Romantic Transporting Getaway

Old Nov 21st, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #1  
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Romantic Transporting Getaway

Looking for ideas for a surprise island getaway in February -- with a proposal in the works

Looking for a resort that excudes romance!!! Unfortunately, the bar has been set too high by a recent trip to Guana island in the BVI last May. Which my girlfriend and I found to be absolute paradise -- a private island, most beautiful white sand beach and turqoise water, adventure hikes through lush greenery, snorkling, lots of wildlife, amazing sunsets, back to nature feel -- incredible meals, fun couples, unpretentious and very relaxed atmosphere. I really don't know that any place can compare, but I though I'd seek out ideas from like-minded travelers. We went to Guana so recently, I am airing toward a new destination for us.

Few parameters -- leaving from NY and will likley have the three day weeekend to work with -- so travel time is key. I've been to St. Lucia and loved it -- Ladara and Jalouise we're amazing, but I traveled their in a past relationshiop (so it's not the right place for this trip).

Considering Nevis, Grenadines, Dominica and Grenada (may be too much travel). Possibly Caves in Jamaica (but Jamaica in Feb around vacation time scares me). Possibly outer Bahama islands... other islands in Carribean have their own unqiue character,but maybe not as off the beaten path -- the rustic romanticism that makes you feel like your a world away, together.

Blize and Costa Rica may also fit the bill?

Open to ideas and sugestions.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 12:50 PM
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I, too, love Guana Island and it sets a pretty high benchmark for other travels. But a place that you might find appealing for its rustic, romantic atmosphere is La Luna on Grenada. www.laluna.com Like Guana, it's not too polished. The service is pleasant, the food is good, the rooms are separate cottages, they have plunge pools, but the bathrooms are open air--this turns some people off, but if you love Guana I think you'd like the open air bathrooms. The resort has a very secluded feel, but the entire island of Grenada lies just beyond the resort grounds, just waiting to be explored. Try hiking, the waterfalls, and the open air spice/produce market for some real West Indian culture. The combination of island feel plus the Pacifica/Oceania decor make it feel exotic and sexy--I was drawn to these things at La Luna, but there are folks out there who would prefer a resort with more straightforward amenties, like the high thread count sheets, marble vanities, and invisible, perfect service.


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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 01:13 PM
  #3  
cdw
 
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Four Seasons in Guanacaste, Costa Rica or the Bahamas. Or somewhere on Anguilla such as Cap Juluca, although I think it is a little pretentious. We visited it but stayed at the sister property called Hotel Ku. It is not very upscale but a solid property with the most beautiful beach that I have seen anywhere out of 20 plus islands including the BVIs.

Caneel Bay on St. John is hard to beat, in my opinion.
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 01:39 PM
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you might look at:
palm island - grenadines
peter island - bvi's
caneel - st. john
little dix - virgin gorda
parrot cay - turks and caicos
maroma beach resort - maya riviera coast mexico < not rustic but very romantic
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 01:46 PM
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I've been thinking about your post and how, based on what you say you like about Guana, you might not be happy with the traditional luxury resort recs on this board, Cap Juluca, Four Seasons, and other private island resorts included. Because Guana doesn't feel like a private island resort so much as it feels like a wonderful nature preserve with some accommodations added to it...

That being said, it seems to me that Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines would come closer to the feel of Guana than most other private island resorts, complaints about the cuisine notwithstanding... Or if the Meridian Club in the Turks & Caicos had a lusher topography suitable for hiking and more wildlife, it might suit.


How would you feel about a villa? Or do you definitely want the daily/nightly comraderie found at places like Guana?
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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 05:52 PM
  #6  
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Wow, thanks for everyone for responding so quickly with a ton of great ideas. EJcrowe from earlier posts this year you were a HUGE help on my first amazing trip to the BVI -- and I have taken a lot away from your past trip advice.

I just jumped on quickly and was pleasantly surprised with suggestions. May take a couple days to digest (girlfriend will be visiting, so I'll have to sneak off to do more research in the great ideas).

La Luna really looks amazing -- will have to check flights. The only thing that scares me a bit, is that while my girlfriend loves rustic, nature, exotic, etc. -- there's still a little fear when it comes to spiders, etc. in the room. Also -- I guess you have to forgo the beach, but so many activities it may not matter. Not sure if boats are easily accessible at La Luna.

Curious about peoples impressions of Nevis considering what's been shared. Also, looked at one option of Little Palm Island in the Keys for accessibility and easy surprise factor (I have family in FL) -- seems very romantic, yet pricey!!!! Weather in Feb might be ify.

Petit St. Vincent might be perfect -- but may wait for a trip with more time to travel there. Also loved what I read about Tiamo in the Bahamas, but it's closed for time being.

Hmm.. will look into your suggestions CDW and Vrgina as well... thanks agsin for them all.

Stay tuned!!!










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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 05:54 PM
  #7  
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Wow, thanks everyone for responding so quickly with a ton of great ideas. EJcrowe from earlier posts this year you were a HUGE help on my first amazing trip to the BVI -- and I have taken a lot away from your past trip advice.

I just jumped on quickly and was pleasantly surprised with suggestions. May take a couple days to digest (girlfriend will be visiting, so I'll have to sneak off to do more research on the great ideas).

La Luna really looks amazing -- will have to check flights. The only thing that scares me a bit, is that while my girlfriend loves rustic, nature, exotic, etc. -- there's still a little fear when it comes to spiders, etc. in the room. Also -- I guess you have to forgo the beach, but so many activities it may not matter. Not sure if boats are easily accessible at La Luna.

Curious about peoples impressions of Nevis considering what's been shared. Also, looked at one option of Little Palm Island in the Keys for accessibility and easy surprise factor (I have family in FL) -- seems very romantic, yet pricey!!!! Weather in Feb might be ify.

Petit St. Vincent might be perfect -- but may wait for a trip with more time to travel there. Also loved what I read about Tiamo in the Bahamas, but it's closed for time being.

Hmm.. will look into your suggestions CDW and Vrgina as well... thanks agsin for them all.

Stay tuned!!!










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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 07:46 PM
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"Also -- I guess you have to forgo the beach, but so many activities it may not matter. Not sure if boats are easily accessible at La Luna."

Not sure what you mean by this, as there is actually a beach at La Luna. It's not a huge beach--maybe about 1/2 the size of White Bay Beach on Guana. But the sand is nearly white and the water is the amazing Caribbean blend of blues.

I really loved Nevis and would go back there in a heartbeat. It's worth looking into, but beware the American Eagle service there, per a trip report recently posted by Callaloo. It's a very small island, lush and beautiful, with the top of Mt. Nevis almost always shrouded in clouds. I'm not sure if the Four Seasons would be for you, but check out Montpelier and Nisbet, two plantation inns on the mountainside and on the beach, respectively. Nevis has a great West Indian vibe, but it lacks the white sand beaches and sparkling blue hued water that you loved about Guana.

What about heading back to the BVI but going to Virgin Gorda? Somebody above mentioned Little Dix as a possibility, and I'm sure it's lovely, but a more intimate place would be Biras Creek. Or perhaps try a week at Katitche Point Great House--really, a private villa but with staff, overlooking two beaches in a really gorgeous accommodation. (I didn't stay there, but I did drool ever so slightly whilst driving past to get to my the villa where I was staying.)

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Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 03:47 AM
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I was about to respond about Nevis, when ejcrowe mentioned my trip report, which I can't seem to link here, but here it is on another travel site: http://www.traveltalkonline.com/foru...e=0#Post917937

I didn't expect to go to Nevis, though it had been on my list, but WOW, I'm in love. I was transported. The island is stunning, and the small plantation resorts are intimate, beautiful, romantic, etc. The only drawback is that the beaches are only so-so. Since we'd been planning to go to Long Island in the Out Islands, this was the only disappointment, and it was simply outweighed by the other positives. Travel time being a concern for you, I'd just book via St. Kitts and plan to take the ferry (which runs every 30 minutes) -- I believe there is a nonstop via JFK.

I'm an Out Island afficionado myself, and you can read my reports about Cat, Abaco and Eleuthera here: www.islandtime.homestead.com. The principal caveat about the Bahamas is that the food is not noteworthy -- you won't go hungry, but if dining is a priority, go to Anguilla, St. Barth or St. Martin.
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Old Nov 24th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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I think Nevis would be a great place to propose! We love the Four Seasons resort there. It's kind of a plantation-style type of place. Although it is true that the beaches don't have that "wow" factor that some other islands do, Pinney's Beach (which is where the FS is)has calm water. Your girlfriend could get a beachside massage and there is still a lot of privacy there.
The dining at night is incredible in Nevis. Do not miss the ribs with the Jamaican-rum barbecue sauce down at the FS' Mango restaurant!
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Old Nov 24th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Lots to take in! So, I think I have my next 4-5 trips planned thanks to everyone's ideas. My biggest challenge (which is limiting options) is my short window for travel in February. From what everyone described, I'm convinced that Grenada (LaLuna), the Grenadines (Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent) and USVI/BVI (Caneel Bay and Biras Creek) are all at the very top of my list. All sound truly amazing!!

Nevis also sounds incredibly special and I have no doubt it would be a magical trip. Still finding travel to Nevis a bit challenging though, flights are limited to St. Kitts from New York for such a short trip. We have a longer vacation planned for May -- I think all of the above are worthy of my ever growing 'short list' - thanks again.

I was intrigued by your mention EJCrowe of the Meridian club. It is very easy to get to (via flights to Turks) and a 15-20 minute trip by water (to me) always adds to the trip. While I would never have put T&C high on my list (seems a bit more like the exploited, touristy or lavish resort type destination) -- from what I've read about the Meridian club it seems to be more of a lovely, quiet, romantic hideaway -- with a beautiful beach and a bit more rustic feel (and no kids . The sunsets, solitude of the beach, beautiful waters, only 12 rooms and friendly service are very appealing. I'm not sure how the Sand Dollar Cottage compares to other ocean view rooms -- all seem charming. Descriptions remind me of Guana to some extent -- while forgoing the more lush, hilly terrain. But romance can take many forms and you can't beat a gorgeous beach, beautiful blue water, sunset and soft white sand - cocktail in hand.

Any final thoughts on the Maridian Club would be welcomed -- special place to receive a ring??

Was also very intrigued by Out Islands of the Bahamas (especially Tiamo resort - which is closed). Just a little overwhelmed by the Bahamas -- don't know where to start. Collaloo - your reports are well written and very thorough, is there one place in particular you love the most?

FYI... Jungle Bay in Dominica seemed very incredible place as well for eco-travel.

All in all -- can't sing the praises of Guana enough. For those who have been, there's really no more amazing place to be transported.
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Parkersc, my favorite spot in the Out Islands is Cat Island -- Fernandez Bay Village in particular. I love the seclusion, the stunning beaches, the aura of mystique, the rustic chic vibe of FBV, and the warmth of the welcome. To encounter like-minded travelers is also a plus, and happens with regularity. By the end of a visit there, I am so relaxed as to be boneless, even though I will have "exercised" daily with several hours of kayaking in the mangrove creeks. If you're looking for a romantic spot for a proposal, the staff will help you make it happen, whether packing a picnic lunch to take to a secret beach, or getting you to the Hermitage (where I'd once fancied I would renew my vows ... but decided not to do because they are perfectly good as they are...). The sunsets are spectacular, and I've seen several green flashes.

But the Out Islands probably don't meet your criteria on a lot of other levels -- there is no lush greenery, and merely good (not incredible) food. And when I say "rustic," I mean truly rustic. You will find the occasional frog in your toilet, or moth or lizard in you bathroom; the power or water may indeed go out; and you may get one of those still weather patterns that causes the no-see-ums to come out in droves. The population of the island is quite poor (though they'd give you the shirts off their backs), and the landscape is not groomed.

I wouldn't try to talk you out of the Out Islands, because to me and many others they are paradise. But those of us who love them go in with our eyes open.
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Callaloo - Thanks for the suggestion. I looked into FBV and read a few great reviews. It actually seems like a pretty special place. It's also fairly easy to get to from Ft. Lauderdale (where I have family) -- assume it's a short drive after landing at the airport. The beach looks amazing - and like the rustic nature of the resort, cottages, etc. We're also not food snobs, so I think we would do just fine -- rates compared to Meridian Club are dramatically less.

Only concerns are sand flees/bugs --not that a little Deet and being prepared couldn't help to minimize. I'm not sure if the sand flees are a problem all day at the beach, or more at night. Also, is netting necessary in the room -- or is it more of the bathroom that's the creature haven?

I did wonder if it was more of a family resort (with lots of children) -- not that I don't love and appreciate kids -- just that quiet and romance (i.e. seclusion) is more what we're going for -- the resort may be spread out enough to make less of a concern.

Also - wondering if Feb is a good time of year there, assume that weather wouldn't be dramtically different from Turks.

Do they guarantee a green flash It does look like a serious contender -- thanks for sharing.
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Old Nov 25th, 2008, 06:53 PM
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Parkersc, no-see-ums are generally a dusk and dawn issue, and are not limited to Cat Island. In fact, I've had the pleasure of being bitten just about everywhere in the Caribbean I've traveled except maybe some very breezy windward shores. (You definitely don't need netting in your room at FBV -- it's only the garden bath that may have visiting critters.)

FBV is just about 3 minutes from the airport. You get a sneak preview of it as your Gulfstream plane makes its final approach to the TBI airport. The air traffic, however, is minimal, so you won't be bothered by it when you're at the resort -- in fact, we found it kind of fun ... "Oh, there goes Cat Island Air, must be 11:20...."

I've never seen any kids at FBV, and I doubt you would in February. It's definitely a couples/intimate kind of place, though they don't exclude children.

But be aware that February doesn't guarantee hot weather while you are there. You are likely to experience a cold front, which turns the wind westerly instead of the prevailing easterly, and may make swimming on the a bit chilly. Cat Island is further south than most of the Bahamas, and is therefore much like the Turks & Caicos weatherwise. So, not as warm as Grenada, but warmer than NYC for sure!
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Old Nov 26th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Parkersc: Congrats on the upcoming happy time and also on your sharp intuition in following ejcrowe's suggestions, very wise traveler indeed and a fine contributor here. Okay, I can't resist... I'll just throw it out there... Anegada! It's my personal ambition and I seek it for romantic reasons. For me, it seems a luscious metaphor for the sensation of falling in love, taking the plunge, going over the edge... the name means "the drowned land" because its highest point is a mere 25 ft. above sea level. Also, it is a horse-shoe shaped cay to which only a narrow passage can be safely navigated. It is famous for the hundreds of shipwrecks upon its shoals. It's also Caribbean lobster central. Very sparsely populated but still has some very nice accomodations. Incredible beaches, snorkeling and world-class diving. Gotta love it, no? It's my goal for my 45th birthday which is coming up faster than I'll admit in real life. Whatever your choice, best wishes for a memorable and beautiful start to a truly wonderous adventure.
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