vieques

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Apr 2nd, 2006, 05:14 AM
  #1
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vieques

we are interested in going to vieques next february. we love hotels on a beach so any suggestions would be appreciated. if you could speak a bit about what the accomodations are like that would be great. has anybody who has been there booked there entire trip with american airlines and how much was the fare? approximately. thanks.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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There are no hotels on the beach on Vieques other than Martineau Bay and that beach is the worst on the island.

From your post I get the impression that you required lots of "service" and I don't think Vieques would suit you.

Vieques is more of a "do-it-yourself" destination and, if you aren't willing to do even the most basic research about the place, then I think you should look elswhere.

Check out St. John or maybe St. Thomas.

They may have more of the services you will likely need.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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peterboy is right. Martineau is the only hotel, and he is right about the beach. The beaches on the Caribbean Sea side are nicer. (Martineau is on the Atlantic).
In Esperanza there are guest house-type rooms. They are very simple, nothing fussy. They are across the street from the Malecon and that has water access, you can walk the beach to Sun Bay, but I would not swim at the beach at Esperanza, it is busy with boat traffic, etc.
It is a very laid back island, with just about nothing to do except go to the various beaches, explore the Navy lands, and do not miss Bio Bay.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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peterboy...you totally misinterpreted my posting. when i asked about the accomodations i wasn't interested in finding out if there were any luxury hotels. in fact, the places we've gone to have been small hotels that were on the beach like siboney in antigua and victoria house in belize. i thought your reply to me was a bit hostile and i kind of resent your jumping to the conclusion that i'm lazy about researching an island. i spend months trying to find out about any of the 8 islands we've gone to so far. my experience on this board has been to ask "basic" questions and get a bit of a headstart in my quest to find a great place to vacation. i don't appreciate being told to "look elsewhere". the very reason i'm interested in vieques is because it's a place where you can see the caribbean as it used to be. i hope i've "clarified" my intentions.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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ccc
 
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We love Vieques. With that said, it's probably not the best place for hotels on the beach. Martineau Bay and BBH are both on the beach/water, although one needs to drive to the best beaches - which are truly spectacular. My recommendation would be to rent a villa and a car and go exploring. I think Vieques is probably like what I envision St. Barts to have been like 30 years ago (ok, it's not French). Let me know if you have any questions.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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Like mentioned above, only Martineau Bay that has a beach at the hotel. However, we stayed in a house on Vieques and really enjoyed driving around the island in our jeep to different locations and finding the beautiful, empty beaches that Vieques has to offer. It was really something different for us and we find ourselves wanting to get back as soon as we can.

If you can get to San Juan, its very easy to get to over -- we flew from San Juan and was so easy and not expensive. I have seen other posts suggesting flying out of Fajardo (sp?) and not enough difference in airfare to justify time to get there.

We rented through vrbo.com, I believe, that we found off of : www.enchanted-isle.com

Its a beautiful island that hasn't been overdeveloped and the beaches haven been taken over by Hyatts or Hiltons. Thank goodness!! BYOE -- bring your own everything

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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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My apologies putch...your post was a vague request for a lot of information...seemed lazy to me at the time...I guess I was having a bad day.

You reference to "hotels on the beach" conjured the scene in my mind of the typical cancun-like sprawl and this is something I hope I never see on Vieques. Someone expecting such a thing on Vieques should be "waved off" to somewere more developed.

Again my apologies if I misjudged you and best of luck with your research.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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Well, I don't have firsthand experience yet, but my husband and I are going to Vieques with our 13 year old granddaughter next month. We picked it based on the reasonable prices of accommodations, the great snorkeling, lovely beaches, relatively undeveloped setting, the nearly-unique bioluminescent bay experience, ease of getting around by car, etc.

We have chosen to stay at Hacienda Tamarindo, which includes a full breakfast in its rates. It has nice sea views but is not on the water. I think we're paying around $250/night for a two bedroom suite, but their smaller rooms are much less expensive.

I also liked the look of His Island House and Bravo Beach Hotel. I believe they are in a similar price range of Tamarindo. There are smaller, less expensive guest houses on the island as well.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 04:17 PM
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hi ejcrowe, we would be going to vieques from n.y.c. and am trying to figure exactly how we'd get there. how are you getting there? i'd like to start planning for next february now and try to take advantage of my miles with american airlines. i will look into Hacienda Tamarindo. since your "advice" was so good regarding antigua, i trust your judgement.
peterboy...thanks for the apology.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 07:09 PM
  #10
ccc
 
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With American miles you should be able to get all the way there since American Eagle will be flying there by the time you go. If not, just get a cheap flight to SJU and take a puddle jumper fron San Juan or the ferry from Fajardo ($2).
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Apr 7th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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hi, putch--

we're flying american from hartford into san juan and then transferring to a local carrier for the vieques flight in order to maximize time in vieques. our american flight arrives in san juan around 11:00 and the vieques flight on american eagle doesn't leave until 3:00. we'd rather be on the beach by 3:00!

on the way back i think we're going to take the ferry back because it's more flexible than the flight schedules. we'll enjoy the boat ride and then also the taxi back to old san juan, where we're staying our last night.

there have been a couple of really negative reviews on Hacienda Tamarindo on TripAdvisor, but overall they are pretty positive. I liked the location and I've had very pleasant interactions with the staff via email and telephone, so we're going in hoping for the best. I really like the fact that they have an honor bar, so that husband, granddaughter, and I can all help ourselves, day or night, to drinks & sodas and just record them in a notebook. I've only experienced that once before, on Guana Island for our honeymoon, and I loved it. Much more convenient just to mix your own to your own preferences.

I'll give you the whole lowdown when I get back around the end of May.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 09:08 AM
  #12
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thanks for all the info. on vieques. what do you mean that american eagle will be flying there by the time we go? ejcrowe...you say that there is an american eagle flight that leaves for vieques at 4 p.m. does it leave each day at only that time? both my husband and i have spoken to people who've gone to puerto rico and had people robbing their belongings from their cars. would you consider vieques a "safe" island? ejcrowe...i'm assuming you do since you're going with your grandchild but i am curious to hear if anybody has had any safety issues in vieques. thanks.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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The last time I checked, American Eagle service was only once daily from SJU to Vieques, sometime in the 3:00-4:00pm range. This new service began in December 2005, I believe. It's possible that they will expand their service by the time you're planning to go, but who can say?

I've not found anything in my own reading on Vieques to cause any concern about our trip. WE never leave anything of value in the rental car anyway, but it certainly would be a bummer having to deal with a broken-into car. With the exception of Haiti, there's no place in the Caribbean that I would not go, based on safety issues alone.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM
  #14
ccc
 
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American Eagle was supposed to start flying in December '05 but apparently they have yet to receive some sort of TSA approval (Vieques' airport currently doesn't have any metal detectors, xray machines, etc.). The current thinking is that the flights will start this summer, but who knows. Even if they haven't started it's very straightforward and easy to get there. Re crime, like everywhere else Vieques has petty theft but nothing more than that. It's certainly nothing to keep one from going. Just take the normal precautions you would take anywhere else. You'll love Vieques. It's an awesome spot.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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American Eagle was suppose to start flying into VQS in December, but still has not. There is still no word on when. Island time, you know!
Cape Air is somehow affiliated with American Airlines and can transfer your luggage.
All the small hopper plane services run multiple times a day back and forth to SJU.

If you leave your car unlocked and nothing of value inside, no one will bother it. They think if it is locked you may have something worth breaking in for!

I have never felt unsafe, even while alone.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the correction about the American Eagle flights. They were showing up on www.aa.com in early March when I booked our tickets. It bugs me when something like that happens--you're trying to purchase a product or service that is marketed as already available when in fact it's not. Oh, well, I wasn't going to take the AE flight anyway!
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Apr 8th, 2006, 01:00 PM
  #17
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the one time we had a rental car broken into was in st. martin where they broke into the trunk and took my l.l. bean canvas bag that had nothing more than a bathing suit i loved and some personal items; nothing of value. i know the "rules" with rental cars in the caribbean...leave nothing in the glove compartment, backseat, etc. don't invite trouble. i'm glad to hear the general consensus is positive about vieques.
any recommendations for a "small" hotel near a beach with rooms that you'd like to spend a week coming back to after a day of exploring the island. we like places like: bucutti beach in aruba, victoria house on ambergris caye in beliz, coyaba in curacao, oyster pond beach hotel in st. martin, siboney beach in antigua. something along the order of these hotels. thanks.
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Apr 8th, 2006, 02:24 PM
  #18
ccc
 
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I would look into Haciendo Tamarindo, Bravo Beach Hotel, or Inn on the Blue Horizon. For something completely different (but great if it's up your alley) look at Hix Island House.
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Apr 15th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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the cable station Fine Living did a piece on the hix island house. i thought it looked too futuristic in that it was all concrete and very "cold" looking.
ejcrowe...i can't wait to hear what you thought of vieques and haciendo tamarindo.
i will carefully consider where to stay after that. right now i'm leaning toward
inn on the blue horizon.
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Apr 15th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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I will make a trip report as speedily as possible after my return. My husband and I both fell asleep last night reading PR guide books. We're just now getting into the counting down the days routine.

I'll also try to get over to Inn on the Blue Horizon for drinks or dinner one night, too. Not the same as staying there, but at least it's first hand information. In the meantime, have fun with the research!
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