Help us pick the perfect island

Old Jun 13th, 2001, 01:11 PM
  #1  
Iza
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Help us pick the perfect island

We are thinking about Caribbean vacation for next summer and would like some advice as to which island would be best for us. Here is what we would like: beautiful beach with clear calm waters, good snorkeling off the beach, small upscale family friendly hotel or a villa (no highrises), a pool, beautiful landscapes (hills/mountains would be perfect). We don't like shopping, gambling, night life, crowds. Our 8 year old daughter loves swimming and hiking, and loves to play with other kids but we wouldn't necessarily need a kids program.
And of course, since it's hurricane season it would have to be a place that is less likely to be hit by a hurricane.
Is there such a place or are we dreaming?
 
Old Jun 13th, 2001, 01:58 PM
  #2  
Sam Swordfish
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There is such a place
No hurricanes but wind cools your face
Calm clear water
To please your daughter
You can avoid highrises there too
There are villas but no zoo
You can snorkel or scuba
Of course it's gotta be Aruba
 
Old Jun 13th, 2001, 02:05 PM
  #3  
Penney
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I agree - if you want to avoid the chances of being hit by a hurricane, look in Aruba.
 
Old Jun 13th, 2001, 02:11 PM
  #4  
Lucy in De Skies
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Sam and Penny are right on about Aruba being the perfect place to enjoy the Caribbean without worrying about hurricanes. Go to http://www.aruba-tours.com!
 
Old Jun 13th, 2001, 06:33 PM
  #5  
Joy
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I certainly would not recommend St. Maarten. Have spent some time there and though the local people and their culture are beautiful, it is too 'lived-in' for me. I am looking for clean streets, good roads, neat landscaping, along with the beautiful waters and beaches. Any suggestions? I had heard that Aruba was short on beaches.
 
Old Jun 13th, 2001, 07:06 PM
  #6  
Sweet Sue
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Aruba has many miles of magnificent beaches. There definitely is no shortage of them there. The best part about Aruba is you can go Dutch there.
 
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 06:33 AM
  #7  
Lois
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I think Barbados is the very best in the Caribbean. Check out their site at http://www.barbados.org to see some great pictures and all sorts of information. It too is out of the hurricane belt. And you do not need to worry about getting "sandblasted" by the strong trade winds blowing the sand from the beach onto your skin (which really hurts).
Beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous turquoise water, fabulous places to stay, some of the best restaurants anywhere - with fabulous food and fantastically romantic settings. You can find primitive if you desire as well. A little something for everyone with the friendliest people. Think about it...I know you will not be disappointed. Lois
 
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 07:11 AM
  #8  
Karen
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Since you are choosing a summer vacation, despite being 'cane time after June 1, there is only a remote possibility of one occuring during the summer. The peak is the Fall, late Sept/early Oct and that's when it impacts the most!
A very pristine island that is 2/3rd Nat'l Park is St. John. Relatively easy to get to depending on where you are traveling from. There is a plethora of villas, a few beachfront, and one "high end" definately upscale resort, Caneel Bay tucked in the Park with 7 glorious beaches on property (there is a pool but hardly used with those great beaches!). There is also the Westin which can provide an alternate more economical way to experience a great island. No hussle and bussles, no hi rises, relatively undeveloped with the Nat'l Park being protected and providing some great hiking and activities. Great snorkling from all the beaches and the Northshore ones are fabulous. It is also a great gateway for day trips to the BVI with wonderful sailing and snorkling!
I know others love Aruba but when I read your description, I couldn't imagine Aruba being the answer! Beautiful beach, true, but much too much commericialism and too many high rises that pack 'em in! It is arid and dry and you did specify hills/mountains and beautiful landscapes.
I do think that St. John would suit your needs to a T. Check www.stjohnlinks.com and www.vinow.com for some wonderful pix of the beaches, a good selection of villas and check the resort sites (The Westin usually does all kinds of specials to get people there in the summer). There are also some wonderful dining and some very casual spots too, no gambling, little shopping - two small areas in Cruz Bay, the town on the island.
 
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 12:16 PM
  #9  
Iza
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Thank you all for responding. I did look at Aruba because that is the island that is mentioned most often as being outside of the hurricane belt, but Karen is right - it appears way too commercialized and arid for our tastes.
From my own research, Barbados or Grenada may be the answer - could anybody compare the two for us?
To give you a better idea of what we like: last year we vacationed in Costa Rica and are going again this summer because we liked it so much. My daughter did not appreciate the Pacific beaches though (which are beautiful in a remote and pristine sort of way). She wants calm clear blue water to play in. So I guess what I am looking for is the lushness and natural beauty, laid back atmosphere and small one-of-a-kind hotels with fabulous views that we encountered in Costa Rica plus calm turquoise waters and white sand. We are from the Northeast and can fly from NY or Boston.
Karen, I will also check St. John. Thanks.
 
Old Jun 15th, 2001, 01:04 PM
  #10  
Cissy
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Iza: I've been to both Barbados and Grenada...Barbados quite a few years ago. I do believe, however, that Grenada is less "built up" than Barbados, with not a lot of nightlife, crowds etc. My personal taste leans towards Barbados, tho. Many here post good things about Grenada, but it wasn't one of my favorite islands. St. Lucia may be another option for you, as you mentioned lush, mountains, etc. Again, it was a while ago that we were there, but enjoyed it cause it was very relaxed and quiet compared to others we had visited. As for hurricane season, it's always a crapshoot. There are those islands "out of the track" so if you're really worried, concentrate on those only...the year we went to Grenada (one that is suppose to be out of the track) we had one just clip the island, so I guess none are completely hurricane-proof. We always travel in the fall due to job restrictions and you just have to take your chances. Good luck!
 
Old Jun 16th, 2001, 08:26 PM
  #11  
Lori
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How about Grand Cayman. Stay on a condo on beautiful 7 mile beach. No highrises are allowed. You can snorkel right of the beach in many areas. One of the nicest things about Grand Cayman is driving around the island and stopping off at various snorkell stops and having lunch at a great seaside restaurant.

Grand Cayman has no casinos and not very much nightlife (i.e. nightclubs, etc.) There are great places to go out after a nice dinner out though. Grand Cayman has the clearest, blue waters and of course, Stingray City!

It is a clean, safe island with a very high standard of living and quality of life.

Enjoy where ever you choose to go.

Lori
 
Old Jun 16th, 2001, 10:31 PM
  #12  
Wes Wiseman
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Grand Cayman is a nice tropical island with a beautiful beach in 7 mile beach. But it is very commericalized and expensive. It is also in the hurricane belt. Even Barbados gets hit by hurricanes sometimes.

Tobago is the perfect island paradise, and almost never is threatened by hurricanes. It's never crowded and has the most gorgeous beaches lined with palm trees. Check it out at http://www.visittnt.com and http://www.caribbeansupersite.com/trinidad/index.htm. This island would be perfect for you.
 

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