BVI: Comparable Islands?

Sep 20th, 2017, 03:34 PM
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BVI: Comparable Islands?

Need some help. With all the devastation in Tortola, my finance and are fear that our honeymoon in Tortola for December 2017 is not happening. We had booked to stay at the Sugar Mill Hotel and obviously feel for those most impacted, but need to start thinking about alternative arrangements. She has been to the Caribbean before years ago, I am first time. BVI's really checked a lot of our boxes and I am having a hard time finding a comparable experience in my mind:

In order of importance:

1) Loved the "secluded" nature of the islands. We are looking for something a little more low key and less crowds, no mega resorts or all inclusives.

2) With that being said, we also don't want to be too cut off from nice dining options and being able to explore. Would love a mix of of a few higher end dining options, but also would love beach shacks with local food and drinks. Americanization is something we are trying to avoid.

3) Beach is important, looking for nice sand and clear water. Also I enjoy sailing and would love the option to explore on a sailboat for day or two. The island hopping of the BVI's was a plus. Snorkeling sounds fun, no real desire to scuba. More interested in nature than shopping or casinos.

4) While having a nice resort with amenities is important, would like a trip with half the time relaxing by pool/beach. And the other half active. Our planed itinerary was 3 days relaxing, one day out to Jost Van Dyke for drinks, one day sailing out to Norman Island for snorkeling and one day up to Virgin Gorda/Baths/Bitter End.

5) Price isn't a huge concern. Was planning on paying about $5k for BVI for airfare and hotel (Than adding in drinks and dining).
Ocelot321 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2017, 03:38 PM
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Some Ideas we have thought of include:

Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Turks and Caicos, St Kitts/Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the outer Bahamas.
Ocelot321 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2017, 03:46 AM
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Antigua, Turks affected very significantly by recent hurricanes as well. The weather is on the cooler side in the Bahama out islands and for me in the Turks as well in Dec. Look into Nevis - I think it was spared mostly. The beaches will not be exactly at the same level as Virgin Gorda. Also further south Granada may be worth exploring to see if it fits your needs. Grand Cayman is also not affected - not exactly secluded though.
mnag is offline  
Sep 21st, 2017, 06:27 AM
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While Turks and Caicos has had impact from Irma, Grace Bay is in great shape already!!! By Dec, will be business as usual

But it is a flat island, so not like BVIs

St Vincent (Grenadines, where you want to go) is stunning and secluded, you can sail "island hop" but restaurants are fewer and farther in between, but I think would make a great honeymoon

I think Harbour Island, Bahamas, might be perfect--I think temps will be fine in Dec.
blamona is offline  
Sep 21st, 2017, 09:21 AM
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You very likely won't be able to go to Tortola in December, so I'd start a new search in either the Grenadines or the Bahamas. There are places like what you describe in both regions. My main concern is that I don't know how you'll get back any deposit you may have placed on the Sugar Mill. If that's not a concern for you, then definitely move on.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 21st, 2017, 09:25 AM
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We were married at Young Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Great place, and we took a 3day sailboat cruise to Mustique and bequia. Loved it.
orangetravelcat1 is online now  
Sep 21st, 2017, 11:02 AM
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There are two other private island retreats in the Grenadines (Petit St. Vincent and Palm Island). Both require a flight into Union Island and then a short boat trip. Young Island is off St. Vincent.

And of course there's Grenada itself, which has a lot of beautiful small hotels, some really nice. It's not part of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, but it's at the bottom of the chain and reachable by nonstop flights from the US.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 21st, 2017, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the replies. All good intel. I did buy trip insurance but have yet to contact hotel/airline/insurance companies to see about refunds, quietly optimistic on getting some refund, but we will see.

Based on some earlier replies I was focusing my initial search in the Outer Bahama Islands and Turks and Caicos. Resorts seem to be a little bigger but looks like there are some we can find which fit the experience we were hoping for. Some folks seem to think the Bahamas and T&C are too cold in early December for swimming. We live in the Northeast so may be use to slightly colder ocean temps than our southern neighbors. Would we really be in danger of not being able to swim comfortably in those locales?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines sounds intriguing, my initial reaction is there are less amenities (Less hand holding by the resort, more finding your own path, which isn't a bad thing)
Ocelot321 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2017, 01:54 AM
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On a "normal" day in December in the Out Islands, you would be OK for swimming. It's only on the days when the cold fronts go through (which can start in November, though with less effect the further south you go) that swimming can be uncomfortable -- combine westerly winds and cloud cover, and you'll be chilled. The water temperature itself is fine; it's the surrounding conditions!
Callaloo is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2017, 08:04 AM
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We've gone to Turks and Caicos almost every November or December for the last several years and never had a problem with water temperature for swimming. Yes, sometimes a cold front can come through, but we've also had that happen in Grand Cayman in February! Daytime temps are usually quite hot; afternoon temps after about 4 PM cool down to about 70 or so.
Weadles is offline  
Sep 24th, 2017, 08:25 AM
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I would highly recommend The Grenadines. We went there the year after we went to the BVI, and the two areas are pretty comparable. We stayed at the Cotton House on Mystique, then on to Petit St Vincent. We visited Palm Island. Have heard nice things about Young Island too. The water is the prettiest in the Caribbean, IMO, and the sailing and snorkeling absolutely amazing.
cilburke is offline  
Sep 26th, 2017, 12:08 PM
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It's hard to judge Grace Bay for you, there aren't mega resorts like say Nassau but there are resorts and Provo has a very different feel to BVI. Be very careful, the resorts have tidied up their properties and many are now opening but many parts of the islands have taken a huge hit and are without power. This clearly is a very special trip and you need it right.

We would never now visit post hurricane islands for six months, if we can avoid it. There is an argument that you should support the local economies but after three post hurricane trips the damage on show isn't what we want to see during expensive trips. Nature and local governments are slow healers.

I'm unsure about the post hurricane situation on North and Middle Caicos, they are very quiet and the eating options are very limited.

How are your boat handling capabilities? Hire a cotttage and a small boat in the Exumas - some of the best isolated beaches in the world. Compass Cay and its resident friendly shark population is really good fun and there are of course ..,the pigs.

Alternatively in the Out Islands - Elbow Cay is a little like Cape Cod in the Caribbean. There are no hotels, it's picture postcard, decent eating and laid back. The Sea of Abaco is protected from the Atlantic, full of sea life and the reefs are very healthy. It's one of the cheapest places on Earth to rent a boat.
BritishCaicos is online now  
Sep 26th, 2017, 12:11 PM
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Harbour Island is also a very good option.
BritishCaicos is online now  
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