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Romantic getaway in Caribbean

Old Oct 9th, 2003, 04:32 AM
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Romantic getaway in Caribbean

We have not been to the Caribbean before. We are uncomfortable with the thought of locals begging or approaching us. We would like to experience some of the culture, and a rainforest nearby would be great, but not a must. We are an older couple in our early 50s. We are in good health and would enjoy walks, etc.
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Old Oct 9th, 2003, 05:45 AM
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You might want to check out the travel guide called Romantic Hideaways by Ian Keown, which features all kinds of Caribbean resorts--some budget, some lavish, some for the sports-minded, some for the food-minded. but they're all romantic and have something unique to offer the traveler.

One place that comes to my mind is the Jalousie Hilton on the island of St. Lucia. The resort itself is very secluded, and while the beach is not private per se, there are no vendors there to intrude on your privacy. The resort is built on the beach and up the hillside of the two Piton mountains and each room is actually a little cottage--most of which have private plunge pools. There is a spa and some hiking trails on site--the resort is over 300 acres, so it won't feel crowded. You could also take a helicopter from the airport to the hotel's helipad to further insulate yourselves. However, if you wanted to go out and about on St. Lucia for site seeing, you would encounter vendors.

The island of St. John might suit you nicely. I've only read about it, never visited, so other would have to give you specific suggestions.

You might also want to go the route of a private island resort, such as Peter Island and Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands, or Palm Island or Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines. Both afford you a true sense of privacy while offering plenty of activities. of these, Guana Island is the only one I've visited--it's full of hiking trails, is encircled by gorgeous beaches, offers lovely snorkeling, the rooms are very private (many are in freestanding cottages), and there's as much or as little to do as you'd like.

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Old Oct 9th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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Twenty years ago prior to my first trip to the Caribbean I faced the same dilemma - where should we go. I have visited over 25 different islands - some I've loved others I couldn't wait to leave. The funny thing is I've never been to an island that wasn't highly recommended to me by someone else. The point I'm trying to may is don't make the mistake of letting others pick YOUR island. For every person who likes a particulasr island there is one who didn't.

There are so many islands, all offering something different. Some are big, others are small. Some are relatively flat and featureless with stunning white sand beaches, others are mountainous with waterfalls, lush rain forests but smaller dark sand beaches, still others have great diving and no beaches. There are places with plenty of night life while some are laid back and quiet. There are US islands, French islands, Dutch islands, British Islands. The differences go on and on. To further confuse the issue is the fact that you will most likely find a wide range of accomodations on each island(from budget to high end luxury).

Get a few good guide books (Fodor's, Fieldings and Lonely Planet are some of the best as is the one suggested by the previous poster)and read carefully about what each has to offer. That will help you narrow your choices to those islands that appeal to you most. Once you've identified the 3 or 4 destinations and decided what level of accomodations you want your task will become much easier. You can then pose specific questions about specific islands and resorts on this and other island forums. Before long you'll know more about the Caribbean than most one or two time visitors and will be on your way to visit the perfect island for you. Good luck in your search.
 
Old Oct 9th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Sunnyboy is so right. Every island has it's own personality. As far as begging, that depends on what island you go to. There are some islands that are poverty stricken and some are not.
Here is a website where you can start your research www.islands.com
It is by islands magazine and has all islands. You will find great info and links to wonderful websites. like the above poster states, you first have to narrow your islands to the ones which would interest you, then research the resorts that would best fit your budget and priorities. With your budget, keep in mind the seasons. You wil pay more in the winter (high season) and less in summer (low season) I would avoid the caribbean in September for 2 reasons, first it is hurricane season and second, many places close for the month of September.

In my personal experiences I have found the best time to travel to the caribbean is May - after Spring Break (not that you are traveling to Spring Break Hot spots, but this is a big Family vacation time and you will have lots of kids)and 1-2nd week of November, as everything is just reopening for the new season. You still have the low season rates, kids are in school, and the weather is beautiful.
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Old Oct 9th, 2003, 11:41 AM
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I like all of the above suggestions. One island not mentioned which I experienced very little begging was Puerto Rico. It was the only time I could sit on a beach and not be asked to purchase goods. There is also a rainforest, nice restaurants, and a lot of history to be explored. We are also in our early 50's. Another thought would be a cruise for you. A southern Caribbean cruise where a different Island is on the daily agenda. You might visit an Island you would like to spend an entire week getting better acquainted with. Good luck.
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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We just returned from The Caves in Jamaica. It was unbelievable. It far exceeded our expectations. It is small, very romantic and extemely beautiful. All meals and drinks are included (local cuisine and top shelf liquors). The property is completely private and secure. Check out thier web site at islandoutpost.com (although the pictures do not do it justice).
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