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Help! Nightmare vacation being set up! Need suggestions!

Help! Nightmare vacation being set up! Need suggestions!

Old Jul 31st, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Help! Nightmare vacation being set up! Need suggestions!

Hey All!
My boyfriends step mother is planning a vacation for all of us to go on in March 2013. She's been talking about this beautiful hotel in Turks and Caicos that she went to 4 years ago for months now, only to find it's the AI Beaches. This would be all fine if we had a 5 year old joining but there is no one below the ages of 17 attending this trip. I also looked at the cost and it's around $7,000 a couple which my boyfriend and I definitely don't want to pay since we were saving to go to Colombia in May. I have never been anywhere in the Caribbean nor have I ever done a AI but she seems to have her eyes set on that destination. I have been sending her other possible options as well as non AI ideas since sometimes it actually is cheaper, but she seems to turn her nose up to the idea. The requirements of this trip is a non stop flight from any NYC airport. I have looked at the other hotels on Turks and they are definitely out of our price range, looking at spending around $3000 a couple. There is a 21 year old travel with us so he's interested in a club or some nightlife. I know these are a lot of requirements, but I can't stand the thought of blowing my Colombia budget to go sit on a beach with a guy dressed up as cookie monster walking around! If anyone can help I would absolutely appreciate it! Suggestions can be any AI or non AI with a reasonable price. Thanks for the help in advance!
PuraVidaLife is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2012, 01:29 PM
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That hotel is not really so bad, and it's in a good location. It's not necessarily the worst choice, but it is very family-friendly. You may find some deals in March, so don't assume it's going to be $3,500 per person. That actually seems a little high to me. I think you'll find a discounted rate. The Turks & Caicos is just not the best destination for nightlife, however, particularly for a 21 year-old. Perhaps your boyfriend's step mother will consider switching to a different AI perhaps in the Dominican Republic, but there's only one other AI in the Turks & Caicos (Club Med).

You might look at the Riu complex in Punta Cana, which has a very popular nightspot and is half the cost of Beaches. Or the Hard Rock Hotel there.
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Reasonably priced in March is hard to find, it's peak season in Caribbean.

Does $3000 include air? Is it part of your budget for food and drinks?

If yes, then you have to go to either Mexico or DR, you won't be able to afford anywhere else. Which means you can't go with mother in law.

In actuality cookie monster doesn't go to the beach at Beaches. You barely see them.

TCI has the most amazing beaches in the world, and has great places to stay but it is an expensive destination. March is the most expensive time anywhere in Caribbean. It's spring breaks for US and
Canada.

The least expensive place to stay there on the beach is Sibonne. If mom wants
Beaches, you're out of luck convincing her there. Actually hard to go to other islands if you love TCI.

So my opinion? It's your boyfriends mom wanting to travel, her trip. Either suck it up and decide to go, or decide to not go and do Columbia instead.

But to convince your possibly future step mother in law to go somewhere else cheaply ($3000 for 2 won't get you anywhere in Caribbean other than my suggestions) so you can go to Columbia won't get you any brownie points.

You know what I mean?
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Old Jul 31st, 2012, 02:22 PM
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The Sibonne is about the least expensive hotel on Grace Bay beach. We have stayed there and actually enjoyed it. It's a very small 26 room boutique hotel. It's just down the way from Beaches. I agree, there is no real nightlife there.

Personally, there is no way in this world I would pay $7,000 or even half that to stay at Beaches. Is there anyway you can just poliety tell her that though you love to go somewhere with her for vacation, the place she chose is just too expensive and not the kind of atmopshere you are looking for? It's a hard spot to be in. Been there, done that. However, I'm not the type of person to conform to others especially when there is money involved. So, your true choice is to suck it or or stand up to her and face the consquences. Maybe your boyfriend will step up and do it for you. Good luck!
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for the replies! I did find some places in DR that seemed just as nice. Has anyone stayed at the Melia resort or Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel in Punta Cana? It's not so much about the budget for other trips, it's more I can't stomach the fact of spending the amount of money on one vacation to go sit on a beach, when there seem to be so many other options. I spent less on a African Safari...but yes blamona I understand what you mean. The $3000 is what we calculated to spend on room/board, food, drinks and activities. Flights I am aware are subject to change. I also checked out the Sibonne and was thinking if she decides to not give up the beaches resort or if it doesn't go down in price we could just give up and stay there. It looks nice and simple and seems to be in a good location. I did find some other spots in Belize which are not AI but the airfare and hotel prices were reasonable enough so hopefully something can come out of this. If not, I guess we'll go to T&C and do Colombia another time. I do hear Turks is beautiful and obviously I am dealing with a first world problem I appreciate the help/suggestions and hopefully we'll get something figured out!
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Well you are in a rather sticky situation I must say with MIL to be. That seems to be the main issue---I have spent a week at Beaches in T&C about 12 years ago. It was early january and after a week heading back to snow and ice I was ready to leave. The food was good, but not any night life there it was and probably still is very family friendly.They had magic shows in the p.m. for kids. Has she been anywhere else to compare? If her heart is set on it, I would politely tell her it is way out of your price range, or go to T&C and stay elsewhere. We paid $1K a piece including air back then--a great deal. I would not return as over all at the time I found the island way to quiet for my tastes. But that is just me. March is high season, maybe try looking at Mexico, playa del carmen has great AI if that is what she wants. I think it will be hard to talk her into another Island if she has her heart set on T&C. If she goes elsewhere listining to her complain about how it is not as great pretty or whatever will just make you wish you did not go anyplace at all you know??? So maybe just belly up and go there and try and find a cheaper place. Good luck.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 03:47 PM
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When I was looking at Turks and Caicos, I was also looking at Grand Cayman. It seems like the water and beaches are comparable so maybe she will not be disappointed.

Another suggestion: You could go to a travel agent. There are some that are free. That way that person can show your MIL that she's being unreasonable.

Does she definitely want a resort or would a hotel do? The Marriott in Grand cayman could work but not AI.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 03:49 PM
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PS The Veranda Resort right beside Beaches in Turks and Caicos is all inclusive, but its even more of a low key feel because its smaller and has no night life.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 04:25 PM
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The Marriott hotel in Grand Cayman offers an AI plan as well as all the other Marriott hotels located in the Caribbean.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:14 AM
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I haven't been to the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana but we have stayed at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and also the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Jamaica. They are very nice resorts with good food and nightlife. We didn't go to the disco at the Paraiso location but we did in Jamaica and it was a very popular spot. The great thing about Mexico is that there is lots to do off the resort and Jamaica also offers other things to do than sit on the beach.

Good luck with this trip.. It's tough when the person doing the planning doesn't take the desires of everyone else into consideration.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:23 AM
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If you don't choose the Grand Bavaro, which is a very nice resort, you can stay at the Iberostar Bavaro, which offers a bit more exclusivity than the two mid-range resorts and makes up a sprawling resort complex next door. It's got more to do and might perhaps appeal to the younger people more (but it does allow kids).
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Thank you all so much! The more suggestions the better! To answer the question, she hasn't been anywhere else to compare. Which is also a concern to me because we may hear complaining going elsewhere, but it may also open her eyes that there are a number of beautiful places out there! I looked at the Marriott which could be a good option. We also had a look at the Sibonne on T&C which is much cheaper in price. However it occurred to us that we may end up spending more paying the day pass to beaches since I assume they wouldn't leave Beaches ever. Not sure how much something like that is at these AI's. My boyfriend is trying to push DR, Mexico or Belize on her since it's direct and looks like there is a lot to do. She thinks Mexico is unsafe and we'll get kidnapped, even though I go every year and have assured her it's fine. So Mexico is out...Anyone ever been to Barbados? I found some deals on luxury link and the flight is also direct.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:38 PM
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I'm not a big fan of AI, but I have been to Barabdos (west coast)-beaches are very nice, the food is good, there is nightlife, and alot to do during the day. St Lucia also has AI, lots to do, and some direct flights, but flights are expensive
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Old Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:20 PM
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DR has many options but in my opinion more people have a higher risk of being sick there. Now many people will say they have been there a number of times and did not have any problems. That is great, but the water is not drinkable not even to brush your teeth. You cannot venture off the resort either. I do not care for DR. I would choose mexico before the DR. Barabados a good option. Can you do Aruba? My very favorite island. I have not heard that mentioned. Lots to do, somewhat americanized, but safe, and the water is second to none. St Lucia is ok but does not have water like Turks and Caicos. She might be dissapointed in the water there. I think she would like Aruba. Maybe---
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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My BFF and her hubby have been going to DR for years. Never a problem. Most recently she stayed at Grand Bavaro. Hotel employees anxious to please. Fantastic food. Beautiful beaches. All inclusive.
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