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Best Marriott Resort Around the Caribbean??

Best Marriott Resort Around the Caribbean??

Old Jan 4, 12, 6:52 pm
  #1  
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Best Marriott Resort Around the Caribbean??

I am looking to use Marriott points to book a vacation in the Caribbean the first week of April. I have never been to the Caribbean so I am looking for some advice for the best resort to visit. I am looking for a lazy beach vacation but would like for there to be some activities to do close to the resort (ie. bars, restaraunts, etc within walking/cab distance). Let me hear what you all think is the best resort for me to book my vacation!!

Last edited by Leroi09; Jan 4, 12 at 8:44 pm Reason: Accidently said August instead of April
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Old Jan 4, 12, 7:32 pm
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Why visit the Caribbean during Hurricane season? Can you wait until late November? It's nice over Thanksgiving week.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 7:43 pm
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Aruba is a good choice and outside the hurricane belt.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:30 pm
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Scrub Island. BVI Brand New Cat 8.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 8:43 pm
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Oops incorrectly wrote August instead of April in my OP, edited now.

I did forget to mention though to take the island/area around the hotel into account when rating each resort. I would like the resort to be the best but if the beach and rest of area sucks then that would obviously make the vacation less fun. Vice versa as well though, if the beach and area are awesome and the resort isnt quite as nice as others it could still make up for it.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 9:32 pm
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JW Marriott in Guanacaste, Costa Rica (close to Carribbean) is gorgeous. Make sure you get a beachfront room.

If using points--far better value than Scrub Island--level 5 versus level 8.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 10:39 pm
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How many points do you have or are looking at spending? I ask as my personal opinion is that the Cayman RC is the best "Marriott" hotel in the Caribbean. It is on the best part of 7 Mile beach. There is a lot of shopping and restaurants on island. The RC itself is truly a luxury hotel with a great main pool and even an adults only pool. It has some very nice onsite restaurants as well. And there are a lot of activities you can do at/near the hotel, as well as, some very nice excursions like visiting Stingray City.

The only drawback is it will set you back a lot of points to stay there, but if you want the best, in my opinion that is it.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 4:24 am
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I have stayed @ 5 Marriott's in Caribbean (PR, ARUBA & Grand Cayman); as far as those three Islands, I really liked Aruba. The Stellaris Marriott has the beach you are looking for and there are a lot of restaurants and bars within short walk and/or cab.

When we have gone we have always done the "Trade Winds" floor that is their concierge level (you DO NOT get upgraded via Marriott Status, so if you want it you have book that level).

With that level they have (3) food presentations a day (breakfast, lunch & apps @ dinner time); soft drinks during the day and open bar from 4-7 (not sure of exact time, you'll need to check) in the evening; all of these are included in rate. You also get access to small part of the beach that is reserved for TW club (helps with chairs and floats). The perks of TW are very nice; the only thing about TW's club is that do not allow children under 18, so if you're traveling with children itís not an option.

The only thing that you may want to check on is any complaints about construction of RC next door; before I sent this review I did check Trip Advisor's reviews and didn't see many complaints.

The last thing about Aruba that I personally like is the fact that there is US Customs at airport in Aruba when you leave. That really can save time and hastle coming back to US; especially if you have tight connection. I have seen many people miss there connections in CLT & PHL if customs is crowded.

The other options that have been thrown sound great too.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 6:45 am
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I have about 250k points to use for this vacation, I have no kids. Just me and my girlfriend in mid 20s. She goes to Aruba yearly with some of her high school/college friends to the Marriott Surf Club so I was really looking to branch out and go somewhere different but of course it is still an option.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by Leroi09 View Post
I have about 250k points to use for this vacation, I have no kids. Just me and my girlfriend in mid 20s. She goes to Aruba yearly with some of her high school/college friends to the Marriott Surf Club so I was really looking to branch out and go somewhere different but of course it is still an option.
USVI or BVI (pick it). Rent a powerboat for a few days and tour all of the islands where you'll find everything you could want (exploring, beach bars, shopping (St. Thomas), snorkling, and romantic seculsion).

**I was not aware of Scrub Island until reading the replies here. WOW!
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Old Jan 5, 12, 7:43 am
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The Scrub Island location is quite unique, however it is on a small secluded island so you will be relatively isolated from doing much else but that can be a good plus depending on what you want. They have a water shuttle that runs hourly between the hotel marina dock and Tortola. Food etc is very expensive there.

Personally I enjoy St. Thomas quite a bit. Take a look at the Frenchman's Reef Marriott on St. Thomas. They just recently completed a huge renovation to the main reef tower hotel and have an entirely new pool complex. Its in a quieter location with great views away from the downtown shopping area, but still a short drive or nice/fun water taxi trip. Plenty of restaurants and things to do not far from the resort. Nice large beach in the lower Morning Star portion of the resort as well (you just walk down the path from the upper part of the hotel)
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Old Jan 5, 12, 8:39 am
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I throw my 2 bits in for the VI too (might be biased living here)...but the opportunities to get out and see different things is endless (as long as your bank account is too). I wouldn't stay at the Renaissance Carambola for sure though, they've got a lot of problems with that hotel plus you'll be better off in St. Thomas or in the BVI for excursions, check out hookinncrookin.com if you go to St. Thomas they're a great charter company for a pretty good price. I wouldn't suggest spending a lot of time in St. Thomas, it's a bit hectic and busy for a Caribbean holiday but does have some good shopping and food.

Spending a few days island hopping through the VI's will change your life for the better just don't forget your passport. I recommend coming in the summer actually, just book close enough and watch the weather, the water is much nicer in the summer months though it never really drops below 77*F or so
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Old Jan 5, 12, 7:25 pm
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I am following this link with interest. Where would the St. Kitts resort rank?
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Old Jan 6, 12, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by alpen1 View Post
I wouldn't stay at the Renaissance Carambola for sure though, they've got a lot of problems with that hotel
Can you tell me what some of the problems are?
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Old Jan 6, 12, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by beardoc82 View Post
I am following this link with interest. Where would the St. Kitts resort rank?
We just return from St. Kitts Marriott a few weeks ago and I am torn whether or not we would return. We were with my family of 4 and my in-laws. On the plus side we were able to use points and stay in a 2BR timeshare unit, so we had plenty of space for all. The resort staff and locals alike were very friendly and accommodating. The resort is very large and with most people congregating around the main pools and hardly anyone at the north and south pools, in other words the resort never felt crowded. They have two gyms that had a very good selection of exercise equipment from free weights to a dozen spinning bikes. For reference the spinning bikes are in the "small gym" and we had this room to ourselves most days. The food was average in the resort restaurants, but the Pizza Shack (next to the main pool) was surprisingly good.

On the downside, the location of the Marriott (on the Atlantic Ocean side) made going into the ocean less than enjoyable experience, due to constantly choppy surf, you can rule out snorkeling in front of the hotel. In speaking with the activities director and our driver (you'll need one) it is constantly windy on the Atlantic side of island for only but a couple of summer months. Now there are some very good beaches on the Caribbean side that are a short drive from the hotel, but you'll need a car or pay a driver to take you there. Food is somewhat expensive on the island this goes for groceries and dining out, it wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to spring $40-50 each time you went to dinner or grocery store in town.

Despite the windy conditions at the resort we had good time at St. Kitts and it was nice a nice break to get out cold weather back home.
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