June trip - St Kiits/Nevis, St John or T&C ?

Old Feb 4th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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June trip - St Kiits/Nevis, St John or T&C ?

Taking a 20th anniversary trip in June and trying to decide which is the best island for us.
We are leaving from NY and only have about 5 days, so we don't want to spend a lot of time getting anywhere. We are looking for mostly peaceful and quiet beaches with access to at least some fun shopping and a few nice restaurants. We have no problem renting a car or jeep to get around, and we also like nice hotels.
Any thoughts about our choices? I was trying to go with islands that were less than 5 hours flying and that seemed to be less "commercialized". Thanks for any advice you can give us!
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 07:17 AM
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macksix....T&C gets my vote. I also fly out of NY (JFK) and T&C would be the closest destination. American and JetBlue offer non-stop flights into Providenciales and will have you on the beach by lunch time! Most of the resorts are no more than a 10-15 minute ride from the airport. T&C has some of the most beautiful, powder white sand, turquoise water you will ever see in the Caribbean. Grace Bay Beach is absolutely stunning! Resorts to check out are: Somerset, West Bay Club, Gansevoort, Point Grace, Windsong, Grace Bay Club (just to name a few). T&C is very quiet, laid-back and relaxing. There are tons of great restaurants on the island too. There's some shopping (Salt Mills), but T&C is not known as a "shopping" destination. The island is not commercialized at all so you will definiately get that island feel we all look for in a Caribbean vacation. Renting a car is a must. Besides beautiful Grace Bay Beach, there are other great beaches to explore (Sapodilla Bay, Taylor Bay, Malcomb's, etc). Can't say enough good things about T&C...it's one of my favorite places!
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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You can find beaches, nice hotels, shops, restaurants and peace and quite on all of those islands and you can reach all of them from NY (assuming you mean the NYC area) in under 5 hours so given that criteria any of them would be "the best island for us".

Perhaps if you gave us more information about what you are really seeking in a vacation trip we could steer you in the right direction. Tell us your budget for accommodations ("nice hotels" can mean anything), what you like to do and see, what's in your minds eye, etc. The more you tell us about your likes, dislikes and desires, the easier it is to recommend the perfect spot to you.

You are considering 3 very different islands so perhaps this will help:

Turks & Caicos - 98% of the resorts in the T&C are located on Providenciales' Grace Bay. Accommodations range from simple "motel" like rooms, to condo's to very high end luxury resorts with prices to match. The island is flat arid and relatively featureless with scrubby vegetation. The island boasts one of the longest (Grace Bay - 11+ miles from end to end) and whitest sand beaches you'll find anywhere in the world. The other beaches on the islands also have white sand but they are somewhat remote with little, if any, amenities. There's a variety of restaurants in varying price ranges and some modest shopping. It's a quiet island with very little nightlife. Because of the abundance of "condo resorts" the island is popular with families. There's some good but limited off-beach snorkeling and some excellent snorkeling in areas accessible only by boat. Other islands in the chain are sparsely populated and can only be reached by small plane or ferry from Provo. Grand Turk is popular with divers.

St. John - small hilly island that is semi-lush. 2/3's of the island is a National Park which means the entire island's population is located in one small area. The island has numerous palm tree lined golden sand small cove-like beaches dotted around the island, very good to excellent walk-in snorkeling, two major resorts (Caneel Bay and the Westin as well as several smaller "inns and numerous rental villas. There are several good restaurants and a few shops mostly in the Cruz Bay area. You can easily take a day trip back to St. Thomas for plenty of Duty Free shopping. To reach St. John requires a ferry ride from St. Thomas.

St. Kitts - Lush mountainous island with rain forests and an extinct volcano. Because of it's volcanic origin and lack of a comprehensive near shore reef system the beaches around the island range in color from almost black to light brown. There are numerous historical points of interest and old ruins around the island. Accommodations on the island range from the Marriott mega-resort, Plantation inn, smaller resorts, condos and rental villas. There's very little snorkeling around the island. There are lot of restaurants in all price ranges and plenty of Duty Free shops. The island of Nevis is a short ferry ride away and makes an excellent day trip. You can reach St. Kitts non-stop in about 4 hours from JFK on Wednesdays and Sundays 9American Airlines).
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Thanks to you both for your time! RoamsAround - you make a good point. Here are a few specifics. We like the beach (obviously), but probably wouldn't stay all day which is why I mentioned shopping (or at least meandering around a town). We like hiking, nothing too advanced, and would like to try snorkeling, but probably not diving. My husband LOVES to swim in the ocean, so waves and some surf might be nice. I am trying to keep the hotel cost under $350/night. We try to avoid crowds and anyplace with cruise passengers. . Thanks again.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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The Marriott on St. Kitts is certainly in your price range and it's on the Atlantic side of the island so your husband will get some of the wave action he craves. Snorkeling around the island though leave a lot to be desired. The island does have numerous hiking trails and plenty of beaches Both on the calmer Caribbean side and the "wavier" Atlantic Side. The island does get cruise ships however, not too many in June as it is off-season.

Personally, I think St. John would be the better island based on what you've written. It has everything you are seeking, great beaches on both the Caribbean and Atlantic sides, very good restaurants, plenty of hiking trails, excellent snorkeling sites some in relatively shallow waters just yards off shore - perfect for beginners and those who are not great swimmers. And there's plenty of snorkeling around for the advanced swimmers. Cruise ships don't visit the island although a few might come over from St. thomas for the day but there are so few you'd never notice them. Check out the Westin, Caneel Bay, Gallows Point Lodge and Estate Lindholm to see if they fit your needs. Also, consider renting a villa, often you can find good deals in June allowing you to spend your week's vacation in a multi-million dollar villa for essentially the same daily rate as a first class hotel.

Since you are going in June you'll find some of the lowest room rates of the year, the weather is as near perfect as it can be. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to go to St. John for your 20th anniversary trip.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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RoamsAround - thanks again for all of your input. I really appreciate it.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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St. Kitt's also has a 1350 ft. zip line through the rain forest if you are looking for something fun to do. A catamaran ride to Nevis on a snorkeling trip to shitten bay is fun also.
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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We love St. John. The beaches are beautiful. It is a quiet island. Lots of great restaurants and there is some nice shopping in Cruz Bay where you could spend a couple of hours. You need to take the ferry from St. Thomas but it is a nice short ride. You will need a Jeep to get around (they drive on the wrong side of the road - LOL). We are going back in May and I am anxiously awaiting trip after the winter we have been having! Snorkeling is great. If you do look at a villa, I would suggest staying near Cruz Bay. Coral Bay is lovely, but it is a ride to some of the beaches and restaurants.
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 08:08 AM
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we are thinking about going back in May after about 37 years. any thoughts about where to rent a 2-3 bedroom cottage?
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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Virginia - which island are you planning a return to? This thread is about St. John and St. Kitts.
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 05:17 PM
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oops--St. John
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 04:55 AM
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Lindala or RoamsAround - Are there any villa rental companies on St John that you would recommend? Thanks
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 05:32 AM
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We've used WIMCO (www.wimco.com) numerous times on St. john and on other islands but I've also heard goo things about the following:
www.caribbeanvilla.com
www.destinationstjohn.com
www.seaviewhomes.com

Note: Many rental villas are listed with an MLS service and can be rented through numerous companies (at the same price). It doesn't really matter where the broker is located. When you arrive "on-island" you'll be met by a "local" property manager who will take care of you during your stay, if the need arises.
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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All have their own charms, but we are biased to St. Maarten/St. Martin.

St. Maarten is a dual nation island that is French and Dutch. Both have their own charms. They entire island is duty free! Food is amazing, people are friendly, great beaches and tons of things to do!

We have been to the other islands, but none compare!
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