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St. Vincent hotel recommendation

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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:01 PM
  #1
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St. Vincent hotel recommendation

We're picking up a boat charter in St. Vincent and will be staying one night on the island. Looking for a recommendation. We are meeting our boat near the airport. Wondering if we should stay in town or at a resort. Any recommendations?
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Oct 17th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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Villa Lodge and the Grandview are both close to Arnos Vale where the airport is located. Although I have never sailed except via WJ I'm curious as to what charter company you have booked.

With regards to the hotels they are nice accommodations. If you google SVG tourism you will find many sites to visit for more info. As if you couldn't tell SVG are my favorite islands.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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We have booked our sailing charter through Elite Island Yachts.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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I checked out the website for SVG and like the looks of the Villa Lodge and the Grandview, but was wondering if you have any knowledge of the Sunsail Lagoon Marina Hotel or Paradise Inn. The Sunsail looks to be right on the water.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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I'm not familiar with Sunsail. I do know it is on Villa Beach which is quite small and probably close to nonexistent when it's high tide. Villa is across from Young Island. The hotel I'm most familiar with in that area is the Mariner. After Hurricane Ivan devastated Grenada, Windjammer used Kingstown as it's temporary homeport for the Yankee Clipper and Mandalay. Many passengers stayed at the Mariner and gave it good reviews. It too is located at Villa Beach. I personally stay at a small guest apartment complex on Indian Bay which is close to the Grandview and Villa Lodge. Mostly locals who return on holiday stay here or those like me who enjoy low key. It's a nice place, neat and clean but no pool or restaurant.All rooms are efficiency apts. I've become close friends with the owners and often take my meals with them or buy some basics at the grocery store. For one night any of the hotels we've discussed would be fine. Grandview and Villa are the closest to the airport. The only resort in the area is Young Island and it is pricey.
I'll be in SVG @ Indian Bay 11/17-11/19/06 then sail on the Yankee Clipper 11/19-11/25 out of St. Lucia.
If you have anymore questions I'll be glad to answer what I can.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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vinceygirl - thank you for your advice - my only other question is about what to do for the 1 day we will be there - we are disembarking in the morning, and leaving the next afternoon. We would like to see the sites, shop, etc. but know that is a lot to fit into 1 day. Would it make sense to hire a tour guide to get an overview of the island, and than maybe go to the shopping area for dinner? Any ideas would be appreciated. We are going in May of 07
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Oct 18th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Zipter, If you are into shopping the main island of St. Vincent is not on any list. It is a true working Caribbean island and not your average tourist attraction. It's biggest asset besides the people is the rich history of the island itself. Architecture in Kingstown. The marketplace, fish market, the hustle bustle in town. A drive along either coast. I love the contrast between the Leeward and Windwards Leeward is calm and serene, Windward is wild and crashing. Unfortunately you don't have enough time to do both in one day. After having been up and down both coasts by land and sea I would suggest a drive up the Windward(Atlantic) side and go to Fancy. Mind you no shops and only small little towns along the way. Your reward is some of the most breathtaking scenary you will ever experience in a lifetime. You will see the real Caribbean which lies beyond the beach bars, Club Meds, Sandals, and resorts in general.
I would give you the name of a tour guide but my trips have all been with friends who are native Vincentians. When you book your accommodations ask the hotel to set you up with someone for a guided tour if that's what you want. Since you are going to be sailing in the area anyways I would suggest a landbased tour.
FYI unless something has changed since last year the Falls of Baliene which had been a major attraction is no more at least at what it used to be. Landslides in the area have altered the configuration and hasn't been a tourist attraction recently.

Dinner, the closest area to a tourist section would be Villa Beach. The Grandview and Villa Lodge also have restaurants as their websites show. You might want to consider dinner on Young Island. There is a little ferry which will transport you back and forth. Although a private resort it is open to the public. I'm not sure if you need reservations. Would again suggest asking the desk clerk at the hotel you choose.
Go back and visit the various websites for SVG, that way you can make an educated decision with regards to what you want to see and do. Oh and I almost forgot to tell you the Botanical Gardens are a delight. Again if you have any more questions ask away. One thing to remember, my perspective is a bit different as I don't really visit the area as a tourist but as someone who lives there even if it is only for brief periods of time.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Mariner's hotel is very nice and has an excellent restaurant. No beach to speak of, but a pool. Your hotel should be able to set you up with a reliable tour guide. The only one I know is Robert's Tours; Robert was very good. Drives up the coasts are attractive, but also get inland to the Mesopotamia Valley and Montreal Gardens. The botanical gardens in town are also well worth visiting. If you are familiar with other Caribbean islands that have developed a dependence on tourism, you are likely to find St. Vincent quite different.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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I should have been a little clearer - by shopping I mean like a bazaar or local market - not into other touristy stuff. Usually the market square has restaurants near or on it. We won't have a car - so that is why I was wondering about a tour operator. One thing I'm not sure of is how close are any of these hotels to things - can you walk? They also mention "The Strip" in the web sites - what is that?
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Oct 19th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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IN my own limited experience, I'd agree with vincygirl that the botanical gardens are a must-do. They were breathtaking and you can get a guide to take you around on a tour. The gardens are just diagonally across from what must be a unique attraction in the Caribbean--the Dr. Cecil Cyrus medical museum. If you have any interest at all in medicine, this would be a must-do. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's a fascinating tribute to the man who didn't let third-world disadvantages stand in the way of improvising health care and surgical techniques to help his patients.

I was quite sorry to have missed the Mesopotamian Valley (sometimes called Mespo) and the Montreal Gardens there. The next time I'm down there I will make an effort to see them. But with only one day on St. Vincent it just wasn't feasible.

We also had a long, lingering lunch at Young Island which was fabulous. Very good food, reasonable portions, lovely presentation, excellent service, romantic setting, and for much less money than I would expect from such a setting. (Not to say it was cheap--not at all--but the overall value was unexpectedly high.)
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Oct 19th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Hi Zipter, Just an FYI, none of the hotels mentioned in our discussion are within walking distance of Kingstown. The one hotel I have heard of in town is the Haddon. Sorry can't help with any info.
Because you are only going to be on the island a day pick one of the hotels we talked about, take a tour of the island as suggested by EJ then come back to your hotel for dinner or have dinner on Young Island. If you stay at the Grandview or Villa Lodge they are less than 10 minutes by taxi from the Young Island dock. If you stay in Villa you're right there.
The tour visits all the highlights like the Botanical Gardens etc. I have never visited Montreal Gardens but have been to Mespo Valley. In a word unbelievable.
Vincies are a wonderful people. I have always found them to be welcoming to strangers. People I met yrs ago but had not seen for a few years, remember me and have called out to say hello. They are very proud of their heritage and pleased to show off their country.
It won't be long now, 29 more days and I'll be in St. Vincent.
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Oct 21st, 2006, 11:29 AM
  #12
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Vinceygirl - Thank you so much for your insights - you have been more than helpful! I hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation.
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Oct 21st, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Thanks Zipter happy to help. When are you leaving? Be sure to let us know how your trip is.
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