help with planning march break trip

Jul 29th, 2007, 11:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
help with planning march break trip

We were hoping to head to St. Lucia next March break with our teens (age 15 and 17), but we are not having much luck getting flights from Toronto at a reasonable price ($6600 Cdn for the 4 of us on Air Canada - the only airlines which flies direct). Since we're hoping to spend 9 or 10 days, we're pretty limited in destinations, as most airlines just fly on Saturdays or Sundays from Toronto. We can either stay with St. Lucia for just 7 days on a package deal, or book our own trip somewhere else for a few days longer.

We are looking for an island that gives us lots to do besides just hanging out on a beach and relaxing - we're hoping to do some excursions as well which is why St. Lucia had appealed to us (volcano, waterfalls, snorkelling trip etc). We've been to Costa Rica, and loved it. No interest in Mexico. We do not want a large chain type of hotel either, and the kids are not into the teen nightclub scene. Islands that we are able to get to without too much difficulty are Barbados, Grenada (via Barbados),Grand Cayman and Aruba (could do Antigua - but only for 8 days - hoping for a day or 2 longer).

Suggestions anyone? This is the last March Break trip we'll get to take with the kids, and our oldest will be in univerity the following year, so we're really trying to come with somewhere that the kids will like.
janet is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 05:28 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
If Grenada is relatively easy for you to get to, by all means, choose it! It offers many of the same things that St. Lucia offers in terms of adventure, but it has the bonus of having better beaches and a wider variety of accommodations in all price ranges.

Grenada has hiking and multiple waterfalls. You can tube on the river or go horseback riding. There are snorkeling daytrips around the island, you can take the ferry relatively inexpensively to sister island Carriacou for a *really* off the beaten path experience, or you can splurge with the pricey but unforgettable daytrip to the Tobago Cays.

What kind of accommodation are you looking for? Hotel/resort? Guest house? Self-catering? Will you rent a car or not? Will you feel comfortable taking the bus routes? These answers will help me make suggestions, but without knowing more, here are a few suggestions in various price ranges:

Lanse Aux Epines Cottages -- you can find unbelievable deals at this place on SkyAuction. Small cottages with a decent amount of charm right on the beach in a nice residential neighborhood.

SpiceTree Suites (www.grenadarentalproperties.com) is great for those who are budget minded. This is also in Lanse aux Epines, but about a 5 minute walk from the beach. These are more stylish than the LAE Cottages and fully self-catering.

LaSagesse.com is the site for a small hotel on a gorgeous beach, but it's a little off the beaten path--about 30 minutes by car to st. George's/Grand Anse. Great prices, great value, great little restaurant/bar on site. Rental car is necessary here.

True Blue Resort -- this is on the True Blue peninsula and most of the rooms have been recently redecorated very nicely. Rental car would be good here.

Flamboyant Hotel -- this is set on the hill right above Grand Anse, the main beach. You can get regular rooms or rooms with kitchenette. Great views from the rooms across the beach to St. George's. you can find auctions for this place at Skyauction, too.

Blue Horizons -- not sure if they have two bedroom cottages or not, but if so, this is a good value. It's across street and sister resort to Spice Island Beach resort, so you have access to their beach, restaurant, etc. Blue Horizons offers self catering cottages that were recently renovated after the last hurricane.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 06:42 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
AA flies into St. Lucia on days other than Sat. My guess would be fly Air Canada into New York or Miami and connect on AA to SLU. You could also try booking an Air Jamaica flight.
AA also flies into Grenada on days other than Sat. I don't know if Air Canada flies to San Juan but there is another option for you to connect either into St. Lucia or Grenada if interested. St. Vincent Grenadines is another option as a vacation destination. The ferry runs between the islands in the chain as does the mail boat.
The info ejcrowe posted is excellent.
vinceygirl is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 03:49 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Vinceygirl:
I found we can also get to the north end of St. Lucia by flying Air Canada to Barbados, then use LIAT to get to St. Lucia. I don't know if these flights run out of the same airport or not. We're trying to fly somewhere direct if possible - American is via Miami - we'd likely have to leave Thurs evening and spend the night in Miami, then catch a plane out the next morning to get home. The return trip would be via San Juan then Miami. We've also found that American sometimes changes flight times after booking so that making connections is really risky (and weather here can pose problems too). Air Canada seemed a better bet, but flying direct their fares are really pricey (return leg is $700 for 3 people, $1275 for the fourth person since not a ton of seats left). Thanks,
Janet
janet is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 04:00 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Ejcrowe:
Thanks for the info on Grenada - I had read through many of your posts which is why it was on our list after the logistics of St. Lucia seemed to become more difficult (and airfares to St. Lucia on Air Canada have gone up since yesterday).

Grenada sounds like it has lots of activites which to be honest is the most important thing for us on this trip. What had appealed to us about Windjammer was the combinations of things to do, plus the feel of the resort. We do not want to be on a beach that is lined with hotels. Renting a car is fine if the island is easy to get around (didn't want to attempt it in St. Lucia but I think Grenada is easier?).

Regarding accomodations - we'd like somewhere nice preferably on the beach, but it doesn't need to be overly fancy. A good pool is a must. I'd say we lean more towards a hotel/resort than self catering but we're open to either. In the past we've often stayed places where we get our own breakfast, but always eat out for lunch/dinner. I'll check out the places that you've mentioned. Thanks, and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon!
Janet
janet is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 05:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Janet, if a resort with a pool is what you're after, check out the Grenada Grand, which is on a very nice part of Grand Anse.

It's true that Grand Anse is busier than any other beach on Grenada, but it's not at all built up to the point of, say, Aruba or St. Maarten. There is a large handful of hotels, smaller handful of restaurants and beach bars.

I found Grenada very easy to get around and was thankful for the rental car to be able to get out at our own pace.
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 04:49 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
ejcrowe (or any other Grenada experts out there):

It looks like Flamboyant hotel would be a fairly good fit for our family - The rooms are not so great looking, but hopefully we won't spend much time in them anyhow. (reviews on the Grenada Grand beach resort are not so good - nice pool but that's about it). A villa would appeal much more to my husband and I, but a hotel is probably a better fit with the kids. Do you know anything about the Rex Grenadian? Reviews are good on tripadvisor, but I can't find much here. I'm not thrilled with the fact that it's right by the airport, and really want to stay away from an American style resort (not to offend anyone, but that's just not what we're looking for).
janet is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 10:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
I've only seen these three places from the outside, beach perspective.

Neither Rex nor the Grand get good reviews. I'm not usually a resort person, but for the beach alone, I would consider staying at either one if the price were right.

Rex is, I thought, exclusively an AI resort. If you can get a room only plan, that might work. It's close to the airport, but that's not a drawback for me because I love watching the planes take off and reach altitude. The beach there has some of the better snorkeling on the island and the beach is less crowded than Grand Anse where the Grand is located. However, sometimes the water is a little rough there. Not so rough that it's not fun to play in, but rough enough that snorkeling is impossible because of the sand churned up in the water.

Flamboyant is within walking distance of a few restaurants and the largest grocery store on the island--with teens you might want to buy sodas, juices, snacks at the store to have on hand in the room instead of running up a hotel tab...
ejcrowe is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 12:02 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 805
For a break of a week or less, I'd always recommend to consider how long it takes you to get to where you are going.

From Toronto, both St Lucia and Grenada are a long way away, non-stop flight or not.

You mentioned you would consider Cayman. Air Canada flies twice weekly non-stop out of YYZ, about 3.5 hours flight I think. Alternatively (and often cheaper), I've flown on AA via MIA from YYZ, doesn't add much to the time, and often a lot cheaper.

Cayman is pretty much due South of Toronto and only one hour from Miami.
TomCayman is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:24 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Ejcrowe:
Flamboyant sounds much better - especially since it's close to some restaurant and a store (our kids are 15 and 17 and both have rather large appetites, as they are competitve swimmers - they'll definitely be wanting to load up on snacks). Flamboyant has 2 bedroom suites (and 2 bedroom villas - not quite sure the difference. I'm guessing the villas are separate buildings??). We're planning on coming to Grenada via Barbados - will stay 7 days in Grenada, then 3 in the Barbados (this will give us an easy trip home). We'll likely do tons of day trips and exploring in Grenada since it looks like there's lots to do (when my daughter saw there was river tubing and hiking to see a waterfall she said she was hooked), then will just hang out at a resort in Barbados for the final weekend.
janet is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 02:40 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
Janet, I'm booked at the Grand for 2 days in Sept. I'll be happy to give you a run down when I get back. Also for tours a good person to contact is Mandoo. He will pick you up at the airport is punctual and very nice. One year I was late arriving due to weather and he was kind enought to wait almost 2 hours until my flight arrived.
LIAT flies into SLU which is for smaller planes. Hewannora? is where USAirways lands on Sat. You should be able to connect to Grenada via LIAT out of Barbados. I think the website for LIAT is www.liat.com
Also you may want to check out this website www.grenadatravelforum.com or the general www.caribbeantravelforum.com
If you are still interested in a villa I have a connection to a travel agent who specializes in villas in the Caribbean. Let me know if you are interested.
vinceygirl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 06:40 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Mandoo is very popular with his tours, and he's a great suggestion from vinceygirl. I've never used him--we always just went with local fellows who were recommended by friends.

Check out www.GrenadaExplorer.com for lots of information, and www.GrenadaTravelForum.com for lots of feedback from Grenada lovers.

Would you be at all interested in a villa? In most cases you sacrifice being directly on a beach, but you gain a lot of room and usually a pool of your own for around the same price as a beach resort. If this sounds appealing, check out www.spiceislevillas.com. Most villas are just a short drive from a good beach. Plus you have a full kitchen right there--to keep snacks on hand, but you can also save money by making breakfasts in rather than eating out...and you have a place for reheating leftovers if you happen to have any. (With two teens, this might be a rarity!) The extra room also means that teens can stay up to watch tv without keeping parents awake in the same room.

Anyway, please let me know if you have other questions about Grenada!
ejcrowe is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 04:36 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Vinceygirl/Ejcrowe:

Thanks for all the helpful info! I'll note Mandoo's contact info for when we get closer to the trip.

We've e-mailed Flamboyant to find out what the difference is between their 2 bdrm suites and their 2 bdrm villas - both come with a kitchen which will come in handy for breakfasts (and for reheating leftovers). It looks like the best choice for us since it is right on the beach as has some amenities - not what I'd pick if it was just my husband and I (guess that will have to wait for a future trip - I was drooling over some of those villas, but not as well suited for active teens).

We will be using LIAT to transfer from Barbados. Thanks for the website links - they're a great source of info.
janet is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Kmcginley
Caribbean Islands
2
Jan 1st, 2018 02:54 PM
Joneswhit
Caribbean Islands
7
Jul 22nd, 2011 10:44 AM
Annaoj
Caribbean Islands
9
Dec 15th, 2006 06:01 AM
Luisa
Caribbean Islands
13
Apr 30th, 2006 07:13 PM
jumpy
Caribbean Islands
4
Oct 27th, 2005 07:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:49 PM.