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Is there an island to suit our needs? from a first-time carribeaner

Is there an island to suit our needs? from a first-time carribeaner

Old Jun 28th, 2001, 11:46 AM
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Is there an island to suit our needs? from a first-time carribeaner

I'm bogged down with information--after reading through this forum--which I can't seem to make head or tails of.
We're in our late-20s and want a gorgeous beach getaway, minus a hefty price tag. someplace not too touristy or packed with noisy kids. something slightly secluded and romantic, with the option of some nightlife--minus boisterous teen crowds/party goers. decent restaurants but nothing expensive. surrounding forest areas and mts would be nice.
does this sound like a carribean island you know? or should we just go to Mexico?
pls be as specific as possible ie location on the island, a specific resort (nothing too pricey)
--Thanks all!
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 01:52 PM
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You might want to look into Negril, Jamaica. It is a beautiful spot on the island and alot of great smaller places to stay that are quieter and more seculed alongone of the best beaches in the Caribbean and tremendous food for an affordable price.

Take a lools at www.negril.com for places to stay.
Old Jun 28th, 2001, 02:33 PM
Daniel Williams
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Price tag...that's tricky, because a lot of the Caribbean comes with a hefty price tag. Surrounding forest areas and mountains...not big teen party crowds and not too touristy. I would say that narrows you down to staying on one of the four largest islands: Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba or Jamaica. If you're American, of those four, I think somewhere on Puerto Rico outside of San Juan (but with the option to go into San Juan) might be most enjoyable for you.

Good luck. DAN
Old Jun 29th, 2001, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. i'm gonna check them out. (Today) I'm leaning twds St Kitts, which i read has really great scenery, pretty beaches and some nightlife. Or St Thomas.
Heard anything negative abt these?
Old Jun 29th, 2001, 12:47 PM
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I've never been there, but I've read that while St. Kitt's is v nice, it is also quite expensive. You mentioned "nothing expensive" or "too pricey"...so I'm not sure St. Kitt's meets your needs.

Have you looked into Grenada? Eva on this board has a lot of information on it, and it sounds like it might fit your needs (except for the night life part perhaps).
Old Jun 29th, 2001, 07:29 PM
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Although we really enjoyed St. Thomas, I don't think it fits your list. It's very commercial and family-friendly. I think we were the only couple on the entire island - everyone else had kids!

It's certainly not secluded and romantic, and there are trees and hills, but no forests or mountains per se. Where are you getting your data? Maybe you need another source.

Don't get me wrong - we loved St. Thomas, but it fit what we were looking for, which is VERY different from your requirements.

Don't laugh, but have you looked into Lake Tahoe in the spring, summer or fall? We went there last September, and actually, it meets every item on your list!!

Old Jul 1st, 2001, 07:50 PM
Roxanne Fox
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How about checking into Rendezvous Resort. All inclusive, very, very private, close to Vigie airport, no kids, beach bar and swim up pool bar. Great food, great staff, we paid 408 per nite for all lodging, food (mass amounts, buffets, beach BBQ), great drinks, great wines with meals, and they accept no gratuities! The staff is so wonderful and personal. This one gets missed alot in my opinion.

They have a website www.rendezvous-lc.com I think but you can search on Yahoo or AOL by keywords"Rendezvous St Lucia". Check it out and enjoy!

The Foxes
Old Jul 10th, 2001, 04:14 AM
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I know what you mean about getting bogged down with information. It happens to me everytime we go on vacation, but that is part of the fun. I couldn't agree LESS with Money Monger , because the prices on St. Kitts are more reasonable than anywhere we have been in the Eastern Caribbean. St. Thomas is much more touristy with traffic jams, lots of kids, etc. We've been going to St. Kitts for about 10 years and love it there, even though we try to go somewhere else every year. We've found it to be gorgeous and romantic with all the snorkeling, hiking, scenery, historic sites,undeveloped & uncrowded beaches and variety of dining we could wish. There are still restaurants where you can eat for about $10 pp and I will be happy to share them with you if you decide on St. Kitts. We've stayed at Timothy Beach and love the great sunsets from the balconies. You can't go wrong if you're looking for a place with watersports, good snorkeling, friendly staff, oceanfront pool and restaurant right on the Caribbean. Feel free to ask any specific questions about the island. Beth [email protected]
Old Jul 10th, 2001, 05:03 AM
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Try Tortola.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 12:19 PM
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Tortola, BVI. It meets all of your criteria to a tee.

If you're interested, e-mail me and I'll be happy to supply you with links to the various web sites that you'll want to check out.
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 02:05 PM
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Jamaica! My husband and I tried Jamaica years ago and have been going back to Jamaica every year. You must go to an all inclusive - all the food, well drinks, and activites you can imagine. No tipping, driving a car, or schedules allowed. The nightlife is as good as you make it, there are so many choices - disco, dancing, some type of entertainment, or just a stroll on the beach. We like Superclubs better than Sandals. Our favorites are the Grand Lidos in Negril and Runaway Bay. We also liked the Couples resorts in Ocho Rios and Negril. Negril would be our favorite part of the island. This year we are gambling and trying the Superclubs Suprise Plus where you pay a REDUCED fee and you will find out which Superclub resort you stay at 1 week before. We choose the plus to eliminate Breezes Montego Bay. Once you go you will be counting the days until you can go again! Trust me!
Old Jul 12th, 2001, 07:48 PM
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What time of year? St. Thomas does have some very family-friendly spots but also some spots altho not adult only that are quiet out-of-the way places with lovely beaches! No huge mountains but there are some pretty steep hills and inclines! It is lush and tropical and romance can be found. It has some decent nitelife (I guess - I prefer the bottle of wine on a starlite beach), good restaurants in many price ranges. In fact, lots of resorts in varying prices or condo resorts so you can "eat in" for breakfast and lunch but go out to dinner and stay within a strickeer budget. It would also give you the option to travel to St. John and the BVI's, generally more expensive destinations, on day trips by public ferry which is relatively inexpensive (eg to Tortola or Virgin Gorda for $40 r/t). The hussle and bussle is there in Town but the rest of the island is laid back and really pretty quiet. I certainly wouldn't choose Sapphire Beach, which is a very family friendly spot but there are other options. I don't know St. Kitts but I have read here that there is only one beachfront resort, Timothy Beach Club, where my friends honeymooned and they said it was nice. I wouldn't rule St. Thomas completely out. Tortola is a good suggestion too but there are a few good beaches. There you will be probably be jeeping or trekking about a lot especially to explore the other islands. Frenchman's Cay is one of the better resorts on the island with a few "villas" with glorious views and they do have a package that is reasonable with some meals (food is excellent) and a vehicle for a day or two. But, you will want to explore and not be "resort bound." The VI's offer some of the best sailing and snorkling to be found in the NE Caribb!
happy hunting ... and it can be overwhelming!
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for all your responses. Much appreciated.
We're looking at going in Sept. I know this is hurricane season in a lot of islands. I guess that's something else we have to consider.
Dave--I did a bit of reading on Tortola, it sounds a bit isolated and low-key.
Lauren--I'm a bit scared abt those "all inclusive" deals--imaging seedy motels, nasty food, watered-down drinks and hidden costs. are they really ALL-inclusive?
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 12:40 AM
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We did our research too, never having been to the Caribbean, and decided on St. Martin. We are going there for our honeymoon 3 days from now--can't wait! It just seemed like it had a lot to offer.
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 09:32 AM
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you want an island that is safe AND clean and not tooo touristy. that can be tough. culebra, off the coast of puerto rico is inexpensive and beautiful, but very quiet. st.john is more upbeat, nice lodging (apts.etc). the larger islands tend to be very busy and not pristine. let me know if you want more specific lodging (quiet and inexpensive) info. good luck, lane
Old Aug 19th, 2001, 09:44 PM
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If you want an island that's not all touristy and is romantic, go to St. Lucia. It's one of the most lush, green islands with the best water for diving or snorkeling. The people are very nice and with all of the things I just mentioned, it just feels like the real Caribbean, if you know what I mean. We stayed at the Anse Chastnet -- very romantic and sort of rustic. Beautiful, secluded beach -- you'll always have a chair to lay out on and a fresh, fresh tropical drink (unlike many resorts). We also stayed at Le Sport -- which was twice as expensive and not as good as Anse Chastnet. Good luck!
Old Aug 20th, 2001, 07:09 AM
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All inclusives are the way to go now.....they are in NO way seedy motels with nasty food or watered dowbn drinks!!! I have traveled the carribbean twice over and have had fantastic vacations at all-inclusives! They are advantagous if you like to drink and eat.....a lot of the islands will have quite expensive restaurants especially St. Lucia. We like Jamaica...Breezes Runaway Bay Superclub...for adults only....lots of fun....nice tropical setting with lush gardens and grounds!!! Good luck and have fun!
Old Aug 27th, 2001, 05:03 PM
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My husband and I spent 10 days at a cottage community called Hurricane Cove Bungalows on the nw side of Nevis in March and loved it. The self-contained cottages are rustic but very clean and sit on a breezy hillside with panoramic views of a pretty bay/beach or the straits between Nevis and St Kitts. (Check out Dove or Baobab). The beach, nice but not drop=dead gorgeous, is a 3 minute easy walk downhill. Best of all was the cost, after April 1 just $125/night for a one-bedroom. We loved the flexibility of eating breakfast and some lunches in. Many good restaurants within a 10-15 minute drive. We'd recommend a car (we rented one through the resort for $350/wk or you can just get one for a few days). There are many well-stocked markets. Not much shopping, but the main town is interesting in that it still retains sleepy Caribbean charm. A drive around the island is a pretty diversion. A couple we chummed with from the beach resort downhill loved their rainforest hike. There is tropical foliage around the northern and western resorts, and the interior is a gorgeous mountainous rainforest, but don't expect the whole island to be green and brimming with foliage.
The locals are very friendly, and development on the island has been kept low-key and reasonable small, with the exception of the Four Seasons. We stopped in one day to check it out and felt like it was so "sanitized" we weren't even in the Caribbean any more.
We spent our last day on St Kitts and didn't like it nearly as well.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 10:01 AM
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I have two ideas for you.

I agree with the above suggestion of tortola. Stay on Cane Garden Bay and you will have live bands and music every night at quaint beach bars to dance the nights away. This is one of our favorite places in the world. We stayed at quitos ole works in with a very nice room (like a "holiday inn" suite, with a great deck and view over the bay, for $125 per night per room. However, food and drinks are not inexpensive there. This island is very safe and extremely beautiful. No discos, but fun evening activities that are more low-keyed and very few children.

We are planning to move to the caribbean in the next three years. And since land prices and residency status are extremely high and hard to get in the BVI, we looked elsewhere. What we found is a little known island off the coast of belize and honduras called the "Bay islands" ...they are just like the BVI naturally, but much, much cheaper like mexico. There are direct flights that take 2 hours from Houston and Miami and several nice hotels on the water.

Right now, they are filming Temptation Island there, so the whole world will soon find out just how beuatiful and what a great deal these islands will be. Go to www.roatanet.com for info on the main island and accomodations.

Another plus, you are a only a short ferry or plane ride away to the honduran mainland where you can go whitewater rafting, look at the famous Copan ruins or go hiking in the rain forests. Let me know if you have any questions!
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 12:31 PM
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I'm sorry, I have to point this out. "Carribeaner"? he he he

Natashia, kids aren't a big nuisance during the shoulder or high season, so that might help with a decision. Of course you'll want to avoid Spring Break time like the plague.

I have not been to St. Kitts or Nevis yet. Quite honestly, the dark beaches turn me off. But I've only heard positive things about both islands.

And we will never do AI again. I'd rather pack my own poptarts, split a sandwich or burger for lunch, then splurge on an authentic island meal for supper. We usually look for accomodations with a kitchen but don't try to cook like I do at home, just do salads, bakers, burgers, etc.

We've visited about 1/2 of the islands. Reading your wish list, I immediately thought of Barbados.

There are restaurants to fit any budget, driving is easy & roads are good (not well marked, but pretty straight forward as long as you don't stray too far into the island). Too many beautiful white beaches to mention. Not mountainous terrain, but rolling, lots of foliage. Lovely, abundant flowers. Palm trees. Gorgeous water. Treefrogs at night. Live reggae, calypso & jazz --- music & dance clubs (mostly along the Gap) to satisfy but not overwhelmingly wild. Spend an afternoon at the Crane. Drive to the east to Bathsheba. Take a catamaran cruise. Great local rums ----

We like to dress super casual on vacation. T's & flip flops are fine for Barbados, dockers & sundress for evening in all but the most fancy restaurants (& they might not serve you anyway, I don't know).

Car rental runs 300-400/week for a nice model. Or just rent for a couple of days. Or take the bus. We don't but they look fine.

If you stay at the Gap, there's enough beaches, restaurants, nightlife, shopping to keep you happy without a car for the entire week if you don't care to explore or want to expense. Southern Palms (old standby), Time Out at the Gap (colorful), Salt Ash Apartments (not much to look at but beachfront). Sandy Beach Hotel is not too far --- great beach. Perfect, actually.

If you stay at Holetown, Inn on the Beach was fine. Not fancy, but beautiful location with shops right there & lots of fun places to eat within walking distance. Not so much nightlife, mostly Fri thru Sat. Beautiful sunsets. We think the west is more romantic --- much quieter.

The snorkeling is not much, but 35 pp will buy you a boat ride to swim with the turtles in 20 ft. of water --- snorkel & mask but no fins --- you don't want to hurt them --- lifevest is fine if you don't float well

Barbados has a couple of tourism offices in the states that will send you great info to help plan. If you travel independantly, as we prefer to do, watch for airfare to drop & be ready to pounce. From Texas, bad is 900 +. Good is 500. Less than 400 is hard to find, but it does pop up occassionally. You might find a good package, worth a try.

We prefer to budget to moderate accomodations w/a kitchenette so we can spend our $ on sightseeing & a nice souvenier & lots of photos.

Have fun, wherever you choose.

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