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Help With Resort Choice

Old Sep 21st, 2000, 02:15 PM
  #1  
sipry
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Help With Resort Choice

My husband and I are planning a timeshare exchange in 2002 and we have narrowed our choices down to St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix and possibly the Bahamas. We could use some help in making our resort choice and would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have stayed at (or might know anything about) the following resorts:

St. Croix:
Divi Carina Bay Resort (Christiansted)
Sunterra Resorts Carambola Beach (Kingshill)

St. Thomas:
Bluebeard's Castle
Elysian Beach Resort

St. John:
Westin Vacation Club

Bahamas:
Paradise Island Beach Club (Nassau, New Providence Island)
Paradise Harbour Club & Marina (Nassau, New Providence Island)
Club Viva Fortuna (Freeport,Grand Bahama Island)
Island Seas REsort (Freeport, Grand Bahama Island)
The Ritz Beach Resort (Freeport, Grand Bahama Island)

The most important thing to us as far as what we are looking for are: safe/clean resort, good beaches, good food, some nightlife, some shopping (nightlife is not a big deal - good beaches with snorkling is more important to us.

Any information regarding these resorts or locations would be greatly appreciated as we are completely unfamiliar with these islands. Thanks, Sipry
 
Old Sep 21st, 2000, 03:19 PM
  #2  
Karen
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BlueBeard's Castle - Charolette Amaile hillside overlooking harbour. Shuttle to Elysian Beach and/or (hopefully when it reopens) BlueBeard's Beach Club.
Elysian - East End - complex hillside overlooking Cowpet Bay. Rooms can be confingured to fit your needs. One bedroom "studio" kinda tite with microwave and mini fridge. Do better with full kitchen unit with pull down Murphy bed in living room area - best is combo of kitchen/dining/living room combined with one bedroom. Nice swimming beach. All units have balcony and screened sliding doors
Westin - units up hill behind Resort. Walk to Resort, drive or shuttle. Beach at Westin pales in comparison to other beaches on STT and STJ. Rooms share small plunge pool with neighbors.
Good snokling on some beaches on Stt and better on Stj. Stj is a quick ferry ride from Red Hook (about 5 minutes from E) or 45 from CA. Most of Stj is Nat'l Park with pristine beaches. Lots of dining options in all price ranges. Car not necessary but definately an advantage! Stt is the "mecca" of shopping and excursions to BVI that readily available for even greater snorkling and pristine beaches!
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2000, 07:16 PM
  #3  
sipry
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Thanks Karen for the info. Have you actually stayed at any of these places? The Westin looks lovely but I read some not very good reviews on Fodors - staff not helpful at all, long walk to anything on the premises, etc. I'll probably have to request all of these and just hope that one comes through. Doing an exchange for the Caribbean is not easy (or so I have been told). Thanks again. Sipry
 
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 03:10 AM
  #4  
peg
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Hi -
The Carambola on St. Croix is lovely, but I read this weekend that Wyndham, which was in due diligence to purchase it, backed out of the deal, and the Caram laid off about 20 staff. Know the Caram declared bankruptcy end May, though we stayed there in June and had a wonderful time, saw no sign of economic problems. However, loss of 20 staff would concern me...

Suggest you watch status on the Sunterra web site or the St. Croix Source newspaper on-line at islands.vi before booking there. My feeling (and hope) is *someone* will purchase this property. It's too lovely to let fall to ruin... I know RCI was interested as well at one time.

The Divi, while new and very nice, is more motel-like with two wings coming off a central lobby. We did not like the setting nearly as much as the Caram, which is very lush, and more resort-like. If you want more info about STX, the Carambola, or the island in general, write to me directly.
 
Old Sep 25th, 2000, 03:37 AM
  #5  
Karen
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On Stt, I would definately opt for the Elysian due to the beach and location ... but I can't imagaine going to the Caribb and staying other than on a beach! It is easy access to the ferry to Stj, Very mixed reviews about the Westin and I have seeen the villas only once, years ago. It is a long walk to the Resort but again I would opt for beachfront not a "land lacked" villa! Good luck with your choices. I know it's hard to get in the villas ... there is also another, Sunset Ridge on Stj, but don't know if they are your exchange group!
 
Old Sep 26th, 2000, 08:16 AM
  #6  
sipry
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Thanks so much Karen & Peg. Your information is very helpful because we simply are not familiar with any of these islands. Sipry
 

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