciding between mass marketed commercial developed destinations and Anguilla which is more reminisent of the Caribbean's past. It is not developed, not commercial with wonderful beaches and excellent dining but little of the noise, glitz and crowds of the others. It certainly doesn't have the chain hotels and cookie cutter approach to vacationing but it does have the highest number of luxury resorts. Hardly any shopping, a bit of music and dancing can be found but either Mallihouana or Cap Juluca fit the bill for luxury with CuisinArt coming in close behind. Of the three, Cap J's pool is the least picturesque but many of the smaller less expensive, less luxurious spots have nice pools too. Cap J has the pool villas. You can view them at www.travelhop.com but I am sure given your choices the budget given your other choices might be a bit much. For beaches Anguilla cannot be beat other than there is more snorkeling on Grand Cayman. You could hop a quick 20 minute ferry to St. Martin if you really wanted to do first class duty free shopping which the others don't offer. Aruba could not be further from the opposite of Anguilla and certainly Sandals is the complete opposite and all three would be at the opposite end of the scale from Anguilla since none of them have one 5-star luxury resort.
 
Dec 10th, 2002, 06:07 AM
  #20  
Come On
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Nancy: You did not offend me in any way. It seems that maybe Tabatha thinks you did. I was just trying to point out to Tabatha that, IMO, the Bahamas and the Radisson are not amazing. For some reason she thinks that you think the same thing.
 

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