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flybynight 06-08-2011 02:39 PM

Caribbean chilaxation
Hi Stephanie! I listen to the show all the time and love it! I'm looking to take a few days to a week and just relax and recharge my batteries. I'm from Ohio and so thinking Caribbean might make more sense than Hawaii. I don't want to go to a party island like Jamaica though. Just looking for someplace lush, relaxing, peacfull and beatuiful. Can you help suggest places I should consider? Thanks!

Stephanie Abrams 06-08-2011 08:11 PM

Hey Flybynight! Always great to hear from a fan!
I’d be better equipped to give you specific advice is I knew the following:
Your age range
The budget you’re prepared to invest in the land portion of this trip
Whether you are traveling alone, with a friend, or with a romantic interest in your life
When are you planning to depart for the destination?

While not knowing these things, let me give you some general things to think about that might fit your needs, requirements and goals for this trip:

If you are going alone or with another adult or person over 16 years old, consider the Almond Beach Club & Spa in Barbados, an all-inclusive resort that prides itself on its great location, beautiful beach, and lush gardens. Almond Resorts includes in its all-inclusive value-packed packages, items like premium brands so they’ve planned you stay with you in mind. Barbados is a great destination and I’m confident you’ll love it there.

If you’ve got deep pockets, consider Cobblers Cove, a Relais & Chateaux property in Barbados. Accommodations are all suites in 2 story cottages, except for a few unique rooms in the English country house building that also houses the drawing room, the terrace where English afternoon tea is served, the bar and the seaside fine-dining gourmet restaurant where you will never forget the food and the service. The fourth wall of the living room of the ground-level suites are made of louver doors that slide completely open so the living room and its lush gardens become part of your suite experience. The grounds are relatively small so the distance from your suite to the pink English country house building is short and the pool and beach immediately adjacent.

If you want to spend your vacation in your bathing suit by day and your shorts by evening in a lush tropical beachcombers’ paradise, consider Balongo Bay Resort in St. Thomas. This is another value-packed location in the US Virgin Islands. Balongo Bay is family owned and operated and you feel that family touch and interest in your happiness in abundance. Get a ground-level accommodation so that you’ll be able to open the back door of your room right onto the sandy beach that runs for 900 feet! Their Lobster Grille Restaurant is one of those talk-of-the-island places that attract local residents and guests from other hotels. They do have an all-inclusive package that may be worth investing in as the food is very good and island dining is never inexpensive on any island. Bolongo has a catamaran that you can book space on to go out on a sunset cruise or a day trip to scuba. Iggy’s Beach Bar, located right on their never-ending stretch of beach is the place for lunch, sunset cocktails, light dinners, and evenings of music and fun as this is a happening place for locals who come to enjoy the beachcomber atmosphere. Rent a car and explore this history-rich and beautiful American tropical paradise.

Lastly, it’s not a lush, green place but there is a gorgeous stretch of beach, absolutely gorgeous stretch of beach, with a 5-diamond all-inclusive, adults-only resort that comes with the utmost of pampering including a whirlpool bath for 2 in your standard room complete with your own butler to draw your bath. There are 5 gourmet 5-Diamond restaurants and pristine pampering. The place is called Le Blanc and it’s located on the hotel strip in Cancun. The good news is that this is low season in Cancun so you’ll get your stay for a fraction of the cost of high-season winter stays. This place is over the top, has 3 swimming pools, and did I say it’s on a gorgeous stretch of beach? Each of the restaurants (French, Asian, Italian, Seafood & Steak, and Continental Cuisine) is top drawer, gourmet quality food and service. The experience is like settling in on your own personal cloud. They’ll spoil you to the point that you won’t want to go home. But it is located on the long stretch of beach so any greenery you’ll see will have been planted by the landscaping team. If you can forgo the “lush greenery” aspect of your request, this could be a place you’d want to try. If you don’t go here this time, plan a long weekend and give Le Blanc a try. It’s a quick trip to Cancun no matter where you come from in the US.

If you are budget focused in these challenging times, my top 2 suggestions are to meet your lush greenery and battery-recharging requests are Almond Beach Club in Barbados or Balongo Bay Resort in St. Thomas in that order. A limited budget would rule out Cobblers Cove and Le Blanc even though they will be a great value at this time of year compared to the winter months.

What did I leave out? Let me know! I’ll be delighted to answer any other questions related to your trip.

And one more thing: when you make up your mind where you are going, let me know and I’ll contact the General Manager of the hotel and let them know a VIL (Very Important Listener) is coming their way! It can’t hurt!

Stephanie Abrams 06-08-2011 08:39 PM

By the way, Flybynight, there are PHOTO GALLERIES from my visits to these places at our family of websites for the following:

Almond Beach Club & Spa:

Cobblers Cove:

Bolongo Bay Resort:

Le Blanc Resort & Spa: This link will take you to show notes, photos and archived audio of interviews with key personnel at Le Blanc.

If you put the name of the resort you are interested in into the SEARCH box you'll get links to photos and to shows where a summary of the interviews, photos and links to the archived audio of each guest is available to you.


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