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Help find perfect island

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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:36 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Help find perfect island

Hi Everyone,

First... I have read SO MANY reviews, forums, etc that I am feeling a bit frustrated because I am not finding exactly what I'm looking for. Sorry this is long but I would be SO incredibly grateful for some help.

My husband and I would like to go to the Caribbean around February-March 2015 (where temps would average around 80 F) for +/- 10 days. Budget... about $10,000. My husband just turned 50 and I'm getting close to that number. Neither of us are going to appear on any kind of fitness magazine cover anytime soon, so somewhere the average body-type person would feel comfortable. We live in Maine, so getting to a destination could be challenging depending on airlines.

Here is what I'm looking for by priority starting with our highest...

4-5 Star Resort ON a beautiful, long stretch of beach with open views (can look at other islands, but I don't want to stare at a marina). We want to wake up in the morning, don a bathing suit & wrap, grab a coffee and stroll barefoot up the long beach marveling at the clear turquoise waters. Then in the evening... don said bathing suit & wrap with a cocktail in hand to do the same while watching gorgeous sunsets. An onsite spa would be a big plus, but not the highest priority.

Clear blue water with great snorkeling and lots to see right off the beach (like 7-Mile beach, Grand Cayman), as well as maybe a boat trip away.

Private Boat excursions to snorkeling, secluded beaches or fun spots to explore and have a bite to eat (which is what we hope to spend most of our time doing). A sport fishing option is a biggie for my husband - but once would be good enough. In Grand Cayman my sisters and I discovered Captain Charlie who was perfect - decent size boat... took just us (not a group) to Sting Ray City, Rum Point, amazing snorkeling spots, was flexible on time and had knowledge of great spots to stop, explore, etc. without breaking the bank (4 sisters... all day.. total bill $400 + $100 tip).

Great food - hopefully within walking distance! I don't know if we are true foodies, but we love good food with both local flair and variety... again.. without breaking the bank. Fabulous food, easily accessible on foot in GC, but $$$$!

Lush green island - not dry and arid (GC's downfall for me). We won't be spending a lot of time in the 'jungle', but a one-day excursion/hike to see waterfalls, tropical forest/flora/fauna - maybe beautiful gardens or possibly zip-line or ancient ruins??? So maybe it could be on a near-by island if not available where we stay???

Not over-crowded. It's okay to have a handful of people around - we don't need to be isolated - but definitely not a place where you need to search for an open beach chair... or over-run with kids - but doesn't need to be adult-only. We love kids (I work with children with special needs), but this vacation is about relaxation and rejuvenation.

Some nightlife, but no Spring Break. If we could have a couple cocktails in hand while listening to some fun music (possibly a little dancing).

Shopping! I don't need endless shops... but enough to find some nice souvenirs. Not junky touristy stuff, but maybe a cute dress, nice fun button-up shirt for hubby (no t-shirts for either of us), purse/handbag, sandals, local spices/treats (that can travel), etc.

Wi-Fi - reliable internet access - my husband will need to be accessible to his employees. And... we will want to Skype daily with our 8 yo daughter back home.


I have researched... St John (couldn't find luxury resorts right ON long stretches of beautiful, unobstructed beach).... Turks & Caicos (crossed out for being arid & flat)... St Lucia (crossed out for no long stretches of beautiful beach that aren't $$$$$)...

So.... there it is.... basically... I want the fairy-tale luxury, tropical, long beaches, turquoise water, romantic, relaxing, fun vacation, but without spending a fortune.

Does this exist? If not perfect, what would be super close?

Thank you!!!!!!

p.s. I tagged a bunch of places, but am open to any suggestions!
Corunna is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 475
That's a common problem here...everyone wants that perfect island that has it all. Here's a little reality check for you....it doesn't exist.

You will have to do some trade offs. If you want big white blinding beaches, then you can forget about lush hilly islands. Those blinding white beaches are found on the flat scrubby islands.....hence T&C, Grand Cayman, Anguilla.

When the island is hilly and lush, there usually isn't a "long" stretch of blinding white beach....the hilly islands beaches are usually much smaller.

I would suggest Caneel Bay St John. The beaches aren't very long, but they are stunning. Besides the long beaches, I think it might hit most of the rest of your wants. IMHO, St John comes as close as anything to "having it all".
Bassguy66 is online now  
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:10 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Have you considered St Croix? It is lush and hilly, with gorgeous turquoise water, too. It's more laid back and less expensive than some of the other islands.

This past June, our family of 5 stayed for a week at The Buccaneer Resort on St Croix. It's a lovely property. Formerly a cattle ranch and then a sugar plantation, owned by the same family for many years. The owner hosts a reception weekly, and tells the history of the property, including a walking tour if you want to join in.

I have a thread here about my search and our stay there. The Buccaneer is known for its customer service, as well as it's three beaches. Buck Island national preserve is close by, and you can take a half-day snorkel/beach trip there from the hotel's dock.

Food at the resort is very good, including a nice restaurant in the big house, a beachfront restaurant, and a poolside snack bar. A beautiful breakfast buffet is included at the big house. Views are wonderful from the restaurant.

We had reserved three oceanview rooms, but when we checked in, we'd all been upgraded to three oceanfront rooms. Literally steps from the beach, with private patios. It was perfection. Our first two rooms were $300/night, with the third room we added being $280/night.

There is a spa on property, and golf course, a sundries shop and a resort wear shop. I don't know about fishing, but I'm sure you can find it out of Christensted (sp?). The concierge is very helpful.

You can't walk from there to anywhere, though. But cabs are very cheap, and the hotel will help you arrange whatever you want. We rented a car for one day, which was delivered to us at the hotel and we returned it to the hotel. We drove to the easternmost point of the U.S., saw Fredrickstead (sp?), and visited the rain forest and the beer-drinking pigs.

Highly recommend the Buccaneer.

http://www.thebuccaneer.com/st-croix...activities.htm
Tabernash2 is offline  
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:12 AM
  #4
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Bassguy66... Thank you for your response... thus... my ending in my post.... Does this exist? I guess I'm not surprised or it would be over-run and we would all know of it.

So... let me ask you this... if lush green was #2 and beautiful long beaches was #1... (which I'm leaning toward because I think that will be something we spend a lot of time doing)... where would you go?

Again... thank you for your input!
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:21 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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If you want lush AND beautiful beaches, I'd go to St John. In my opinion, St John beaches are some of the prettiest in the Caribbean. They may not be "long"....but they look like postcards. You have 39 beaches to pick from. What I like about them is they aren't crowded. Seriously, some of the best I've ever seen.....just awesome. St John pretty much hits all of your wants with the exception of the beaches being shorter (but by far the most beautiful).....
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Grenada is a beautiful, lush island but would have compromises too. The snorkelling is not fantastic. But you can do trips to the Tobago Cays and other Grenadine islands which would offer good snorkelling. The best beach is Grand Anse which is quite long, it is a public beach so you will see local people on it especially at weekends. Beautiful beach to walk along, morning and especially evening as it is west facing.

The centre of the island has waterfalls, rainforest.

Somewhere like Spice Island Beach resort might come close to almost all your requirements.

http://www.spiceislandbeachresort.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_R...da.html#photos

St Georges is a very pretty capital with spice markets. Local people are really friendly. There are some great restaurants too which are not as pricey as Grand Cayman.
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