Which Island?

Old Jan 5th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Which Island?

I have planned all my trips with help form you fodorites & after 1month of solid research here I am again confused & seeking help. I have an 8 month old baby & am interested in a caribbean island with direct flights from NYC. We like nice hotels, good food, nice beach,not much in way of activities this time due to the baby. I have considered FDR at Jamaica but dont like the hotel & with an 8 month old dont need child geared activities right now plus with too many children he may not even be able to nap during the day & have been to Negril last year. I am looking at Windkammer St Lucia, Marriott at St Thomas, Grand Case Beach Club in St.Martin, or Sands at Grace Bay in Turks. I really would like feedback on these locations with a baby & these particular hotels with a baby ( would need crib etc). Want to go end of Jan for 10 days. Have done the AI & not too keen on it but am open to all suggestions, even other islands ( have been to Jamaica, PR, Aruba, Curacao so not those) Thanks in advance. Have a great 2010.
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Old Jan 5th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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have not been, but as i understand it windjammer landing is hillside meaning lots of schleping up and down hill all day.

have no info on st. martin

on st. thomas i would strongly advise you look at secret harbour beach resort. wonderful quiet resort on an otherwise busy island. all the rooms are condo style - a one bedroom would be perfect for you with the little one, even a studio would do. very nice beach with plenty of shade available right outside your front door. all units have good sized patio or deck which you might enjoy in evenings when little one has gone to bed. good onsite restaurant and beach bar plus excellent snorkeling off their beach. if you pick shbr when you book explain that you have 8 month old and need to be in one of the beachfront buildings and prefer on beach level.
marriott is ok but also on a hill - long way to their beach, unless you can get into the morningstar section of the hotel.

the sands on provo is wonderful. also condo style rooms with onsite restaurant and bar. very child friendly. excellent perk is screened decks as you will spend time their in evening and during nap time. options might include royal west indies or ocean club west.
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Old Jan 5th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Thanks virginia,this sure helps.I will look at secret harbor beach resort.Thanks
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Old Jan 6th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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We have been to each of these resorts..I would pick the Sands on Turks & Caicos, easy AA flight, great suites, nice kid friendly pool,very good on site restaurant.
Grand Case Beach Club, smallish beach, we drove to better beaches, excellent dining in Grand Case.
Windjammer Landing, 1 hour from airport, lots of hills, steep ones, Rats -not one but even in the rafters during dinner, bugs in suite, rained a lot and water came in terrace doors!! No way!
St. Thomas Marriott -nice , lots of hills too, better places to stay-big resort!
Again TCI- The Sands gets my vote!
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Old Jan 6th, 2010, 02:39 AM
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I live on St Martin, and I think that the Grand Case Beach Club, which I know well, would be perfect for you.

The units are equipped with their own small kitchens, it is located right on a private sandy beach with permanently calm water, and cribs and baby sitting are available on request.

It is not really geared to families with older children, but it is ideal for your situation. My son and daughter in law stay there regularly, and have done so for some years - even when they had a baby the same age as yours.

There are no facilities such as spas, fitness centres, kids clubs etc, but there are water sports and diving available, and a tennis court. There is a very pleasant bar from which to watch the sunsets, and a pretty good restaurant which also provides room service if required. The place is very well run and maintained, and has a nice relaxed atmosphere atmosphere.

The Beach Club is very private, and is in a great location at the end of the Grand Case Boulevard which is considered to be the cullinary 'Mecca' of the Carribean, with a superb range of excellant restaurants and a good number of interesting boutiques.

There isn't much in the way of nightlife on the French side of the island, though there is at least one decent nightclub in Grand Case. If you want night clubs, casinos and glitz, Burger King and KFC, go to the overdeveloped Dutch side, but the duty free shopping there is excellent.

You have direct flights from JFK with American on certain days, and with Jet Blue, also every day from Newark with Continental (4 hours and 15 minutes and the flight is always early !).

It would be neccessary to rent a car if you really want to see the entire 37 square miles of the island, but if you just want to relax locally, taxis would probably be a better option.

If you decide on the Beach Club, I strongly suggest that you book immediately (you may be too late even now) and, if given a choice, request a beachfront unit.

Good luck
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Old Jan 6th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Oh gosh I am lucky that Caribzack has stayed at all the places I asked about, thanks a ton.
Will the weather be a problem in Provo? Thats my only concern.
Thanks also David SXM, I think you captured exactly what kind of a place I need. I think I have to decide now b/w st thomas, st martin & provo.St Lucia seems out with the rats .......grrrr
Let me know about weather end of Jan/Feb in Provo .Thanks
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Old Jan 6th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Jan/Feb is wonderful on Provo, warm days, no problem swimming -water is perfect IMO, maybe a lite sweater at night...not always.
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Old Jan 6th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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Thanks Caribzack, any other suggestions from anyone?
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Old Jan 7th, 2010, 02:07 AM
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Hi Caribzack.

Grand Case Beach Club has TWO private beaches. I agree that the one on the left (looking out to sea) is short and narrow, but the other, on the right, looking out towards Creole Rock where many people snorkel, is consiberably larger and has more depth. As both are completely private, they are easily sufficient to support the requirements of this, relatively small, complex.

Perhaps you didn't notice it !

I have never seen either crowded - as compared to - say - Orient Bay, or many of the other beaches on either side of the island which are open to the general public, maany supporting numbers of beach bars and other activities.

drsaloni, I suggest that you take a look at the photo of the Petite Plage in the resort photo gallery to get a better idea of what I mean.
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Old Jan 7th, 2010, 02:43 AM
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DavidSXM ...yes, I know of both beaches, I did "notice"
I guess I am spoiled now with Grace Bay on Turks & Caicos with the 12 mile beach that one can walk for hours...just my favorite now..
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Old Jan 7th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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You both have such good points towards both the islands that I am researching only these 2 now. Caribzack, sands may or may not be available, if I dont get it how royal west indies or ocean club ( not west )I guess since we are late I am looking at other places too.Or any other hotel suggestion? Thanks.
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Old Jan 7th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Of the 2 you mention...Royal West Indies( GREAT on site restaurant) What about Alexandra? Or Villa Renissance ( no restaurant but, can walk to many--very close)
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 05:27 AM
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Looked at Ganesvoort, after researching decided against it. Now considering Sands or Royal Caribbean - need ocen view thats the problem.RWI suites, when they say ocean view, is it true or can it be a sliver of ocean.As if thats true then at Grand Case Beach Club am getting oceanfront for the same price, so am tempted. Can someone tell me a little more about RWI? I am researching it but am concerned about the room, the views & the distance to restaurants.Thanks.
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Correct Oceanview is NOT Oceanfront , Big Diff...
at Sands Ocean view could be pool in front etc, same at RWI
Sands location is betetr in my opinion, like restaurants near there better.
Don't blame you about Grand Case Beach Club, oceanfront and walk to dinner !! Just prefer Turks myself!
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Old Jan 8th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Caribzack, my husband & I really want turks for the beaches & the casual feel with the baby but view is imp as we will be in the room alot & also almost every night while baby sleeps , it will be nice to have a view since we will mainly be indoors.Thanks for the input on sands & RWI views.Should decide latest by this w/e or we will get no where.Thanks.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 02:19 AM
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At Grand Case Beach Club when booking INSIST on a front line duplex unit - GUARANTEED.

Most have a very small garden space in front of the french windows, equipped with a couple of loungers, there you are about 6 feet above the beach, with a direct sea view.

With the baby in the room, you could be just outside in the moonlight with a bottle of champagne and hear everytime the baby gurgles !

Be aware, the Grand Case Beach Club is not like a 'standard hotel', inasmuch as you don't have a fancy reception area, the only additional 'facility' is the tennis court - I think there is a pool somewhere, but I have never seen it, and it really seems quite unnecessary anyway - but it has a very nice relaxed atmosphere and all the usual room service, watersports available, baby sitting, etc. though very low key. What you do have is the location, and well equipped units, some of which have only recently been re-modled.
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Old Jan 9th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Thanks David SXM, I will ask front line duplex unit, I still book oceanfront 1 bedroom right? or is it studio with loft?Let me know, will book it if we are going there.Thanks
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Old Jan 10th, 2010, 02:42 AM
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I have never been upstairs in any of the units rented at GCBC by my son and his family, but they have always been full two bedroom duplexes, plus a convertible sofa in the living room, so I am not sure whether one bedroom / loft units exist on the front line. As they are all the same height, I assume that there are no studios.

Check it out, but I suggest that you do so as soon as possible as this particular property usually enjoys a higher level of occupancy (with many return guests) than most around here in these troubled economic times. By the way, that doesn't mean that it gets crowded, as it not huge, and it is nicely spread out, so you don't notice hordes of other people.

Please let us know what you find out, as a lot of forum visitors seem interested in getting information about the place.

I might just run over there myself at 'happy hour' this evening and watch the sunset from the bar. If I do, I will find out a few more details and keep you informed !
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Old Jan 11th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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You are absolutely right, we had complete internet failure this w/e just got it fixed & GCBC isnt available, bummer but will keep checking.I called them they have studios with loft, thats the duplex & so everyone knows they dont provide highchairs but provide cribs for $10/night.David SXM you've been sohelpful, how is Coral Beach Club?There are such few reviews but it looks nice.
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Old Jan 13th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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So Grand Case isnt available & am too too excited that we booked Sands at Turks & caicos. Thanks to all I have a million questions about Sands but will post separately again.Thanks Caribzack & David SXM, I am surely going to visit GCBC maybe in fall- cant let so much research go to waste.
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