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toppy Mar 14th, 2007 06:20 AM

to KVR
I know you enjoy all inclusive resorts.
Can you tell me your favorites, that you would not hesitate to return to...anywhere.

keefatniffy Mar 14th, 2007 06:29 AM

Palm Island (grenadines).
A pain to get to,but wonderful.We,ve been twice now and will be back next year.

toppy Mar 14th, 2007 07:39 AM

Thanks keefatniffy...I am starting a list and will add it. What were some things you liked about it? What time of year is best?
After having some great and some so so trips, my husband is leaning towards some tried and true spots. We are easy to please, but admittedly some are much better than others.

keefatniffy Mar 14th, 2007 08:05 AM

Hi again toppy,
Everything about Palm is just wonderful all the way from the welcome as soon as you step off the boat from Union Island.The rooms are large with a huge shower area and nightly the wonderful maids leave a lovely card whilst doing the evening turndown service.The staff are all great and very proffesional leaving you with the impression you are one of the family.The food is exquisite and is certainly enough to leave you wanting to return for more of the same and just down the beach is a second restaurant which caters for those who want something a bit lighter i.e sandwich or burger etc.Drinks are all top brand names served in the cosy little outdoor bar area,which is nearly always pretty quiet as most people turn in early after a hard days relaxation!And if you need some total solitude there are other beaches a short stroll away where you won't see a soul all day.
It is certainly the holiday experience my wife and i have in our numerous trips to carribean and will return again.
Regarding the best time of year we have been on both of our visits in June which had great weather with the odd late afternoon shower.
Truly a great place
If you have anymore questions let me know.

KVR Mar 14th, 2007 09:56 AM

Our favorite are the Real Resorts in Mexico.
Hopefully, we'll be going back later this year.

We really liked Sandals Royal Bahamain in Nassau. We've stayed at the Holiday Inn in Grand Cayman (no longer there) and the Holiday Inn in Aruba and enjoyed both of them.

The food at the Wyndam Sugar Bay in St. Thomas was good, but we didn't like the layout of the hotel.

We tend to go AI for breakfast, snacks, and drinks. We eat a few lunches and dinners on the resort, but we like to eat off property also.

We are also looking at Breezes Curacao for next year.

toppy Mar 14th, 2007 11:32 AM

keefatniffy..Palm Island sounds wonderful. I looked at the website and it looks great. For this trip however, it takes too long to get there. I think it would be better to plan in conjunction with a few days in Barbados maybe.....perhaps this summer.

Thank you KVR..... which Real resorts have you been to, and is there a favorite or are they mostly the same?
We enjoy Sandals Antigua. Maybe we will try Royal Bahamian.
We are seriously considering St. Thomas Wyndham but I saw your pictures of all the steps, and I agree, with my husband's recent knee surgery it is a factor to consider. I have been told there is a shuttle that comes along often though. (however Antigua Sandals was spread out too and not a real problem....but really, who can complain about steps in Paradise?)
We almost booked Breezes but changed to Kura Hulanda. It was VERY quiet. (We also like AI for the same reasons you do, and often leave the resort as well for local meals.)

owa Mar 14th, 2007 12:30 PM

Does the Palm Island resort have A/C? Thanks, Owa

KVR Mar 14th, 2007 03:36 PM

Toppy, we stayed at the Costa Real in Cancun. It is now a Barcelo property. We are wanting to stay at the Royal Playa del Carmen in September if we can swing it. Their sister resort, the Gran Porto Real is next door and has exchange priviledges. They just built a brand new Royal Real Resort in Cancun that has swim-up pool rooms like Sandals. Also much cheaper than Sandals. I really like the concept of Sandals, but I think they room prices and muti-room catagories are too much. I didn't care for the food at the Sandals Grande or Sandals Regency in St. Lucia.

We like AI for most of the reasons other people don't. DH like quanity over quailty. He is the most un-picky eater you will ever meet. Things I wouldn't even consider eating, he ate it and wanted more. Think "Mikey". He wants unlimted snacks and unlimted beer/alcohol on vacation.

The Wyndham was fine. The oceanview rooms are far from the beach/pool/resturants/bar and lobby. They have the trams that come around every so often. The tram also goes to the beach/pool area, but it wasn't consistant when we were there. If you interested in St. Thomas, look at the Bolonga Bay. It was $200 more than the Wyndham when we booked.

We are also not picky about accomendations. We could care less between a 5* and a 2*. They only thing that bothers us are crowds of unruly large groups of people and screaming children. We try to go with couples only resorts to get away from those types, but with some AI properties you take what you can get or pay alot of money for couple only resorts.

toppy Mar 14th, 2007 04:46 PM

Thanks KVR..I wrote down the places you mentioned.
I think the steps to the beach at Wyndham would be OK but I noticed elsewhere you mentioned standing water and bugs...that would be anoying since we like to spend a lot of time at the beach or pool.
We loved Sandals Antigua, and the first time we went, they served lobster every night at the OK Corral. We returned 5 months later and they no longer did. I am not sure if it was the difference in seasons..(July vs. December) or maybe I along with everyone else ate them out of house and home. In St. Lucia we stayed at the Regency. The food was OK but the beach was red flagged every day. So we shuttled to the Grande which reminded me of a huge convention center and we didn't think the food was worth the time to shuttle over, although not bad, just not anything special. The swimming and water skiing were good though.

However I must say we are not that fussy about food, yet always enjoy good food when it comes along. Like you, we also like AI for the drinks and endless snacks and breakfasts, and the dinners are good too. Also I find that we have much more fun when we do not have to discuss the fact that wow that coke was $5.00 or the pina colada was $10, and do we really want another...this way there is no discussion...just live and enjoy, it's vacation ...)
Thanks for your suggestions.

keefatniffy Mar 15th, 2007 04:34 AM

owa,sorry to take so long to reply.Palm Island does indeed have air/con but a lot of the time its not needed as the rooms have shutters with netting to compliment the ocean breeze.

KVR Mar 15th, 2007 04:46 AM

Toppy, there is a man made lake with ducks at the Wyndham. At night on the beach and in the pool/jacuzzi we were eaten alive by some type of biting insect. Not really a mosquito, but maybe a biting knat. No problem around the beach grill, buffet or bar. It was just on the beach and pool/jacuzzi.

If we stayed at another Sandals agin I would chose either Sandals Antigua or Sandals Dunn's River in Ocho Rios. They're so expensive though. We decided we wanted to go back to some of the Islands we really enjoyed and ended up booking a cruise on Princess for the Western Caribbean; Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and their private Island in the Bahamas. We also had to FF miles on Southwest, so we really couldn't use them for anything but a point of embarktion for a cruise or Las Vegas. We had wanted to go to Alaska out of Seattle, but it was so expensive. Maybe some day.

I know what you mean about drink prices. We did non-AI in Hawaii and and Turks & Caicos and we were consistantly watching our budget. We will never go non-AI again on vacation unless the destination just doesn't offer it, like the US.

Knowing Mar 15th, 2007 07:03 AM

I was scheduled for back surgery when we stayed at the Wyndham. I planned our vacation first as it was important for me to spend some time with our friends (who live half way across the country from us)and have some fun before I was laid up. But I was also in a fair amount of pain and had no problem with the way the hotel was laid out. The hotel staff delivers and picks up luggage via golf carts. I'm sure they would be happy to asssist Mr. Toppy in the same way.
BTW, we never had any problems with standing water or bugs, and bugs love me. I was eaten alive at the Sandals in St. Lucia. We were in St. Thomas in the month of February - perhaps it's different for those who have gone at a different time of year?

toppy Mar 15th, 2007 08:25 AM

Thanks Knowing...Wyndham is still on our list. The steps my husband did not like at Kura Hulanda Curacao were kind of straight down. It never prevented us from using them however because we are beach bums, but he definitely didn't go up and down more than he had too. (This was before knee surgery)

In rethinking the whole thing, almost anywhere we have gone, the trek to the beach has not been terribly short, steps or flat, so it really does not matter that much, and his knee surgery is over, fairly well healed. I think we will give Wyndham a shot.

Bugs eat me alive too.

KVR the Royal Playa del Carmen looks wonderful. There are quite a few reports of overbooking though. That happened to me in Cancun quite some time ago. I think we may avoid April.

KVR Mar 15th, 2007 09:25 AM

Toppy, we are going to try for the Royal Playa del Carmen the first week of Sept. Crossing fingers the weather is good, and then a 4 day weekend in Nov. at The Royal Cancun. They do look amazing. Can't wait.

My 40th birthday is next April and trying to determine where to go. I'm thinking Curacao or a Mexican Riveria Cruise. Haven't decided. We went to St. Thomas/St. John for Cliff's 50th birthday in May '05. It was OK. We really didn't care for the Islands. The Wyndham was OK, but not my favorite.

Beside Mexico our 2nd favorite Island is Grand Cayman. There are only 2 AI hotels and they are small. They also have contracts with the cruise ships to allow cruise shippers to use there beach/hotel as a ship sponsered tour.

Our 3rd pick would be Aruba. Lots of things to see and do. Nice beaches and we thought the snorkeling was very good. I just don't like that it is so far away. It's a full day of travel for us to get there.

We liked Jamaica also. We made a mistake with the RIU. However, that was our 3rd trip for 2006 and we had a very tight budget. If we do another land vacation there, I will make sure we can afford a couple's only resort like Couples or Sandals or a hotel that doesn't cater to families.

toppy Mar 15th, 2007 12:12 PM

I have not heard good things about the AIs in GC.

Any recommendations for GC? AI or otherwise?

KVR Mar 15th, 2007 01:57 PM

Toppy, we stayed at the Holiday Inn in Grand Cayman on their AI plan. It's now the Courtyard by Marroitt, and they no longer offer AI. It is a very nice small hotel. We had a pool room, which means we had a patio door that opened to the pool area. The beach is a short walk across the street. It was fabulous. None of the rooms have balconies, but the top floors have ocean views. They have 1 restuarant on property and a bar/grill on the beach. Someone just posted a positive review of their recent stay on this forum.

Grand Cayman has lots of condos. Many rent those and purchase groceries. We would never do that. A friend of mine I met on an Aruba board and we met up in Aruba last September just booked the Spanish Bay Reef AI for May. She's like us and will only stay at AI hotels. She doesn't care about cruise shippers. I really don't either. When we get to return, we will stay at the Beach Club Colony. Cruise shippers or not. I've been reading the cruise boards due to our upcoming cruise next month, and looks like most cruisers are beaching it at Seagrape, Royal Palms, and the Hyatt. I've also read that the Marriott Grand Cayman (the big hotel) is now offering day passes. Looks like no matter where you go on 7 Mile Beach, the cruise shippers are taking over. When we stayed at the HI/Courtyard, there were cruise shippers on the beach, but there wasn't very many. The only place we saw crowded was the Georgetown shopping area. On our cruise, we are taking a ship sponsered snorkel tour and then going to Margaritaville, so we won't be taking up any room on 7 Mile Beach. :)

I use the FunJet's web-site under "destinations" to view info regarding hotels. They have it catagorized under AI and EP/On Beach and Off Beach. Lots of pictures, 360 views and some video.

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