suggestions for senior-friendly islands

Aug 23rd, 2018, 05:16 PM
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suggestions for senior-friendly islands

We're seriously senior - 79 and 82 - and our high-intensity travels are well and truly over. What we're looking for now are the islands that are not too hot and muggy and not too hilly, as the best we can do now is "hike" on pretty flat terrain. We plan to travel in February and would like to visit two islands for a week each, that are somewhat dissimilar, (and easy to get from one to another). Stay in a (not very child-friendly) resort, tho not an AI, but included breakfasts would be nice. Pretty beach, nice town/restaurants nearby, access to day-trips/taxi service a must as we won't be renting a car. Nothing too glitzy or hectic.
Would want non-stop from Florida (non-stop from NY would be a perk!)
Have been many times to Mexico and to Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba. But have only seen the islands when on cruises.
Any and all suggestions as to islands and resorts greatly appreciated!
NGail is offline  
Aug 24th, 2018, 12:39 AM
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Barbados is a great island, relatively flat but very green, beautiful beaches on the west coast, taxis are plentiful and accommodation for all budgets, which you have not mentioned. There is also culture and sightseeing, lots of restaurants and towns such as St Lawrence, Holetown, Bridgetown to walk around. I've combined a week in Barbados with a week in St Lucia and a week in Grenada, you would need to check that flights still exist between those islands. Both of those islands have hilly areas but you don't have to go to that part, north area of St Lucia has the beautiful Reduit Beach and is walking distance to Rodney Bay restaurants, there are several hotels in the area, Grand Anse in Grenada is spectacular, several hotels on that beach, taxis plentiful and locals are very friendly. You can get to Dominica from St Lucia on a catamaran service called Express des Iles, Dominica is hilly however.

Other islands I have combined are the ABC islands, Anguilla & St Martin - two very different islands, a really great combination, easy to get between the two to by 20 min ferry.
Odin is offline  
Aug 24th, 2018, 06:30 AM
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If traveling in February and you avoid the (US) President's Week holiday it's pretty easy to find resorts that are not more adult oriented and not packed with families with children. Also, a great many resorts in the Caribbean offer "included breakfast" or the ability to purchase a meal plan that includes breakfast so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor in choosing your destinations.

I agree, that combining St. Martin and Anguilla is a good suggestion. Fly into St. Martin (non-stop from MIA and possibly 1 or more NYC airports) then easy 20 minute ferry ride or private water taxi or short 5 minute flight to Anguilla. They are two very different islands - Anguilla very flat with 35 spectacular white sand beaches and 80+ restaurants and St. Martin, a bit hilly but not mountainous, both a French and Dutch "feel", good combination of beaches, shopping, plenty of restaurants and, of course, local culture.

Another two island combination that is becoming more popular every year are St. Kitts & Nevis. Daily non-stop flights from MIA and weekly out of JFK and EWR into St. Kitts then either 45 minute ferry or 10 minute water taxi to Nevis. Both great islands with lots of old world Caribbean charm. There are somewhat mountainous but do have some level low lying areas where you can enjoy your "flat terrain"hikes. Check them out but do be aware there is not as stark a contrast between the two as you'll find between St. Martin & Anguilla.

It's also very easy to combine two different islands if you visit the US and/or British Virgin Islands but they are all quite similar in topography and overall "feel". The main differences is the islands vary in size. Fly non-stop from NYC area airports to St. Martin then travel by one of the extensive ferry services to other islands in the chain. While just about all the islands in the chain are "hilly" you could choose Anegada (in the BVI's) as your second island. It is very flat (like Anguilla) and very quite since it is somewhat off the beaten path. There's limited ferry service (or take a short flight) so getting there takes some planning but if you are seeking some real "quiet time" and to escape from lots of families with kids it's an island you should consider.

Hope this helps.
RoamsAround is offline  
Aug 24th, 2018, 09:45 AM
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Thank you both for your very helpful advice.
We are already considering Barbados - will have to research St.Lucia/Grenada.
Anguilla/St. Martin sound like another good option.
As for our budget - it's hard to say without doing some homework, but somewhere above budget accommodations, below luxury. (not being coy here, but I just spent an hour on TripAdvisor, and so much depends on which island, which dates, which town, AI or not, on beach, etc.etc.).
We can and will avoid Presidents Weekend, for obvious reasons.
Thanks again!
NGail is offline  
Aug 24th, 2018, 10:35 AM
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In St Martin, you might take a look at Grand Case Beach Club. It is reopening in November after renovations due to Hurricane Irma. I didn't stay there last year when I went but had couple of lunches there which were very good, reasonable and I was generally impressed with the hotel. It is walking distance to many restaurants and is on a glorious beach.I stayed in an apartment very close to Le Petit Hotel, the apartment I stayed in was destroyed during the hurricane sadly. Le Petit Hotel could also be an option, it is again on a beautiful part of Grand Case beach although the opposite end to GCBH, it is a sister hotel to L'Esplanade. An apartment on Grand Case beach might work for you as getting breakfast at bakeries is a delight, croissants, coffee etc.

In Anguilla, the Carimar might be an option for you. I haven't stayed there myself but wish I did since I spent most time on Meads Bay. It does not have a restaurant at the hotel but within walking distance you have some options eg Blanchards beach shack which should be reopened soon. Or maybe the Frangipani Hotel where I had a few meals at the Straw Hat.
Odin is offline  
Aug 24th, 2018, 05:46 PM
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Additional info much appreciated!
Grand Case looks great and has availability.
The Carimar looks lovely too but is already sold out on our dates.
NGail is offline  
Aug 25th, 2018, 08:58 AM
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Check out Shoal Bay Villas on Anguilla to see if they have availability on your dates of travel. Also look at Zemi or Frangipani.
RoamsAround is offline  
Aug 27th, 2018, 11:13 AM
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Tensing Pen Hotel | Boutique Destination Resort in Jamaica
Nonstop Miami or Atlanta to Montegro Bay, 90 mins. shuttle out to Negril
suze is offline  
Aug 28th, 2018, 09:14 AM
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Fragipani and Zemi too pricey for us but Shoal Bay looks beautiful and reasonable.
Haven't been considering Jamaica. Tensing Pen looks gorgeous but hard to navigate for us seniors.
Thanks for more input, folks!
NGail is offline  
Aug 28th, 2018, 09:24 AM
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Consider The Buccaneer on St Croix.

It’s low-key, not too big or too busy, has an awesome breakfast buffet in an open-air restaurant with views.

Last edited by MoBro; Aug 28th, 2018 at 09:28 AM.
MoBro is offline  
Aug 28th, 2018, 10:19 AM
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I'd stick to Shoal Bay Villas if the others are full/pricey. You could contact the Carimar directly if their website is showing full, just in case they have anything held back or provisionally booked that might become available.
Odin is offline  
Aug 28th, 2018, 12:15 PM
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<Tensing Pen looks gorgeous but hard to navigate for us seniors.>

Not really. There are paths thru gardens to the various cottages and dining room. Other than actually swimming in the sea, it's really not difficult at all.
suze is offline  
Sep 29th, 2018, 12:38 AM
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Thanks for the information...
evansoryan is offline  
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