Best place to go for vacation on a Caribbean island?

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#1
Have a big anniversary coming up in the spring and would appreciate recommendations about vacation spots for April, 2016.

Criteria: Caribbean island, nice beaches, not a family resort with lots of kids, safe, possibly not completely flat (not a deal breaker).

Thanks!
 
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#2
If you go to Punta Cana do not go to the Majestic but do go to the Hard Rock. But in the DR you are pretty much secluded to your resort unless you aspire to live life on the edge.

My favorite is St Marten as it is #1 beautiful and #2 you can roam around all parts of the island without any hesitation. And very little junket salespeople at your every step which ruins me on other spots. Stayed at the Westin on the beach great place, great staff and plenty of fun to have.
http://www.westinstmaarten.com

I'm sure there are plenty of other places and BY is the place to ask. Good luck choosing Db2U and Happy Anniversary - which one? Just had 25 myself
 

8893

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#3
At the risk of being another one of the idiots who answers a different question than the one you asked, I will recommend Costa Rica. It's not an island, but it has a Caribbean coast, as well as a Pacific coast. We honeymooned there and it was fantastic. When we celebrate a major anniversary that's where I want to go again. It has tons of nice beaches and it is not a family resort, and it is far from flat. Lots of very cool volcano, cloud forest and rain forest stuff. Excellent food and drink and very friendly and literate people for the most part.

I have never been to any of the Caribbean islands, but my wife has spent a lot of time on St. Croix many years ago and speaks highly of it. Several friends prefer St. John best of all because of the lack of development and the amazing natural beauty. And another good friend loves Tortola for a combination of factors.
 
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#4
Funny this topic came up, me and the mrs. Just got back from a 11 day stay in Jamaica yesterday. Sandals resorts were built for honeymoons and anniversaries. And ... No kids. Just don't expect to go out exploring on your own outside the resorts. But they do offer excursions.
 
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#5
Turk and Caicos has one of the most beautiful beach, Grace Bay Beach, in the world. Sibonne hotel is one of the best values you will find in the Caribbean. They have two beach front rooms plus a beach front apartment. You would want to definitely get one of those rooms. The hotel is small and does not offer a lot of the amenities of a large hotel but that is part of what makes it charming. Also what makes it appealing is it's a short flight to get there.
 

SubbaBub

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#6
Dogbreath2U said:
Have a big anniversary coming up in the spring and would appreciate recommendations about vacation spots for April, 2016.

Criteria: Caribbean island, nice beaches, not a family resort with lots of kids, safe, possibly not completely flat (not a deal breaker).

Thanks!
I enjoy the British Virgin Islands. Not crowded, few family resorts, beaches, access to sailing, snorkeling, scuba, island hopping.

If you want to save a few bucks on airfare the USVI are also nice. You can access some of the BVI from St. Thomas and St. John as well.

Last trip the missus and I stayed at Long Bay Resort in Tortola. We about this time of the year and there a were exactly 9 other people staying at the resort if the restaurant is any indication. Saw about 4 on the beach. Day sailed to Jost Van Dyke for more of a laid back party vibe. It's the home of the famous Soggy Dollar Bar.

If you want flat, then Aruba or maybe Bonaire is more your speed. Not a ton of kids in either place.

If you pick the right resort almost any island will do. Those that rely on tourism are all fairly safe if you are not careless.

Funny story though our van transfer on Tortola stopped along the way to the resort to pick up another fare. Freaked the wife out a bit, but it turns out to be a fairly common thing on the island. As long as you are with a guide or any hospitality worker you are perfectly fine.
 
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#7
If you go to Punta Cana do not go to the Majestic but do go to the Hard Rock. But in the DR you are pretty much secluded to your resort unless you aspire to live life on the edge.

My favorite is St Marten as it is #1 beautiful and #2 you can roam around all parts of the island without any hesitation. And very little junket salespeople at your every step which ruins me on other spots. Stayed at the Westin on the beach great place, great staff and plenty of fun to have.
http://www.westinstmaarten.com

I'm sure there are plenty of other places and BY is the place to ask. Good luck choosing Db2U and Happy Anniversary - which one? Just had 25 myself
Yup Punta Cana is dirt cheap, and you can find a pretty nice all inclusive resort. However, like you said, you are pretty much stuck in the resort (which if you like the beach and pool mainly, isnt horrible). Also like you said leaving the resort is dicey I did a dune buggey excursion and while everything worked out there were def some iffy places and lots of people bugging you to buy stuff, to the point of harassment (the tour is designed to take you to different places where you can buy things from locals trying to make money, coffee, cigars, art, coconuts, you name it). Also dont fall into those Timeshare talks traps where they offer you a 75 bucks towards an excursion if you sit and talk with them. I ended up at one of those places for about 3 hours before i got my voucher which I didnt even want at that point. Waste of time that i could have spent on the beach and drinking and relaxing.


I really want to check out St. Marten!! I might have to do that for my 10 year anniversary coming up in 2 years. My only fear is expense, is it really pricey to stay there?
 
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#8
I have been to a handful of Caribbean islands and for your criteria I would recommend Aruba and/or Jamaica. I love Aruba - its very safe (one Happy Island), has good dining (Steaks, etc), has great beaches with calm water, and lots of tourists from the Northeast - last time encountered many UConn fans after the 2014 championship. The Hyatt is great, and so is teh Marriott Stellaris Resort Casino. Jamaica has several adults only resorts, great scenery, and Negril is one of the best beaches out there. The only thing is it isn't as safe as Aruba.
 
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#10
At the risk of being another one of the idiots who answers a different question than the one you asked, I will recommend Costa Rica. It's not an island, but it has a Caribbean coast, as well as a Pacific coast. We honeymooned there and it was fantastic. When we celebrate a major anniversary that's where I want to go again. It has tons of nice beaches and it is not a family resort, and it is far from flat. Lots of very cool volcano, cloud forest and rain forest stuff. Excellent food and drink and very friendly and literate people for the most part.

I have never been to any of the Caribbean islands, but my wife has spent a lot of time on St. Croix many years ago and speaks highly of it. Several friends prefer St. John best of all because of the lack of development and the amazing natural beauty. And another good friend loves Tortola for a combination of factors.
Central America should be a lot less expensive. Also, Bocas Del Toro, Panama which has coral reefs for exceptional snorkling/scuba. Bocas Town is said to be like Key West in the 1950's.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cay...P6mo8vYyAIVQnM-Ch1pRQCa#imgrc=Df_agfbgqUqJ1M:
 
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#11
Aruba for beaches, adventures (Oceanside jeep tours), food (the Cuban place in town, Mama's Kitchen, I think was excellent) and relatively safe, though it is longer flight than other islands (5 hours from Newark) and its more expensive. Punta Cana is a lot cheaper and has great beaches, just find an adult orientated all inclusive resort, drink lots of mamajuna (sp?), and don't go wandering off the resort.
 
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#12
It depends what you want.

Get away from everything (Virgin Gorda) , foreign culture, just stay on an all inclusive resort, great scuba/snorkeling (Grand Cayman), upscale spas....different islands have different strengths.

If you want to throw in stuff like Mayan ruins, you might consider Belize rather than an island.

You should really spend some time thinking about what kind of experience you want.
 
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#13
Have a big anniversary coming up in the spring and would appreciate recommendations about vacation spots for April, 2016.

Criteria: Caribbean island, nice beaches, not a family resort with lots of kids, safe, possibly not completely flat (not a deal breaker).

I have been to a few places in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. Some of my favorite places are Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, and Panama. I am not a fan of Punta Cana unless you want to be limited to a resort with a bunch of other Americans. However, since it is a big anniversary and you are trying to make it memorable try Cuba. Excellent beaches which are not crowded. Culture, art, great architecture, safe(one of the safest countries in the world), and many people speak English. Very easy to visit.
 

8893

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#14
More on Costa Rica: We stayed primarily on the Pacific Coast at Lapa Rios, and that is definitely where I would return:

http://www.laparios.com/

In Central Costa Rica, you can't do better than Finca Rosa Blanca (especially the Rosa Blanca suite):

https://www.fincarosablanca.com/en/

As another poster pointed out, it will be less expensive than the resorts in the Caribbean islands. We spent up for the best rooms in the country and really felt like royalty. Can't recommend it enough.
 

August_West

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#15
8893 said:
More on Costa Rica: We stayed primarily on the Pacific Coast at Lapa Rios, and that is definitely where I would return: http://www.laparios.com/ In Central Costa Rica, you can't do better than Finca Rosa Blanca (especially the Rosa Blanca suite): https://www.fincarosablanca.com/en/ As another poster pointed out, it will be less expensive than the resorts in the Caribbean islands. We spent up for the best rooms in the country and really felt like royalty. Can't recommend it enough.
Costa Rica is awesome. Just stay out of Jaco
 
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#16
Costa Rica is awesome. Just stay out of Jaco
And as long as you are not with the US National soccer team because then they will throw rocks at your bus, fireworks at you, blare truck size boom boxes all night long outside of your hotel window and then throw bags of feces at you while walking on the beach.
 

SubbaBub

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#17
If memorable is what you are looking for and money is no object, here's one from my bucket list but is it far from flat. Jade Mountain in St. Lucia.

St. Martin is also very nice if you are looking to balance American/foreign cultures. It's quite developed.

Antigua is less developed but has some very nice resorts and the best beaches in the Caribbean, IMO.

St. Thomas, St. John and the BVI (Tortilla and Virgin Gorda) as discussed are all very well geared to the US tourist.

Aruba may as well be Florida if you can handle the alphabet and currency exchanges. Bonaire and Curaco are less developed versions of the same thing.

More exoctics include St. Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts/Nevis, and St Barths.

Based on your description, I'd avoid Grenada, Jamaica, Dominica, Martinique and any of the lesser known islands. While all have their plusses, they may be a bit too authentic and less developed for your taste. I think people like to bang on Jamaica for no reason, though. I enjoyed it.

I think that's my list. If you wish to rent vs staying in a resort that might change it up a bit. But, if I had to plan a getaway right now my top three would be St. John, Tortola, St. Maartan/St Martin.
 
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#18
One off beat suggestion would be Rincon Puerto Rico. This is NOT San Juan) Located in the North West side of the island with nonstop flights from NY (all arriving in the middle of the night though). It has both Atlantic (surfing) and Carib (flat and sandy). Lots of restaurants, many ex-pats (Continentals) and being a huge island lots of things to do. VERY laid back, no all- inclusives. No one approaches you or bugs you at all.
 

SubbaBub

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#19
The Bahamas, I forgot. I'd pass on Nassau or the Atlantis resort, the epitome of jammed with kids, cruise passengers and noise.
 
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#21
If you're looking for an adventure and doing something different the Jamaican East side is amazing. Portland has beautiful beaches - Frenchman's cove and others, the famous Blue Lagoon, Boston Bay Jerk center. Do not go to Ocho Rios although the best Jerk is at Scotchie's that can be stopped on the road.

http://keepitjiggy.com/fun-things-to-do-in-portland-jamaica/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g3458458-Portland_Parish_Jamaica-Hotels.html

We stayed at Moon San Villa. Great Huts is a very unique experience, we took a tour of http://greathuts.com/ I definitely want to stay there sometime.

Floating in the Blue Lagoon with a red stripe is one of my fondest memories.
 
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#22
I've been all over the Caribbean for both work and vacation. It really does depend on what you want.

If you want lots of on-resort activities and working on a budget, then the DR or Jamaica are fine. Aruba is as well, but it's pretty flat and I don't care for it (like someone plopped Vegas in the Caribbean).

If you want to sit on a beach and relax and eat great food and don't mind driving from place to place, then I strongly suggest Anguilla. Someone also mentioned Virgin Gorda or St. John, and either of those work as well. Anguilla is Virgin Gorda with better beaches and restaurants.

If you want all inclusives, stick to Antigua, Cayman, Turks & Caicos (not really Caribbean) or St. Maarten (though safety is absolutely an issue in St. Maarten).

If you're looking for an island that is more traditionally "tropical", look at St. Lucia.
 
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#23
Check out redweek.com. Time share rentals wherever you finally decide to go.great range of properties include 4 and 5 star resorts e.g Westin in St. jOhn
 
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#24
Have a big anniversary coming up in the spring and would appreciate recommendations about vacation spots for April, 2016.

Criteria: Caribbean island, nice beaches, not a family resort with lots of kids, safe, possibly not completely flat (not a deal breaker).

Thanks!
If you're on the East Coast and want something easy to get to and relaxing, I'd recommend Round Hill in Jamaica. It's about a 25-minute trip from the Montego Bay airport. It's pretty much the opposite of what you'd think Montego Bay is. It's a small place. You can get your own villa on the hill a couple minutes from the water, or stay in a building right on the beach.

My wife and I went there for a "mini-moon" the day after we got married, and that Monday was one of the top 3 days of my life. Got a massage, had a pina colada, swam in the ocean, had a pina colada, swam in the iniinity pool, had a pina colada, swam in our private pool at our villa. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy came in the next day and we had to go home early. But we loved it so much we actually went back this past MLK Weekend for a belated 2nd anniversary getaway. And it was great again. The people in the villa buttressing ours were a British couple in their 50s who were staying there for several weeks. Seems like a long time to be in Jamaica, but then again, I guess I could get used to sitting on the beach every day.

So it meets all of your criteria. http://www.jetsetter.com/hotels/montego-bay/jamaica/41/round-hill-hotel-and-villas http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...l_Montego_Bay_Saint_James_Parish_Jamaica.html

I will say St. John has the nicest beaches I've ever seen. I stayed at Caneel Bay, which is pretty baller.
 
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#25
Been to St. John, St. Maarten, Provo, Virgin Gorda, St. Bart's and a few others. Favorite island is Anguilla, we've visited 20 times. Pluses - some of the best beaches in the Caribbean (often claimed by many islands, true for AXA); terrific restaurants; great people; quiet; no cruise ships/gambling, now has a Greg Norman golf course, some really nice properties, good chance to see celebs, especially around Xmas. Minuses (from some POVs) very little shopping/no "duty free"; no all-inclusives or time shares; scrubby interior not as attractive as more lush islands like St. John's; snorkeling so/so at best; not especially easy to get to (similar to St. Bart's); not really a party island, tends to be an older crowd.
 
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