Which island do you like and why?

Dec 24th, 2004, 03:45 PM
  #1  
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Which island do you like and why?

Len3,
Starting new thread from your question from Cancun thread.

Excellent question and it really varies from person to person, hopefully others will chime in.

For me, I like so many islands but for different reasons. I like to travel somewhere, usually places I haven't been, to really absorb what it in particular has to offer. For example:

I like Bermuda because its a short flight, nice beaches, great golf and upscale. Bahamas because again its quick to get to, nice beaches, but particularly like the out islands for the peace and quiet...don't need golf, thats just a nice to have, not a requirement. I like Turks and Caicos again nice beaches, most spectacular water I've ever seen. Anguilla again nice beaches, great restaurants...remote feel.

I like Tobago, Nevis, St. Lucia, Grenada because they offer a much more true island experience, they're lush and island activities (hiking, historical sites) abound. Though generally the trade off is not as for diving or snorkeling (Tobago is an exception).

I like Bonaire for the diving and snorkeling and it also has a great laid back feel, great restaurants. I like Cayman for the diving and snorkeling, pretty much thats it...as well as Cozumel, Roatan and Belize.

Thats just Carib favorites, I've also traveled to French Polynesia, Cook Islands which offer, if you go to the off beat areas, great remote feeling and a different ball of wax for water....the lagoons are fascinating and beautiful.

Seychelles are if you get off Mahe again remote and excellent water sports, remote feel, pristine beaches. As are Maldives.

Redang (Malaysia) in the South China Sea, definitely remote but sort of resortish....definite fine line between locals and resorts. Interesting place, not easy to get to, sounds strange I know given the resortish comment. Can explain more if anyone has interest. Penang (Malaysia) busy not great beaches but culture abounds.

In the Med, Malta but particularly its sister island Gozo tops the list for Med island. A place so shrouded in history, so topside its an extreme pleasure and the water is spectacular...beaches generally rocky. The Maltese are friendly and food excellent.

Canary Islands, they vary Tenerife is interesting but busy...varied climate, desert one side and lush the other...high mountain, scenic....great food. Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Gomera more off but vary geographically.

Madiera is lush, history, geography, culture.

I'm sure I've missed others but bottomline, each holds its own attraction.

I don't like place that are overly touristed, especially Americanized touristic places. Now this is just me and there's nothing wrong with these places other than to me its not my cup of tea. I just don't like alot of 'playground' type entertainment and thats what Americans crave and going to American catered places thats what you GENERALLY get...though fortunately there are exceptions, Jamaica lovers will agree Negril is one! Americans need busy places with everything imaginable...I prefer low key, again thats just me. Places of most turn off are: Cancun, Aruba, Freeport Bahamas, Hawaii (Oahu, Maui (now didn't used to be))

Many other places I've been are adequately good for what I like and some I know I've missed and someone will chime in...please do!

Happy travels to all and Merry Christmas!
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 04:25 PM
  #2  
 
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Wow have you traveled!!!I feel inadequate to comment on the few islands I have been in comparison.
I agree with Bermuda. We have been there several times and love it. The atmosphere, the people, and the food is always good. I would return again.
Did not care for Cancun. The water issue is something I have hard time with.
We went to the Bahamas and I found it okay. We stayed at the Atlantis and it is the ultimate americanized new yorker vacation spot. No offense I was born and raised a yankee myself. The food was good and we enjoyed this trip because it was a family group trip and we never had to leave the compound. I doubt I would go back.
I liked Aruba. It is another very americanized island. It is a great island to take the kids. There were a ton of watersports for the kids (and the husband who is a big kid). The beaches are nice and the food good. I did not find the wind to be a problem like you did. Maybe we had a good week.
Puerto Rico. Went several times in the 80's and early 90's. We had fun there. My sister in law is from there so we went to some local places. They were married there also.It was more fun feeling like an insider traveling there.
Lastly, Hawaii. I would love to return with my kids now. I went when my 12 year old was a baby. It's a long trip, but a beautiful place. I enjoyed staying in Honolulu and the uniqueness of a city on a beach. Maui was okay. I would probably choose a different island to visit.
Merry Christmas all!!! I will be on duty soon as Santa...
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Girlonthego,
Too funny on Americanized New Yorker...I love New York! For Aruba, unfortunately for me my experiences there have also been short (just passing through, a night or two) and always stay at the WINDham lol which I hear is the worst for wind...but its generally gail force and the beach there is one activity after another, which I just don't care for...folks with young kids YEP by all means its great! I should give it a real good try and rent a villa there, somewhere off the beaten trail...they do exist
For Hawaii, try Kauai or The Big Island areas off the beaten trail...if you can get to Molakai do so, its really not so thrilling, adequate beaches but off the trail and hey there's not a bad golf course there.
Again happy travel and Merry Christmas!
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Both Traveler and Girl, I agree with ya'll. Love St. Lucia and not those over-Americanized developed places. I have two children 7 and 10 and they loved St. Lucia----the people and lushness is unbelievable. However, I can see how it is not developed enough for some.

Traveler, thanks for the suggestions on the Grenadines. I am still up in the air about what to do the other week when in StL. I might bite the bullet and go to wherever Liat can take us from Castries that we like---maybe Barbados (which we have never been) for the first leg. I am open to any other ideas.

For those going to STl, my cousin just got back from STl and said the road was mostly finished from Hewanorra.

Merry Xmas!!!! Santa is coming soon after a couple more rums!!
croix is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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Croix,
You really might want to spend your whole time in St. Lucia...it truly is a great place and so large and as you've found from your research not easy to get from point a to point b....well won't say too much not easy but its time consuming, you can certainly drive yourself if you want it really isn't hard just can't go fast because of all the potholes. I really think you might be able to really plunge into St. Lucia and seeks some areas not ordinarily traveled and get some great experiences. Just a thought. Whatever you decide have an excellent trip!
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Traveler, thanks. We did thoroughly enjoy our 2 weeks in STl last July. You may be right--just immerse ourselves again there. Do you know of any good houses/inexpensive places we can do one week there in conjunction with Jalousie for another week? Is if feasible to do that and get fish to grill from the market etc or is it best being at a restort?

We also could spend more time at Canaries and Anse La Raye.
croix is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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Croix,
Definitely check out Tropical Villas at:
www.tropicalvillas.net
You can rent a private villa, most are in Cap Estate (far north end) though others in various locations. Most of the villas come with a housekeeper and private cook...though some don't, do enquire. The nice part of the private cook is they know where to shop (fish!) and cook some great things...you just give guidance, if any, we typically just tell cooks to COOK! we like anything. You do have to take them shopping as most don't have own trans...its definitely an island experience in itself. They are also a wealth of knowledge for more local things. Can do the same on Bequia and other islands....its a great way to travel with a family or group.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2004, 05:44 PM
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Croix,
I missed your message about Barbados. It is a busy place but not a bad place, its really pretty international and not too americanized. However, its easy to get from stateside, I'd really save that for another trip. And/or if you do that you can also use it as a great, if not better jumping off point to the Grenadines...more charters avail and/or what they call shared charters, pretty much scheduled flights but of course you don't have plane to yourself but who cares. I can recommend some charters if you like. As others have mentioned there's other great island other than Bequia, Canouan, Union, etc. All great, the latter more gin clear waters...very spectacular. If you like the idea of villa rental and have big purse Mustique is a place to go. Hope this helps.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 25th, 2004, 01:06 AM
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Well ...... I am up REALLY early , waiting to be Santa ! My Input will not be so much what islands I love , but also those I want to visit ! You can gain a lot from this site , and I have been able to figure out which islands would and would not interest me . Have been to Barbados , it was OK , but we would not return , same for Margarita . We really loved Port Antonio Jamaica , and would love to return . Although most of our return trips have been back to Costa Rica which we love . So , you Fodorites have helped me discover that I have on my list ... St.Lucia , Dominica , St. Vincent and The Grenadines , Tobago , Grenada , and Martinique . Soooo ..... SANTA ???? Merry Christmas all !!! Faith
faithie is offline  
Dec 25th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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Personally we have traveled to all those mentioned and more except Sycelles. If snorkeling and diving, but little beach, and rustic but nice accomodations (A/C)is your thing I like Anthony's Key Resort on Roatan, Honduras. Tobago is nice but we did not like the Blue Horizon.St Vincent would be at the bottom of our list, especially Young Island Resort.The resort looks good but rooms were not that nice and food was marginal.Early threads speak well of Caneel Bay Resort on St. John. We have been there 7-8 times over the past 14 years and like the beaches, snorkeling, diving and the grounds are first rate. The rooms are in good taste but a bit small and the food has not been very good the past 4 years.
Bermuda is convenient but for some reason it does not give me the feeling of being away unless you go to one of the small up-scale resorts-not the Hamilton Princess or similar.We have not been back in 5 years but found the food only satisfactory on both visits. I just do not like Martinique. The attitude of the local natives seemed like they were doing us a favor at the hotel and in most of the resturants.I would second the Four Seasons on Nevis-5 stars but would exclude St. Maarten,Guadelope, Cabo and others along that penninsula. I should not leave out Barbados, but it is touristy like Aruba/Cancun but not nearly as over crowded.Hope this long response helps. We have been traveling for 38 years (3-4 times a year) and these are the places in North America.
StanKase is offline  
Dec 25th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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Thanks To Traveler and StanKase. Traveler, agree totally with you on Cancun on another thread. It was big in 87 when I was there.

Also, thanks for the info on Barbados--Faithie and Traveler. I know it is heavily developed/populated. Just want to puddle hop somewhere since I am booked FF points to STL for two weeks---the Jalousie gets expensive. We might just hunker down in Dominica for a week at a guest house.

I have to say---my cousin and french wife just got back from Stl and Martinique for a week----she is French. The loved STL and thought Mart. was a let down, less friendly and very few beaches. Outside of Forte De France people ingored you.

So, I am still in the quest for the other island for a week. This is the fun-----PLANNING!!!!!!

MXmas!
croix is offline  
Dec 25th, 2004, 07:07 PM
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Good luck in your quest , you really can not go wrong ! Dominica looks amazing .
faithie is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Croix,
For Dominica, it really needs more than a week...big place. Two places you might want to look into are Seacliff Cottages and Harmony Villa.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Barbados. It has some of everything any island can offer except for gambling and a volcano. Lovely people, lush green tropical setting, clean air, pure water, wide range of hotels, beaches, water sports, sightseeing such as caves, tropical gardens, animal preserves, plantation houses, submarine ride. Outstanding restaurants, both in hotels and independent. All revolves around a British/Caribbean culture so you don't feel like you're just in tropical America. Barbados is a really special place with a strong economy, not dependent only on tourism, so a visitor experiences a sense of a place which is beyond just a resort on a beach. Generally avoid August-October (hurricane season). Otherwise weather is great all year-perpetual summer with water temps over 80 deg. even in winter. Lowest hotel rates are mid-April to mid-December, with a big jump in high season. Calmest water for swimming/snorkeling is on the calm!
west coast north of Bridgetown. IMO the best hotel on that stretch is Coral Reef Club. Family-owned for 50 years, low-rise and plantation cottage style hotel in tropical gardens and fine beach. Barbados is a really special place. See www.barbados.org and www.caribisles.com ......Ken.....
xkenx is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 03:27 PM
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xkenx,
I agree with you on Barbados, it actually it one of the very few "busy" places have enjoyed...although I'm still undecided as to whether I want to really return or not. Its adequate, does have alot more to offer than most places but to me can't offer off the beaten trail unless I really dig for that...other islands, particularly Grenadines nearby have that. Enjoy whereever you go! Happy travels!
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