suggestions for family vacation

Oct 17th, 2006, 11:08 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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suggestions for family vacation

Greetings, Fodor Friends! After a long layoff, I'm back, finally looking into a winter break trip to the Caribbean. Here's our scoop: Family of 5 (girls 10, 9 and 7), all have been to St. Thomas, St. Croix, Aruba and Nevis (the latter last winter, thanks to you; it was great - my write-up was posted here ages ago) and looking for something new, but not PR or Jamaica. AI not necessary; fridge or kitchenette would be nice. Kids club optional. Does not have to be "family dominated" place. Would like to be (relatively) on the beach (as opposed to up the hill, etc.), which should be nice w/ snorkeling and not rough or rocky b/c kids and also have options for hiking and exploring the island. Not interested in shopping or being at or near a cruise ship location (we want to get away!) Would like to stay a week (well, let's be honest, we'd all like to stay a long time, but...) St. Lucia holds strong interest; maybe Antigua or...? Looking for something nice; not overly expensive, but not, well, you know, on the other end, either. As always, your wise counsel is appreciated.

Thank you so much, Schweege
Sweege is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 01:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Since you've been to two USVIs you might want something different... but the Westin, St.John is always popular with families. The beach at the resort is not great but the beaches all over the island are. We rented a timeshare from an owner and it was much more reasonable. There is also a villa near the Westin (walking distance) that I considered called Splash (you could do a search.)

lovethecape is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Since you mentioned Antigua,I'm going to suggest that you look at Long Bay Hotel Beach Resort.

It holds a special place in EJCrowe's heart;-) and from all that I've read is very family friendly with a lovely beach. It certainly seems reasonably priced with breakfast/dinner included.

I'm sure EJ will offer her expertise, but take a look at the website and the glowing reviews on Trip Advisor.

It is one of those family run resorts that are becoming so rare in the Caribbean. It might be a very special place for your girls

Have fun with your planning !

Marion

MarionCK is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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How about the Grand Cayman. We are going there for a family vacation next June. There are many different hotel/or condo options there. It has great beaches and snorkeling. We are staying at the Marriott using points, but I know they just recently refurbished the entire hotel. It is smaller scale than the Aruba one we stayed at. There is a Westin, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, Marriott and Marriott Courtyard off the top of my head. There are also many condo options.
girlonthego is online now  
Oct 19th, 2006, 02:43 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for the tips, which I am actively researching. Would still like to receive some thoughts on St. Lucia...maybe I need a more specific header for that. Happy travels!
Sweege is offline  
Oct 20th, 2006, 05:17 AM
  #6  
 
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Marion, you took the words right out of my mouth! Sweege, I'd suggest taking a look at Long Bay Hotel on Antigua for authentic, old-style Caribbean charm and style. www.longbayhotel.com They offer a few cottages with kitchens that could house you all quite comfortably.

You might want to consider Tortola or Virgin Gorda in the BVI since you've already explored the USVI. I would think that the Long Bay Beach Resort on Tortola, or the Guavaberry Spring Bay villas on Virgin Gorda would suit your needs and expectations.

With a family of five, it will be harder to recommend places in St. Lucia. My own experience there was at Jalousie, and even with a villa suite, it might be hard to fit a family of 5 inside. However, it's hard to imagine a more spectacular setting. Lacking kitchen facilities, but includes a wet bar with small fridge and a plunge pool.

www.tikaye.com might also be an interesting choice, as they do have adjoining cottages where your family could probably fit easily. They do have an age restriction as I recall, but your girls might be old enough...lacking kitchen facilities, but there might be a mini-fridge.

Elsewhere on St. Lucia, maybe the Stonefield Estates, but they're not on a beach. But they offer 1-3 bedroom villas with full kitchen, there's a restaurant and swimming pool on site, and the views of the Pitons are stunning.



Where did you stay on the other islands and what did you like most about them? That might give us some helpful info. Are you opposed to getting a villa? That would probably provide more space for a better value than getting two hotel rooms...
ejcrowe is offline  
Oct 20th, 2006, 06:40 AM
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I would recommend Tortola or Virgin Gorda. VG is more quiet/quaint. Tortola is more hilly and slightly better views. VG's beaches are better in my opinion and there is decent snorkelling. You can visit the Baths, hike etc and do day trips to Anegada from VG. From Tortola you can do a day trip to Jost Van Dyke, hike and visit their gardens. Both islands have reasonably priced villas to choose from. You may also want to check out Little Dix Bay hotel on VG.
mnag is online now  
Oct 20th, 2006, 10:47 AM
  #8  
 
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Definitely sounds like Grand Cayman could suit you, as condo options (ie not AI, ahve a kitchen) are easily found, plus we have a variety of activities, and grocery stores of an excellent quality.

I've got three of my own (12,9,3), and ok, they are boys, but we live in Cayman and they never run out of things to do.. to the contrary, we are run off our feet keeping up with their schedule !
TomCayman is offline  
Oct 21st, 2006, 07:19 AM
  #9  
 
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Sweege,
I have to agree with Tom...Grand Cayman sounds like the perfect fit.

We have 3 boys 12,9 and 4 and they loved our trip to Grand Cayman,this past May!

Take a look at www.discoverypointclub.com , we stayed there and the kids loved the oceanfront pool and we loved the Jaquzzi!

Another site for activities is www.caymanactivityguide.com and www.caymanvacations.com.

Good luck!
Christie
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