Best Upscale Caribbean Resort for Value

Old Dec 13th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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Best Upscale Caribbean Resort for Value

For those folks that have traveled throughout the carribean, and enjoy what most would consider upscale accomodations. What resort/hotel would you rate as the best value? Where do you get the most upscale bang for your buck. I would classify "upscale" as 4-5 star.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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My vote would be for the Bucuti Beach Resort in Aruba and the Nisbet Plantation Resort in Nevis. The Bucuti sits on Aruba's nicest and widest beach - and that's saying someting because Aruba's beaches are some of the best in the Caribbean. And, unlike Aruba's Palm Beach, Bucuti's beach is uncrowded so you can fully enjoy it in the most relaxing way possible. The Bucuti's Tara Suites may not be THE nicest rooms in the Caribbean but they sure are spacious and very attractive. For a week in high season, the Bucuti's Tara Suites will run you a bit less than $3000 and the price includes breakfast.

While the rooms at the Nisbet aren't as luxurious as can be found at other Caribbean resorts (although they are very nice), the whole experience at the Nisbet is first class from the beautiful grounds and pretty beach, to the truly outstanding dining, historic ambiance, and, especially, the friendliest service I've experienced anywhere. The cost for seven nights at high season in their superior cottage is a little over $3000 and includes breakfast and dinner.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 05:15 AM
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I would say take your pick of the upscale resorts and go during the off-season from mid-April to late November to get the best value.

We have been to many of what are considered the top resorts by going during that time and always get anywhere from 30 to 50% off of the high season rates.

Some examples of places we've been are: Four Seasons, Nevis; Cap Juluca, Anguilla; Ladera and Anse Chastanet, St Lucia; PSV, Grenadines; Jamaica Inn, Jamaica; etc.

The only difference in the resort and island itself between going during high and off seasons is far fewer crowds and the possibility that some restaurants or activities might be closed during the off season.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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Obviously you are aware that upscale resorts have high prices and like anything else you "get what you pay for" - add to that the obvious price differential between a lower tier 4 star resort and and upper tier 5 star resort and your comparisons become more like apples and bananas. I guess the point I am trying to make is every island is different and every resort is different therefore comparing different resorts based soley on price will give you very misleading results.

As Diana pointed out the better approach for finding "value" is to compare the high season, shoulder season and off season rates for the particular upscale resorts that appeal to you. You can also consider getting a less expensive "Garden View" room at a particular resort rather than a premium priced "Beachfront Junior Suite" at that same resort. You'll save money while still having full access to all the amenities the resort has to offer.

There are scores of very fine resorts in the Caribbean. Those of us who are season island travellers have learned that it is usually better to first decide on which island we want to visit than we do research to fine the resort on that island that meets our needs. You can find upscale reorts on just about every island but you may find that not every island will appeal to you. Narrow your destination choices to one or two islands then pick your resort - you'll have a more enjoyable time. Good Luck!
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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I certainly understand that off season rates make a resort far more attractive. As a person who has been to Little Dix Bay...Peter Island Resort...Four Seasons Nevis, I do have an experienced opinion as to which of those is the best value for your money. I also realize that travelers have different things they value in a resort, ie pool, beach, room, service etc.

I just think that for those persons that are well traveled in the carribean they are often times suprised or disappointed by what they get for their money.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Good info and points made by A_Traveller.

imho, all of the DEE-luxe places I have stayed were as a result of - as was pointed out - picking an island first and then the resort. I don't like to let the tail wag the dog, as it were.

What use is a super resort on a so-so island unless I never want to leave the place? (And that works fine for many travelers. They want to experience a lot of amenities and stay largely at the resort.)

imho, the WORST value for oodles of money is the AI's - like Sandals - that bill themselves as deluxe. Just about anyone looking for 4 or 5 star quality will be sorely disappointed with Sandals et al for the $$$$ shelled out.

I do LOTS of research on all of the properties on the island where I am staying. After spending years (and mucho dinero) staying in "the best" resorts, I have found I'd rather stay at a place one (or two) tiers down and continue putting money in the bank for the house we'll be building in the Caribbean in a few years so we can live there year-round.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Love this post because everyone's definition of value may be different but you get lots of different ideas. So here's my vote based on places we've been where we had a wonderful time and felt we really got our money's worth -

Best value, high season, Caribbean - Curacao Marriott. All in all the best price for an oceanview room at a 4 star full service resort in high season. Great resort and great service.

Best value upscale AI - Royal Hideaway, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Not your typical AI, the food is gourmet and would cost $200+ per dinner for two anywhere else.

Best pampering - pleasure vs. money spent ratio for a Five-Star -- Four Seasons Punta Mita. It isn't cheap but we felt it was worth every penny and there are a lot of extras thrown in -- we got - a two category room upgrade, champagne and strawberries in our room for a special occasion, complimentary treats on the beach,complimentary lunch because our upgraded room wasn't quite ready, and an invitation to the Manager's cocktail party which had so much food we didn't need dinner. On top of that, there's the guy who cleans your sunglasses, gorgeous facilities and service, service, service. Drinks are very expensive, but everything else well worth it!
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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I'll throw CuisanArt resort, Anguilla into the ring. My husband and I thought it was top notch on a perfect island. We would definitely go back and we saved some money by traveling off season (November). As a travel agent once said to me.....the key to being an "upscale" resort that is dedicated to service is knowing what the customers want before the customers know what they want. There is definite truth in thta statement.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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I pretty much go along with A_Traveller and Diana regarding the picking of the island first then selecting the resort. With that in mind and knowing that value and "bang for the buck" means different things to different people, some upscale resorts not previously mentioned that are worth considering are:

Sandy Lane, Barbados
Biras Creek, Virgin Gorda;
Jumby Bay, Carlise Bay or Curtin Bluff all on Antigua;
Raffels, Canouan (Grenadines);
Cotton House and Firefly on Mustique;
Hotel Carl Gustaf, Francois Plantation or Ile De France all on St. Barth's;
K-Club, Barbuda; to name a few.
 
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