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audreyleigh99 Apr 9th, 2006 05:33 AM

Best upscale but (somewhat) affordable hotel in the Caribbean?
My DH and I will be going to the Caribbean for the first time next Oct. or Nov. I am having trouble deciding where to go so I am going to go about this backwards - find a few fabulous hotels and then check out their locations to see if they fit the bill (yes, I know that's a bit crazy).

We would like a hotel that is upscale and in a nice area; I don't want to feel like I'm in 1975 Ft. Lauderdale (which is what I've been seeing a lot of so far). It needs to have at least 10 rooms (DH doesn't like the B & B feel) and preferably a pool. We love the kind of Four Seasons style if that helps . . . although I'm not so sure that is possible on our budget - I'd like to keep it to $300 a night or less (less is definitely better!). At this point the island doesn't really matter. Any help is much appreciated!!!

Laby Apr 9th, 2006 07:15 AM

Since you'll be traveling in October/November, you'll find the rates to be the lowest of the year. So that will allow you to get the most bang for your travel buck.

Here are two suggestions that may meet your requirements. First, the Nisbet Plantation Resort in Nevis. It's a beautiful historic inn on a lovely beach. The hotel offers numerous packages that include all or many of your meals. The posted daily rate may exceed your limit but that could be because it includes meals so be sure to read the fine print to see what is included in your rate.

A second choice that should meet your expectations and budget is the Royal West Indies Resort in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos. It's a wonderful property with excellent service on one of the Caribbean's best beaches. The hotel has a very good restaurant but you should take try to experience some of Provo's many fine restaurants. The same goes for Nisbet and Nevis as well.

Both the Nisbet and RWI will give you an upscale experience. Either one would be a good choice.

xkenx Apr 9th, 2006 08:38 AM

I can't think of an island that doesn't have nice hotels at reasonable rates. I'd recommend figuring out what kind of island ambiance you want (lush vs arid, are beaches important, snorkeling, entertainment, sightseeing, eco tours, etc.) and pick an island. If you pick a hotel primarily, unless your island experience is to be limited to hanging out at the hotel, you may be disappointed in the island, or miss out on an island with more of what you may like. For a wonderful introduction to the Caribbean, I'd suggest going to Barbados. It has some of everything any island can offer except for gambling and a volcano. Lovely people, lush green tropical setting, clean air, pure water, wide range of hotels, beaches, water sports, sightseeing such as caves, tropical gardens, animal preserves, plantation houses, hiking, submarine ride. Outstanding restaurants, both in hotels and independent. All revolves around a British/Caribbean culture so you don't feel like you're just in tropical America. Barbados is a really special place with a strong economy, not dependent only on tourism, so a visitor experiences a sense of a place which is beyond just a resort on a beach. Generally avoid August-October (hurricane season). Otherwise weather is great all year-perpetual summer with water temps over 80 deg. even in winter. Lowest hotel rates are mid-April to mid-December, with a big jump in high season. Calmest water for swimming/snorkeling is on the calm
west coast north of Bridgetown. See

xkenx Apr 9th, 2006 08:42 AM

Another possiblity is Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Jamaica is a varied island, and J.I. is small, charming, only 45 rooms, family owned for some 50 years, private beach. Off-season rates are comfortably in your range for a number of rooms. See

audreyleigh99 Apr 9th, 2006 02:33 PM

Thanks for the advice, those all look like beautiful hotels I will have to look into further. Xkenx, I know this is a bit of an unconventional way to go about things . . . but I started out by trying to pick the island (St. Martin and St. Lucia peaked my interest) but when I went to look for hotels I either found super all inclusives, which is not what we want or smaller hotels that look like badly furnished apartments I remember from living in Ft. Lauderdale.

If I was to go about it by picking an location first, I would want something that is not overdeveloped (i.e. high rises and neon). A town with some culture (architecture, casual but unique restaurants) and that is safe enough to walk around in if you're relatively street smart would be ideal (Jamacia makes me a little nervous here - my dad was robbed at knifepoint there two years ago). A nice beach is also important, but I think it is rather difficult to find an island with only bad beaches in the Carribbean. So maybe Barbados is a good option, I'll have to check it out. So much research to do!! (although that's half the fun of a vacation, I guess).

audreyleigh99 Apr 9th, 2006 02:36 PM

xkenx - BTW what hotel(s) would you recommend I check out in Barbados?

Carrybean Apr 9th, 2006 02:58 PM

You might look into Tortola.

xkenx Apr 9th, 2006 03:52 PM

On Barbados, a very nice boutique hotel (only 29ish rooms) on a nice beach and fine restaurant is Treasure Beach ( )
Another, roughly 100 rooms is Coral Reef Club. Family owned for 50 years on beautiful grounds, nice beach at the edge of an underwater park. A real class act.

kgk52 Apr 9th, 2006 04:26 PM

We just got back from the Westin in Grand Cayman and loved it. The location is perfect and the island is wonderful.The Ritz (2 doors down) seemed a little too large and scary.

caribfan Apr 10th, 2006 05:55 AM

If St. Lucia interested you, why not check out Ladera,, Anse Chastenet, (hope I'm spelling that right, you'll have to google it), Ti Kaye resort is another. The Jalousie Plantation is right below Ladera on the beach. Windjammer Landing, Rendezvous Resort, (although it is right next to the small airport). Hope these suggestions help!

audreyleigh99 Apr 10th, 2006 06:19 AM

Thank you all for the wonderfult suggestions, they are definitely helpful! There are so many choices/islands/hotels it is a bit overwhelming, but at least having suggestions from here is a start. I definitely have a lot more research to do . . .

DianeC Apr 10th, 2006 09:33 AM

We have been to tobago, coco Reef hotel, wonderful food & unspoilt island. also blue Waters & Galley Bay on antigua, not too commercialised & lovely people. We are going to palm island Grenadines & Coral reef Barbados in a couple of weeks, bur expect Barbados to be a lot more commercialised than the islands previously mentioned! You will have a lovely trip wherever you go.

texthejhawk Apr 10th, 2006 09:38 AM

We stayed at the Royal Pavillion on Barbados years ago and it was great.

Lostmymind Apr 11th, 2006 10:35 AM

In st thomas i would stay at the Marriott morningstar. its a great Hotel.
In Puerto Rico i would stay at the Ritz Carlton, a cut above the rest.
In St John I would stay at the eco resort.(the name escaping me)
In Cancun i would stay at the JW marriott, I thought this was the best Marriott hotel ever!

ccrosner Apr 11th, 2006 11:37 AM

Two places we've been too might fit your bill for uncommercialized islands (no high rises...a big priority for us!).

Coral Sands Resort on Harbour Island, Bahamas (not near a Ritz/Four Seasons but might fit your bill)

The Buccaneer St. Croix - family owned larger hotel with extensive grounds, a nice beach and access to the town of Christiansted which has history and great restaurants.

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