Question for a Caribbean expert.

Oct 7th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Question for a Caribbean expert.

My husband and I are looking to go away to someplace really warm for MLK weekend in January. We are looking for the following:

- Flight: Non-stop flight from NY/NJ airport that is less than 4 hours. So someplace that requires just one flight from any of the NY area airports. (A boat after the flight to our final destination would be OK).
- Hotel: We know it is an expensive time as it is a holiday, so we are looking for something that is $800 per night max. We like luxury. For example, Amanyara looks amazing and right up our alley, but the price starts over 1K per night. (No cheesy all inclusive places).
- Kids: We are looking to relax on the beach for 3 days, so we are looking for a place that is not the most family friendly.

We would appreciate any suggestions you have (not including DR or PR). Thank you so much for your help!

newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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January and really warm can be hard to find in Caribbean. Traditional weather patterns, tho changing, keep daytime temps in mid-80s, and often winds from the north. If luxe, really warm and January are the operative keywords for you, you might want to trade off flight time by flying down to Rio and having
a car/driver take you on to BUZIOS, about 3 hours north. Lots of good Brazilian agents in NYC/.South of Rio:Agra dos Reis -- north: Olinda, Receife, and the beaches north of Bahia can also be reached from flights direct from Miami to Bahia. It'll be summer in Brazil, just before high-peak Carnival
tivertonhouse is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:44 AM
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I would suggest St. John, USVI. You can fly non-stop from NY and then take the short boat trip over. Look at Caneel Bay, they accept kids, likely not to have many. They also have adult only beaches. As far as warmth goes. We usually go to St. John in the summer but went once over the MLK weekend and it plenty warm for me & I'm form SC. I never wore long pants.
Pulley is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions! What do you think about T & C? Or even the Bahamas? (As they are the shortest flights from NY).
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:18 AM
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T & C and Bahamas will probably be too cool for swimming in January. At least it would be for me.
KVR is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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How about Anguilla? I've had luck w/hotels on Travel & L top lists:
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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t&c or especially the bahamas is too cold in jan.

take a look at
beautiful resort. ocean view room for $830 others for $610 0r $510. air ewr>can on continental non-stop for $415/each. or for more $$ american,jet blue or mexicana out of jfk. not adults only, however, clearly very adult oriented - by this i mean spas, yoga, menus not hedonism. plenty to do outside the resort if you want to go see ruins or cenotes. lots of activities nearby like zip-lines or horseback riding.
virginia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. Mexico is too far though (and I've been, and would like to go someplace new. Also have been to Jamaica many times).
We only care about relaxing on the beach, luxury and the least amount of kids. Food and activites are low on our list. We only have a weekend, and want to spend 5K max.
Again, thank you!!!
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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How about La Samana on St. Martin? A four-hour flight and then 15 to 20 minutes to the resort from the airport.

To be honest, you could go virtually anywhere in the Caribbean that has nonstop flights from NYC for that budget and with your time limits.

Anguilla is an excellent choice, but there are no nonstop flights there. Still, there are loads of luxury resorts.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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I agree the T&C though the most southern of the Bahamas can have hogh temps only in mid-70's on several days in Jan. and with a breeze it is chilly. The water is also cool and could be 75 so though snorkeling is decent the temps are not comfortable without a wet suit.
Caneel should be 5-7 degrees warmer with little liklihood of much rain. A room in the Hawksd Nest section, request an end-room on second floor (only 2 floors) is a desirable location. The food has improved to the point that I and others would rate most meals very good but not exceptional/gourmet (hard to find in Caribbean). The snorkeling is about the best remaining in the Caribbean where Anguilla has very little snorkeling at all though the beaches in some areas are a bit nicer than Caneel but Caneel's but 5 of the 7 are lovely. Not having been there for 2 years I assume $800 would cover the room and the MAP plan ia about $100/person. I would suggest for 3 days you take the MAP.
You realize from the time you leave home to you arrive at the resort has to take you 8 hours anywhere except Bahamas and even there because of security that will take 6+ hrs. for 3 days. Is it worth $3000+ not including air (unless you use miles) for such a short trip?
StanKase is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 07:21 AM
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La Samanna looks great, thank you! Not a lot of kids there?

StanKase I agree that it seems like a waste of money to go for such a short trip, but thats all the time we have. (We are taking a week of to go skiing in CO in Feb). That is why snorkeling (or any activities), food (as long as it is edible; we live in NY, so we eat pretty well when we are not on vacation), leaving the hotel to explore, and nightlife are not of importance to us. We went to the DR for a long weekend and just slept late, sat on the beach with cocktails and books for 3 days. We took a couple walks on the beach, and got massages. We never left the hotel except going to and from the airport. It was heavenly! I wish we had more time, but its really important to try to get a weekend in the sun during the cold NY winter.

The most annoying thing about some of the travel is that the departing flights from the Caribbean leave right in the early afternoon. Ideally, it would be great to leave in the late afternoon/early evening to be able to get most of Monday on the beach as well. (Seems like flights leaving NY are early in the AM, which is great so we can be on the beach later that day).
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Check with American Airlines. They are going to add a direct flight to St. Kitts from NYC this high season. The new Marriott is a large place and might have rates within your budget at high season. You will want a sweater for the evenings but daytime temps are usually very pleasant. You could take the ferry over to Nevis and stay at one of the the plantation resorts. I would suggest checking on Nisbet Plantation. Be prepared that any 4 day US holiday weekend has a lot of people thinking the same way you are. The Marriot will be very busy. Nisbet might fill your criteria best. It's small (36 rooms) and spread out over lovely grounds. The service is very good.
Nevisian is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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I think the AA flights to SKB are only on Sunday and Wednesdays. Otherwise it would be a good option. And Nevis is a wonderful place to stay.

cw is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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The latest returning nonstop flight is out of St. Maarten, so it looks the best option. (I called American Airlines and went through all nonstop BVI and Caribbean flights).

La Samanna is a little more than we were planning to spend, 1K per night, so the room alone is over 3K total. But it looks really nice, so I think we'll do it. Thank you for your help!!
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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The positive thing about La Samanna is that you are within easy reach of a lot of good restaurants and won't be limited to the expensive ones at the resort. I don't think you'll see a lot of kids there. Do rent a car so you'll have more dining options.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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Non stop flights from JFK to Grand Cayman on Cayman Airways.

January is nowhere near as prime time as mid Feb through Easter, so am sure you can get decent airfares and hotel rates if you book in the next month.

Not many kids in the Caribbean in January, so that will suit the OP.

Cayman is definitely warm in January, but as already posted, watch out for some other places that are more exposed to the cooler Atlantic waters
TomCayman is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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But, La Samanna really is a lovely hotel painted 10 times over but you cannot avoid the fact that you cannot avoid the cracks. The hotel is resting on it's laurels at $900+/day plus tax. I personally think the beaches are just o.k. at the hotel, based on last trip only a few years back. I did not research another hotel for we decided it was not an island to revisit, at least for us.
StanKase is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:19 PM
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Is T & C really that cold in late Jan? Should we look into St. Lucia? I want to book by Thursday, so I will investigate for a few more days.

We defintely do not want to leave the resort to eat, and will not want to rent a car. We want to be lazy beach bums for a couple of days.
newyorksophia is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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St. Lucia should be a little warmer than T&C, but IMO, the travel time to/from St. Lucia would be too long for a short trip. I think there may be nonstop flights from JFK to UVF (airport in the south), but it still will be a longer flight, and once you arrive in St. Lucia, you could have a 1.5 - 2 hr ground trip to your hotel if you are staying in the north. Also, St. Lucia is beautiful, but if your primary objective is to relax on a great beach at a luxury hotel, you can find nicer beaches elsewhere, and you will miss the true beauty of St. Lucia if you don't see some parts of the island away from your resort.

I haven't been to T&C in January but was considering going in late January/early February. The information I read and advice I got suggested that it usually is not that cool there in the winter (air temperatures 75-78F and water temperatures of 75-77F). I guess it depends on your preferences, though (high 70s seems pretty good to me when it is 40 - 50 degrees cooler at home). I also have heard of the possibility of having weather stretches where it is much cooler, windier, and wetter when there are storms around.
beachdreams3 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Again, thank you everyone for your help!!!

The boat sounds amazing, but again, we have 2 1/2 days, and adding a boat trip to our travel time is not a good use of time for such a short trip. That would mean that we would only have Saturday and Sunday on the beach. Flight (on AA)out of St. T is 1:10 pm on Monday, which would mean we would have to wake up really early to leave.

Actually, St. Lucia is not really an option as there is not an AA flight out of JFK on Fridays. Hmmmmm.....
newyorksophia is offline  
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