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Help with Anniversary Trip - Le Toiny, Hermitage Bay, Coral Reef Club, JB, CB, LDB?

Help with Anniversary Trip - Le Toiny, Hermitage Bay, Coral Reef Club, JB, CB, LDB?

Old Jun 12th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Help with Anniversary Trip - Le Toiny, Hermitage Bay, Coral Reef Club, JB, CB, LDB?

I'm planning an anniversary trip to the Carribean for 2009.

Years ago, we stayed at Parrot Cay on our honeymoon in their room with a plunge pool - - so I'd like to pick a resort with similar service and amenities. We're looking for laid-back luxury at a medium to small sized resort that feels private.

My first choice was a villa at Le Toiny. I haven't been to St. Barts. Would it be too busy? Is it feasible to think we'd stay at the villa, aside from day trips to the beaches?

Hermitage Bay looks great - - but I've never been to Antigua. Will this place live up to the hype I've read about?

Is it worth waiting for Jumby Bay to re-open?

I've really enjoyed visiting USVI and BVI - but haven't stayed at Caneel Bay or Little Dix Bay. Would they be too "crowded"?

Coral Reef Club seems to get great reviews (when the beach hasn't washed away). Does it compare to the other resorts I've mentioned?

Thanks for your help!!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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To me, there is no contest. Le Toiny all the way. There is no other island quite like St. Barth's for when you really want to go all out.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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Coral Reef Club is special on a special island. Family-owned for 50+ years (but modernized) on gorgeous grounds and perfectly adequate beach right there. The plantation suites are spectacular--roomy, private, plunge pool.
On St. Barts, Le Toiny is not close to a beach, and the beaches are without shade. At Coral Reef Club, you can easily go from room to beach. Barbados has a wide range of sights, restaurants, nitelife.
Caneel Bay is wonderful, but not for upscale amenities--it is for beach/snorkeling lovers, with 7 tree-shaded white sand beaches and extensive private grounds.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:19 PM
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thanks jecrow - - do you know how far (by car) the beaches are from Le Toiny?

thanks xkenx - - is the area around Coral Reef Club very busy/noisy/crowded?
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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You are probably about 10 minutes from the nearest beach by car but no more than 15-20 minutes from others. Visiting the great beaches in St. Barth's is one of the nicest activities!
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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The west coast road behind Coral Reef Club is busy, but you don't know it's there. The hotel is down a drive from the road. Nearby are shopping and restaurants. If you are in a suite fairly close to the water, the sounds you will hear at nite will be of the ocean and the melodious tree frogs serenading you to sleep (when the birds quit at sunset, the tiny tree frogs take over. Their mating call is a crystal clear, bell-like sound which is prettier than most birds).
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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xkenx - - Is the area around Coral Reef Club walkable, or do you need a car/taxi to get to the nearby restaurants and shops.

jecrow - - Would we run into clothing-optional beaches in St. Barts, like some of the reviews I've read?

Do either of you have any info on Jumby Bay - - would it be worth it to try and stay there after the renovations are complete?

With the USD weakening against the Euro, my idea of going to Le Toiny might be more expensive than I thought.
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Old Jun 13th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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The west coast road around Coral Reef is fairly narrow and trafficy. Probably best to car or taxi. Coral Reef's restaurant is excellent. It would be good to rent a car for a couple days to explore the island. There are plantation houses, rum factory, animal preserve, historic sites, Harrison's Cave, Flower Forest (one of the most beautiful tropical garden/forest anywhere).
Barbados is a much more lush green island than St. Barts. Barbados is formerly British, much more
"authentic Caribbean." St. Barts is part of a French Department, mostly white--think St. Tropez in the tropics.
p.s St. Barts beaches are all topless, several clothing optional. B
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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Since privacy seems really important to you, have you looked into some of the smaller islands that only have 1 or 2 resorts on it? Meridian Club, Peter Island, Guana Island, Coco Point Lodge on Barbuda?
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Old Jun 14th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Thanks again xkenx for the info.

Thanks caribtraveler. I looked at Peter Island and Guana Island.

The suites at Peter Island didn't look as private and we probably wouldn't rent one of the homes just for the 2 of us.

Guana Island was a bit on the high end for our budget - - but looks awesome.

Do you know if the Meridian Club rooms/villas/homes have their own pools? Do they have beach service (drinks, snacks, etc.)?
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Old Jun 15th, 2008, 03:56 AM
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I've looked into Meridian Club but never stayed there, so I don't know. Do you know about the other travel board, Trip Advisor? You may get some answers there in their reviews section or the chat forum.
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Old Jun 17th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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We stayed at the Meridian Club two years ago. The setting is gorgeous and the beach is spectacular. The resort is not "upscale" in the traditional sense. No spa, plunge pools, TV, ipod docking stations, etc. but it offers just about everything else for a truly relaxing vacation.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I forgot to mention that I stayed at Hermitage Bay in May 2007. I have stayed at Galley Bay, Meridian Club, Jamaica Inn, Biras Creek, Coral Reef Club and Palm Island in the Grenadines. I have visited Little Dix Bay and Peter Island when I stayed in a villa on Virgin Gorda. Hermitage Bay is a cut above the rest for its' food, intimate laid back atmosphere (only 25 rooms), and incredible service. Management really "gets it". You have your own room ambassador for the week who not only keeps the room immaculate but caters to your every whim including fresh ice 2X per day and a stocked minibar with any spirits you request. We are going back in March 2009. . .
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Thanks Lisager15 - - one question on your stay at HB. Did you notice noise from the generator on the resort grounds? I had read a review on TA that this was bothersome.

Thanks for your help. We're thinking of going in April/May 2009. Be sure to post a trip report after your March 2009 visit.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 05:22 AM
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hi, we are going to hermitage bay in antigua in three weeks with our young adult kids....looks incredible. we love antigua and have returned many times staying in the rock cottage at blue waters, carlisle bay and ten years ago sandals which i would not recommend. the trip reports on trip advisor have been mint!!

another place we fell in love with is bermuda. very romantic, great restaurants, great beaches and the people are wonderful....a plus is that it is a quick, and i mean quick commute from the new york area.

we were originally booked for jumby bay in antigua but they ousted us!! for reno's...thats why we switched over to hermitage.

we just returned from caneel bay and it was glorious....the most amazing off beach snorkling, very private and lush, amazing property...crowds just dont happen here..laid back luxury 100 percent, i loved my room, the fact that the sea was steps away, the shuttle will take you to any one of their beaches, cruz bay has wonderful shopping and restaurants....service was outstanding. had we been there longer we would have taken some excursions. there were a few weddings but at no time was the beach crowded, many little tree lined nooks to hang in with the water a stone's throw....perfect for romance..we had a private dinner in the equator sugar mill ruins and it was heavenly....loved it there, but then again there arent too many places i dont love!!!




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Old Jul 5th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Thanks albee622 - - I'm also considering Caneel or Little Dix Bay. Any favorite rooms at Caneel? Is Cottage 7 worth upgrading to?

Please post a trip report after your stay at Hermitage. We'd love to hear about it.

Thanks again for the info!
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Old Jul 5th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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i might be wrong about this having been on the property for only five days, but it looks as though cottage 7 is perched on a cliff and not on a beach. now this may not be an issue....it did look beautiful, but then again there isnt a bad room location in my opinion on the entire property.

our preference is beachside property and we were in hawksnest which offers two balconies which we loved. this beach is a rough and tumble beach, windy and wavy and would venture over there towards sunset to be closer to the room and to enjoy the waves and wind. as gorgeous as it is i can see where the wind would be a nuisance all day.

my husband suggested that we ask for turtle beach the next time we return, just to experience another room location, although i think i might miss that second balcony!! turtle is a quiet, small, intimate stretch with two stories with one balcony overlooking the sea...ask for second floor for more privacy as you can see people sitting on their verandah's on the first floor from your lounge chair...i just prefer the whole privacy thing when it comes to a balcony.

scott was pristine, quiet and beautiful, more money for these rooms but i can see why...perfect beach. keep in mind you always have the shuttle, the cooler and the ability to roam around...which is what i loved about this property.
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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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If going to St. Barth, it is well worth the privacy and fabulousness of your own villa. I just returned and checked out the hotels while i was there. For direct beach-front access, you will want Isle De France over Le Toiny. However, the beach has no shade and is quite hot. Le Toiny will at least have a breeze.
My vote for you for privacy and to have a large "house" to yourselves would be to go the villa route. St. Jean would be a great location for you to be close to the activity of town. We just stayed at Les Jardin De Emmanuel and it was the perfect villa for us...and brand new!
While I also have been to the other places you are considering, St. Barth is truly unique and absolutely fabulous!

Cheers!
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Thanks Lura - - the villa idea sounds great, but I'm concerned about meals. Did you eat out, have meals catered, cook yourself?
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 05:24 AM
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With all of the wonderful restaurants on St. Barth, we did not want to miss a thing, so we primarily ate out for lunch and dinner, and stocked our villa (many are really the size of houses, so don't let the word "villa" throw you)with fresh french bread, cheese and pancetta from the market down the street for breakfasts so that we could lounge on the balcony in the morning and enjoy the breeze and view before starting the day. Most of the villa owners can set you up with a chef or pre-stock your villa with the foods you request, if that is of interest to you.
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