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Best Place for Family of Four With Good Snorkeling, Weather and Beaches

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Nov 29th, 1998, 01:57 PM
  #1
Dan Hamilton
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Best Place for Family of Four With Good Snorkeling, Weather and Beaches

We are two adults and two kids (girl, 7 and boy, 9) planning a trip to the Caribbean in March of 1999. We are only going for one week and so would like to find an island and a hotel that has as many of the following criteria as possible:

1. 250 rooms or less (for a more intimate and personal feel)
2. Some activities for kids so Mom and Dad can have a little time to themselves
3. Oceanview or beachfront accommodation, with at least two double beds. Better even would be a separate room with pull out couch or bed.
4. Decent food (all inclusive or not)
5. Nice white sand beach
6. Snorkeling right of the shore with good visibility and lots of fish, maybe reefs too.
7. Relatively calm waters (not big waves)
8. Some sights to see on the island (natural wonders or towns)
9. Airport less than one hour drive from hotel.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Nov 29th, 1998, 02:35 PM
  #2
Brian Kilgore
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Think about Tobago. Small hotels, excellent snorkling, good beaches, etc. Hopwever, check how you would get there. If you can fly stright to Tobago, it's only a short drive to the best hotels. But if you have to change planes in Port of Spain, Trinidad, it's a fair bit of trouble getting there.

BAK
 
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Nov 29th, 1998, 03:42 PM
  #3
Diane
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I'd suggest Playa del Carmen. The Blue Parrot Hotel. It is a bit longer from the airport (Cancun) -- but you'd want to rent a car for the week anyway. There are lots of sites -- Tulum, jungle cenotes. The beach is sandy and shallow. I'm not sure about snorkeling off the shore, but the hotel can probably set you up with someone who will take you snorkeling over nearby reefs.

Akumal is another possibility -- there is good snorkeling off shore and a lovely sandy beach. Plus you can also do the Tulum and jungle trips. The $ goes a very long way in Mexico these days!
 
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Dec 3rd, 1998, 11:46 AM
  #4
Beth
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You might look at St. James Club on Antigua. It has under 200 rooms, I think. They have some childrens facilities/baby sitting available. They have great Oceanview rooms. Also they have some 2 bedroom villas which might be perfect, although price may be high. Its all inclusive, and for the most part the food was good (although the weekly dinner buffet was pretty awful). Beach was very calm. There wasn't great snorkeling right from the beach, but they have a daily snorkel boat (free!) that takes you out to the reef to snorkle for about an hour. There's some sights, English Harbor is pretty quaint, and the museum at Nelson's Dockyard. There's not a lot to see on the island, but what there is is very pretty. And lastly, the airport is about 45 minutes away.
 
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Dec 3rd, 1998, 05:12 PM
  #5
Al
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Dan
The Almond Beach Village in Barbados is perfect for families. (although a little pricey) We were there two years ago. The snorkelling is great right off their beach. Part of the package is for a day trip to the other side of the island (they called it a picnic trip, but it was a great sight seeing trip as well, we had a great time and so would your kids.) They have activities especially for children, so you and your wife could have some private time. The Holiday Inn Montego Bay is also a good family resort with snorkelling off the beach and they also offer a free snorkelling excursion just offshore from the resort. If you need any more info feel free to email me.
Al
 
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Dec 4th, 1998, 03:57 AM
  #6
dm
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i would also recommend tobago. excellent choice. safe, beautiful, not inundated with tourists with excellent facilities. it is actually quite easy to get there. american eagle flies from san juan our you can do it via trinidad using american or bwia. make sure and book early since a lot of people travel down to the caribbean the time you want to be there.
 
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Dec 4th, 1998, 03:38 PM
  #7
Kathy
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Dan,

Convenience of getting to your island of choice should also be a priority. I would suggest Grand Cayman in a condo like LaCovia. Our kids enjoyed it and it has lovely beaches, snorkeling from shore, calm water, some good restaurants. I am sure some of the hotels have kids programs, but probably not a condo.

Also families seem to go for Beaches in Turks and Caicos, even though I have not personally been there.

Cozumel would fit your criteria, but you always have to be careful of what the kids eat or drink in Mexico.

 
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Dec 13th, 1998, 05:20 PM
  #8
JOE
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I ALSO WOULD RECOMMEND GRAND CAYMAN. CONDOS CAN GIVE THE ROOM TO SPREAD OUT AND BOTH YOU AND YOUR WIFE AND THE KIDS CAN HAVE A GREAT WEEK. YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF BRINGING IN BREAKFAST AND LUNCH AND MOST HAVE OUTDOOR COOKING FACILITIES. SO YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON THE FOOD. BEACHES ARE GOOD AND WATER IS USUALLY VERY CALM.
 
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Jan 7th, 1999, 07:02 PM
  #9
Terri
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We have 2 girls (ages 11 & 7), we went to Cozumel last June. Had a blast!! It is beautiful there and pretty laid back. Not a lot of party-goers, if ya know what I mean. We were looking for the same things in a resort as you are. We stayed at the Paradisus (all-inclusive). This is a very nice Resort, very clean and well-kept. Although we were not real pleased with the kids program (not consistent) the employees at the resort were extremely nice to our girls and made them feel very welcomed and safe. They have a wonderful staff there. The nightly shows were outstanding and very kid-oriented. They get the kids involved alot. The food was great also. We really good times at all the different buffets and our last nite there we had the best steak ever! The town of San Miguel is so nice and quaint with lots of neat shops and restaraunts. Lots of families there. Cabs are cheap but don't let the driver rip you off. Let him know what you will pay before gettin in the taxi. The Paradisus staff had a sign up telling you what to you what to pay for a ride into town. The water was beautiful in front of the resort but we heard it is even better towards the south end. We just walked down the beach a bit and snorkled away!!
Have fun and good lucki!
 
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Jan 12th, 1999, 04:39 PM
  #10
nancy
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Just got back from Cozumel and would highly recommend it. Our family of five stayed at the El Presidente. Although our kids are older, I did notice they had a kids club, Lego building contest, etc.(hotel could probably forward a schedule to you). I believe the hotel had less than 250 rooms, and was not full when we stayed there. Our accomodations were great, we upgraded from 2 deluxe rooms to a really great two bedroom suite after two nights. We had a view of the water, cruise ships, and a marina. The beach was right in front of our room, with the best snorkeling we've ever seen right off the beach. The food at the hotel was very good and we ate in town many nights. The town of San Miguel was very safe, with interesting shopping and an enjoyable plaza. We spent one day driving around the island, but didn't do much else(visiting the national park, museum, horseback riding, etc.) The hotel was only 20 minutes from the airport at most, and we liked the non-stop flights on Saturdays with Continental from Newark.
Have fun wherever you decide to go!
 
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Jan 20th, 1999, 05:45 AM
  #11
elina
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definately Beaches, Turks & Caicos
great resort, unbelievable snorkeling
great kids program, food is very good
if you can afford get a villa.
 
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