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Caribbean in June with a toddler

Old Apr 20th, 2009, 10:04 PM
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Caribbean in June with a toddler

OK - I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. My husband and I are planning a last minute trip to the Caribbean this June with a soon to be 3 year old. I have searched the posts but am just getting a bit confused on what I want. Our budget: 300-400/night or 400-500/night if AI. I like luxury, but not with the pricetag. Some examples of places I love: FS anywhere (but must be a suite or villa) - I hate paying FS rates for a glorified (allbeit very luxurious) hotel room. Last time we stayed at FS, we booked a regular room then upgraded for a reasonable price to a small villa. Half Moon Jamaica - again booked some room that was small and looked out onto the parking lot, so upgraded to a hibiscus suite that was wonderful. LOVED Bosque del Cabo in Costa Rica - but that is a far different trip than this one. Must have a decent size balcony or patio with lounge chairs. Do not need a separate room for toddler, but do need some sort of sitting area so we can be up after she goes to bed. We like to spend time in the room - games, puzzles, reading - as well as beach/pool activities. We don't want to travel far off the resort unless it is to go to nearby restaurants or maybe somewhere fun to take our toddler for part of the day.

This will be our first vacation with our daughter, so I am not sure what the best place for her will be. She is very easy to entertain so doesn't need all the crazy pirate ships and water slides - she may be a little young for some of these anyway. I like the idea of a kid's club so we can have some time to relax if desired, but a lot of the clubs cater to older children or those out of diapers (although potty training is in the very near future). I don't like the idea of a huge resort with lots of kids running around, but would like one that kids are not frowned upon. I want somewhere peaceful and relaxing in a beautiful setting. Kids menus not a necessity since our daughter will eat most anything we eat - won't eat grilled cheese or PB&J.

A kitchen might be nice to have for lunch and snacks, but we don't plan on cooking many meals. If not a kitchen than at least a refrigerator for milk and drinks. Good food and restaurants are a MUST so this rules out most AI's, but I do like the concept of AI. Half Moon was perfect in this respect - it was not exclusively AI but offered an AI package.

There must be some great deals out there somewhere on luxury resorts with the economy the way it is. I would think travel is one area that is being hit pretty hard.

It's 2 in the morning now, so I better go to bed and continue to research after work tomorrow.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 08:28 AM
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First off, at 3 years old your child is probably too young for most resort "children's programs" nor will your daughter care about what type of amenities the resort has. If the resort you choose does accept 3 YO's that will be a plus but if they don't you are going to be her main source of intertainment.

Check out some of the condo resorts on Providenciales's Grace Bay (Turks & Caicos). There are quite a few that are perfect for familes with young children as the have multiple bedrooms, seperate sitting rooms, full kitchens and "in unit" laundry facilities. For starters check out Ocean Club or Ocean Club West. You might also look at Beaches Resort (also on Grace Bay). This is a family oriented resort but it is geared toward old children.

If you enjoy Four Season's luxury look at the Four Season's Resort on Exuma. Normally, I'd suggest Four Seasons, Nevis but that resort is closed and won't be opening anytime soon.

You are planning to travel in June so you should see some of the lowest room prices of the year. Keep in mind, however, that room rates are all relative and while many resorts are offering incentives like 6 nights for the price of 5 you shouldn't expect to get 5-star luxury for 3-star prices.

Lastly, mant truly luxury resorts have an adults only policy so be prepared to be a liile flexible on finding accomodations that will accept young toddlers.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Getting closer to a decision - Somerset or Beaches T&C, or Cotton Bay Village - St. Lucia.

Somerset is at the top of the list so far, but I am a little concerned with the cost of meals once we get there. Their kid's program looks great.

Beaches is tempting especially because it is AI. Cost-wise, I think it will come out a little cheaper than the Somerset. I am just worried that the atmosphere won't be as relaxed or peaceful as the Somerset. However, I think my daughter would really like it.

I haven't found much info on this site about Cotton Bay Village, but it gets good reviews on TripAdvisor. It has a great deal currently where kids eat free and includes breakfast and dinners for adults.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 07:17 AM
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Another vote for Provo. We took our daughet when she was 1. Grand Cayman is a good option also..took her there when she was 3.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 08:31 AM
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I agree, provo would work well. Its also a bit north so less hotter in June as compared to St Lucia. Quick flight as well. Personally I would pick Somerset over Beaches (even with a toddler) for the atmosphere. There are many nice restaurants on Turks so I would not pick an AI. We stayed at the Sands with our toddler a few years ago (not as luxurious as Somerset). If you do go to Turks I would recommend you visit Sapodilla bay/Taylor bay beach. Perfect for a toddler - very shallow and very calm for 100s of yards. Watching the sunset on Sapodilla bay was amazing and very memorable.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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I thought I had decided on the Somerset, but then could not find info on a kids clud on their website. Cotton Bay has one that caters to her age group that is complimentary. I still have not ruled out the Somerset, but my husband and I would like a little down time even if it is only a few hours each day (don't want to have to pay for this with a babysitter). I think Beaches is a little too hectic for me.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Update: I was convinced that Beaches would be the best value and most fun for the whole family, but their rooms don't have a kitchen which we really want. I think I am back to the Windjammer on St. Lucia. I know it's not as luxurious but their villas with plunge pools look very nice and they have a lot of planned kids activities and amenities. Their Kid's Club is for older kids unsupervised but have on site nannies at a reasonable rate. My only reservation is that it is further south and will be very hot in June.

So, I am still looking around for somewhere further north - villa or larger suite with pool & kitchen, with lots of kid's activities, great views preferably right on the beach.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Grace Bay Club on T&C has the best kids club ever, and it's a gorgeous resort. T&C is soooo kid friendly, with calm crystal clear waters. The new Gansevoort Wymara in T&C is a new chic resort too-has nice kids club, and 24 hour room service. Both have full kitchens/living/dinning rooms.
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Have you thought about a www.VRBO.com on a resort?

Places that don't want to be on a property management rental program because of the outragous fees are much less money and you get to use the resort amenities.
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Old Sep 25th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Two years later: we decided on the Somerset on T&C and went in October of 2009. We rented a condo through vrbo and got a great deal! The beaches were perfect for my 3 year-old and we loved having a condo to prepare meals during the day, then ate out most nights.
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