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Jamaica vs. Curacao Ritz/HalfMoon vs. Hyatt Curacao

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Jan 17th, 2011, 03:35 PM
  #1
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Jamaica vs. Curacao Ritz/HalfMoon vs. Hyatt Curacao

Hello again...I recently posted asking for advice on Ritz San Juan vs Ritz Jamaica....this is a trip for myself, husband, sister ( both late twenties) parents, mid-fifties...golf is important...casino was...but we have eliminated that. We have been to aruba, bahamas, puerto rico and dominican and wanted to try something new. Dad...needs a larger resort, with a couple bars, and restaurants, even if we dont eat at them...we dont need an iberostar complex, but a 29 room hotel, like a Jamaica Inn, won't cut it....Bigger pool a must and decent beach...does not have to be perfect, but obviously shouldn't be the CON...of the place we choose....

Direct flight at must. We are from NJ...and there are direct flights from NJ to Montego Bay and Curacao..( suprisingly) which is why I researched the Hyatt....we love the Hyatt Aruba, and this is brand new...If you have been, people say its far from town...LIKE HOW FAR? DO YOU FEEL Trapped? And honestly How bad is this beach that I am reading about...we like to eat at nice restaurants, so maybe a car rental is a good idea....Im sure the hotel is nice, since it is a new hyatt....and there is a golf course, which looks good....

Now Jamaica...Ive been 2xs...once negril, once montego bay for my Honey Moon...we stayed at Half Moon, it was lovely, husband got veryyyyyy ill and has bad memories, im pushing for jamaica to give it one more chance. Sister wants to go, shes been before and likes the island and exploring...i know i know...its not the safest...my dad hears Ritz...and thinks "how can you go wrong...plus the golf course is great and next to Half Moons course which you can use....we can rent a car for 2 days a do a trip to negril beaches/check out ricks cafe, etc...do something else another day.....Question is RITZ vs. HALF MOON...Ritz has the best deals...HM....much more expensive....

Anyone have any opinions on this? THANK YOU!
andrea16fh is offline  
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Jan 17th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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We haven't stayed at The Ritz ( thought about it for last year), but have heard that it's not up to the usual Ritz standards. Also, it's very close to the airport in San Juan, and the beach, compared to others in the Caribbean, is only OK.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 08:13 PM
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Just had a thought for you... If you're looking for a Ritz-type hotel with an excellent golf course, look into the newly reopened Four Seasons in Nevis. I think that's one of the most spectacular golf courses I've ever seen, and the property has beautiful rooms, a fairly nice beach on site, and is accessible ( at least by car) to several other beaches, restaurants, and a small town.
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Jan 17th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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I think Jamaica's fabulous, I disagree that it is "not the safest". I would not rent a car there and go driving out to Negril though (because of crazy drivers, wacky road conditions, fast/slow/crowded traffic, driving on the 'wrong side' of the road).
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Jan 18th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Hi, I think I may have responded to your last post . . . if you decide on Curacao definitely rent a car -- the driving is easy, roads and signage good, much better than a lot of other islands. You will want to go to town some nights for dinner, I think, and also, it's fun driving around and exploring Curacao's beaches, which will be better than what's on site at the Hyatt. I think the Hyatt rates right now can't be beat, there are good deals because it's a big property to fill, take a look at skyauction.com it's listed there with a good rate. FS Nevis is a good choice if it's in your price range but you have to take a ferry from St. Kitts so travel time is longer. It's been a number of years since we went to the Ritz, service good, food good, golf spectacular, beach very mediocre, pool small and not very special for the size of the resort (they keep saying they are putting in another but it never happened). We were on the Ritz AI plan which at the time was a good deal, I think they still have it, we also had a 1 bedroom suite which had two bathrooms and was nice. The main issue I had with the property was it just doesn't feel Caribbean enough -- too formal, one big building with interior hallways and not enough of an open-air feel, but that's me. Others may love it. I still want to try Half Moon but every time I check it seems pricey.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Thanks everyone. Im so bummed that the Ritz Jamaica gets poor reviews...thats really the island i want to go. Anyone you ask about Jamaica seems to have something bad about it, but there is something about the culture/island/people, that I enjoy.

God, I hate to be like 35 mins cab ride from the Hyatt Curacao to town, but its not like the Ritz Jamaica is in walking distance to much either.

Spoiled from Aruba that has alot in walking distance if you stay on the strip. Still cant make up my mind. I am afraid we will be bored at Ritz for 7 days and should split it up. There is too much pressure and i dont want to pick somewhere that people will not like.

I was thinking of maybe 2 nights at a Round Hill and the rest of time at Ritz...change it up a bit, but still in same area...if up to me, we would go to Rockhouse for 3 nights in Negril and then do Ritz...but Dad will NEVER stay on the cliffs in a non-airconditioned hutt.

Last suggestion was St. Kitts, Marriot, which has golf,casino, large beach, etc....doesnt get perfect reviews...but what does...just doesnt seem to be a luxury property at all....

Uggghh...last thoughts anyone?
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Jan 18th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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That's just not true. Not me. I love Jamaica. I don't have anything bad to say about it. I have a large group of friends who vacation in Negril annually. Been doing so for a couple decades. Jamaica was my 1st trip out of the US back in 1975.

But I do try to be realistic about how other people see things and their comfort levels when I answer questions on this forum. Or something specific like about driving in Jamaica. In your case the fact that your husband doesn't want to go there would be a huge red flag for me in planning personally.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 07:36 PM
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Like Suze, I'm a big fan of Jamaica. I've been going there since 1982, and have never had the slightest concern for my family's safety. That being said, there is simply no comparison between MoBay and Negril, which has one of the most spectacular beaches in the entire Caribbean.

Now, about the Ritz... Unless you have small children or elderly relatives who need the security of an American hotel chain, there's simply no reason to go there. It's overpriced, not very Jamaican, and has a terrible beach.

You could check out The Caves in Negril, which is a luxury property on the cliffs. I believe that it has air conditioning. However, again like Suze, after reading your post, it really sounds like your husband has no interest in Jamaica. I'm thinking you should maybe check out Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman, which might suit his interests better.

If golf on site wasn't a prerequisite, I would highly recommend the hotel we stayed at last week in Mexico. If you're interested, it's an AI called LIVE AQUA, a five-star, but you can often find (as I did) unbelievable deals on line at places like Skoosh.com. This hotel was definitely as good as a few RC's I've stayed in, maybe better. And the beach has been totally rebuilt since a hurricane destroyed the property in 2005. To be honest with you, I never thought I would sing the praises of Cancun, but I'm a transformed woman after a week at this hotel! Oh, and also it's within walking distance or short taxi ride of some excellent Argentinian steakhouses, and good, reasonably priced Mexican.

Anyway, good luck with your choice!

Anyway, good luck
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Jan 19th, 2011, 04:30 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by Marriott St. Kitts not being a luxury property when compared to the Ritz Jamaica, frankly, I didn't think they were that much different, I have always found Marriott service to be good and I also stayed in a 1 bedroom suite at the Marriott St. Kitts and really don't think there was much difference, (both suites at the Ritz and Marriott had nice amenities, two bathrooms etc.) I had a problem with my safe at the MSK and they were there to help in less than five minutes. Marriott St. Kitts as compared to Ritz Jamaica, in my opinion: MSK: beach nicer, pools nicer, golf excellent, restaurants and other beaches close by, both have some interesting things to see nearby -- St. Kitts has Brimstone Hill Fortress, Ritz has the historic Rose Hall right across the street. MSK has a casino, don't think Ritz does. I would give the nod to the Ritz for slightly better service but not by much. And MSK is probably less expensive. You are discovering what we have experienced for years: it is difficult to find an all-around good luxury golf/beach resort which is why we often stay at boutique resorts and my husband takes a taxi or car to the golf course, and I think the restaurants "within walking distance" criteria is also hard to achieve, so many resorts are self contained.
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Jan 20th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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IF you're willing to go all the way to St. Kitts, take the short boat ride to Nevis and stay at the newly reopened Four Seasons. I think it has everything you're looking for, and the golf course is really exceptional, with astounding ocean views.
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