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Aug 2nd, 2002, 06:00 AM
  #1  
jan
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help

We are considering going diving with our kids who are 30& 31 this march for five nights--we were conisdering Le Grand Courlan or CoCo reef--any sugestions--or any suggestions of other places to go for diving and a nice resort--??Also consider The Bitter End--what do you think????
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 06:09 AM
  #2  
Nancy
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Hi Jan,
Would recommend Bitter End over either of the others you have mentioned. I believe Coco Reef is on a manmade beach, and I was not too impressed with Grand Courlan - it is not beachfront, but across the street from the beach.
The diving in Tobago can be great when the mantas are around, or just so so when they're not.
If diving is important, look at Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, or Cozumel.
Why don't you let us know what else you would be interested in seeing/doing while you're on vacation?
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 06:13 AM
  #3  
jan
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we've been to bonnaire and loved the Harbor Village, but its closed now--want a little more upsecale than Captain Don's--we been to Caymans so were looking for something different--how crowded is Cozumel???We loved Jalouise at St. Lucia--but a bit pricey for four of us?
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #4  
Nancy
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Cozumel might be a good choice for you. (Or Playa del Carmen or Akumal.)
The island itself is never crowded. The only thing that I find tough to deal with is the crowds in town whenever a cruise ship comes in. The taxi drivers all know exactly when they'll be there, so on the days they come in, we plan to dive or rent a jeep and travel around to the other (uninhabited) side of the island. All of the nice resorts - I'd recommend Presidente Intercontinental (own reputable dive shop on site and great diving/snorkeling off the shore) -are away from town, and so the cruise ships really don't affect you unless you are downtown. (There are some cruise ship passengers who dive or snorkel, but there are so many sites, it's never an issue.)
I've been diving many places in the Caribbean, and Cozumel is my very favorite. An added plus is good shopping and a plethora of excellent restaurants. Going there is habit-forming though!
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #5  
jan
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Thanks for your suggestions so Le Grand Courlan and CoCo are out--how about a comparison of Sonesta in Aruba (now a Mariott) and President in cozuel or Plaza Las Glorias??? Thnkas
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 02:46 PM
  #6  
Nancy
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Hi Jan,
Haven't been to Aruba (just my opinion, but too commmercial for me), but Plaza Las Glorias is not in the same class with Presidente. I know they are well-known as a "dive-friendly" hotel, but we've been going to Presidente for 2 weeks every year for 10 years, so I'm a bit prejudiced!
 
Aug 2nd, 2002, 05:58 PM
  #7  
jan
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okay--i thinkwe are closing in on it00dive vacation with our "kids" 30 & 31--Allegro Aruba or Presidente Cozumel--any suggestions???advice??
 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 03:08 AM
  #8  
Nancy
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Jan,
Definitely Presidente.
Allegro is w-a-y out of town and AI.
There are far too many wonderful restaurants on Coz to limit yourself to AI. Plus, the Presidente is a beautiful property on a great beach with very good snorkeling. You can't beat it!

 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 04:15 AM
  #9  
jan
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Nancy: Thanks for your help--i looked up Playa del Carmen--what about the Continental there or Club Akuman Caribe--or still looking at Aruba what about
the Hyatt?? I appreciate all tips anyone can give us--I guess
the research is half the fun of the trip????
 
Aug 3rd, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #10  
Patty
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I've stayed at Akumal Caribe. They have a range of accomodations. The bungalows and hotel rooms are basic but very adequate for what they charge and are located right on Akumal Bay. The hotel rooms also have an ocean view balcony and small kitchenette. In addition to that they have villas and condos located on Half Moon Bay. I don't have any first hand experience with these. The dive shop (Akumal Dive Center) is great, my husband got certified there. Hope this helps.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #11  
onthebeach
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I've stayed at Le Grand Courland twice, for a total of 22 days. It IS on the beach. There's a very narrow dirt access road between the hotel and the beach. There is rarely a car on that road, and it takes two seconds to cross it. If you are interested, I have photos.
Nancy's comments make it sound as though you must cross a major highway to get to the beach. I like the Courlan; it has a dive shop on the premises; the rooms are comfortable; the views are great; the staff is friendly. It is a quiet resort, compared to the noisy, cheaper Grafton next door where Nancy stayed. The food is mediocre at both resorts, but there are good restaurants nearby. If you are interested in Tobago, one of the most popular places for divers in the Blue Waters Inn at Speyside. Very isolated and beautiful.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 08:46 AM
  #12  
Mango
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Hi - Have you looked into Belize? Belize is supposed to have amazing diving (barrier reef right there), has very friendly residents, and is pretty inexpensive. We considered going there but couldn't get a decent flight with our frequent flyer miles.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 09:06 AM
  #13  
onthebeach
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Here are some websites that contain quite a few reviews of the Grand Courlan. As you'll see, nobody complains about crossing a "street." If I had read Nancy's description before I went, I probably would have missed two very nice stays there. I'll be in Tobago for my fifth trip in February. I've also stayed at two other places; this time, we're renting a small villa.
http://mytobago.info/forum/forum/0000007b.htm

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147393-d151320-Reviews-Le_Grand_Courlan_Resort_and_Spa-Scarborough_Tobago_Trinidad_and_Tobago.html


http://tobago.wheretostay.com/property/513-reviews.html
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #14  
Nancy
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Hi again Jan,
We did stay at the Continental Plaza Playacar during part of our stay over Christmas 2000. Though I did not really care for the resort, it was not a bad value for the $$$. The beach is lovely there and it is close to town and within walking distance of good restaurants. I might also suggest El Faro in PDC - a nice smaller hotel on the beach. You could also go to one of the AI's South of PDC. But if diving is the major purpose of the trip, I would either choose Cozumel or Akumal.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 09:54 AM
  #15  
HeyMon
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Onthebeach. Chill OUT. Nancy is entitled to her opinion just like you.
She said "it is not beachfront, but across the street from the beach." Where do you get major highway from that? Thats information that someone who wants to walk right out of their room right onto the beach would like to know. Also its a DIVE vacation. Tobago is not known for DIVING.
Just because someone didn't like the hotel where you stayed doesnt mean you have to get all freaked out about it. I wish I could get half the people on this board valium prescriptions.
 
Aug 5th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #16  
Carmine
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Jan, I have been to both Tobago and Cozumel also. I stayed at Le Grand Courlan and Presidente on Cozumel. There is absolutely NO comparison. Grand Courlan does not even begin to approach the class and luxury of the Interconti. Presidente is on a blindingly white beach that is three steps from the premium rooms patio. Grand Courlan was a total waste of valuable vacation time. The food and service were awful. The bathrooms were so small. Anyone who goes there more than once does not have a clue as to what else is out there.
The websites make it look much nicer than it is. When we were there, there were not even any beach chairs, there was one broken Hobie Cat on the beach, and the beach was dirty with seaweed and cups that had washed up. The diving was not good and the vis was only about 50-60 feet. Compare this with 150 to 200 on Cozumel. Now we go there every year. Will not be going back to "Grand" Courlan.
 

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