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Looking for island with short travel time from BDL?

Looking for island with short travel time from BDL?

Old Mar 12th, 2007, 04:44 PM
  #1  
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Looking for island with short travel time from BDL?

As is the usual custom for us, spontaneous DH has announced "Let's go somewhere NOW." He has already been in touch with a travel agent looking into places we like.....Aruba, Antigua, St. Lucia, T&C mainly. I want him to explore other options, (but anyone finding fault with a husband who announces a surprise trip...well that would be foolish. If he insists on taking me to Antigua....oh well....sigh...such a problem!)

Anyway, we are still investigating islands that are easy to get to quickly from Hartford CT. (Not Bermuda...water is still too chilly)
Ideally we would like a direct or near direct flight, or one stop if necessary, and we like to be on the beach by early afternoon if possible, without too long a trip from airport to hotel.
We spend most of our time on the beach, some exploring, some volleyball (maybe), or golf, sailing, some night life, decent food and drinks. But we are not particularly hard to please. A book, a lounger, a pina colada, Jimmy Buffet music, and we're happy, and no real need for much else. No actual budget, but maybe around $650 per night. If Spring breakers interfere with availability, we can change our dates.
Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Old Mar 12th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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We fly from bdl as well. It's a 3.75 hour direct flight to Puerto Rico with its many and varied attractions, and it's the gateway to the rest of the Caribbean. I don't know the time for other places but it's about a 25 minutes flight to St. Thomas (our usual) and then about 40 minutes to St. Croix. By the way, Jimmy spent plenty of time in St. Thomas.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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Thanks Tuxedocat...I actually never thought of just staying in Puerto Rico. Also never been to St.Thomas or St. Croix. Do you have any hotels to suggest?
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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hi, toppy--that's our departure airport, too.

PR is the only non-stop Caribbean destination from BDL. San Juan is a great place to explore for a few days, plus outside of SJ there's the rainforest, the surfing culture on the west coast, the biobay in Fajardo. From SJU you're also a short flight away from Vieques if you want more of a low key, relaxe vacation.

Also, San Juan is the hub for American Eagle. I've flown through there to connect to Antigua, Tortola, St. Kitts, Nevis, and St. Lucia, with Antigua and Tortola have a slightly earlier arrival time than the others. To be honest, for a week long vacation, the hour or so difference in travel time on either end isn't a big deal to me. With St. Lucia I was on the beach by 3:30pm, and with Antigua I was on the beach by 2:00 pm with the connections from Bradley.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Thanks ej...
I will look into Tortola, Nevis, and St. Kitts as well as PR and Vieques....we are looking for a nice resort on the beach. Any hotel suggestions greatly appreciated.Still researching St. Thomas too. Yikes i have been at the computer almost all day....
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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We went to St. Thomas with friends from the east coast. Have you ever done an AI or would you consider one? It just sounds like you are looking to mostly kick back and I'm thinking Wyndham Sugar Bay might be a good place for you. It has three restaurants and the food is good. They bring skewers of fruit around the pool during the day as well as popsicles and water to spray you with. Rooms are nice and very clean, grounds are nice, and the view is great. We found the staff to be interested in the guests, friendly and professional. We don't do AI's very often, but this one had a nice nightclub with different things going on at night and they really do have premium alcohol - rums, galliano, peppermint schnapps - you name it.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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GWV runs nonstop charter service to Cancun (and then from there you can go to the Mayan Riviera) and Punta Cana (and from there you can go to LaRomana). The charters go every Saturday and return the next Saturday and you can book directly with GWV. Go to www.gwvtravel.com for more information. We have used them several times and with only a day or two notice for some trips.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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Knowing we are seriously considering the Wyndham Sugar Bay and yes we like AI. But I heard the beach and pool are far from the rooms? Would we feel like once we were down at the beach it would be inconvenient to run back to the room to get something? Everything else about the resort sounds great.Thanks for the feedback.

Shirleyk we have traveled with GWV to Aruba and it was great...I will check that out. I liked Cancun ages ago but have not been to Mayan Riviera. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Here are some resort suggestions:

St. Kitts - Marriott
http://marriott.com/hotels/travel/sk...-beach-casino/

St. Kitts is a fairly undeveloped island, has casual beach bars near the Marriott, take ferry or catamaran to Nevis for the day, hike the volcano. or golf at the resort. It's not as good as some of the other suggestions for snorkeling and the water isn't the same beautiful color as the Virgin Islands. We're going in April. You may find a deal on www.skyauction.com but we used Marriott points.

Tortola - great island but no upscale resorts. Its also a great island to island hop from to Jost van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, or Marina Cay. Hotel/Inn options include Long Bay Beach Resort and the Sugar Mill. Long Bay is also on skyauction.

We loved St. John but it is a ferry from St. Thomas. The island is 2/3 national park and has more beautiful beaches than you'll have time to explore. The food is generally good on the island but everything here is expensive. We stayed at the Westin because we have children and it suited their interestes. I would love to stay at Caneel Bay. Both resorts have their own private ferries that you can take (low hassle) for a price. I believe Caneel lets you take the ferry back to St. Thoams if you want to shop or to Virgin Gorda where their sister resort, Little Dix Bay is. Many people who visit this island also rent beautiful villas.

There are also a couple resorts on www.luxurylink.com that you can bid on. I have never done this but others on this board have recommended it. They are all places I would love to go:
The first two are exclusive,private resorts where you generally eat most of your meals:
Peter Island
Biras Creek - Virgin Gorda - harder to get to

The last suggestion is:
The Buccaneer - St. Croix - family run business, histroric resort.

There was also a boutique hotel in San Juan on the luxurylink web site that looked very hip and intriguing.

I'm sure there are many more great suggestions. We also fly out of Bradley. Have fun!
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Old Mar 13th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Thanks lovethecape...great suggestions. Still deciding. I think my husband is leaning towards AI for this totally laid back trip.
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Toppy,
The Sugar Bay Beach and pool area is not on open, level land with the rooms. So if you do forget something, the shuttle comes every five minutes up and down the road right to the entrance of the pool. It takes no more time to get back to your room than way than if you were walking back. It's not a big deal at all.
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Old Mar 14th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Knowing....Would the shuttle be as convenient to the beach as well? I mean is the beach near the pool?
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Toppy,
Yes, whichever way you choose to say it, it's like:
The beach
The pool area
The shuttle
Right in a row. So, if you're sitting on the beach, and you want to go back to your room, you simply walk to the pool area and stand or sit and wait for the shuttle. As I said, they come every five minutes. We were there with friends and none of us ever waited even five minutes for the shuttle to come, no matter what time it was.
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Thanks again Knowing...it really looks and sounds nice.
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