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Good Island for a week in February, with a Marriott?

Good Island for a week in February, with a Marriott?

Aug 13th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 52
Good Island for a week in February, with a Marriott?

We have a free week to use at a Marriott, and wonder which island would be best in February? We have two girls, 11 and 7, who would certainly want to swim in the sea!

BruceW is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I have heard that the Marriotts in Aruba and Curacao are really nice. Both are beach front and have nice pools.

I heard Grand Cayman, but apparently the Marriott pools are not the best there.

Of course, St Kitts is supposed to be the best, but can be $$$ and can be a little difficult to get there.

We decided on Curacao. I made a huge spreadsheet with the Marriotts and positves/negatives of each island and it looks like Curacao in March of 2008 is where we are landing.

Apparently Curacao is kid friendly and kids enjoy the Sea Aquarium. A bunch of parents have taken there children there for the day for "school". They get to swim with the dolphins, etc.

Anyway, please keep in mind that I have been to none of these locations - but have been researching.

If you are up for out of the Caribbean, Costa Rica would be my advice. We were just there and it is amazing. The Marriott there was incredible. I walked around the room barefoot (tiled rooms) and that is HUGE for me. Costa Rica would have a ton for your children to do as well. The pool at the Los Suenos is beyond amazing!!! It is lagoon style, swim up bar, tunnels, etc. Costa Rica is a little over 4 hours by plane (from ATL) which is the same with some of the Caribbean islands. Just something to also consider.

Good Luck!!!
Siena is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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I recommend Curacao or St Kitts, both would be great for the girls. I have been to both and can't wait to go back and take my kids because I know they would love both of them.

Curacao has the seaquarium and nice beaches, calm seas to swim in. It's very "cosmopolitan" with a European feel. It is built up, so don't go expecting some little third world country. We enjoyed the little cafes next to the floating bridge, watching sailboats and tankers go by.

St. Kitts has history, an old volcano and monkeys. It is not built up and is more like the expected caribbean island. I think my kids would have a blast here...husband and I have been 4 times, we're waiting for the kids to get older and travel better. A short ferry ride away is Nevis. Nevis has a "sea school" with a day camp for kids to learn about the ocean and turtles and other wildlife. It is based, I believe, out of the Oualie Resort, which happens to be a nice place for mom and dad to veg while the little ones learn.
caribqueen is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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If price of airfare is a consideration, then look at Casa Magna in Cancun. Great beaches. More upscale is the JW next store.

We are just back from the Caymans and walked the beach every day in front of the Marriott. We were at the Ritz. It was certainly swimmable and the beach is beautiful and water calm.

kfusto is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,219
Hi I have used points at both the Aruba Marriott and the Grand Cayman Marriott. Both are very nice properties. The Aruba Marriott had more to offer as far as hotel amenities. It is a much larger property with bigger pools and swim up bars. The beach also has less rocks in Aruba. I needed water shoes in the GC. Now, the GC is also very nice, smaller property with a small but nice pool.
Both islands are very family friendly and have lots of good dining options. I think Aruba may be cheaper to dine out than GC.
girlonthego is offline  
Aug 14th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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The Grand Cayman Marriott is a nice place. The pool is small but there were never very many people in or around it. An added bonus about this hotel for kids is the snorkeling right in front of the hotel. It was a great place for our nine year old to learn how. Lots of nice fish to see. Then she was plenty comfortable and had a great time on our snorkeling trip to Coral Gardens and the Barrier Reef, followed by a visit to Stingray Island of course. Her favorite part of our vacation to Grand Cayman (other than snorkeling) was Boatswain's Beach and Turtle Farm. VERY kid friendly place!!

Other kid friendly aspects of this hotel include the Buccaneer Feast on Fridays ("pirate" buffet). There's a show with a fire eater and limbo dancer. The audience can join in the limbo.

They also have a person on site who will braid hair. Very fun for little girls!
travelerfromtx is offline  
Aug 15th, 2007, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Best for ages 7 & 11, Aruba Marriott hands down. 2nd choice would be St. Kitts but beach in Aruba much more kid-friendly.
eileen is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Bumping up for Brittany.
lovethecape is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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brittany21 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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How about St. Thomas? There is a beautiful Marriott there.
lydialikestotravel is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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A Marriott Courtyard is scheduled to Barbados later this year. You can read about it here:

bajangirl is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 02:12 PM
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St. Thomas would be last on my list for any vacation.
kfusto is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Author: kfusto
Date: 08/21/2007, 06:12 pm
St. Thomas would be last on my list for any vacation

May i ask why?
brittany21 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 12:09 PM
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I find St. Thomas to be commercialized to an extreme and so packed with cruise ships people that it is a turn off. Charmless.

I stayed at Marriott there years ago and it was one of the very times ever in the Caribbean (about 35 land trips and many more cruises) I was uncomfortable running in the mornings.

While you can get out of the fray, it gets a bit better but IMO there are far nicer islands in the Caribbean.

kfusto is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Posts: 105
which do you suggest Aruba or St. Kitts?
brittany21 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
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I have only been to the Aruba property, but I think it has more for the kids in Aruba.
The Aruba complex is quite large with the timeshares next to the hotel. There were activities for the kids (bingo at 3pm by the pool, etc..) and a kids club at night for 3 hours if you wanted to go to dinner without kids. We had our two girls who were ages 10 and 11 and our friends had three kids ages 7, 10 and 11 when we went to Aruba. I didn't want to leave them alone in the room so we did the group dinner for three hours. They were old enough and it was a group that had three other kids in it. They made stuff and ate pizza. There were 3 adults in charge.
We had dinner on the beach at sunset with our friends and then gambled for a short time. It was fun. We did this once and it was fun.
Aruba has tons of watersports and the water is easily swimmable in front of the hotel. the st. kitts marriott has a beach with rougher water.
Also, Aruba has great dining that is mostly casual, but good food. The kids can go anywhere and everywhere with you.
St. kitts may be great and I know it is new, but I hear more good things about Nevis, not St.Kitts where the Marriott is located.
girlonthego is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 735
Not having children, please take this for what it is worth. (Although I have been teaching kids for 18 years)....We have been to both Marriott properties. Aruba is my least favorite island....very dry and Americanized. I never felt that I was in the Caribbean. That is strictly my opinion. The hotel did seem to have a lot to offer for kids and there are a lot of dining options for children.

We have been to the St. Kitts Marriott 3 times. While some are not fans of the hotel, we have found that the service is amazing. There were lots of families there. The island has a lot to offer and the people on the island are the friendliest that I have ever met. Again, lots of dining options and a kids club with activities for the little ones. St. Kitts is lush and it is also easy to take a ferry to Nevis to experience another area. The ocean at the Marriott is rough, but this is an easy island to visit another beach. The resorts in Aruba did not let you visit their properties and everyone was identified by the color of their towel.

Also, I would see which island would be the easiest to get to. Aruba is a long flight.

I haven't been to Curacao, but have only read great things about the island.
iw is offline  
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