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Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: February 05, 2006 12:36AM
Going to grab the GF and take her away to chill out for 4 days, 1st week in March. Anybody been somewhere down there that they really liked lately?

Looking for someplace pretty, nice views, quiet and intimate. I remember seeing someplace cool that was actually built into caves someplace a while ago but can't find the info now.

Thanks!
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: February 05, 2006 02:22AM
You can have lots of nice choices, but the one that you'll really love to death is St. Martin/Sint Maarten. I was there for a week last July with my wife on a getaway and we're going back again. It was paradise+ heaven: wonderful French restaraunts, unbelievable seafood restaraunts, nice, nice friendly locals and tourists. Everyone was having a blast, and everyone was always smiling and happy.

We stayed near Cupecoy Beach, at the Sapphire Beach Club, which is like staying in your own personal marble addressed condominium, as even our 'studio' had a full kitchen, huge jacuzzi on the rear veranda, beautifully done marble and gold fixtured bath with his and hers. We spent time on both the French and Dutch sides, renting a 4x4 Toyota RAV4 for only $26US a day including insurance. Gotta have a car there...go get lost, and have fun! smiling smiley

There's casinos on the Dutch side, two were very close to where we stayed in Maho Bay. I won $475 on the quarter machines there, which paid for two exquisite dinners out with friends we met there and then some. We went snorkeling off the East end of the island, traveling there in a convoy of small Zodiac-like boats with a party of 20 tourists from all over the world, and had a blast.

There was The Butterfly Farm to go visit....a must stop for everyone. It's literally a butterfly farm that you visit, under light netting, and you'll see some creatures from all over the world that will amaze you. You go to Phillipsburg, the Dutch Capitol, for shopping for duty free liquors, clothes, and other stuff. It's all dirt cheap, and you have ot bring back St. Martin's famous rum liquers to the States....we brought back 5 bottles of various flavors of rum, and liquers, and I'm sipping on a Colada made with St. Martin's famous "Wild Guavaberry Rum Liquer" right now. Yummmy!

I could go on for days about our trip...it was very memorable. Check it out at St. Martin.org. It's right across the Caribbean from St. Baarts too, if you have a hankering to go there....you go there by hydrofoil ferry on a day trip. Just another adventure to do!

______________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: February 05, 2006 05:54AM
Nice review, rex. Has me hankering for a vacation. I need one.

How much did you pay for your room at the Sapphire Beach Club? Where did you get our reservations?



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: February 05, 2006 06:03AM
Correction: where did you get *your* reservations?



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: February 05, 2006 06:06AM
tuqqer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Correction: where did you get *your* reservations?
>
>


You could have edited the original message . . . no time limit here . . . grinning smiley

FYI

drinking smiley cheers





Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: stephen
Date: February 05, 2006 08:09AM
I'm a big fan of Vieques. Tons of links and information at:

[www.enchanted-isle.com]

My personal photos at:

[homepage.mac.com]
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: February 05, 2006 08:35AM
St. Martin/Sint Maarten very nice indeed as is neighboring St Barth.
St John, USVI is very nice. Turks & Caicos. Anguilla.

Although parts are nice, I wouldn't return to Aruba or Jamaica.



!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: stephen
Date: February 05, 2006 09:24AM
Turks & Caicos is beautiful too.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: February 05, 2006 09:59AM
If you limit this to "somewhere in the Caribbean" - hotels will definitely be difficult, but a few boats may pass your way if you are lucky. I recommend one of the Islands suggested above.


I also recommend considering Cancun, since it is probably reasonably healthy again, and has many deals as a result of hurricanes, to lure people back. I suppose it is all cash dependent.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chipste®
Date: February 05, 2006 10:00AM
I second Anguilla. We lived there for months. Best beaches hands down. If you wish, St Martin is a 20 minute ferry ride. Food on Anguilla is some of the best you will find. A few pics: [homepage.mac.com]
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: SteveO
Date: February 05, 2006 12:57PM
Chip, was Smitty's place on a mini-island of its own...that you had to walk across a small, very shallow bit of water to get to? It looks like a place my wife and I visited while on a cruise down that way. I was just trying to place it. Some of your other pix look very familiar as well. Nice stuff!
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chipste®
Date: February 05, 2006 01:19PM
Thanx SteveO. No cruise ships come to Anguilla. They do come to St. Martin and folks often ferry over for a day. Smitty's is a beach bar in Island Harbor, Anguilla. Scilly Cay is an island about 2 or 300 yards from Smitty's across the water. Only thing on Scilly Cay is a open restaurant where they serve grilled lobster,chicken, ribs (no electricity), and very potent rum punch. One of our favorite experiences was sitting with Smitty, eating lobster at half the price, and watching the tourists trying to get off the small boat after leaving Scilly Cay. Anguilla is only 19 miles long and 3 miles wide. Pure paradise.

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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chopper
Date: February 05, 2006 02:16PM
I just get blanks on the.mac page ... FYI. No pictures.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chipste®
Date: February 05, 2006 03:39PM
Sorry, I have been messing with the page. Try this
[homepage.mac.com]
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: joycee
Date: February 05, 2006 04:20PM
Great thread - I think I'm ready for an island getaway now! grinning smiley

chipste® - now you and Claudia so rule in the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!
[tinyurl.com]




*´¨)
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´How about if you greased them up first? Are chihuahua's cooperative pack hunters? ~TheCaber
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chipste®
Date: February 05, 2006 04:33PM
Hey Joycee! We are more than ready to back to Anguilla. Where should we meet. How bout Madearimans on Shoal Bay. I'll buy ya' a Carib
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: joycee
Date: February 05, 2006 06:44PM
chipste® Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey Joycee! We are more than ready to back to
> Anguilla. Where should we meet. How bout
> Madearimans on Shoal Bay. I'll buy ya' a Carib


grinning smiley

At this point, I'll have to settle for living vicariously through others' adventures in paradise. Sigh...
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: February 05, 2006 07:15PM
tuqqer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Correction: where did you get *your* reservations?

Sorry for the delay...was busy with work for the whole dang day til now.

We have a timeshare, and belong to RCI Points, the big Cendant Group deal (biggest in the world), and we did an "exchange vacation" with our points for the year. I don't exactly know how to convert point to dollars, but I'd imagine if you were paying for a Studio at the Sapphire Beach Club in season it would cost about $200US a day, maybe $250. It's a whole resort, not just a room. There are villas that front the Caribbean, which is a separate building from the others; then there are the 'normal rooms' which can be studios, 1-BR, 2BR, and Suites in the main building.

The Studio was huge...had to be 600 Sq Ft....there are large French Doors where you may separate the studio into two apartments, for privacy, should you wish to have 4 persons. The amenties were wonderful. Everything was new, or near new, spotless clean, maid service every day except Sunday. There's a large outdoor pool with bar/restaraunt for resort guests, a game room, Internet Access, a grocery store on premises, nice laundry (so you don't have to take a lot of clothers) facilities, etc. The rooms are completely sound-proof. You don't know that you're anywhere but in your own "home" but for when you open your door and realize it's a big place with lots of rooms.

We cooked in using the indoor grill and electric burners (ceramic topped stove...very nice) two nights, and had homemade breakfast every day. The refrigerator was full sized with icemaker/filtered water dispenser, and the Studio was completely furnished with plates, pots, knives, all utensils, just like you were at home. The marble bath was especially sumptious, with a large French-style bath/shower tub, all gold-plated fixtures and hangers, with his & hers sinks. As I mentioned in my original post, there was also a full-sized spa (about 6 ft x 8 ft) on the veranda, with Jacuzzi and bubbles action if you wanted it, heated and covered (heated to about 100-degrees or so).

The staff was especially helpful, and there's an on-site tourist agent who can, and does, arrange all kinds of tours, activities, and sports events for resort guests. We booked the island Bus Tour the first day we were there (only $20US and it goes over the whole island, for one entire day), to get acquainted with things, something that's a must or you won't know where to go! We had a really cool native bus driver, who spoke English, French, and Dutch, and the tour was pretty informative as to helping us figure out what we were going to do for the rest of the week.

As chip mentioned Anguilla is a short ferry ride away if you want to have a day there, as is St. Baarts (St. Barth's). Trouble is, there is SO MUCH TO DO on St. Martin, so much to see, eat, hear, and consume that it would, to me, require another week to fit in visits to the neighboring islands. If you want to be alone, and just sunbathe and relax, you can do that, but what a waste of precious time and opportunity! We were occupied 24/7 but for sleeping, and could have scheduled another 10 events on the island if we'd had the time.

The harbor in Marigot, on the French side, is a ton of fun. There's an open-air market that opens at 6AM or so for fresh seafood and meats, but the shops don't get going until about 10AM...it's Island Lazy there, and time is warped out a bit compared to how we think about it here in the States. There's a whole slew of nude beaches, if you're into that sort of thing, on the French side, complete with a restaraunt or two per beach, so you don't have to go anywhere for drink and eats if you're tannin'. We had fun everywhere we went on the island. It was just one adventure after another until it was time to leave...and that time came just too soon for my taste. sad smiley

If you want a "secluded getaway" St. Martin is not for you. That's one busy, fun filled island with an unending array of multicultural possibiliities. The people who live and work there do nothing but tend to tourism, and tourists, so their livelihood depends on you and it shows in the local attitude. Everyone's helpful, and friendly, as I wrote before, and there's nothing like that in a vacation to a new place, a place that begs to be explored in detail.

I love St. Martin.smiling smiley

We'll go back there next year for a repeat, but this time it's going to be for 2 weeks. I so want to visit St. Baarts, Anguilla, and spend more time at some of the places we missed the first time. You just can't say enough about how unique the island and its people are, versus other Caribbean tourist meccas. I'll always remember how I felt when it was time to leave, and I was paying $30 for the privelege of doing so (you pay a Dutch "use tax" when departing the island's customs office)....I actually didn't mind that they were charging us a tax for the visit. I thought, "What a wonderful time we had here." I wouldn't have cared if the fee were $100 to be honest. We had that much fun...

________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: Elfboy
Date: February 05, 2006 07:58PM
Nice descriptions folks! I'm bookmarking this one. Or should I archive it--how long will they keep posts around here?
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: February 05, 2006 09:55PM
Thanks everyone. I'm going to look into all your kind suggestions and also check out some other ideas I have.

I have been to St Martin back in the 80's and it was fantastic. Stayed at Maho Reef back then on the Dutch side. I remember walking on the moonlit beach over to Caravanserai for a truly romantic dinner outside in their courtyard area. The amazing thing was that it was so quiet with a beautiful night breeze. You could have heard a pin drop and there was only maybe 4 other couples dining.

It is very different there now, so I hear. Very developed as opposed to when I was there.

Currently looking at :
Le Petit Hotel
[www.lepetithotel.com]

Place I mentioned before was The Caves, Negril, Jamaica:
[www.tripadvisor.com] but they are booked for the time I need.




JoeM
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Re: Looking to getaway somewhere in the Caribbean - any suggestions?
Posted by: chipste®
Date: February 05, 2006 10:49PM
Sadly, St Martin has changed JoeM. It is still beautiful, but the drug culture has reared it's ugly head in the younger population. Even quiet Anguilla has seen murders. This was even beyond comprehension 10 years ago. I was in Jamaica a few years ago. If I were to ever return to Jamaica it would be to an all-inclusive and not leave the grounds. That sucks. I have discovered in our travels that exploring the island, it's customs, and people is the way to find the true beauty of your destination, wherever it may be. Hope you find a suitable place to travel to.



"Enjoy every sandwich" Warren Zevon

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