Wendy, where are some awesome honeymoon spots in the Caribbean? We’re looking for a beautiful beach, a secluded room, a complimentary spa credit, etc.
–Pat, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Pat, you might start by checking out TripAdvisor’s top 25 hotels for romance in the Caribbean, as well as its top 25 beaches in the Caribbean. You might also look closely at the islands of Anguilla, St. Barths, and Turks and Caicos because they combine idyllic stretches of empty, serene beach with secluded, romantic accommodations. For each of those islands, do the following: Punch “TripAdvisor [island name] Hotels” into your browser, select “I like” filters such as “Beach” and “Romantic,” and check out the properties on the list that pops up. Finally, if it were my own honeymoon and I wanted that decadent combo of romantic beach, room, and spa, I’d consider Cap Juluca on Anguilla, Hermitage Bay on Antigua, the Jamaica Inn in Jamaica, Hotel Le Toiny on St. Barths, Belmond La Samanna on St. Martin, or Grace Bay Club or Parrot Cay on Turks and Caicos. For the lowest rates, book these hotels through TripAdvisor. For that complimentary spa credit you mention and the other V.I.P. benefits that honeymooners deserve—as well as someone to pull all the complicated details of a honeymoon together for you—use a well-connected Caribbean travel specialist such as Terry McCabe of Altour. Here’s Terry’s Insider’s Guide to the Caribbean.
Wendy, I’d like to take my daughter and her twin 9-year-old boys to the Caribbean this summer—someplace kid-friendly where we can access the beach easily (condo?) and snorkel. The purpose of the vacation is to provide interesting fun for the kids; we don’t need spas or golf courses. Which island/resort should we go to? Thanks!
–Colleen, Morgantown, West Virginia
Colleen, the first thing to consider is which Caribbean islands you can fly to easily and affordably from your home airport. Some airports offer non-stop flights to only a few Caribbean islands and don’t operate them in summertime. Go to AirfareWatchdog, select Airfare Deals and then Fares From a City, and make a short list of islands you can get to conveniently and affordably. Then do a search for “TripAdvisor [island name] hotels” and sort by “Family-friendly.” Also take a look at Family Vacation Critic’s list of family-friendly Caribbean resorts and see which suitable properties are on islands on your short list. Definitely consider the Dutch/French island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin, which has a lot of airline service and provides a ton of interesting fun for kids. When I took my own two boys there, we rented a beachfront condo at Coral Beach Club on Dawn Beach, right on the Dutch/French border. We did Captain Alan’s Snorkeling Adventure, which operates from the marina next door. We also rented a car, which gave us easy access to the best of both sides of the island: the water sports of the Dutch side, and, on the French side, The Butterfly Farm and the mountaintop ropes course and zip-line at Loterie Farm. It was one of our best Caribbean vacations ever—both fun and culturally interesting, with a pool and beach right outside our door and no paying for spas or golf courses we were never going to use.
You’ll find more travel solutions from Wendy at WendyPerrin.com.