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Need special place for a 10th anniversary trip

Old Jan 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Need special place for a 10th anniversary trip

Hello everyone, My husband and I frequently travel to Mexico, but for our 10th anniversary we would like to visit the caribbean for the first time for a 5 night stay. These are our "wants" :
-Beautiful lush island
-Great beaches for swimming/ snorkeling
-Small luxury resort/hotel, preferably adult-only (we don't like mega resorts or all-inclusives)
-We would like to visit an island with lots of character - nice locals, places to explore, beach bars, towns where we could shop a little and try out new restaurants.
-Night life with discos and casinos are not important - we prefer low key and laid back.

So far, I have been looking at Puerto Rico/Vieques, St. John and Vigin Gorda. These places are easy to get to from Los Angeles (we can take the red-eye and get there the next morning).

Please give me any advice
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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HI Trisha

I think St. Luica fits most of your criteria. My husband and I spent our honeymoon on St. Lucia a few years ago. wE stayed at Ladera REesort 1,000 ft. up on a ridge between the Pitons with an open wall facing the Caribbean WOW!!! St. Lucia is very lush and beautiful, especially in the southern region by the Piton peaks. There are some very nice beach but not white sand. Great Snorkeling and diving next door at Anse Chastanet (also very nice) and further up the coast. Lader and Anse Chastanet are small luxury resorts that though are not adults only they very much discourage children because of the layout of the resort and that the prefer couples. The resaurant Dasheen at Ladera is one of the best on the island and it certainly has to die for views! St. Lucia has lot of cool neat beach bars ands local jump ups on (beach parties) the peole are frienly and there are some coll characters there. NO disc, oquiet night life.

You can read my trip report and look at all the pictures just email at [email protected] and I will give you the link to my business web site where the report lives.

Kay
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Thanks Kay, but the travel time to St. Lucia is a little too far for us this time. From Los Angeles it would take over 11 hours to get there. St. Lucia does look great and I will like to travel there in the future when we have longer to stay. It seems that most of the really "great" islands are very hard to get too, at least from the west coast.
I've also been looking into Jamaica (Negril). The Caves looks like a very special/unique place to stay.
So, I guess now my options are:
Negril
Puerto Rico
St John

Any opinions?
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Caneel Bay in St. John, VI.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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If travel time is a concern, I wouldn't do St. John or Negril. Both destinations require either an additional ferry ride (St. John) or commute (Negril). Ditto with Virgin Gorda and Vieques. Your best bet in the Caribbean is probably San Juan or, perhaps Bermuda; although, frankly, if you don't want a long travel day, you're probably better off looking at Hawaii or the Pacific Coast of Mexico where you can at least fly there non-stop. With only five nights, it would be a shame if you had to spend two long days traveling there and back.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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Trisha, I'd suggest Peter Island, off the coast of Tortola. The island is about 1800 acres, but the resort is the only thing on the island. Awesome food, accomodations, spa and no more than 100 people ever staying on the resort. Most of the time, it's much less.

My husband and I just returned from our 10th Anniversary there last week. You can search for my review by searching for Peter Island. At the time I was there, there were children because of the Holidays (we went right after Christmas), but ordinarily children are strongly discouraged. It was awesome. It's perfect if you want to get away from it all and not be tempted to cram too much into your get away. We wanted some place that sort of forced us to relax, as I love to go, go, go and I wanted to make myself enjoy the relaxation (away from our 2 children ages 3-1/2 and 6 months) and not be tempted to do too much shopping, excursions, etc. You'd fly into EIS (Tortola), the same airport as you'd fly into for Virgin Gorda. You can see St. John and Virgin Gorda from Peter Island. Check it out at www.peterisland.com. Good luck searching and Congratulations in advance!
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Trisha:

Allow me to add St. Kitts to the mix. American flies there non-stop from Miami (jet service), so you can get there in two flights. There are some nice beaches, good hikes, some sights to see, etc. My wife and I stayed at Ottley's, which may fit your lodging interests. It has been a handful of years since we were there, so some of the other kind experts may want to chime in and educate/update both of us!
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I did consider Hawaii, but we will probally take a family vacation there over Xmas week, so I wanted to try someplace different. We just got back from Playa Del Carmen (family vacation) and we Loved it! If we can't find anything in the carribean that works out, we will probally go back to Mexico. We just really wanted to try something different, since the last 5 trips we took have been to Mexico.
As far as travel time goes, we would like to take a red-eye flight and get to our final destination before noon the next day. These options look good to me:
Air jamaica flys non-stop from LAX getting to Montego Bay at 6:30 am (we could probally get to Negril befor 10am)
American Airlines has a non-stop from LAX to Puerto Rico getting there at 9:30 am (from there I can connect to St.Thomas getting there at 10:56, then the ferry to St. John)

I will check out St. Kitts.

Thanks
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Let me offer one further suggestion. The Reefs Hotel in Bermuda (http://www.thereefs.com/reefs/home.html?sfgdata=4)has all of the criteria you're looking for, including a primarily adult environment. Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands you'll ever see, its most definitely an island with lots of character, towns to explore, etc. and their scores of beaches (including the Reef's very own beach) are outstanding. You can fly a red-eye to Philadelphia on US Air and then take a morning flight from there to Bermuda.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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VG would be my first preference but the romantic resorts like Biras Creek are accessible by boat only so it may be more difficult for you to explore the town but definately can be done. Caneel Bay on ST John would also do nicely. VG does not have much shopping.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Know you asked for the Caribbean but take a look at Four Seasons Punta Mita. It would be a much easier trip for you from LA and it is hands down the best resort we've been to and we have been to quite a few nice ones in the Caribbean. It would be perfect for 5 days.
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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I agree that Bermuda is wonderful. My husband and I honeymooned there and we stayed at the Pompano Beach Club. Absolutely Fantastic! Very laid back and very romantic. Great beach for swimming. The restaurant has an unbelievable outside dining terrace right over the ocean and the food was excellent! They have a nice bar lounge with entertainment and the people are so nice. It also is only a 2 hour flight from Philly. My husband and I had lunch at the Reefs which also looks wonderful but I like the way the Pompano Beach Club is nestled right into a cove with a beautiful pink sand beach. The beach at the Reefs is beautiful too but not like the Pompano IMO. However - when is your anniversary? Bermuda can be chilly in the winter months compared to the other islands.
Check it out:
www.pompanobeachclub.com
Congratulations on your 10th!
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Well Negil would definitely offer everything you mentioned especially the laid back part. For a smaller resort set in really lush surroundings try Negril Cabins. Negril offers lots of choices for authentic Jamaica food, a beautiful 7-mile beach, the Rick’s café sunset and live reggae parties by Alfred’s. U really can’t go wrong here. Once you get to Montego Bay, you can take one of the charter buses into Negril (45 minutes to 1 hour) or hop on a small flight that would take you there in no time.

http://www.intlairlink.com/
http://www.visitjamaica.com/resorts/negril/default.aspx
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Old Jan 12th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Thanks again for all the help!

Eileen, The Four Seasons Punta Mita was on my list too. I was just concerned that there wasn't much to do outside the resort. I think it's an hour away from old town Puerto Vallarta. Did you venture out while you where there?

Trisha
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Old Jan 13th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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We were there for a week and never bored but my husband spent a lot of time playing golf and I spent a lot of time being pampered on the beach The resort runs a shuttle to Puerta Vallarta twice a day I think one trip goes about 10 to 3 and another 6 to 10. We went in the evening one time and it is a fairly long trip and I wasn't really that impressed with Puerta Vallarta. The resort also has activities and excursions like kayaking, tequila tastings etc. We also took an ATV tour to a small village, it was about 2 1/2 hours total and the ATV's were fun. There's a small town right outside the gates of the resort with some restaurants in case you want a change from the resort but to be honest with you, the resort was so special, the service so great, everything very romantic, that we didn't really want to spend much time outside of the resort. For a really special celebration, arrange to have a private dinner served either on the Rock or the beach. FS Punta Mita has spectacular scenery, it's not like the Caribbean with really turquoise water and baby powder sand but the rocks, cliffs and views were just fantastic. Check out the photos on tripadvisor.com some of them are mine.
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Old Jan 20th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Trisha, We think Vieques is one of the most special places anywhere. The beaches are drop-dead gorgeous with nothing and nobody on them. There are no stop lights or chain stores on the island. Nor is there any night life to speak of. There are, however, wild horses, good restaurants, and several "boutiquey" adult only places to stay. The fact that you don't see it written about as much as the other places you mentioned is one of the reasons it is so great. Relative to those places, it is undiscovered. Lastly, it is very easy to get to via a 20 minute puddle jumper from San Juan. Please let me know if you have any questions.
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Old Jan 20th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Just to add one more to the mix-- my husband and I went to Harbour Island for our 10th. It is tiny, but not lush, but the beach is gorgeous and long. To get there, you must fly to North Eleuthra then take a quick ferry. Once there, you can walk everywhere, there are a number of nice restaurants, many galleries and shops, and several small high-end resorts. The beach is 3 miles, beautiful the whole way, and there are several resorts where you can get meals or drinks. We stayed at Runaway Hill, which has about 10 rooms. It is very nice and friendly and quiet. Our room was in the main house, which has amazing views. The sand is soft and white and perfect, and there are decent snorkeling reefs off shore, or you can take a boat trip to more incredible places.

One more thing-- Bermuda is not really tropical. I went last May and the water was maybe 65-- too cold to snorkel. The water warms up through the summer, but you can't really depend on the water or weather to be consistently warm. But Bermuda is beautiful and a bit formal, since it is British.
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