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tammyswan Mar 18th, 2017 05:58 AM

Family of 5 undecided island
Help! Trying to take my family of 5 away for a beach vacation. To date they have only been exposed to the NJ shore and rocky beaches of Maui. My husband and I have visited Bermuda (loved beaches), T&C (hated beaches), Mexico (not safe enough), Aruba (loved beaches and want more to do). We are foodies, so "Beaches" type AI resorts with buffets and "filler" foods don't do it for us. We are looking for calm waters, lush island, clean, safe, relaxing. We aren't the most adventurous....a bike ride, low key hike, snorkeling, boat ride is our kind of excursion but will spend most time relaxing on the beach and enjoying calm water play.

St. Lucia seemed great (volcanos, rain forest) until we realized that the only beach that is white and what I prefer is man made. Looking at maybe St. John Westin Villas, Bahamas One and Only, Nevis Four Seasons but are open to any and all suggestions.

Traveling from Philly.


tammyswan Mar 18th, 2017 05:59 AM

BTW: Kids are 13,11,8

RoamsAround Mar 18th, 2017 06:38 AM

Very little snorkeling on Nevis and beaches are dark sand so that island may not be what you want.

Look at rental villas on St. John (USVI's) if you don't mind not being beachfront but while still having access to numerous golden sand beaches and lots of hiking trails in a National Park.

Also, look at rental villas on Virgin Gorda's (BVI's) Mahoe Bay if you want to be right on a fabulous 3/4 mile long calm water golden sand beach with some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean just a 100' or so off shore. Plenty of good restaurants on the island.

Anguilla offers 35 spectacular white sand beaches, some decent snorkeling and 85 different restaurants.

tammyswan Mar 18th, 2017 07:29 AM

Thank you for that! Rental villas? Under a resort? Room service is needed. What do you think of Caneel Bay, St. John or Ritz Club, St. Thomas?

RoamsAround Mar 18th, 2017 09:00 AM

Cancel Bay is far better than the Westin but rooms are a bit basic and understated. Grounds are nice and resort has 7 "on property" beaches with some decent was-in snorkeling. Much prefer sister resort, Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda but that place is closed for major renovations until December 2017.

Ritz, St. thomas is nice but I'm not a great fan of St. Thomas as it is too crowded for my tastes.

Weadles Mar 18th, 2017 05:31 PM

If you didn't like the beach in T&C (???) definitely skip The Westin in St. John, which is really on a bay, not a nice beach at all.

The Four Seasons is very nice, but unless it's changed dramatically, quite a PIA to get to from the East Coast.

What about Grand Cayman? Plenty of condos on Seven Mile Beach, which is white sand, lots of excursions, including the very popular Sting Ray City, Turtle Farm, Botanical Gardens.

Odin Mar 19th, 2017 12:26 AM

<< we realized that the only beach that is white and what I prefer is man made.>> The beach you are referring to has imported sand. Why that should be enough of an issue to dismiss a whole beautiful lush island is beyond me but then again, I had never read a post where someone hated the beaches in T&C until now. Imported sand is not uncommon, not only because people want white sand beaches but also because beaches can suffer erosion and need to be replenished.

Grand Cayman, Bahamas and Anguilla have wonderful beaches but are not lush islands.

Antigua has stunning beaches and some great hotels (Curtain Bluff, Carlisle Bay, Jumby Bay etc).

Barbados has stunning calm beaches on it's west coast, some great hotels (Sandy Lane, Fairmont, the House etc) and world famous restaurants (the Cliff etc).

The One and Only on Paradise Island is a gorgeous property, but the beach is not always as calm as you might expect. You can take snorkelling excursions.

The areas where tourists frequent in Mexico are safe enough IMO, but the beaches are not always calm, esp around Cancun where they are positively rough.

WoinParis Mar 19th, 2017 03:23 AM

Safe is a totally personal perception.

Being European, we read that US are unsafe, since 20% of the people incarcerated in the whole world are in the USA, which represent 5% of the global population.
So if US needs to put 4 times more people in prison than the rest of the world, it is obviously unsafe.

I felt perfectly safe in Mexico, that being for us the city of Mexico, Chiapas and Yucatan. Not once did we feel threatened, about to be ripped-off or pickpocketed.

I forgot a backpack in the street and somebody ran after me to give it back, a taxi waited 15 min for us whilst we hadn't yet paid him and he said 'I trust you' etc.
Lovely country, lovely people.

I was not offered weed, whilst I have been in the US, and several people stuffed porn ads in my right hand in Las Vegas whilst I was holding my wife with my left hand... strange people there.

So I felt safe in Mexico and I pay attention in the US.
Misconceptions I guess.

brennynp Mar 19th, 2017 03:46 AM

If you dont want to rent a house on St John, then I would suggest the Westin or Caneel Bay.

Kristen1206 Mar 19th, 2017 12:03 PM

Anguilla sounds like it would be a great fit..except it's not lush. Restaurants are phenomenal, beaches amazing and people super friendly. There are some day trip options and hiking opportunities.

We also love St. John. I would recommend staying in a villa with a view (which most have). Great beaches, snorkeling and cute little town. Very picturesque island. Lots of hiking and very lush (If they have had rain). It's all about exploring so rent a Jeep and pick a beach!

Grand Cayman is another good choice. Pretty, well manicured island, great beaches and stellar snorkeling.

May I ask..what didn't you like about the beaches in Provo?

Kristen1206 Mar 19th, 2017 12:08 PM

I just saw that there wasn't enough to do for you in Aruba. Anguilla may not fit the bill then if you are looking for activities beyond beaching, eating, exploring and limin'. Though there is now a huge inflatable water park (which is not well received by regulars). Personally, I think there is a lotto do in Aruba.

Grand Cayman probably your best bet.

And did you mean the actual beaches in T&C or the resort "Beaches?" I wouldn't stay at Beaches either!

blamona Mar 19th, 2017 03:07 PM

If you didn't like the beaches of TCI then you need hilly islands instead of flat Coral base ones.

Problem is for the white sand turquoise water you need the flat islands as the hilly ones don't have real white sand, except for St John, but not much to do there either (of everything recommended Aruba is most to do)

Maybe you need a different destination such as Costa Rica? Beaches with tons of activities

Or Mexico, tons to do still get white sand turquoise beaches

abbtomlin Mar 25th, 2017 12:35 PM

My family loved the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

Tabernash2 Mar 29th, 2017 08:47 AM

Look at The Buccaneer resort on St Croix. Our family of 5 loved it.

suze Mar 29th, 2017 03:43 PM

<<Mexico (not safe enough)>>

That is a complete misconception about the country on your part. I go twice a year most often solo (female) and have a wonderful time.

WoinParis Mar 29th, 2017 10:01 PM

Yeah. I said about the same in probably a snarky way and my comment got deleted.

So it is ok to say Mexico is not safe. It is not safe to say that it is a US misconception.

I'm in meetings this week with a Mexican guy, I call him a rpaist and he says I live in a hellhole.

We love Donald, he brings us together...

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