Luxury AND Nightlife

Nov 29th, 2001, 12:57 PM
  #1  
Rob
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Luxury AND Nightlife

Could anyone help me out with a honeymoon destination? My fiance and I travel to the Caribbean yearly (have so far done Jamaica, Barbados, T & C, Dominican Republic). While all of these places have been nice in their own right, we are looking for something a little more upscale and luxurious for our honeymoon. We were strongly considering Cap Juluca, but the more I read the more I'm convinced that, while it sounds lovely and exactly the kind of resort we're looking for, we may be really bored after a few days due to a lack of nightlife. We are both 30, living in Manhattan, and while we don't want the craziness and hustle bustle of Cancun or a big mega resort with herds of people, we DO want something to do after dinner or on down time. Is there anyplace similar to Cap Juluca, but with casinos, evening shows, bars/nightclubs, etc. Again, we dont want to party till dawn every night, and we really want luxurious and upscale, but we don't want to sit around our room bored either. Also, I know we're on our honeymoon, but TV's in the room is something we desire as well. (All the luxurious resorts seem to have a strange no TV policy). So can anyone offer a suggestion? (BTW, Hawaii is just too long a flight to consider right now) Any help would be appreciated.
 
Nov 29th, 2001, 01:03 PM
  #2  
Penney
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Ocean Club - Bahamas; higher end resort, beautiful beach and in a great area so you can always find something off the resort to do if it is too quiet.

Ritz Carlton San Jaun - great area - sooooooo much to see and do!

 
Nov 29th, 2001, 01:22 PM
  #3  
mary
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Rob: It sounds as though you're looking for exactly what we're looking for. We're seriously considering the Bucuti Resort in Aruba. Not sure about how luxurious it is or how luxurious you want it to be, but it sounds great to us. The website below (wheretostay.com) talks about the place in general and then you can click on "traveler reviews," towards the top and in the middle.
 
Nov 29th, 2001, 01:23 PM
  #4  
mary
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Oops. Forgot to add the website.

http://aruba.wheretostay.com/property/453.html
 
Nov 29th, 2001, 01:28 PM
  #5  
Gail
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I also thought of the Ocean Club on Paradise Island when you said luxurious. They pamper you wonderfully and it's right down the beach from Atlantis.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 06:53 AM
  #6  
beth
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Rob, I'd like to put a vote in for Hawaii. It's really not that long. My husband and I went there this past Feb for our honeymoon. We had a direct, non stop flight out of Newark, on Continental. About 9 hours I believe. I would recommend going business class if you can, or perhaps 3 coach seats so you have more room.

The flight was not that bad, 3 movies or so, lots of space to get up and walk around. Coming home, its a night flight and it's even better. Everyone sleeps.

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
Let me know if you want more info.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 08:49 AM
  #7  
Kathleen
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Easy -- The Radisson or the Hyatt on Aruba. Both are extremely luxurious, more so than the "low rise" Bucuti. Aruba offers great dining and nightlife, incredible beaches, excellent exploration opportunities, and it's a very safe & clean island.
And the awesome Kokoa beach bar is close by!
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 09:53 AM
  #8  
mary
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One reason I am considering the Bucuti rather then the Hyatt or the Radisson is that the Bucuti has only about 50 or 60 rooms including some suites, compared to what, maybe 200 to 300 at the Hyatt and Readisson? I've heard they're wonderful places but some people like smaller, more intimate places rather than a large or mega resort type atmosphere.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 09:56 AM
  #9  
Rob
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Beth,
9 hours direct doesn't seem all that bad..I know nothing about Hawaii so any advice you could offer would be appreciated. Do you island hop or stay at the same place? Is anything usually included in a package i.e. meals etc? And most importantly, is it REALLY that much better than the carribbean to justify flying for 9 hours? How commercial is it? I don't like to see Burger Kings and Pizza Hut signs when on vacation....I was considering maybe the Ritz Carlton San Juan or something in Aruba, but I've been told they're TOO commercialized and hectic. I wish there was a way to place Cap Juluca in Anguilla on a different, livelier island. That resort looks beautiful!! I'm not really a Bahamas fan so not really considering that...Anybody else have any suggestions? This is really tough..Thanks!
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 10:19 AM
  #10  
mary
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If you don't want Burger Kings, etc., Aruba may not be the place for you. It seems that the more activities, night life, and action you get on an island, the more commercialism you get right along with it. They almost go hand-in-hand. You're right, this is a tough one. Not that they don't exist, I just can't think of anything.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 10:28 AM
  #11  
Jane
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La Samana, French Sint Martin. Upscale, luxurious and gorgeous beach - away from hustle bustle of Dutch Saint Martin. Night life and casinos on island. Marigot like small French town. Short ferry ride to Anguilla to check it out - Beautiful! You'l wish you had stayed there! Good Luck. PS Ocean Club is superb!
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 10:35 AM
  #12  
Jane
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La Samana, French Sint Martin. Upscale, luxurious and gorgeous beach - away from hustle bustle of Dutch Saint Martin. Night life and casinos on island. Marigot like small French town. Short ferry ride to Anguilla to check it out - Beautiful! You'll wish you had stayed there! Good Luck. PS Ocean Club is superb! Think to about St Barts.....
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 11:05 AM
  #13  
Rob
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I've heard mixed reviews about both La Samanna and St. Maarten. I've heard people say that La Samanna is way overpriced and not nearly as nice as Cap Juluca, and that St. Maarten is very dirty and crime infested. Anybody know if this is true?
La Samanna is also another of the strange "Luxury means you can't watch TV in your room" hotels, which I just don't understand. No matter how luxurious a place is, why can't I watch some television before bed or while getting changed or lying around? Baffling!
Does anyone know if Hawaii is comparably priced to a nice resort in the Carribbean? What to do what to do!
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 12:14 PM
  #14  
penny
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Rob-I have been to Cap Juluca and Anguilla many times. It is a wonderful hotel and one of the best I have been to!
At night you have Johnnos, The Pumphouse,LaCafe and other spots they come alive around 10:30. No gambling and relatively quiet-but hey Bankie Banx has his moonsplash at The Dune Preserve and there are lots of little beach bars. Go over to caribbean on line -Anguilla forum, and othe "experts" will give you their thoughts.

No TVs, well to me that is paradise. CJ does have the library room -first come first served. CusinnArt does have cable, a wonderful hotel and much nicer than La Sammanna, and almost as good as CJ. There is nothing like CJ. The brochure and web site is exactly what you get.
I was not impressed with La Sammanna or St. Martin, but I did enjoy the wonderful restaurants in Grand Case. The beaches are much busier and you have a lot of time shares.
We met a honeymoon couple at CJ-who combined La Sammanna and Cap Juluca and wish they had not. They preferred CJ.
If you want you can charter a boat to ST. Martin for gambling-I have watched guests board the Funtime speed boat from the beach at night.
You have the hustle and bustle of NYC, so unwind and go to Anguilla. It is a wonderful place. Not lush or tropical, flat and arid, safe, easy to get around,lots of beaches, and sweet hardworking people-NO fast food chains, no cruise ships, not much shopping-but Marigot is a short ferry ride away.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 12:35 PM
  #15  
jeannie
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Rob - I am going on a honeymoon this summer and we are planning on staying at Cap Jaluca. We also wanted the luxury, upscale resort- without all the tourist hotels and Burger Kings. After researching Anguilla and the restaurants I can't seem to find anything thing else that quite compares to what we are looking for. Laid back, relaxed - great restaurants... and I have read some bars/restaurants have live bands etc...I haven't even been yet, but it sounds perfect. Good luck! You might want to look into St. Barths which is definitely more lively and upscale and has a bit more of a nightlife.
 
Nov 30th, 2001, 04:27 PM
  #16  
Beth
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Rob, if you don't want to see BKs and PH signs, I have a great trip for you to take.

We went in February, stayed 10 days at the Turtle Bay Hilton in Oahu. About 45 mins from Honolulu. It's gorgeous. Palm trees all around, right on the ocean, secluded. A few miles away is a small town Halewia, amazing. It's gorgeous.

When we wanted to do tours, we drove to Honolulu. I hated Honolulu. Just like NYC.

We did the pro bowl (amazing!), pearl harbor, arizona, polynesian cultural center which I HIGHLY recommend. And relaxed on the beach. We did a one day trip to Molokai to see the leper colony. Fascinating.

I will say I didn't do a package to Hawaii. The airfare was about 1000 each coach. Hotel, about 200 per night. Rented a car for about 600. It was pricey, but it was our honeymoon.

The flight was nothing for me.
 
Dec 1st, 2001, 01:06 AM
  #17  
Tim
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Well, Rob, you certainly are having quite a dilemma, as we all do at times like this! You asked if Hawaii was
worth the 9-hour flight. Well, that all depends on how you view flying in general, not so much because of the islands! For me personally the answer would be NO because I don't like to fly, especially for 9 hours! Coming from the West Coast to the Caribbean is easier because we can stay overnight in Miami and then continue on for the short flight to the island of our choice! Although I do personally know many people who wouldn't even give the 9-hour flight a second thought! But there definitely is a BIG difference between Hawaii and the Caribbean which has been stated many times before by me and others: The standard of living in Hawaii is quite superior to the Caribbean (except for certain parts of Honolulu which is to be expected) and the scenery is VASTLY superior to it as well! However, the beaches are NOT as nice as in the Caribbean (no really white sand or calm, clear, warm water), so if you're truly a beach fanatic you MIGHT be disappointed in that department, although the beaches in Hawaii certainly aren't that bad, but they just are not up to the Caribbean standard! With that said, for Hawaii I would highly recommend the Four Seasons on Maui which would certainly fulfill the luxury and service requirements that you seek! Yes, there are BKs on Maui that you will pass through, but they are NOT in the Wailea section where the hotel is located! It's quiet, peaceful and beautiful there, even though you have two other mega resorts next to you (don't panic as they are upscale, very expensive and 5-star, NOT "Sandals" types!)! No casinos, but you will find some nightlife (limited) not only at the FS but at the neighboring hotels as well, plus you can drive quite safely to Lahaina on the other side of the island in about 45 min. for non-hotel nightlife. And, contrary to what Beth said, I would emphatically NOT recommend the Turtle Bay Hilton on Oahu to you under ANY circumstances! This is NOT a 5-star hotel and does not meet your criteria whatsoever! Don't even consider it! Sorry Beth! Getting back to the Caribbean for a moment: I would not cross Cancun off your list so fast either, especially since it's so much closer to you! I can highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun very easily and, of course, there is no question about the nightlife! The hotel is gorgeous and QUIET as well so I really don't think yo should scratch it off your list at all! And also, as someone else mentioned, the Ocean Club is a good choice, and then you can travel down to that "ratrace" Atlantis for your nightlife! The Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas is wonderful, too, but I would NEVER go back to St. Thomas!! Le Toiny on St. Barts is upscale and beautiful, but the island is too quiet for you! La Samanna IS overpriced and overrated but the location is sublime! However, I really don't think you would want to travel at night from there and back for your nightlife, no matter what anyone says!! Cap Juluca is also quite nice (and overrated), but the "scenery" of the island leaves a lot to be desired! I'm sure you've had this experience on Turks & Caicos, if you know what I mean! In Hawaii, you will ALWAYS want to get out and explore and it will ALWAYS be a pleasure to do so! Hope this helps you out somewhat and doesn't leave you even more confused!! Just be sure to write us a trip report upon your return so we can find out where you eventually decided to go!

 
Dec 1st, 2001, 01:09 AM
  #18  
Ellen
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Rob, since you've been to Turks and Caicos, tell me what you thought about Grace Bay. Is it really all that splendid looking in person? Did you happen to see the Grace Bay Club, and what did you think? Thanks!
 
Dec 4th, 2001, 05:44 AM
  #19  
Rob
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Thanks for the advice everyone.
Ellen, I stayed at Beaches on T & C and didn't really see any other resorts up close. I recently looked up Las Ventanas in Mexico, which seems to have 90% of what I'm looking for (Luxury, 15 min. from Cabo San Lucas for nightlife, TV's in room)...Anyone have any reviews of this place or additional recommendations? Only downside I see is that it has an unswimmable beach (strong currents), but I guess one can't have everything. The closest swimmable beach is about 10 minutes away. Other than that it sounds perfect. What do you guys think?
 
Dec 4th, 2001, 10:32 AM
  #20  
mary
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With so many great resorts throughout Mexico (Riviera and Yucatan), I'm sure if you do the research, you'll find everything you need including a great beach. I would pose your questions on the latin america Fodor's board. Just remember that the Riviera is oceanfront whereas the Yucatan area has the sea. Both areas are wonderful with lots to see and do.
 

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