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-   -   Four Seasons Caribbean: Nevis or Great Exuma? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/four-seasons-caribbean-nevis-or-great-exuma-740842/)

TrojanBMW Oct 4th, 2007 04:12 PM

Four Seasons Caribbean: Nevis or Great Exuma?
 
So, after doing a lot of research for luxury Caribbean resorts.. I have mostly narrowed it down to the two Four Seasons Resorts: Nevis and Great Exuma. I can't decide between the two. Each has its own good and bad things. Nevis has a great rate on a private villa with a pool [Palm Grove Villas], but the beach seems to be lacking compared to other Caribbean islands. On the otherhand, Great Exuma seems to have a fabulous beach, but the accomodations are too expensive for a beachfront residence. What are your opinions? I really care about the beach, since that is one of the reasons why I am thinking of the Caribbean this next summer.

Are there any other resorts that you would approve of? I have heard of Parrot Cay, Caneel Bay... but not sure...

doug_stallings Oct 5th, 2007 05:09 AM

Both Parrot Cay and Caneel Bay are very popular on this Board. The beach at the Four Seasons Nevis is nice, but Nevis is a volcanic island, so it's not the kind of soft white powdery sand you will find on some other islands like Anguilla. There are a lot of options in the Caribbean for the kind of resort you describe ... far more options than just these two Four Seasons resorts.

If you play golf, then the Four Seasons Nevis wins hands-down. But if the beach is your sole point of interest, I think you might want to go to Great Exuma. However, when are you planning to travel? If you're going in the busy winter season, you may find the Bahamas to be too cool to really enjoy the beach properly.

Nevisian Oct 5th, 2007 07:41 AM

Trojan,
I'll just speak for the 4S since I know it... The Palm Grove Villas are along the 1st and 18th fairways, directly across from the sports pavilion and a short walk to the Great House and ocean. They are lovely. Some are duplexes. Try to get one facing southeast in the summer so you are oriented to the breeze. I think that you'll want an odd numbered unit. The beach at Nevis is not lacking. Instead of white, pink or black sand it has sand colored sand. It is wide, groomed daily and lovely. The beach activities are at the north end towards Mangoes restaurant. They have cat boats, paddle wheeled tricycles, Banana boat rides.. the works. There are three oceanfront pools in the gardens along the beach so if you get too hot in the sand you can enjoy a comfy padded lounge chair at one of the garden pools and still see/hear the water. The resort built protective reefs after hurricane Lenny. These artificial reefs have attracted many more fish, which makes for better snorkeling. Not to mention resting sites for the ubiquitous brown pelicans and kites. I did live on 7 mile beach on Grand Cayman for a number of years and although people used to rave about 7 mile beach it was always wall-to-wall people and not very wide. The Nevis beach is quite wide and compared with Grand Cayman and Waikiki, a sprasely populated paradise. There is also a lot to do on a volcanic island: rainforest hikes, exploring the old palantations and 400 year old downtown Charlestown. You should also visit St. Kitts. The ferry service between the sister islands is inexpensive and convenient. If you come during the summer be aware that you may hit the rainy (hurricane) season. That would apply to either island. Check with the hotel and see if you are on "hump" season or "low" season. "low" season is hurricane season.

Scubagirl Oct 5th, 2007 07:59 AM

Given a choice between FS Nevis and FS Great Exuma - Exuma wins hands down. Great beach, very laid back but luxury.
Beaches leave you speechless.


SKBFAN1 Oct 5th, 2007 10:16 AM

For more information on Nevis visit www.nevisisland.com and www.nevisforum.com


Knowing Oct 5th, 2007 12:15 PM

Well, I love FS Nevis. But you seem to feel that the beach isn't going to work for you. It sounds like you are looking for the summer and you want a grand vacation. I think I might look at Tiamo. I saw it in Condé Nast Traveler. They described it as a top eco-luxury resort located on the 12-acre South Andros Island in the Bahamas. Only 11 bungalows and 22 maximum guests.
For $330 per person (double occupancy), you will get lodging, three meals and two snacks per day, a daily biologist-guided trip, use of kayaks, sailboats and snorkeling equipment, and all local air transportation.

StanKase Oct 5th, 2007 01:58 PM

Tiomo Resort has only 60+% units with A/C so if you consider it make sure your's has an A/C unit on the confirmation. It is NOT in a class of FS but if you want beach and snorkeling and fine food is not that important. Nevis, definetly not Exuma is 4 star food with both offering beutifully appointed rooms which is not the case at Tiomoit is is worth considering. Emerald Palms is a little classier but not as much snorkeling as a focus.
There is basically no snorkeling at Great Exuma and snorkeling at Nevis is only fair at best. Many spots around South and North Andros have some of the better snorkeling in the Bahamas/Caribbean. But from late Nov.-late March, Exuma and Andros can be chilly on days with highs at 75-78 and the water a bit chilly too where on Nevis during that period you can generally add 4-6 degrees as daytime highs but nights can go down to 68-70.
I am a fan of FS-Nevis as you can see. I have stayed in both deluxe room and with our child in Palm Villa. It was a little more space and a bit more money than I wanted to spend for 3 people. If we had 2-3 children it would have really made sense in the villa.

ejcrowe Oct 5th, 2007 02:18 PM

Well, I've not stayed there, but Raffles Resort on Canouan is supposed to have a certain level of luxury, the beach is pretty, but the island is also quite lush and hilly.

If the beach is truly important, what about one of the private pool villas at Cap Juluca on Anguilla? Can't argue with the beaches on that island, or the fine dining.

Another place where the beach outshines everything else is the Beach House on Barbuda, but there's not a lot going on on Barbuda, and the food and service reviews are somewhat mixed.

Based on what you're looking for, I don't think you would be satisfied with the rooms at Caneel Bay.

What about Spice Island Beach Resort on Grenada? The beach there is terrific, the island itself is beautiful, and I think they have suites with private pools. Or at least they used to...

Nevisian Oct 5th, 2007 04:51 PM

One other thing that you should take into account... the architectural styles of either 4S is different. Exuma is very British Colonial. 4S Nevis is stucco and raw wood exteriors and polished mahagony interior and in a simpler style of the Leeward Islands. The style of architecture is local but with high standards at both. Nevis is the 5 diamond resort.

TrojanBMW Oct 5th, 2007 07:39 PM

Thanks for your replies... I seem to be too picky for this vacation! I don't want a resort that is really small on a small private island, since I want SOME activity and SOME history. I'm not asking for a lot of shopping etc, since I'd just go to St. Thomas or Nassau if I wanted that. I like the FS resorts because they seem to have everything.. several pools, several restaurants, yet they are on islands that have some history and activity. I don't want a resort that is just 6 stories on the beach, like the RC Grand Cayman. That doesn't seem to possess any Caribbean character. I am not really favoring Caneel Bay after seeing that rooms aren't as luxurious, and they don't contain TV's or telephones [too extreme]. Also, when considering that I want a villa or a suite with a kitchen possibly, prices can be a factor too. If Nevis just had the white powder sand, I wouldn't be having this problem, but as someone said, Nevis' beach is plenty nice.

What about Bermuda? I have seen some of the resorts such as Elbow Beach, but the pools and the resort doesn't seem to be "great". I am also considering the new Rosewood Mayakoba that is opening up anytime now.

TrojanBMW Oct 5th, 2007 07:48 PM

Also, the time period of my trip would be from Early June to the middle of June.. avoiding some of the high summer humidity and hopefully the hurricanes.

TrojanBMW Oct 5th, 2007 08:42 PM

I see there is not edit function, but I thought of another place. The Ritz Carlton Molasses Reef? I hear it opens in early 2008. Does anyone know the price ranges, or any other detailed information? The site isn't very informative.

Knowing Oct 8th, 2007 06:48 AM

I just heard about the Molasses Reef last week. I know it's at the far west end of Turks & Caicos and has a five star rating. When you arrive on Provo, they will whisk you away by Range Rover and drive you to a dock to board a boat. Private cottages with unobstructed views of the water, professional trainers in the fitness center, two restaurants. I didn't hear anything about price yet.

TrojanBMW Oct 13th, 2007 10:04 PM

Sounds interesting.. somewhat similar to the Abaco Club with the Range Rover taking you to the hotel entrance. I heard the Abaco Club isn't so great, is that true?

I thought of Raffles Canouan Island also, possibly a two bedroom orchid suite at Sandy Lane, Grace Bay Club..

doug_stallings Oct 15th, 2007 05:13 AM

If you can afford Sandy Lane, you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer resort of its type. But take a look at Coral Reef Club, an intimate, family-owned resort that's really nice. I think you'd enjoy Barbados. The beaches have the kind of sand you are looking for, and the history component is there as well.

Knowing Oct 15th, 2007 01:44 PM

Barbados has remarkable beaches as well as lots of sightseeing and things to do. It also has many unique and innovative restaurants.

TrojanBMW Oct 15th, 2007 10:08 PM

What about island hopping? I know there is a package between Little Dix Bay and Caneel Bay in BVI and US Virgin Islands where the stay is split. If I were to stay, lets say on Barbados, are there ferries or things that exist to transport between islands, or is that not very common?

In the end, I'd prefer just to split the trip between FS Great Exuma and FS Nevis, but I don't see how one can get between the two islands without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

TrojanBMW Dec 2nd, 2007 07:15 PM

I think that I have settled between Nevis and Antigua. There is a direct flight from Nevis and Antigua. At Nevis we'd stay at the Four Seasons, and Carlisle Bay at Antigua. However, if we have a total of 10 days, is going between two islands in that amount of time too much? We would be flying on June 3rd, which would take a whole day, and then leaving on the 8th for Antigua. That would probably take half of the day including packing and unpacking. Then we would leave on the 13th, which we would probably leave in the afternoon or morning. That only leaves 8 or 7 days of actual vacation time. Should I just stay in one island?

I am not familiar with inter-Caribbean travel but im assuming Caribbean airports are not nearly as hectic as US airports.

doug_stallings Dec 3rd, 2007 04:58 AM

There's plenty to do on either island, but I think the change in surroundings might be nice. Both these resorts are very nice, and I think you'll appreciate the contrast between the two islands. To me, this sounds like a great vacation.

StanKase Dec 3rd, 2007 06:24 PM

I have read with interest all the comments and having been to most of the resorts once or twice I would go to FS-Nevis in a Deluxe on the golf course where it is a little quiter and quite pretty. The only problem except for parrot Key is in June you will have 20-25% children between 2-12 but they have diversions for them in the day time.


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