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hokie90 Jan 31st, 2006 02:52 PM

St. Vincent?
Ok, I have been looking at Barbados and now someone mentioned St. Vincent since we like nature and islands that are not too "built up". I do tend to like an island that has a casino, but it's not a must-have. Does St. Vincent have a casino? Are the islands associated with it easy to access, like St. Kitts and Nevis?

xkenx Jan 31st, 2006 03:17 PM

The string of islands that are the Grenadines go south from St. Vincent nearly to Grenada. BTW Grenada is very lush, lightly developed, but with much better beaches that St. Vincent. You can also sail the Grenadines from Grenada. No casinos.
Barbados itself is not very built up once you get a short distance from the heavily built Bridgetown and nearby west and southwest coast areas. You can get some of just about anything on Barbados except gambling and a volcano.

vinceygirl Jan 31st, 2006 04:01 PM

Hokie90 if it is non commercialism you want St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the place. St Vincent is the mainland of the chain. The beaches are not like you will find on a coral island. There are wider beaches in Grenada. I would say the biggest difference between Grenada and mainland St. Vincent is commercialism. I would spend a few days on the mainland St. Vincent and seeing nature at it's best. Soufriere volcano, Owia Salt Pond Botanical Gardens, Buccament Nature trail to name just some of the highlights. Then cross the sea approx 9 miles south and visit the quaint enjoyable island of Bequia. This could be considered the main tourist center. Do a walk around Port Elizabeth. Have lunch at Mac's Pizza the lobster with garlic is to die for and cheese and sweet peppers is great too. Visit Spring pottery, and the Turtle Sanctuary. There are many beautiful beaches on Bequia as well as reasonable accomodations in various price ranges. Then if you have more time visit Mayreau and Salt Whistle Bay or a day trip to the Tobago Cays. Beautiful beaches in a purely pristine setting. If you want the casino life and can afford it visit Canuoan where Raffles Resort is located. The casino is Donald Trump and can be viewed if you visit his Trump Properties website. Another island to visit is Mustique, land of the rich and famous, have lunch at Basil's you never know who you might run into. I love the island of Grenada but am partial to SVG as my signature would imply Anymore questions feel free to ask.

StanKase Feb 1st, 2006 07:15 AM

One of the most over-rated resorts in St.Vincent is Young Island. It is maybe 1/3 mile off the mainland. While it's landscaping is lush it was overgrown and the accommodations were not in good shape though I must admit some units had very nice views. Also, if you are on the side facing the mainland, where most units are, you will hear the music and noise from the restaurants,etc on the mainland since it is so close to the resort. Lastly, in my opinion it was way over-priced for what it offerred. At 60-70% the price it might have been worth it. But, I would not go back.
Things might have changed since our visit in the winter of 2003 but I doubt it.
Hope that helps.
The comment about Tobago Key is right on! It is an area of maybe 3/4 of a mile of reef/coral with some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.

vinceygirl Feb 1st, 2006 08:05 AM

With regards to accomodations on St.Vincent one used frequently by visitors is the Mariner which is on Villa Beach across from Young Island. I don't know much about Young Island other than is expensive but described as beautiful. Johnny Depp stayed here during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean. Anothe rsuggestion is the Grandview, not directly on the beach but nice and I stay on the other hill across from Grandview at a local guesthouse which has the same view but much less expensive and simplistic.

hokie90 Feb 1st, 2006 01:47 PM

Thanks to all for the replies. Staying on the water is a must. Young Island looked nice in pictures, but they can be deceiving. If anyone has any other opinions for hotels/restaurants, I am up for it. After reading these replies, this sounds like a great place with us and it will allow us to visit other surrounding islands.

MSQ Feb 1st, 2006 03:30 PM

Another option to look at is staying on either Bequia or Mustique.

Bequia is easily reached from the main island of St Vincent (locally known as the mainland) by regular boat service or plane.

From Mustique it is an inexpensive 9 minute flight to St Vincent for a days outing. On the water in Mustique is the Cotton House Hotel. If you want to stay further down island in the Grenadines check out Palm Island and PSV

vinceygirl Feb 1st, 2006 04:04 PM

Staying on St.Vincent itself there isn't much in the way of beaches as most people prefer. Being a volcanic island the beaches are black sand or salt and pepper like in appearance. I enjoy the beaches but they are small because of the origin of the island. The beaches on Bequia are nicer and a bit larger than the mainland. Most people travel to St Vincent proper for the nature attractions of the volcano etc.You can do day trips and take the ferry back and forth to St.Vincent. Takes roughly an hour each way. You could probably find someone to do a water taxi but the trip can be rough as I have done the crossing in a small speedboat.
As for the loud music being heard, I was in StVincent for 2 weeks this past December staying at a small guest house diagonal from Young Island which made me located very near where the music discussed in one of the posts probably came from. It was election time and there were many cars going back and forth with loud music and there were some political rallies, by 10pm all was quiet. So noise is in the ear of whose listening.
The Mariner is a hotel frequented by those who have visited St.Vincent. I have heard nothing but good about the hotel. If you have any specific questions post them and I'll try to answer.

hokie90 Feb 1st, 2006 04:08 PM

I just got out of a nice warm bath reading about St. Vincent in my Fodor's book. I do want to visit more than one island and we will probably spend a few days on 2-4 of them. Is a/c a big need in June/July? It was in St. Kitts and Nevis. I like to be cool at night. There were several good reviews for hotels mentioned in their book. Thank you sooo much for the input. I'll be writing back with more????

xkenx Feb 2nd, 2006 07:58 AM

hokie90,we've never used a/c in the Caribbean because we like to live open air 24/7 and see & hear nature. The secret is to book places with ceiling fans. With a fan going, the temp. can be over 80, and you still feel comfortable.

RAB Feb 2nd, 2006 09:27 AM

Spent some time in St. Vincent 2 or 3 years ago and enjoyed it - "unspoiled" Caribbean. Stayed at Mariners, which is opposite Young Island. St. Vincent is not much for beaches, but you can take the free boat to Young Island, where you can use their beach and beach bar, as long as you don't try to go into the rest of the facility. Did not get to Bequia but are going this Spring. Since you probably have to go through Barbados anyhow, why not a few days there, St. Vincent and Bequia? Or fly on to Grenada - also unspoiled and very good beaches, a bit bigger but easier to get around. LIAT is offering very inexpensive inter-isalnd fares, so it is quite practical.

StanKase Feb 2nd, 2006 05:35 PM

I have been to Young Island resort twice. Neither time was there an election. But, staying on the mainland a bit away from the hub of restaurants/bars would probably a good compromise and the cost would likely be 75% or less of Young Island Resort.
But you would have to go to Tobago Key in either location for great snorkeling. An off the wall alternative is Anthony's key resort on Roatan, Honduras.
Air maybe $100 more but accomodations likely 25% less than St. Vincent and there are 10 good snorkel spots they will take you to at no additional cist. Just an idea. Ideal time top go is Feb. through April.

McInvestor Feb 5th, 2006 12:22 PM

I agree with the comments regarding Young Island being highly over rated and over priced. The place is average at best and the rooms are below average. In comparison Mustique is a wonderland.

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