Best lodging values

Aug 25th, 2005, 10:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Best lodging values

I'm planning a trip in February to the Caribbean. Haven't been to too many islands, so I'm not choosy - but want to know what the best way to book a room is for value (not necessarily CHEAP, just that we get what we pay for and maybe a little more). Is a private residence, hotel, villa, or another place going to be the best value - it's just me and my girlfriend going and we want someplace clean above anything else. Also should I be looking on the web, in travel mags, or travel agent? Seems like the web only has a limited number of places, and they might tend to be the more expensive of them. thanks a bunch.
meitzner is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 11:13 AM
  #2  
 
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I think you are going about this all wrong. There's such a difference in islands (flat islands, mountainous islands, lush islands, arid islands, islands with lots of shopping or islands with no crowds, islands with casinos or night life or laid back islands where you are likely to be one of only a handful of tourists, etc.) that it's nearly impossible to compare what the same dollar value will buy you on one island vs. another and whether or not a hotel room is better than a villa or full service resort. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that a room in a boarding house in town is going to be less expensive than at the luxury beachfront resort no matter which island you are visiting. As to which of those is the better "value" depends on what type of experience you are seeking. The better approach would be for you to set some type of realistic budget for accomodations and then chose an island or two that offers the experience you are seeking then you can explore the price range of accomodations to see what your dollar will buy. No matter which island you choose you will get what you pay for. If you do your homework you'll find that while some islands are more expensive than others just about every island has its share of budget properties and luxury properties. You just have to be realistic and not expect to stay at the Ritz for Holiday Inn prices, it just doesn't happen.

All that being said, February is "high season" in the Caribbean so expect to see some of the highest room prices of the year (especially if you are planning to travel around President's week). As a general rule (there are always exceptions) destinations like Belize, Cancun, Cozemel, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the many of the Grenadines are lower priced than most other islands. Places like Providenciales, Anguilla, Barbados, St. Barth's, St. John, Virgin Gorda, Mustique, St. Martin and Aruba tend to be the more expensive locales. Islands such as St. Vincent, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Grenada,St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Antigua are more mid-range as far as prices go.

Try to identify your island first, then find the accomodations that fit your budget.
A_Traveller is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 03:24 PM
  #3  
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Ok, I'd like to stay in a clean room first off. I'd like some good beaches, not too secluded but not too crowded either. Also I'd like to be able to go into "town" or wherever and be able to find some decent restaurants and shops to spend some time at. I'd also like to ideally pay $200 a night or less for the hotel. I know I'm not going to stay at the Four Seasons or Ritz...but I just want a decent room that's CLEAN. Any suggestions for an island/hotel? thanks again
meitzner is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 05:45 PM
  #4  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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m,
EVERYTHING is available on the internet. A_traveller has a good tip - identify an island or two you'd like to visit and then figure if you can get there from here.

Some islands have non-stop flights from several US airports while others require a connection in Miami, Puerto Rico, etc.

With limited vacation time I don't want to burn 12hours travel time each way when I can go someplace in 4hrs non-stop, unless it's got some special draw.

Every island I've been to (4 or 5) has it's pro's and con's, and they all have beautiful beaches and not-so nice beaches, so learn more about the beaches on the several islands you've selected. Pretty soon you'll find a couple of specific spots that peek your interest.

Personally, I like to rent a condo near the beach. VRBO.com is a good place for those, but google search "aruba condos" or "st. john villa" etc will bring up a lot of brokers, real estate agents, etc. too. If you're not picky and don't need all-inclusive package, room service, etc, then a good quality condo can be a very good value. Sometimes a posh resort is the way to go if you want to be pampered.

I find tripadvisor.com to have good info about specific properties all over, from condos and villas to hotels and resorts.
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Aug 27th, 2005, 07:28 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Recently, I came across a website: (Caribbeandays.com) It has listings for villas/condos all over the Caribbean and I was intrigued to see some pretty relatively inexpensive rental options for St. John which I had not seen before. Check it out.
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