St Thomas, Aruba, T&C or Barbados!!!!

Old Jan 18th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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St Thomas, Aruba, T&C or Barbados!!!!

Help! Can't choose between St. Thomas, Aruba, Turks and Caicos and Barbados!!!am planning a vacation in Feb/March for one week for my boyfriend and I (we are in our 40's)...we love to stay right on a beautiful beach in a hotel with a pool...we absolutely love Orient Bay in St Martin...we stay at L'Hoste (2 star) which is right on the beach with beach restaurant and inground pool....not the Ritz obviouisly but we are fine with that as long as clean and friendly....beach restaurants up and down the beach so car is not necessary.....we are not interested in all inclusives (been there/done that) because we like to explore the island and rent a car for one or two days....we would like to stay somewhere with some night life but not crazy nightlife.....just back from Key West for 4 nights and had a blast but should have packed another liver in the suitcase!!! Looking for somethink a little more low key but not boring.....would fly out of JFK so something 4-5 hours would be ideal....please help!
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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eliminate st. thomas - things are to spread out.
t&c has no nightlife. great restaurants but you'd probably want to taxi to them.
don't know anything about aruba.
a hotel in the area of barbados called the gap might work for you.
i'd add grand cayman to your list. it has just what you're looking for. gorgeous long beach with many hotels and restaurants in an walking distance, yet doesn't have an overcrowded feel. great snorkeling abounds, has decent shopping. as well the island is small enough that you could explore with 2 days of rental car.
cayman air will fly you in 4 hrs or american in 6 thru miami.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Either Aruba or Barbados would probably work for you.
Aruba does have nice beaches if you want to relax and they do have nightlife.
We have had some great times in Barbados. Beautiful island with so much to see. And if you want to party night after night, Babrbados offers it.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 10:18 AM
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I hear that St. Thomas is quite overrun with tourism...but the hotels look beautiful if you don't care about that.

I don't know much about turks

Aruba is very nice and it's really easy if you are looking for a straight up vacation. There are loads of tours to do and te people are very nice to tourists because their economy is based on tourism.

Barbados, from my experience, seemed a little less touristy and full of opportunity to explore the country on your own. There are a bunch of transplants who have opened restaurants and bars who can offer local advice which can make the trip a little more authentic. Though I'm positive you can still have a completely tourist vacation if you prefer. Best thing about Barbados is the transportation system...which makes getting anywhere SO easy and very inexpensive. I love Barbados.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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I'd skip St. Thomas, although you might want to think about St. John which is much more beautiful, has great beaches, and some nightlife. Not sure Aruba would really work for you, either. It's got nice beaches and plenty of nightlife, but it's very commercialized, and between cruise ships and tour groups, it sometimes feels like you're in the Caribbean version of Miami. I am going there for my 90-year-old FIL's birthday in March, but it isn't my favorite island for all the reasons above.

I agree with the recommendation for Grand Cayman, ( nice long beach, restaurants easily within walking distance of the major hotels/condos), although dining options can be expensive.

Good luck, and have fun!
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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So it seems that St Thomas is out for what I am looking for...any recommendations for hotels on the beach in Barbados....or which beach to stay on with some night life? Thank you so much for any help!
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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I agree with Weadles about skipping St Thomas.We are also looking for a hotel on the beach in Barbados, but we are bringing 16 year old boys who like to surf. Tips anyone??
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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Sounds like Aruba. Pack a couple of extra livers!
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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We've been to all except Barbados. I agree Aruba is probably what you're looking for based on your comments. We loved Aruba. So many resturants, bars and shopping. Good beach bars and decent evening entertainment. On Palm Beach everything is within walking distance. They also have a convenient bus system. Don't miss the Kookunuku party bus.
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 06:04 AM
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Thank you all for your help...I am narrowing my choices down to Aruba and Barbados....I like the idea of the island flair with Barbados. Am worried that Aruba is "too busy" for me...do not like high rise hotels...but not sure if the Eagle beach area is too quiet....I always stay on the French side in SXM because Dutch is too busy for me...any suggestions of hotels/beach location on either Aruba or Barbados would help! Thanks so much...
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Been to both Aruba and Barbados - Aruba is very busy and comercialized (no Caribbean Charm) - loved Barbados Where ever you decide I am sure your trip will be wonderful, after all it is the Caribbean
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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St Lawrence Gap is a long road located in Christ Church parish (south end of Barbados). It is often called "The Gap". It's well known for it's dining and it's nightlife. You can walk to many places there. There are also hotels around. Maybe look at the Divi Southwinds.
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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If you pick Aruba, please check out Manchebo Bay Resort/Hotel, its small, not high rise, no organized chaos planned but the best beach with great beach service & a nice restaurant.U can easily use the bus to the fancier hotels, nightlife & alot of things are walking distance from this hotel including casino, restaurants & u wont feel as busy if u stay here
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Old Jan 20th, 2010, 04:57 AM
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Thank you for the suggestion for Manchebo Bay Resort/Hotel,in Aruba...that is the hotel I have narrowed it down to...its between that and Amsterdam Manor Beach resort...can anyone comment on which is better...I believe Mancebo is right on the beach and Amsterdam is across the street....does this beach get crowded? Can we swim on this beach? Thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 20th, 2010, 05:26 AM
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We are hoping to return to Aruba at the end of this year for a second visit. We have chosen to stay at the Amsterdam Manor. Yes, the beach is across the street, but we driven by there and it really wasn't an issue to us. That area has a great stretch of beach with a beach bar and chairs. They have their beach resturant at night called Passions. We like the location as it is about a 15 minute walk to the Plam Beach area plus there is a bus stop right out front.

The rooms have recently been updated maybe with a couple of years. All have kitchenettes. The Superior rooms have jetted tubs, are on the ground floor with a private patio. Some rooms, the patio is open to everyone walking by, so check if that will bother you.

We stayed on Palm Beach last time and really liked that area, so wanted to be close to it without being right in the middle of it. The Manchebo is farther away.
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