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Need Recommendation - which Island should we pick

Need Recommendation - which Island should we pick

Mar 17th, 2007, 06:28 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 70
Need Recommendation - which Island should we pick

We travel often but never to the Caribbean. I'm looking for advice on where to go next February. The group is me, my wife and our two boys (9 & 12).

Here are some guidelines for what we like / requirements:

1) Good Scuba diving / snorkeling - convienent to hotel /condo a major plus
2) Small hotel / resort - if the buildings are over 2 or 3 stories, count us out.
3) Decent beaches - preferably one at the hotel
4) Other outdoor activities - hiking, jungle, rafting or kayaking, etc.
5) Local Color, Culture
6)A place with separate rooms for adults & kids (condo or cottage?)
7)Fishing (for the kids)
8) Fairly easy to get to from Detroit, MI

Not needed are golf or casinos. We also aren't in to All Inclusives as we like to try the local food / color - see #5

Our lodging 'budget' is $150-300 which may be low for the caribbean and what we like. Our recent winter trips have been to Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala.

Islands I've thought of are Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire. I'm sure there are others!

I'd appreciate any comments you have on islands that would work for us and on lodging options.

Thanks!



D
wayfarer is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 07:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Suggestions:

Grenada ... Lance Aux Pines cottages on the beach. La Sagesse for delicious food and a shallow beach that goes on forever.

Bequia ... snorkeling and hiking and good food

Carriacou ... a short plane or boat ride from Grenada.

Not sure how easy any of those are to get to from Detroit. But all worth the effort.

CanadaKate
CanadaKate is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 05:32 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,712
Grenada is a good option

Dominica and Bonaire may not offer the decent beaches although the Divi Flamingo (BON) has a small sandy beach and another where you can snorkel/scuba from the shore.

St Lucia has scuba and snorkeling, beige-grey sand beaches and has other outdoor activities.

Guadeloupe is another option although scuba/snorkeling near to a hotel/condo might be an issue but the outdoor activities are numerous. However it is out of some people's comfort zone.
Odin is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 07:53 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 12
Check San Juan Puerto Rico. You dont need a passport to get there. go to Holasanjuan.com and look aroun their hotels. I'm sure you'll find everthing you need
raulitog is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 09:17 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,803
Raulitog,

you're getting boring - advertising is not allowed on this site.

I hope the editors will delete your posts.
alya is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 06:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Grenada would be perfect for you.

It offers a pretty large range of accommodations in your budget. You could get two adjoining rooms at www.lasagesse.com, a beautiful small hotel set on a lovely secluded beach. It is, admittedly, pretty far off the beaten path in terms of snorkeling, diving, nigihtlife and restaurants.

LAE cottages are also a good suggestion, but not nearly as atmospheric as La Sagesse. But they would provide cooking facilities if you wanted to prepare any of your meals or keep snacks on hand.

You could look at a number of villas at www.spiceislevillas.com, as there are about half a dozen listed under $300/night. These would have full kitchen/fridge for keeping snacks on hand for yourself and kids, and making breakfast on vacation can be a great money saving measure without feeling like you're a slave to the kitchen.

Other places that might be of interest would include Blue Horizons, which is a sister hotel of and across the street from the tony Spice Island Beach Resort, which does have a dive company on site. You'd have a 5 minute walk to the beach, but the cottages there are recently renovated, there's a great restaurant on site, and there are also self-catering facilities in the cottages.

The only thing that Grenada doesn't qualify for is being easy to get to from MI. You could try flying to Barbados on a major carrier (NW for you?) and then taking a local airline like LIAT to Grenada. You could also trying getting to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Northwest and then connect to Grenada on American Eagle, which leaves once a day in the early evening.
ejcrowe is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:58 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 70
Thanks all for your replies - I still have some work to do. Grenada was always on my short list and that appears to hold out from the advice above. I'm also interested in checking out a Bonaire / Curacao combo trip and I'll look into some of the other advice (and anymore that comes in)

Raulitog - I've been to PR (on business) and liked it, but it isn't on my radar screen for this trip - thanks for the ad (and thanks to Alya for pointing it out). We want heartfelt, unbiased info on this site, not self serving stuff.....

Odin- Guadeloupe looks very interesting from the limited research I've done. Can you clarify your 'comfort zone' comment? Is it a French thing or something else I should be worried about? We didn't have any problems taking our kids into Guatemala ( a far cry from traveling in Belize or Costa Rica) - we are pretty adventurous as long as it is relatively safe. I'd also want to make sure we wouldn't have language issues on a dive trip (prudent safety concern!). I just want to make sure we aren't missing anything. We actually like culturally interesting places - sanitized places aren't high on our list.

Thanks again to everyone for your help!
wayfarer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada, are great destinations for what you are ISO, problem being the amount of time to get there. I travel to the south eastern Caribbean usually once a year and it takes a minimum of 10-12 hours. I've been doing this for 16 years and this time element has neevr changed.
If you can handle the lengthy trip any of the mentioned islands are well worth the aggravation and would meet your wishes.
If the time required does present a problem and understandably so I would agree with the suggestion of Puerto Rico. Would suggest plans to visit San Juan but stay away from it as your baseline destination. It is no different than any major American city, traffic congestion, malls etc.
vinceygirl is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
How about Belize:
Good diving/snorkeling - awesome but have to go to the reef for it
2) Small hotel / resort - Check out the Jaguar Reef Lodge in Hopkins, Stann Creek District.
3) Decent beaches - nice one
4) Other outdoor activities - hiking, jungle, rafting or kayaking, etc.- TONS of fun adventures
5) Local Color, Culture - Hopkins is a gishing village
6)A place with separate rooms for adults & kids -- 2 bedroom 2 bath suites at JRL - awesome price. Get a lot of value for your money.
7)Fishing -- don't think they have it from shore but do on day tour
8) Fairly easy to get to from Detroit, MI - don't know about that
LvSun is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 08:44 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
Sorry "gishing" is fishing. I really need to slow down typing.
LvSun is offline  
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