Xmas beach that's easy to get to?

Aug 19th, 2004, 09:01 AM
  #1  
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Xmas beach that's easy to get to?

I need help finding a good beach place for a week in the Caribbean (Xmas time) that is relatively easy to fly into. There are 5 of us (2 30-something couples and my mother), and we are much more the homey villa types than the big resort hotel types. Like to be away from the crowds, but still have an option or two for food and drinks. (Budget: moderate/high.)

I'm starting to think Puerto Rico, but I've never been. Any advice out there? Recommended area to look, maybe even a specific place to stay? Thanks.
jp36 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 10:41 AM
  #2  
 
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For request for suggestions of this type, please first of all let us know where you are flying in from, as this may well impact the choice.
TomCayman is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 11:22 AM
  #3  
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Good point. I would be flying from DC (any airport); others from Chicago.

And despite my last message's leaning to Puerto Rico, I'm really just trying to figure out a destination that satisfies the quiet beach needs AND doesn't require countless planes, trains, and automobiles or cost more than $1000 to get to.

Thanks.
jp36 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 09:35 PM
  #4  
 
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United / USAirways offer direct flights from Dulles to San Juan (IAD-SJU). Puerto Rico offers a nice mix of things to do as well as places to stay.

You can easily stay at one of the bigger resorts such as Hyatt Dorado or Wydham El Conquistador. Both these resorts are about 45 minutes away from the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and you can get to them by renting a car or by taking hotel shuttles. Conquistador is newer and bigger. the hotel was recently rennovated and offers great pools. The beach is a bit more difficult since you need to take a ferry to thier private island. Personally, I prefer Dorado. The hotel originated as a grapefruit plantation that belonged to the Rockefellar family. While the selection of restaurants might be more limited on the premesis, you can easily venture out to the town of Dorado. The beach here is beatiful and comfortable and I love that you can order drinks and food right from your beach chair. The hotel also has two pools, tennis courts, and GREAT golfing. These resorts also offer day trips to Old San Juan-- if you are intersted in seeing the colonial city OSJ can be a real treat.

You mentioned that you prefer homey villas to resorts. I will also suggest Palmas del Mar in Humacao. Situated near the Conquistador, these villas are actually privately owned and you can rent them by the evening or week. Palmas is a great option as it offers lots of eating options. It also offers good golfing and a variety of pool options. The only drawback is the beach, while it is beautiful the undercurrent is very strong, so swimming means being very cautious.

You should also seriously consider Vieques. I have not stayed at, but have heard great things about the Inn on the Blue Horizon and I know there are lots of houses you can rent. It is very easy to get to from the airport, a quick plane ride. And Vieques offers lots of interesting watersports such as kayaking in the bioluminescent bay.

I go down to Puerto Rico every winter and find it is a perfect vacation. Have a great time with whatever you decide to do.

sturgeon0 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2004, 11:29 PM
  #5  
 
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A last-minute option (since it's now hard to find Christmas/New Year's openings): CULLODEN CAFE on the South Coast outside Whitehouse in Jamaica is converting from a small restaurant to a private villa that sleeps up to 6 and should be available for Christmas. A good area/good food and probably will be reasonably-priced as most weeks during these holidays will be 'premium'/aka higher priced anywhere in the Caribbean you look. Contact the owner ANN LYONS for info.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2004, 08:44 AM
  #6  
 
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Cayman is also a good option... United and Cayman Airways have non-stop service from Chicago, United is (I think) putting non-stop service in from Dulles.

Re Xmas, lots and lots of condos and villas in Cayman, but you definitely need to be looking at booking now.

An interesting thing this year is that Xmas falls on a Saturday, so that makes booking agencies do odd things.

Some may put rates up to the usual stratospheric (demand driven) xmas levels as early as Dec 18th, others may not until Dec 21st or 22nd, plus minimum length of stay will vary greatly.

Oh, and note that these days a lot of people are copying the airlines and running specials to encourage confirmation of bookings before the end of September (which is otherwise notoriously slow for bookings)
TomCayman is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 12:56 PM
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check out Villa Montana in Isabela, 5 minutes from Aguadilla airport (fly direct from NewaRK ON Continental or Jet Blue) or Rincon --like the Horned Dorset Primavera
isolabella is offline  
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