Hotels/Resorts - Like Shooting a Dead Horse!

Sep 5th, 2002, 09:24 AM
  #1  
Steve S.
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Hotels/Resorts - Like Shooting a Dead Horse!

Message: My apologies. I just spent a couple of hours reading hundreds of posts here by people looking for nice places to stay on vacation in Mexico or Jamaica. But I have to add my questions as well, even though it may be redundant. Also, apologies if you have read my message in the Mexico forum.

I am fully aware that there will never be a consensus, but here is my description and wish list. If anyone can point my wife and me in the right direction, we would be eternally grateful.

What we are like:
57 years old. Love to walk. Can easily walk 5 miles on a beach if it is long enough. Like golf (but can live without it for a week). Like to vegetate on a beach. Love good food. Hate getting sick from eating any kind of food whether it tastes good OR bad. We like staying in places that are quiet, bright, airy, clean, and really like hearing the waves strike the shore. We LOVE walking out the door and right onto the beach, but that doesn't seem to happen very often. We like feeling safe.

We are from New York and are not crazy about spending 8 hours getting anywhere - especially for this vacation which will be one week on February, but we know that a great place is worth the travel.

Money is not really a concern to me. Not that I am rich, but more because I have a philosophy of life that includes the thought that if you don't spend your money on a great vacation, what is the sense working your behind off to earn it.

So, I am open to suggestions. Of course, getting a decent flight might be a whole other problem. We have accumulated a zillion miles on American, but they do not seem to have any frequent flyer seats to any warm climate the week of February 15. If there is any advice there as well, bring it on.

Thanks VERY much!!
Steve
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 09:38 AM
  #2  
gweny
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Turks and Caicos describes what you are looking for: great food, great hotels and of course the most beautiful beach.
(and even a golf course too!)
3 hour flight, non-stop from JFK, thurs, fri, sat & sun on American

 
Sep 5th, 2002, 09:38 AM
  #3  
vacationer
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Pick something not popular with families, as that is the start of New England's winter break.
From your description, you may want to consider Cap Jaluca in Aguilla, but I think they now have kids' programs, so beware. Also look into Galley Bay in Antigua.
Hope you have a wonderful time!
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #4  
xxx
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For luxury, check out the Four Seasons Resort (and Golf!) in Nevis. Simply outstanding!

http://www.fourseasons.com/nevis/
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 09:47 AM
  #5  
Anita
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Hi Steve. First off, isn't that soooo annoying re. not being able to find award seats this far ahead of time?!? I think this has gotten worse. My husband and I used to be able to get seats without any problem . . . not the case now.

Okay, based on your description, here are my recommendations (all of these are right on beautiful soft-sand beaches):

Cap Juluca - Anguilla (go for a junior suite on the 1st floor if you want to be able to walk right our onto the beautiful beach . . . we're partial to CJ since this is where we had our honeymoon)
www.capjuluca.com

Pink Sands - Bahamas, Harbour Island
http://www.pinksandsresort.com/

Dunmore Beach Club - Bahamas, Harbour Island
http://www.dunmorebeach.com/

The Meridian Club - Turks and Caicos, Pine Cay
http://www.meridianclub.com/

Hotel St. Barth Isle de France - St. Barthelemy
http://www.isle-de-france.com/

Caneel Bay - St. John, USVI (beachfront or premium category room)
http://www.caneelbay.com/

and while Cancun is a complete tourist shop-filled sprawl, the Ritz Carlton there is wonderful, food, rooms, pool, beach, etc.

Let me know your thoughts on these. Happy hunting!
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 09:54 AM
  #6  
Anita
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Duh. I didn't see the note re. Mexico & Jamaica.

The best beach in Jamaica is in Negril. The most upscale place on the beach is the Grand Lido resort. Swept Away is also nice.

For Mexico, try Ikal del Mar or Maroma
http://www.ikaldelmar.com/
www.maromahotel.com

also the new Paraiso de la Bonita (looks lovely)
http://www.bonitaspa.com/
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #7  
Steve S.
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To respond to everyone so far:

To Gweny: Turks/Caicos sounds nice. I did a Google, but what resorts are recommended vis a vis my requirements?
LOVE the short non-stop flights but good'ole American wants over $2000 to fly the two of us. It bothers me even more since we have over 200,000 frequent Flyer miles (AAARRRGGHH!!)

To Vacationer: I have always loved the looks of Cap Jaluca and Galley Bay looks nice but the airfare and time in transit doesn't look too promising right now. I would spend the money on these hotels, but convincing Ann is another story. Retirement must reduce traveling bill in half. If we left in October, there would be some nice bargains.

To XXX: We were at the Four Seasons Nevis the year before the hurricane. LOVED it! It was during the summer but all meals and all golf was included and a week cost under $4000. Can't beat that, but President's Week is a whole other story.

To Anita:
See the Cap comment above. The Bahamas are out for February because Ann says that the weather is not necessarily ideal. We were there three years ago in February and it was in the low 70s - not really condusive to beach sitting.
The Meridian looks great. I will look further into that one. I looked at St Barts but there is not a price to be found only packages for the off-season. Tough making a reservation without pricing. Caneel is in the running. I wonder how they compare to the Ritz in Jamaica and Couples Swept Away.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 10:41 AM
  #8  
gweny
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Steve

Go on wheretostay.com - it lists properties on turks and caicos with pics and reviews and prices
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 11:03 AM
  #9  
xxx
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Sorry Steve, I also missed the Jamaica and Mexico requirement. But I'm glad you loved the Four Seasons in Nevis nonetheless. In that case, you may want to look into the Royal Hideaway in Playa del Carmen.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 12:11 PM
  #10  
Laura
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Try the small luxury resort of Blue Waters in Antigua. The staff are really nice and there's plenty to do in Antigua--Shirley Heights on Sunday, English Harbor historical sight, Nelsons Dockyard etc. Hire a driver to take you to see the yachts, the above sights, Devil's Bridge (surrounded by the ocean on 3 sides) and an old sugar mill.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #11  
Anita
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Hi Steve. Yeah, I checked Isle de France's website and there are no rate listings for 2003. Strange. But you can make reservations at this site (you can get an idea re. the room costs)
http://www.travelhero.com/prophome.cfm/id/122849/aid/123/index.html

Good point about Bahamas weather. We like it a little cooler so it didn't come to mind.

On Turks & Caicos, a good place to look at is Point Grace. It meets your requirements I do believe.
http://www.pointgrace.com/

So what about the Mexico spots highlighted? Any interest?
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 12:40 PM
  #12  
Caribbean Specialist
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Royal Hideaway or Riu Palace in Playa Del Carmen.
Grand Lido, Couples or Couples Swept Away in Negril Jamaica.
Grand Lido Braco.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 12:50 PM
  #13  
Mariarosa
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I agree with Caribbean Specialist - I can heartily recommend The Royal Hideaway. Nice rooms, great breakfast and dinners (so-so lunch) and you can walk a long way on the Playacar beach. Playacar beach is lovely, very crowded in front of some resorts, but not in front of the RH. Al-inclusive, adults-only (except for the occasional kid or baby here and there) and it won't break the bank!

Not in Mexico or Jamaica, but another option may be the Horned Dorset Primavera on the western coast of Puerto Rico. My freinds raved about their nice room with a pool and gourmet cuisine (it is a Relais & Chateaux). It's adults-only too. But, it will be much more expensive than the RH.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #14  
Penney
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In Jamaica, youcould look at Jamaica Inn. I have not been but there are many positive reviews. Also, try www.negril.com Negril, in my opinion, is the better side of the island. Water is calmer and clearer, beaches are much longer. Beautiful sunsets as well. try:
www.negril.com for accomondations.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 01:20 PM
  #15  
traveller
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February in TCI might be a bit warmer than the Bahamas but not much! Save that for spring or fall and not the coldest of winter. Might want to take a look at Cooper Island or more lux Guana, Peter Islands or Brias Creek. Playa has some delightful restaurants and to go all inclusive means missing out on some good eating unless you don't mind missing the meals. Go to luxurylink.com and check their properties but winter auctions probably won't be up until at least October.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 01:25 PM
  #16  
X
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You'll definitely want to do all-inclusive in Playa. They may have some nice restaurants but the idea of getting sick due to bacterias in the water (ice cubes, washing of veggies, etc.) is enough to keep most meals at the resort. That doesn't mean don't eat outside, you just have to be very careful what you consume and who wants to worry about that for every meal.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #17  
amyk
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another jamaica suggestion:

The Caves, Negril.

hubby and I stayed there last november - just beautiful. check out the website at:

http://www.islandoutpost.com/Caves/

feel free to email with any questions about the place. we loved it.
 
Sep 5th, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #18  
traveller
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Playa and the restaurants there along 5th Avenue cater to the tourist and all use potable water because of the tourists. Have eaten at many of them, used ice cubes and had salads with no problems. When you go to the small local estabishments you are more likely to have problems with the difference in the water. To remain caged in and not experience life outside your resort is a very BIG mistake!
 
Sep 6th, 2002, 05:26 AM
  #19  
X
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Traveler: How do you identify a small local establishment to one of the restaurants on 5th Avenue? Sounds like a very fine line between the two and who wants to risk that.
 
Sep 6th, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #20  
traveller
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I was referring to the well-known and busy places not food carts and stands that are not in tourist areas like those along and off on the side streets of 5th Ave. There is some great dining and it just seems a shame to miss out on it. I would weigh the risk carefully, of course, but you hear only from those who have a problem and not the thousands who go and have no problems whatsoever. I was apprehensive and asked about the water where ever I went since they are very aware and am pleased to say that on multiple trips to that area and others, I've not had a problem. And I have a tender tum so did expect some. It's a pleasant surprise every time.
 

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