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Which one? Nevis or Cayman?

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Jun 16th, 2007, 03:49 PM
  #1
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Which one? Nevis or Cayman?

Hello!
I thank everyone who responded to my 'picky, picky, picky' thread! I think I have narrowed it down to two places/hotels: 1. Ritz Carlton in Cayman Islands OR 2. Four Season's Nevis
I was wondering if anyone had any insight to either place or a preferce? Which one do you like better and why? Which island is lusher/more commercial? Which hotel is better? Which one has a nicer spa? Which one is easier to get to from Canada/US?

Don't really care about food (husband is a vegetarian and is used to very limited selections, "gee, should I have the quaisadia or the salad?"). Service is important to us. Low children activity is really important to me (now, don't go child bashing me: I teach grade 2 and would really like to have a kid free time...I am sure you can understand!!lol)
Any other comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated! LOVE THIS WEBSITE!!
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Jun 16th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Haven't been to the RC, but FS-nevis was crawling with kids and indulgent parents.
I've made this mistake 2x, and won't do it again.

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Jun 16th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Thanks, Scuba girl...much appreciate the kid comment. I didn't mention this criteria, but with your name perhaps you know: My husband is a diver; is the diving good in Nevis? Or, where is your favorite dive spot?
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Jun 16th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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To address some specifics... from most parts of the US (if not all), you'll find Cayman much easier to get to than Nevis.

The Ritz Carlton has a fantastic spa, for sure, but I've not been to FS Nevis, so can't comment.

You note you don't care about food (although I'm interested to find out what a "quaisadia" is !), but if you could say just what type of service is important to you if you rule out food (where service can be most important), that would help with advice on your selection.
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Jun 17th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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I personally would pick FS Nevis. I love the locals, the service at the FS is outstanding and then some, the lushness of the island and some things that are hard to put into words. We live in MN. We have to overnight to get to Nevis (something we have to do with other islands, as well). My husband hates to do this. With Nevis he said it was totally worth it. This is the only island he's ever felt that way about. You regain your sanity there.
The Cayman Islands are more commercial, especially if you stay on seven mile beach - which is where the Ritz is. Sorry, the spa is not a big "absolute to-do" on my list. CI's are probably going to be easier to get to for you. Also, the diving would be much better there.
I understand the child comment. We like kids, but don't have any. So, it's hard for us to to be around them. The kids that are there are not intrusive. They keep the families in a separate section and they have a kids pool and two adults pools. They are not right next to each other like they are at some hotels. However, if you eat all of your meals at the hotel, they don't have separate restaurants. The families that we saw all had well-behaved children, but there are no guarantees anywhere.
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Jun 17th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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I also teach 2nd grade and desire a vacation destination away from kids!!!!!!

Having said that, we leave on Thursday for Nevis/St. Kitts and St. Barts... We look for quiet hotels where we will get great service and be left alone. I am not a fan of FS....The rooms are ok, but not worth the money that they will charge.//We have been there/done that and are off to Oualie Beach....Yes, not fancy, but if one upgrades to a premier room, it is fine! For a comparison: Our ocean front room at the Marriott in St. Kitts is not any nicer than a garden view at the 4S.
Just my 2 cents.

The spa at the 4S is very good and, I think the service is great. Be sure to visit Sunshines for a Killer Bee and Chevy's for lunch/dinner!
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Jun 18th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Diving is undoubtedly better in Grand Cayman, but that island is also very commercial, and you'd be in a high-rise convention hotel. If that's the experience you are looking for, then the Ritz-Carlton there would be a good choice.

If you want a smaller, less commerical island, then look at Nevis. To avoid the kids, how about a small plantation inn (for which Nevis is known world-wide) instead of the Four Seasons? Many of these would meet your requirements. Diving is ok in Nevis, though not nearly as spectacular as it is in Grand Cayman.
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Jun 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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I've been to both FS Nevis and RC Cayman recently (last year for FS and this year for RC). We only went to RC because we were in Parrot Cay and it rained the first 3 days and was not supposed to stop any time soon, so we left and went to RC. While the Ritz was a very nice hotel, it is just much larger, busier, noiser than we like. It's a massive hotel, and you go out to the pool and beach and it is wall to wall people. Very loud, very crowded.

At FS Nevis, it's a much smaller property and even when it is crowded, it doesn't seem like it is. We really enjoyed the FS. Rooms were very nice, typical FS service. Spa was fantastic, better than the Ritz. While the spa at the Ritz was nice, it is just another nice hotel spa. At FS, the spa really is a great place to relax, as they have a nice plunge pool, a lovely hot tub with waterfall, and it's all outisde, with little cottages as the treatment rooms.
Cant' speak to diving, as that's not our thing, but from what I know, the diving in the Caymans is probably much better.

All in all, while we liked the Ritz (rooms were gorgeous, great service, etc.), it's like being in a large commercial hotel anywhere in the world (reminded me a lot of south Florida). Probably would not go back. FS Nevis, on the other hand, we really loved and would definitely return.
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Jun 18th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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I have not been to the Cayman islands or the Ritz, but the Four Seasons Nevis is a gorgeous, lovely, quiet destination. The spa is incredible! I had several massages (including a hydro-massage!), reflexogy, and a facial and all were fabulous. The main building is gorgeous, the waiting areas are lovely and the treatments themselves take place in little gingerbread cottage like buildings. Everyone I came into contact with there was gracious and professional.

As for children being an issue, it never was for us. The first time we visited it was to celebrate our 10th anniversary and the second time we returned with our own children. Our kids are well behaved as were most of the other children we encountered. When my husband and I traveled without our children, I hardly remember encountering any other children at all. We spent most of our time at the pools that are not geared toward kids. I never encountered any "indulgent" parents when we spent time at the ocean or the pool that is geared toward kids.

My children are well traveled, polite, and, respectful. They are also quiet when the situation calls for it - such as dinner or other common areas. Most children we encountered at this resort were the same. I would also say that we traveled during the summer months both times and the resort really seemed deserted. You may have a different experience if you traveled during busier times.

That being said, when we return to Nevis this summer, we are visiting Nisbet. I wanted to try this smaller plantation resort since we first decided to visit Nevis, it seems like a more authentic experience. Also easier on the budget! Nisbet has been wonderful making me feel like our kids are welcome, we are really looking forward to returning to this paradise of an island.
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Jun 19th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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Thank you everyone!

Does anyone else ever think that too much information isn't necessarily a good thing? LOL...seriously, I appreciate all the info!
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:25 PM
  #11
 
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I lived at the Georgetown Villas on 7 mile beach in Cayman (7 years) and now live on Nevis (11 years). We left Cayman because it was no different than Miami. We settled on Nevis because it was still unspoiled and tropical. I've had guests complain that there are no sidewalks in Charlestown. but, hey, the city is 400 years old. Georgetown, Cayman is new - new- new and VERY American.
The Ritz Carlton and the Hyatt Regency on Cayman are big concrete American hotels. The 4S on Cayman is a low density tropical paradise.
Grand Cayman island is a low lying atoll. There is no water: the have a desal plant. The highest point is 60' above sea level. Nevis is an extict volcanic island and boasts a lush tropical rain forest. There is an abundant supply of fresh sweet water. In fact if it doesn't rain for three weeks the Nevisians go into a panic and claim that they are having a drought.
I've never understood the complaint about kids. They will be wherever you go IF you go during school holidays. I found them less invasive at the 4S Nevis than the properties on Grand Cayman. I'd much rather have an expansive property that spreads the guest out over the entire property (Nevis) than a single lobby high density hotel that congregates most to all guests in one lobby/great house.
4SNevis has the nicer spa.
They are both easy to get to. Fly through San Juan to get to Nevis and through Miami to get to Cayman.
Cayman is #1 for Scuba and for snorkling (Sting ray city) but there is good diving in Nevis (Oualie Beach Water Sports) that the hotel will arrange for you.
Tha Ritz and Hyatt will have vegetarian dishes on their menus but, as usual, that tends to pasta. Nevis has more traditional island restaurants throughout the island (not American meat and potatoes) and the concierge will suggest local restaurants for you to try away from the resort. There is a large East Indian population and they can cook up some amazing vegetarian foods.
It's too bad that scubagirl had a bad time at 4S with kids. I've never felt crowded even when the hotel is full and we'vew not had bad experiences with spoiled children.
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Jun 24th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Awesome report...much appreciated!!
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Jun 25th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Both will be crawling with kids any time of year, even when school is in session you will see plenty of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers at the resorts -- consider Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on Nevis, a far better option than the Four Seasons, in my opinion. It will be much quieter and peaceful.
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Jun 25th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Eileen seems to have a desire to avoid kids. She posted similar comments on "St.Lucia, St. Kitts of Nevis" query. Children are not the end-all consideration for a good vacation aid for by your hard earned money. Four Seasons, Nevis is family freindly but the resort os so spread out and they have so many kid programs that we've not had a lot of interference with kids even during Easter and Spring breaks. Nisbett's Plantation is just as family freindly as the others. Check out the packages offered at the hotels and pay attention to whether school is in or the little darlings are on vacation. The more affordable hotels and plantations will also attract families. I've found that the 4S has fewer children per capita than Nesbitt's or Golden Rock and they, in turn have more than the Hermitage and Montpellier. The Marriott on St. Kitts is a big, big, concrete convention/family hotel. Don't go there if you want a laid back atmosphere. In terms of cost: Four Season's is the priciest, followed by Montpellier, Nesbitt's, Hermitage, Olde Manor, Golden Rock and Oualie's Beach. Only 4S, Nesbitt's and Oualie are actually on the beach. Take into consideratoin that the other plantations are higher up the mountainside to take advantage of cooler air at their elevations and they all have jitneys to their beach locations.
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Jun 25th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Eileen seems to have a desire to avoid kids. She posted similar comments on "St.Lucia, St. Kitts or Nevis" query. Children are not the end-all consideration for a good vacation aid for by your hard earned money. (Having said that, we just had a terrible experience at 4S Aviara which was crawling with the little darlings. School's out and Sea World and Disneyland are at high season. We should have known better.) Four Seasons, Nevis is family freindly but the resort is so spread out and they have so many kid programs that we've not had a lot of interference with kids even during Easter and Spring breaks. Nisbett's Plantation is just as family freindly as the others. Check out the packages offered at the hotels and pay attention to whether school is in or the little darlings are on vacation. The more affordable hotels and plantations will also attract families. I've found that the 4S has fewer children per capita than Nesbit's or Golden Rock and they, in turn have more than the Hermitage and Montpellier. The Marriott on St. Kitts is a big, big, concrete convention/family hotel. Don't go there if you want a laid back atmosphere. In terms of cost: Four Season's is the priciest, followed closely by Montpellier and Nesbit's, and Hermitage, then Olde Manor, Golden Rock and Oualie's Beach. Only 4S, Nesbit's and Oualie are actually on the beach. Take into consideratoin that the other plantations are higher up the mountainside to take advantage of cooler air at their elevations and they all have jitneys to their beach locations. You will want to take the Carib Queen ferry to St. Kitts for a day and ride the sugar cane train or visit Rawlin's Plantation.
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Jul 7th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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I am a fan of kid free vacations as much as possible. Don't have any and prefer to not to be around them.

We enjoyed the superb facilities and service at the GC Ritz enough that we are returning in a few weeks. There were limited kids even at the pool and their kids programs and facilities are comprehensive. Also, I quite imagine that if there any out of control kids it would not be tolerated as it is on most cruise ships and large hotels.

I do meeting planning for a living and would not equate the Ritz to a typical convention high rise. The size is certainly not typical nor is the service.

As for Nevis, I have never been.
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