Best bang for the buck - luxury accomodations?

Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:14 AM
  #1  
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Best bang for the buck - luxury accomodations?

Where is the best place in the carribean to find luxury, pampering accomodations for the best price? I would prefer not to spend $800+ a night, but could still afford a pretty nice luxury vacation. Thoughts? We would like someplace with an active night life as well.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Depending on the time of year you travel and the room category you select there are scores of upscale resorts in the Caribbean that meet your specifications. Which is "best" depends on YOUR definitation of "best".

For starters check out some of the following:

Caneel Bay on St. John

Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda

La Samanna on St. Martin (this resort may qualify as "best" because you'll have access to St. Martin's active night life).

Cap Juluca or Cusinart on Anguilla.

Eden Rock or Ile de France on St. Barth's (lot's of night life on this island).

Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas

Four Seasons or Nisbet Plantation on Nevis.



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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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We are going in mid-May (for anniversary). I don't know about room category - I guess I'm looking for input there as well. Is it worth the extra $ for a nicer room at some of these places?
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Whether it's "worth it" depends on you.

May is traditionally "Low Season" in the Caribbean and room prices at most resorts are at their lowest so that will help make your dollar go further.

As for the room choice, remember regardless of which room category you select you'll still have access to and full use of all resort amenities. Room prices are generally based on view (beachfront rooms being more costly than garden view rooms). You can often save upwards of $50 to $100 per night by opting for a non-beachfront room or selecting a standard room vs. a suite.

Also, ask yourself, is the view that important, how much time will you actually be spending in your room and what will you be doing during those times.

You'll be spending the better part of the day out and about the resort and/or island. You'll be spending 8 hours or so of the time you are actually in your room asleep. The rest of the nighttime hours you can see anything because it's dark or because the drapes are drawn to give you privacy.

Again, everthing boils down to a personal choice. What I or other contributors to this forum think matters little. It's what's important to YOU!
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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I guess the other thing to consider is also the amount of time it will take for us to get to our destination. We have somewhat limited time and do not want to spend a huge amount of it traveling. Is that an issue with traveling to some of the smaller islands?
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Yes, travelling to some of the smaller islands can involve a combination of one or more ferry or small island hopper flights. Depending on here you are travelling from you can reach most of the major islands in 3 to 5 hours from the east Coast of the US (add more time from the mid-west or west coat and even more if you are travelling from Europe). Getting to the smaller islands could add just as much time and in some cases involve an overnight stop while enroute.

You really should do a bit of "reading" reseach about the Caribbean. Find out what islands can be reached non-stop from your nearest "Gateway" city. Once you have that list read up on those islands to see if one or more might appeal to you. All islands are different, some a quite large others less populated. Some are hilly, others are mountainous and still others are flat. Some are lush, others arid. Some have long strands of sugar white beaches, some have small cove like golden sand beaches, some have dark sand beaches and some have no beavches. Some offer great snorkeling and/or diving, others have interesting flora and fauna and still others have active night lifes. The thing is no one island "has it all". Choosing tha "perfect" island becomes a matter of compromise.

Once you do some basic research you'll have a better idea of where you mifght want to go.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Yes, travelling to some of the smaller islands can involve a combination of one or more ferry rides or small island hopper flights. Depending on where you are travelling from you can reach most of the major islands in 3 to 5 hours from the east Coast of the US (add more time from the mid-west or west coat and even more if you are travelling from Europe). Getting to the smaller islands could add just as much time and in some cases involve an overnight stop while enroute.

You really should do a bit of "reading" reseach about the Caribbean. Find out what islands can be reached non-stop from your nearest "Gateway" city. Once you have that list read up on those islands to see if one or more might appeal to you. All islands are different, some a quite large others less populated. Some are hilly, others are mountainous and still others are flat. Some are lush, others arid. Some have long strands of sugar white beaches, some have small cove like golden sand beaches, some have dark sand beaches and some have no beavches. Some offer great snorkeling and/or diving, others have interesting flora and fauna and still others have active night lifes. The thing is no one island "has it all". Choosing tha "perfect" island becomes a matter of compromise.

Once you do some basic research you'll have a better idea of where you mifght want to go.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Opps!!! I somehow ended up with 2 posts saying the same thing.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Yes, in response to your last question, travel time can be a factor, but without knowing where you are flying from, people cannot give specific recommendations.

In general, you are most likely to find nonstop flights to St. Martin or St. Thomas from more US cities. St. John, Anguilla, Nevis, Virgin Gorda and probably St. Barth will involve connecting flights and/or ferry transportation from most places in the US.

Aruba would have more nightlife, but I don't know about "luxury" hotels beyond the Hyatt, Marriott class.

Grand Cayman has a Ritz Carlton. It would have more nightlife than some of the other places suggested, but it is not really a party place.

Did you consider Cancun or don't you want to go to Mexico? There are a couple of high-end spa type places there, and there definitely is nightlife.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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I would agree with Mexico. Cancun is vegas by the water. Playa del Carmen has plenty of nightlife, but charm too. Royal Hideaway would be very nice. Royal Playa del Carmen is great bang for your buck (both AI) If you don't want AI, there are a few good choices too.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Cancun is a good bet IF you choose the right resort and stay out of the tourist fray.

We loved Le Blanc and found it quite luxurious. We also visited the IB Grand and it was lovely. Both are adult only AIs and range from 580-750 a night.

While I love some of the real Caribbean islands, the hassle of getting there as well as the airfare expense is a turn off. Cancun does not have much charm but we are happy with a good beach, great pools, very good food and wine and the ability to take a guaranteed kid free vacation.

Also check out Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios.

As for luxury at a non AI with decent nightlife and easy air connections, we loved the Ritz in CG. However, kids were a problem here and they do seem to get away with bad behavior.

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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Forgot to mention San Juan. Love the food and nightlife, good beaches and the new Renaissance looks lovely!
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