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Island of my dreams: Does it exist?

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Sep 14th, 2010, 11:29 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Island of my dreams: Does it exist?

To all you well-traveled Caribbean island lovers -

I need your assistance in locating the next island for us to visit. We are trying to plan a family trip this November (1st or 2nd week). I understand that my expectations may be high but am having difficulty finding this information any other way. Here's my wish list:

1. island in the Caribbean
2. must have beautiful beaches (where we plan on spending most of our time)
3. low(er) crime rate
4. interesting topography, if possible
5. some interesting town to explore or shopping

Other comments:
-We will be bringing our 3 yr old with us
-Expense not much of an issue (St. Barth's is very close though! )
- 4 or 5 star-rated hotels/resorts
-We have already visited Aruba, Barbados and Bermuda. We weren't too keen with Aruba; too commercialized and didn't find it very pretty
-We really enjoyed Bermuda: beautiful location; interesting places to visit; nice people

We are also open to other islands besides the island forums listed - I was only limited to selecting five.

Does my ideal island exist?

Thanks!!!
COBeachGirl is offline  
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Sep 14th, 2010, 12:19 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Check out Caneel Bay, St. John USVI
Jimmie is offline  
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Sep 14th, 2010, 12:49 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Your dream island is Cuba!
Varadero has some of the most beatiful beaches on the planet.
Very low crime rate
Topography - wow, this island is amazing and beatiful
Havana, Matanzas, or any of the other towns surrounding Varadero.
Wasn't too terribly expensive, things were very cheap to buy there, they do have 4 and 5 star rated hotels but in Cuba they are very different from the rest of the Caribbean. You won't be disapointed tho !
The people in Cuba are the nicest we've ever come across in our Caribbean travels and we would go back again in a snap (after we visit the rest of the islands we need to see!)
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Sep 14th, 2010, 01:09 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Take a look at the following:
Nisbet Plantation, Nevis (sorry Four Seasons, Nevis is closed until Dec. 15)
Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda
Cap Juluca or Cusinart, Anguilla
Carlisle Bay, Jumby Bay or Galley Bay, Antigua
Caneel Bay or the Westin, St. John
Anse Chastinet, St. Lucia

All, have what you are seeking.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 01:57 PM
  #5
 
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Anguilla has no town to speak of and very little shopping (a number of small galleries spread around the island). I also doubt that the poster would find its topography beautiful: it's flat, scrubby & arid. Having said all that, it's my personal favorite but it is definitely not for everyone. I would think that St Barts or the Virgins would fit the bill.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 02:20 PM
  #6
 
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St. Maarten all the way. Best shopping, best Night life and some of the most renowned beaches not only in the Caribbean, but the world. Its like being in the Caribbean, with some European influences especially on the French Side. you definitely won't be bored, and you can havea quiet time too. Other islands are beautiful as well, but miss something. St. Barths is lovely, but probably the most expensive island in the Caribbean.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 04:11 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2010
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You didn´t like Aruba try Curacao instead! The weather is always perfect down there.

Curacao´s town , Willemstad is gorgeous. It is actually an Unesco world heritage site. Shopping is also great!
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Sep 14th, 2010, 06:30 PM
  #8
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Great ideas!

My husband is interested in St. Martin but I am a bit concerned about the crime based on comments I've read on websites, and not just Fodor's. Can anyone tell me, is it a bigger concern on this island more than others? Also I have read that most of the island is quite run down. Your thoughts?
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Sep 15th, 2010, 07:12 AM
  #9
 
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COBeachGirl - here's a link to a recent thread about crime on St. Martin:
http://www.fodors.com/community/cari...t-martin-1.cfm

Also, if you use the search feature (Type in St. Martin) you'll find tons of information.

Finally, the St. Martin forum on TripAdvisor has several recent threads on the topic.
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Sep 15th, 2010, 09:30 AM
  #10
 
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St. Martin is not the place for you. You would be disgusted by the trash and fast driving. Anguilla is a lovely island, but like said in an above post, it doesn't really have a town and is rather flat and scrubby. For those who love the beach that doesn't seem to matter. I think maybe I would recommend Grand Cayman. We have loved it there for years before finding Anguilla. We are beach people so sitting or walking and swimming on the beach does us just fine. GC has a nice town for shopping with plenty of good places to eat. That would be my number one suggestion. I hope it helps.
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Sep 15th, 2010, 10:58 AM
  #11
 
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Look at Turks and Caicos and The Somerset resort , It is beautiful and sits on Grace Bay beach (one of the best) www.thesomerset.com
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Sep 15th, 2010, 12:57 PM
  #12
 
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As the name suggests, I'm a bit partial to St. Barth. It has all of the elements you require...interesting topography...um, a little lower on that scale than many islands, but the pluses certainly oughtweigh the minuses. I would recommend a villa rental over a hotel (keeping in mind St Barth has no chain hotels, only smaller boutiques, all unique and lovely). You and hubby can have some privacy, and many villas rent much less than hotels. You can also do breakfast and lunches at "home" if you like. Grocery shopping is pure joy.
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Sep 15th, 2010, 05:19 PM
  #13
 
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Grenada has it all.

Great beaches for example Grand Anse which is truly stunning
Very friendly locals
Has rainforests mountains, hiking and interesting scenery
Has interesting towns to explore eg St Georges and Grenville (great for spice shopping)
Good hotels and plenty of choice of restaurants
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Sep 15th, 2010, 05:48 PM
  #14
 
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If I didn't have cost be a barrier - I'd stay on Anguilla or Turks and Caicos- and I heard Mustique (spelling???) is high end as well. - Barbuda too? The cool thing with staying in Anguilla - its very easy to get to other islands - like Saba! That is a spectacular place - not to stay the whole time - but for a day trip - for sure!
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Sep 16th, 2010, 06:47 AM
  #15
 
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Agreed - hands down no question...Grenada....please while you check out all the others - don't miss Grenada!! It really does have all of your requests! Safe safe safe too!
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Sep 16th, 2010, 12:58 PM
  #16
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I like the idea of Grenada. I hadn't considered it before.

Spice Island Beach Resort looks nice but we are not too exited about all-inclusives; we like to venture out and dine elsewhere, especially for dinner. Any other Grenada hotel ideas that still meet my initial criteria? -LOCATED ON THE BEACH IS KEY!

Thanks everyone. I love the suggestions!
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Sep 16th, 2010, 01:24 PM
  #17
 
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Calabash is lovely, although not on Grand Anse. Coyaba might fit the bill.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 06:11 PM
  #18
 
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Montseratt, St. Lucia, Dominica or Grenada.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 07:12 PM
  #19
 
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Do you have to be AI at Spice Island? I think you are absolutely correct - Grenada is not the kind of island you want to go AI on....unless it is a real family necessity or you are ok combining AI with just dining out anyway. I do gather the food at SI is great though. I digress.

If you are looking for the lovely high end quality of Spice you could also look at La Luna...which is some proximity to Grand Anse and Morne Rouge but is also smack dab on its own stretch of stunning beach.

Calabash is supposed to be a fabulous - really Grenada is such a wonderful, safe, friendly unique island...the research into the right lodging will be great fun...Grenada does have a great deal to offer in terms of lodgings!
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Sep 19th, 2010, 05:50 AM
  #20
 
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We stayed @ Coyaba on Greneda in 2007 and love love loved it! The food was wonderful and the beach fantastic!!! Would stay again.

peace, greenie
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