St. John's, Turks & Caicos or someplace else?

Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 07:27 AM
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St. John's, Turks & Caicos or someplace else?

My wife and I are looking for something a little different. We will be leaving two very well behaved kids behind. We have travelled annually to St. Martin for over 20 years. We have become accustomed to great food, service, beaches, hiking, etc. I think we are a bit spoiled as every place we visit simply falls short of St. Martin. Our recent trips to Cozumel and St. Croix - we were disappointed with the food, weather, culture, etc.

So we continue to try to find another destination. As we have the seldom opportunity to travel without kids we would like to make the most of it. We are looking at traveling in Feb/March 2009 for a week to include adequate/comfortable accommodations (cheap, adequate, safe and convenient to beaches, dining, etc. is fine), beaches, good food and service, relaxation as well as adventure (hiking, kayaking, etc.). Reviews of St. John's seem to be mixed. Turks & Caicos seems to be St. Martin without the food or hiking. Any thoughts?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 07:51 AM
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st. john offers great hiking but not much for dining. beautiful beaches with good snorkeling. 2 main resorts are westin - reviews mixed or caneel - great but pricey. would have decent weather in feb/march. plus easy access to st. thomas and all the bvi's.
t & c - provo has outstanding restaurants, no hiking, fairly good snorkeling. you might like ocean club or ocean club west, royal west indies or the sands. all condo style resorts directly on grace bay beach with restaurants on site. water and air temps could be a smidge cool.
it's hard when you've been going someplace for so long - you're familiar with everything (roads, food, beaches, etc) and get comfortable with it...
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 09:39 AM
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T & C will have the better beach and the better restuarants.

I would also suggest into looking at Grand Cayman or Aruba. Both have very nice beaches and good dining opportunities.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 09:51 AM
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Any other [places that you have traveled that I could look inot? Thanks.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 11:16 AM
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Hi!
Have you considered Costa Rica? Great cultural component, boundless opportunities for adventure,Pacific and Caribbean coasts,rainforests, volcaonoes, hot springs,tons of wildlife...you get the idea...

While not "gourmet" by any stretch of the imagination, we found the local restaurants in Costa Rica very enjoyable(and inexpensive). One night, we even had some great entertainment while eating at an outdoor restaurant in Fortuna...Arenal Volcano had some minor eruptions, complete with lava flow, which we had unobstructed views of. What an experience!

I HIGHLY recommend Costa Rica, and I think you'd get considerably more bang for your bucks there.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 01:19 PM
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"Any other [places that you have traveled that I could look inot?"

We've been to several Caribbean Islands and Mexico. Have not been to St. Martin though. Of the places that we've been and the critieria you listed Aruba and Grand Cayman came to mind.

If your interested, we have all our travel pics posted. If you see something you like I'll be happy to answer your questions. I will say that I'm partial to Mexico. You stated you didn't like Cozumel, which happens to be our favorite destination. Going back in a few days.

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 10:10 AM
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We loved Grenada
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 05:34 PM
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In terms of dining, it doesn't get any better than Anguilla and the level of service can't be beat. Hiking would be limited to beaches and dirt roads, etc.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 04:58 AM
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I have been to all the above.
T&C is not like St. Martin at all--it's flat, dry even scrubby looking in the interior. What it offers is one of the world's most stunning beaches, with the most beautiful turquoise you'll ever see. There is no hiking (although you can walk the 12 mile beach). There is excellent hiking at Middle Caicos, paths on cliffs with miles of coves with rock formations and beaches, but it requires a ferry to North Caicos, and a rental car to get to Middle Caicos. It is totally off the beaten path, but it can be done for a day. The restaurants at T&C are excellent, but not quite as good as St. Martin or Anguilla. The settings of the restaurants though, are amazing, and can't be beat. On dunes at the beach, with lit palm trees, some restaurants even have fire pits, couches and tiki torches. You can even have a table set up on the beach surrounded by tiki torches, doesn't get better than that!


However, since food is important to you, I was going to suggest Anguilla. You'll be rewarded with prettier beaches than St. Martin, better weather (hilly islands tend to attract more rain, Anguilla is flat) nicer people, and, in, my opinion, better restaurants. I think Anguilla has the best restaurants in the Caribbean. But be warned, most are upscale and expensive, you'll find few "stands" of good food like on St. Martin. The beaches in Anguilla are hypnotizing. Another bonus? You're only a 20 minute ferry from your beloved SXM, so you're not missing out if you need too-you can go for a day and have the best of all the worlds. Personally, I have fun in SXM, but I love Anguilla!
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 05:55 AM
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MrCool...I feel your pain. I am in love with St. Martin as you say are you. I am hard pressed to find a place that gets any better than that! Went to St Lucia last year (all inclusive) and although a beautiful island...the all inclusive is not my cup of tea and it reained the entire seven days in May...and not island showers either...I have been steered towards Aruba or Barbados by other Fodors but may have to check out Anguilla as well...good luck...I'd be interested to see what you choose!
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 06:47 AM
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I suggest St. John..great hiking, many pictureque beaches, options for day trips to the BVIs and we found several great restaurants.
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Old Jan 20th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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MrCool,

I agree with Blamona about Anguilla. It is my favorite island thus far. I have been to Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos has more to do than Anguilla. They have a casino and somewhat more nightlife. I have stayed at the Royal West Indies in a privately owned condo in December (my second trip). It is very nice. I have to say though that everywhere I have been, St. Martin is probably my least favorite place. I do not like all of the people and prefer quieter places. We are not into the night life, but did go to the casino in T&C to see what it is like. We are also going to St. John for our wedding and Virgin Gorda for honeymoon. We prefer quieter less commercialized islands. Anguilla is fabulous if you are looking for great food (you will pay for it though), beautiful white sand beaches and great people that live on the island. We compare everywhere we visit to Anguilla. Feel free to contact me with questions if you have any!
Good luck with your search!
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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MrCool,

My wife and I have been to both Turks & Caicos (Providenciales) and St. John. There are some similarities: both have great beaches, both have pricey dining. In my view, however, there's a wider range of dining options on St. John.

We felt Providenciales, and Grace Bay in particular, was a bit too scrubbed of its soul. There's a funkiness about the Caribbean that we like, and Grace Bay didn't have it. Away from the beach, it felt like a new subdivision in the suburbs. We felt like we could have been in the US. St. John, although it IS the US, feels a bit more authentically West Indian.

Provo is dry, arid, flat. The eastern part of St. John (Coral Bay) is somewhat arid, but most of the island is a lush green and mountainous.

It's certainly easier getting to T&C than to St. John, but we think St. John is worth the trip. Not so sure about T&C.

Bon voyage.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 02:35 PM
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thelouis, you took the words out of my mouth. We also felt that Provo was "scrubbed of it's soul". Mind you, the beach and water are amazing, and the hotels and dining are great, but it's all too sanitized for our tastes.

Unfortunately, St John appears to be on that same track, although not as much.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Turks and Caicos are amazing grace bay beach is so beautiful you wont get out of the water - try kite surfing - scuba - diving snorkling - banana boat - parasailing - take a hoby cat out for a spin - gamble - genuine french eclairs -quich - on the other side of the island is florescent turquise water you will say to your self is this real - yes this paradise is real food is exceptional - anquilla water can get ruff no food at lunch in some hotels very sparse island
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Old Nov 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Where do you suggest staying on T & C. The side with the calmest water?
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Old Nov 12th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Stay on Grace Bay on the main Island, Provo.
Look at The Somerset www.thesomerset.com We have stayed there many times & love it, great location near restaurants, excellent staff, white flat beach with calm water & beautiful suites ( condos)
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Old Nov 12th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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Sid, start a new post! This ones from 2009

And please give budget, would help us help you
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