Caribbean Vacation Advice

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Feb 21st, 2017, 11:34 AM
  #1
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Caribbean Vacation Advice

I just got back from a family vacation at Beaches Turks & Caicos, our second trip to the resort. While there, I booked a new trip (2018) to get the discount, but need to figure out exactly what to pick.

My wife and I have been discussing either doing another family (4 people) trip to Beaches T&C or have the next trip be just a couples trip to Sandals. So I booked a Sandals trip, but am looking for some experience/advice.

We will likely go in early 2018, so we need to be south so the weather and water are warm. We have been concentrating on Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, and Grenada. We will be traveling from Washington DC area airports.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these Sandals locations to offer some advice? We love our experience at T&C. We really like the relaxation, all the choices for activity, and all the excellent food options.
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Feb 21st, 2017, 11:38 AM
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This is a Reply test by Fodor's Travel QA_20170221153808
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Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:21 AM
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My suggestion is to look at other brand hotels/resorts. Both Beaches & Sandals are extremely over-priced for what you get. You can easily find (as good) or better accommodations for a whole lot less.
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Feb 22nd, 2017, 06:04 AM
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I've been to Sandals Antigua and St. Lucia. After our first Sandals trip (St. Lucia), we gave it another try (Antigua)....but we are just not fans of all-inclusives and we wouldn't ever do another Sandals trip again. We didn't like the crowds of people either. Loud,crowded pools and beach, etc. We are Caribbean junkies (we take a Caribbean vacation every year) and would NEVER stay at an all inclusive again. For example, we go to T&C ALOT and cringe everytime we walk by Beaches. Also, if you enjoy great dining, you miss out on all the great restaurants the islands have to offer by staying all-inclusive. We are headed to Barbados for the 5th time in May and Sandals wasn't even a consideration. And as far as Sandals supposing to be romantic....they're not. It's all hype.
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Feb 23rd, 2017, 03:49 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I do understand your point but I have taken my family to Beaches T&C 2x now and we loved it both times. I am sure there are lots of things we may miss by doing an AI and such, but what we like is not having to find or plan anything. We can just show up, eat and drink well, have some fun, and not have to worry about finding this or that. I am not saying that we won't ever do that, but for now I think we prefer a setup where we do not have to go looking for what we want....its presented or right in front of us. That's been our experience so far anyway.

We have not been to Sandals before, nor the islands in question, so I am just trying to get some info on what the better choice might be.
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Feb 23rd, 2017, 05:10 AM
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I think you should choose the island you want first based on your wants and what you must have on vacation. Then once you have picked an island, I'm sure if you provide a budget, there are plenty of folks that can chime in with suggestions on resort choices. I guarantee you will find equal or better accommodations for a whole lot less than what you get from Sandals.
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Mar 2nd, 2017, 06:10 AM
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That's what I am trying to do. I am trying to pick the island but have not visited any of the ones I mentioned. I am very likely to choose Sandals at any of the islands I mentioned, but I still need to choose the island and resort combo.
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Mar 2nd, 2017, 06:48 AM
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I think St. Lucia would be a nice change from Turks and Caicos -- it's a much lusher island, with the opportunity for interesting excursions down to the south side of the island. I have no experience with the Sandals properties there, but there are lots of opinions out there about the plusses/minuses of each. You also can stay at one and spend time at the other two.
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Apr 14th, 2017, 03:15 PM
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If you do decide to go to Sandals in St Lucia, I would recommend the Grande out of the three options. It has the nicest beach by far and is in a nicer area next to a quaint seaside town if you feel like a stroll.
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Apr 15th, 2017, 12:24 PM
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I've never stayed at a Sandals but of the four choices I would choose either Barbados or Grenada. I believe Sandals recently took over existing properties on both of those islands and renovated and rebranded them so they are likely a bit more updated. Plus I quite like Barbados and Grenada, well, and St. Lucia, too. Antigua would be my last choice.
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