Barbados or St. Maarten??

Oct 4th, 2007, 01:13 AM
  #1  
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Barbados or St. Maarten??

Trying to decide between Barbados or St. Maarten for next family vacation. We would stay at the the Hilton in Barbados or the Westin Dawn Beach in St. Maarten. Any insight on the islands and/or hotels would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
vic0625 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Well, it kind of depends on what you are looking for. How many people are going and what are the ages? Are you looking for adventure or just want to relax?

Barbados has plenty of stuff to do for a family. You can take guided tours of the island that are fun and informative, tour Harrison's Cave, go to Orchid World, go to the Wildlife Refuge (they have wild monkeys on the island), and take a snorkeling cruise. The snorkeling is not that great on Barbados.....but you can see some sea turtles, which makes it worth it. There are jetskis and watersports available, as well as people selling things on the beaches. They also have the Oistens Fish Fry that people rave about. I don't know anything about the Hilton, but it is in the capital (near airport) and is a more congested part of the island. We stayed in St. James Parish when we were there (closer to Holetown and numerous dining establishements). You will also be close to St. Lawrence Gap, which has some restaurants and a more vibrant nightlife. Barbados is a coral island and is generally flat and scrubby. The East Coast, however, has some excellent scenery.

St. Martin also has a lot to do, alhough I admit, we've never been inclined to do much there besides go to the beaches and restaurants. There is a butterfly farm that is supposedly great, plenty of beaches to explore, as well as take a cruise to Pinel Island.....jetskiing, parasailing, shopping, casinos on the Dutch side, plenty of all kinds of dining. French St. Martin is on the Euro and the exchange rate may be worth considering. St. Martin is mountainous and has a very picturesque topography. The island can get very congested with traffic during the day. The Westin is new and it looks beautiful. You are right near the French border, so you can get a flavor for both sides.

I hope that helped.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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If it's only a choice between these two hotels, then go to St. Maarten. The beach and hotel there are much nicer. If you want to cast your net a little wider, you can find excellent places for your family on Barbados; I just wouldn't recommend the Hilton.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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We have been to about a dozen Caribbean islands and Barbados is our second favorite. We enjoy staying at the Hilton and have found it to be a special place. The pools at the Hilton are wonderful for taking dips, or you can relax in the Jacuzzi. The property is landscaped with palm trees and blue and white poolside furniture. There is an infinity pool that flows into a 2nd pool.
The Hilton is a self-contained paradise. But you also want to leave the premises because Barbados has so much to see and do. Your days can be as relaxed or as active as you choose.
We think we could eat in Barbados every night for the rest of our lives. Yum!
When you leave - you will go home reluctantly.
We will be in Barbados again this year before heading over to Palm Island. You got me excited me again!!
Knowing is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #5  
 
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If you have an active family, I also vote for Barbados. I have been to both and thought Barbados was prettier. As Lizzie stated there is a lot to do besides water sports on Barbados. Although I enjoyed St Maarten, we liked Barbados more. IMHO, I thought St. Maarten has more adult options. However, kids are welcome and would fit in at either island.
clueless is offline  
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