Dominica, Tobago, or Nevis?

Old Aug 4th, 2003, 07:24 AM
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Dominica, Tobago, or Nevis?

Advice please! We're going on a honeymoon at the end of Sept., and we're trying to choose between Dominica, Trinidad, and Nevis. We live in DC and can take up to 12 days vacation. We like rainforests, hiking, snorkeling, beaches, *relaxing* and local culture in relatively undeveloped locales. We don't need to be in the Four Seasons, but since its a honeymoon, I don't want to stay in a shack with no hot water either.

I have been reading some troubling things about the increase in crime in Tobago/Trinidad and how you can't walk after dark or go into the mountains without a group of 8+ people. But I can't tell if that refers to Trinidad or Tobago. Any experience with Tobago?

I know we will be happy with whichever of these we choose, but if anyone has any peference for one island over another, I would be grateful for your advice and experience.

Also, if you have any specific recommendations, especially for hotels, but also for restaurants, stuff to do, etc.

Thanks much in advance!
Sarachkah is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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I've been to Tobago and Nevis, and I would suggest Tobago for the time of year you are looking at.
(We were on Nevis one year in late Sept. and had three days ruined by a hurricane close by.)
Tobago is extremely safe, and the people are some of the friendliest I've ever encountered in the Caribbean.It's also far enough south that the risk of running into hurricanes is slim.
Dominica has great people also, but really no beaches.
I'd suggest St Lucia if you were traveling at a different time. Has all that you want.
(We had THREE named storms come through there at once while we were there in Sept. once.)
Diana is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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Thanks, Diana!
Do you have any hotel recommendations in Tobago? The Footprints EcoResort sounds amazing, but I don't know how big of a deal it is that its not near anything. Also, Speyside sounds great--can you swim there even though its the Atlantic instead of the Caribbean?
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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I can only NOT recommend Grafton Beach. It was a bad experience.
We also looked at Le Grand Courlan next door but were unimpressed, and the food when we ate there was not worth the expense.
They were building the Hilton when I was there last, and I haven't heard much about it, but the beach there was stunning.
Kariwak Village seems very nice - we had dinner there twice - but I don't think it's on the beach.
As a general rule, you can't normally swim on the Atlantic (windward) side of most islands, but I'm not sure.
We had a wonderful time on Tobago, and plan to return sometime soon.
In fact, we made such good friends there that we had them up to visit in the States.
The people are just delightful, and there are some really neat places to eat, so I would not suggest an AI.
Sorry I don't have any info on Footprints. There are some reviews (both good and bad) on tripadvisor.com -
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...nd_Tobago.html
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Hi there! We were in Tobago two years ago and loved it. We stayed at Le Grand Courlan and it was great. We only ate a few meals there but found them to be very good. It really is a beautiful place. The Hilton was under construction then. I would assume that the Courlan would be a bit more peaceful than the Hilton or the other large resort which is closer to town (Coco Beach?) We tried to drive to the Eco Resort for dinner one night and could not drive down the narrow dirt road to get there without bottoming out in the car. I wouldn't stay there. I also wouldn't stay in Speyside or further north; nice to visit but I wouldn't want to stay there. I think you will love Tobago as it has everything you stated you enjoy. We went to a number of very good restaurants, walked through the rainforest, saw hundreds of birds at the feeding at the bird santuary, etc. It is a beautiful island with very nice people. The Dockside restaurant was really good. I think the crime to which you refer is in Trinidad; even the people in Tobago seemed to regard Trinidad differently. Enjoy!
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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I've stayed at the Hilton twice (it's been open a little more than 3 years), the Grand Courlan twice, and the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside twice.
Tobago is quite a safe island -- that's not to say that you shouldn't take the same ordinary precautions you take everywhere.
Since we stayed at the Courlan, it's had a change of ownership and has gone all-inclusive. But I hear that its standards have gone down, along with those of its sister resort the Grafton, also owned by the same new owners.
For honeymooners, the Hilton has the best rooms. As long as you get on the second or third floor, you'll have a good-sized balcony with an unobstructed ocean view (try to get in the wing closest to Scarborough so you can enjoy the "city" lights at night). The Hilton has 3 pools, one quite large. The water is shallow for a long way out at the Hilton, but it's a little bit choppy for relaxed swimming. The waves aren't big to the left of the Hilton -- just choppy. On the other hand, the beach is more than a mile long and lined by palm trees, making for pleasant walks. The Hilton also offers shuttle service to Pigeon Point, which has calm, clear water and white coral sand (small admission charge.)
You might think about dividing your stay between the Hilton and the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside, which is not at all fancy but is in a beautiful setting with small, narrow, sheltered beach. The beach here is quite calm, even though it's on the Atlantic. (The strenth of the surf varies even on the Caribbean side. )That way you'd get a feeling for both sides of the island, which are quite different. But I'd go to the BWI first, so that you'd have the better rooms to look forward to.
Let me know if you have more questions.
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Old Aug 11th, 2003, 08:56 AM
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I've read quite a bit about Dominica and I gather that it is quite nice, but not entirely a beach "culture." I DID visit Tobago in July and I had a wonderful time.

IF you want to save some money, travel during their low season (which runs from April through November). We were there during the peak of the rainy season and our plans were rarely (if ever) interrupted.

By the way, assuming this is your first marriage, I imagine you're young(-ish) (I'm 27). If so (and even if you're not!), you MUST go to Speyside! There is some wonderful snorkeling and, if you're interested, you can learn to dive while staying at the Manta Lodge. The rates are great, the food is decent, and the staff is wonderful (especially the owner's father). We regularly ate dinner at the Lodge and then headed to Blue Waters for (overpriced) drinks and a beautiful view.

Since it IS your honeymoon, I would recommend that you spend a few days at the Hilton near the airport.

We also stayed at the Blue Mango. It's a bit rustic, but the views can be breathtaking and each of cottages has a kitchen (you can stock up near the airport).

We spent two days in Trinidad and we were disappointed with Port-of-Spain. It's VERY Third World and their massive "park" is nothing more than a massive field (I live in New York; so, I was expecting something more akin to Central Park). We did visit the Asa Wright Nature Centre and it was WONDERFUL! There are 160 different species of birds to be seen in the wild. The Centre is HIGH in the mountains and they also have lodging.

A couple other thoughts. You can fly CHEAPLY to either Grenada or Barbados via LIAT from Tobago. We decided to extend our trip in Tobago and NOT head back to Trinidad (before heading home). Well, it cost us $18 US to fly from Tobago to Trinidad. I imagine the other flights are really inexpensive too. You could enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Tobago for six days and then papmer yourself and your new wife/husband for some more time on Grenada. Just a thought!

Enjoy your trip and travel safely!
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Old Aug 11th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Three top hotels on Tobago: Coco Reef, Hilton and Blue Haven.
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