Starwood props in Caribbean

May 17th, 2006, 04:15 AM
  #1  
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Starwood props in Caribbean

Here's the deal. Hubby and I want to head to Caribbean mid-october for a long weekend to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We took kids 3 yrs ago to STJ and had a ball, but would prefer to try something new. Here are the major issues we're working with:
1) an easy, direct flight from NYC. since it's only a weekend, we'd like to avoid ferries, transfers, etc.
2) we'd like to take advantage of AMEX points in the Starwood program. So that means Sheratons, Westins and St. Regis properties. Starwood has a sucky site adn I can't search by region alone. And each island is not listed in their countries sections....
3) we prefer an island with good restaurants and, thus, would prefer not using an AI. We like to poke around and explore.
4) we want pretty beaches and would love easy access from hotel room, though not a necessity--we'd be willing to drive a short distance like we did from STJ's Westin.

So...based on the above, what easy-to-get-to island, with a nice Starwood property and decent restaurants and beaches would you vote for? And what resorts/hotels specifically?
Thanks, as always, all.
kflodin is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 07:50 AM
  #2  
 
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What about the Westin Rio Mar in Puerto Rico?

http://www.westinriomar.com/

It's a quick direct flight from NY and about a 30-45 minute drivefrom the airport. I haven't stayed at this resort (we went to the Conquistador which is near by). The water at El Conquistador was beautiful. The Rio Mar also near El Yunque, the rainforest.

You can check reviews of it on tripadvisor.

We jsut got back from the Westin on St. John and loved it. You will see more poverty in Puerto Rico but we enjoyed the culture.
lovethecape is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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Westin Grand Cayman
girlonthego is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Girlonthego: Tell me a bit more about the property. Nice? I don't know much about Grand Cayman either. Of course, I'll research, but would love your personal take. And thanks, lovethecape, for the PR recommendation. I'll check that out, too. Keep them coming Fodorites. I've been poking around the site and have seen mention of the Westin Our Lucaya in the Grand Bahamas. Anyone been to that property with insight? Not sure of the "commute" from NYC, either.
kflodin is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Kflodin: Hi. We've stayed at the Westin at Our Lucaya. I now tend not to like to give my opinion about where I've stayed if the trip was over 2 years ago (things change). So bare that in mind. We were there about 3 years ago (just husband and me for a long weekend end of September/beginning of October - anniversary getaway). We fly from Newark by the way and it's really a nice easy flight to the main islands of the Bahamas. I'm sure it's the same out of JFK or LGA.
The weather was perfect. Hot during the day (but not uncomfortably so) and just lovely in the evening.
The Westin as 3 pools. 1 has a swim-up bar with an infinity edge. We didn't like that one because the water was REALLY WARM.. wondering if the bar had something to do with it - kinda yucky to think about .
Another infinity edge pool is all the way to the left of the property when you face the ocean. We LOVED that one because there was barely ever anyone there.
The beach was really lovely with beautiful calm blue crystal clear water.. the kind where you can see your feet at the bottom.
The Sheraton is right next to that property. The building itself does not look as nice as the Westin's but we never went inside to actually check it out. I think most families tend to use the Sheraton's pool because it's more child-friendly.
No peddlers on the beach or at the shopping place across the street, if that matters to you.
That shopping place has lots of little restaurants and stores. Really nice.
Now Grand Bahama Island was hit by a couple of hurricanes since we went, so I don't know if the beach is as lovely as it used to be. And again, our trip was about 3 years ago. A lot can change. Check out Trip Advisor for recent trip reports.

Another option is the Westin in Grand Cayman. We have not stayed there so cannot comment. However, we just came back from a trip to Grand Cayman and stayed at the Hyatt. You can click on my screenname to find my trip report. At least you can get an idea of the island that way. There are lots of good restaurants there and the beaches are pretty. I don't know about flights from NYC but I know there's a non-stop from Newark with Continental. But I think it's only once a week.
By the way, my husband and I always try to get away end of September/early October to the Caribbean for our anniversary and it's hard to find a non-stop flight that's more than once a week (cause it's low season).

I think there's a Sheraton in Nassau but we've never been there. That island frankly does not appeal to me.

I see you've done the Westin St. John which we've done as well.

I can't think right now of any other Sheratons/Westins in the Caribbean. I don't believe there are any St. Regis properties.

Hope this helps and good luck.


caribtraveler is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Actually I'm looking at Starwood's website and Villas Temenos on Anguilla are St. Regis Properties.
I was interested to read that Westins are scheduled to end Fall '07 in Punta Cana and St. Maarteen. Didn't know that.
caribtraveler is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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I meant scheduled to "open".
caribtraveler is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  #8  
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Hey caribtraveler. I went to STJ when you did (3 yrs ago), and I'm pretty sure we "corresponded" on these boards about the choices then! I value your take on things. I think, because of the ease of travel, I'm leaning toward GB and the Our Luaya site. If anyone feels they should talk me out of this, do! I'll start a new thread with specific questions about GB soon. Thanks again, all!
kflodin is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Your screenname did look familiar to me but I have a horrible memory so I couldn't remember why .
Do a search for Fasst1. He has gone to Our Lucaya a few times. He replies with really helpful info to a lot of posts about that resort and has posted pictures. I'm sure you can find his link in one his posts.
caribtraveler is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Sorry I haven't been to the Grand Cayman. I just have researched and the Westin is one of the nicer hotels. I am hoping to go to the GC next summer"07.
girlonthego is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 11:17 AM
  #11  
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Caribtraveler: when I search for Fasst1 I get nada. Hmmm. is there a typo? well, I'll be doing a search on the hotel anyway, so I'm sure it will come up! thanks, again ,everyone.
kflodin is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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How strange. Try this:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...e=Fasst1&fid=5

If that doesn't work, search for Lucaya and you should find his posts.
caribtraveler is offline  

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