$20,000 trip ? | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Hi All, If you had $20,000 to spend on a one week vacation, where would you go and why?I am reading a lot of comments about various resorts in many Countries/Islands, it makes it difficult to choose a place for a vacation. My wife and I would be leaving from Montreal, Qc, on February 1st for one week, money is not an issue. Just looking for the best place.So far, we’ve been to Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico many times each and looking for a different spot. Two years ago, my wife and I went to Grand Palladium Bavaro (Punta Cana) based on recommendations read on this DR forum, we loved it, so this time, I’m asking for suggestions on upper scale resorts. Thanks for the info and I know you are going to be dreaming with me….


Hola Deputy…..I am with you all the way on going to the Maldives……I have been looking at the atolls for 3 years now, and will definately go soon…it’s a must!Just gotta convince my dive buddy to come with me……you gotta have a good dive buddy to make the most of the Maldives.

Wossa…….. ;D

wossa Guest
deputy ;D

wossa Guest It must be a looooooong flight from Toronto to the Maldives…..I am sure Freedom would be there diving in a shot if the opportunity came up…….but with the Caribbean on your doorstep and so cheap….your very lucky!It is definitely somewhere I would want to go before I am too old to enjoy it…..not much to do other then diving, but who cares…the location is just amazing.

Wossa…….. ;D

I’m trying to be serious and seeking advice about upper end resorts.Maldive sounds like a good idea but not on a one week schedule. Any others that would be more accessible?I’ve also heard about Bali, Bora Bora, Southern Australia, Thailand, etc. but it’s way too far, maybe for a next trip.

I guess its going to depend on what you like to do for a holiday. If you like beaches, diving, or seeing sites. Maybe if you set a few parameters it would help folks with some suggestions.

Deputy ;D

Hola StockguruI read the question you posed in this thread and before I even read any responses the first thing that came to mind was Maldives.I am a Scuba Diver so of course I would love to head there but there are also many other reasons for visiting that area.The scientists claim that the Maldives will be under water within our life time, so for that fact alone I would love to visit the beauty of that area before it all disappears.I am sure a lot of what we take for granted today will be gone tomorrow due to the ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Global Warming’. Perhaps you would like to visit an area that may no longer exist in the future?.As Missme says, it all depends on what You prefer in a vacation.

You pose, an awesome question and You have certainly given me some food for thought.

Good Luck finding that perfect vacation!.

Freedom Ryder 8-)…………………

selectivedi1 Guest

Caymen Islands would tempt me……..or the Turks/Caicaos –
looks gorgeous and very upscale there…..

Thanks guys, I appreciate your opinion and suggestions. I made a little research on Maldives:With Air Canada:Departure on February 2nd at 8:25pm arrive February 4th at 10:25am (or 28hr 00min) with 3 flights connections in Paris and DubaiReturnDeparture, at 11:40 on Feb. 9th to be here on February 10th at12:15pm or 34hr 35min with connect in Dubai, Frankfort So on arrival, I can take out the 4th as we will be exhausted from the 28hrs flight, it leave us 4 days (Feb. 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th). The 9th is a wash as we would need to be at the airport early in the morning. Conclusion, it is feasable. However, we would have to spend most of your vacation up in the air. I don’t think it is a viable option for a one week vacation. But in 2 years when we have more time for a 2 to 3 weeks vacation, this is a definite keeper. Prices: Not bad either (well below my limit), (Flight and Hotel for:)White Sands Resort & Spa for $11,000 Kuredu Island Resort $9,036Kurumba: $9,963Medhufushi Island Resort: $9,927 Full Moon Maldives: $10,560Taj Coral Reef Resort: 10,767OK, now that ya’all dreamt with me, I would appreciate other spots more accessible for a 1 wk vacation. missme: We like sun and beach, AI and luxury. selectivedi1: thanks for the option, I will take a look, any resort in particular?BTW, the amount set of $20k is only arbitrary, it was meant to alleviate the money restriction that every Travel Agent is asking about. (Tell me how much you have and I’ll tell you where I’ll send you) I want some options for the places regardless of the cost.Other info, we have to disregard Aruba, San Andres and a number of smaller islands as there is no direct flight on Feb 2 or 3rd (flights either Thursdays or Mondays, can’t do it)

What great fun! Too bad you’re kind of limited time-wise. I hope you fill us in on your final choice.

Thanks scovanotian, I will share the final decision with all of you.

So far, I’m looking at the Golden package of Bahia Principe Jamaica. (recommended by my Travel Agent) but when I read the comments on this forum, it’s not quite reassuring. Rocky beach for a 5+, new venue with construction still going….and it goes on and on, one comment is even entitled Vacation from hell….

I’ve never been to Jamaica.Another thing that bugs me is that I heard that Jamaica was full of annoying people trying to sell you stuff (In Cuba they have nothing to sell so they wont bother you) In the Punta Cana, DR, last time, we stayed at the Grand Palladium Bavaro, the resort next door to the left when you look at the ocean (I don’t remember the name) was selling time-shared, so taking a stroll on the beach meant being annoyed by pressure people trying to invite you to a demo. Why only one week:In April, we brought the kids to Brisas Del Caribe in Varadero. Most of the comments read on this forum were aweful, so I was not expecting much. We had fun, especially snorkling with fish, from the beach right at the resort. Food, well, it’s Cuba, and the resort is a Cuban 4 stars. I would recommend it to anyone in a minute. I’d bring the kids back any time. 2 of the 3 a la carte restaurants were very good, the buffet was getting repetitive after one week. I have to admit that this buffet was the first time I had all you can eat lobster in a buffet and it was very good (of course not like eastern Canada’s lobster but still)In August, we were in Virginia Beach, with kids again, I have to say that the beach in VA is very comparable to the one in Varadedo (except the water was not clear). Hotel (not resort) was comparable to Cuba , food…I have to say that I prefer Cuba….(as it is all inclusive, in USA, you pay for everything). In the USA, tourist areas are not the best place to eat. I’m not a "Clown sh*t" fan.In November, I was in Myrtle Beach, SC golfing with 12 guys. Played 7.5 rounds of golf in 6 days, on platinium courses. Different vacations but enjoyed every one of them. Hence the limited time-off left. In February 08, we only have 1 week. Next Summer, more plans, not yet decided but probably 3 weeks, Europe is a possibility, November 08, going back for a 3rd annual golfing trip. This time in February, it will be only us 2, so we would prefer a higher standard. We’ve been to Cuba (many times), Dominican, Mexico, Most of East Coast USA, West Coast (CA) USA, skiing in Utah, USA and now looking for something different.

Maldives really sounds good but not this time. I’d probably stop at Bora Bora in the way to the Maldives.

Hola StockguruHow about Costa Rica?.Paradisus Playa Conchal Beach, it is a five star resort. You can’t go wrong with the ‘Paradisus’ chain of resorts. Here is a link to some reviews on Debbie’s and they sound pretty good.I am not sure if you can get a flight out on the dates you are looking for but it is worth a look anyway.


Freedom Ryder 8-)……………….

we loved it, so this time, I’m asking for suggestions on upper scale resorts. Thanks for the info and I know you are going to be dreaming with me…. stockguru,I’ve been following some of the posts so far and agree with you that the Maldives require at least two weeks vacation time. We vacationed there for 10 days, departing from Frankfurt because we happened to be in Europe on other business, and still we found it a long trip.I absolutely hate being pestered by vendors and time share guys when I go on vacation! That strikes Mexico, the DR and Jamaica off the list. Since you’ve been to Cuba and enjoyed it there, how about going back? I’d suggest the Paradisus Rio de Oro resort (Holguin), or the Iberostar or Paradisus in Varadero. Well within the budget you give- with money to spare- and a nice place to visit while Cuba is still the way it is! From Montreal, it’s a short flight too!We’ve been to Costa Rica as well and I agree with freedom ryder’s suggestion to check it out. We did find that Costa Rica tends to be a more active, eco-based vacation rather than a just relax at the beach type of place.Cayman Islands would be highest on my list of places!

Decisions, decisions! Let us know where you decide to go. Based on your name/handle, any good stock market tips would be appreciated ;D

HolaIf we are talking Cuba again then, I am with YVRck on the ‘Paradisus Rio de Oro’ Resort.

The ‘PRDO’ is my favorite resort in Cuba and I hope to head back there sometime this year.

If you do head to the ‘PRDO’ in Holguin then, make sure you book the rooms with the ‘Outdoor Shower’.

BTW, the resort is now adults only.

Freedom Ryder 8-)……………………..

Hi Thanks again for the suggestions, We’ll pass on Cuba this year, we’ve been many times and we have so much other things to see. I’ll take a look at the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica for sure.

Stock Market: Yes, I enjoy. But I cannot post any recommendations here, in 2 years time it will still be posted here but the recommendation not valid anymore. The only thing I can say is buy low sell high….lol ;D

selectivedi1 Guest

sorry stockgury, never been. it’s just a pipe dream of mine to visit the islands some day.

Hi I do agree about the Maldives!!! Especially the Maldives Hilton!!! been dreaming of it for years as well, however….. given the time issue why not check out the Ladera Resort on St Lucia!! Really unique with your own pool, open walls etc. Voted one of the best in the world!!Also…. another "upscale" Raffles Resort near the Grenadine Islands (Caribbean) really beautiful…. Bora Bora is also not a bad idea but longer flight – about 12 hour flight maybe… Check out the Bora Bora Pearl Resort, overwater bungalows!!! there are a ton of really gorgeous resorts on Bora Bora with incredible rooms. So… if I had 1 week with no real money issue?????? I’d check out the Ladera and Raffles in the Caribbean.Have fun


selectivedi1 Guest

So stockguru – have you decided on where to go? being curious here……

Yes, all decided but I’m afraid I won’t be as glamour as the title says. But still it’s a 5 stars resort.After looking at numerous Islands, Countries, flights, and talking to my Travel Agent, we decided to opt for Jamaica, Gran Bahia Principe with Royal Golden Package. Way cheaper from the said amount we only paid $1,858 per person.How did we decide? First, we found out that our passports will expire in April 2008, some countries are asking for a password valid 3 to 6 months after your return from vacation (?!?!). So, we had to eliminate most of Europe, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, some european islands. Second, the lenght of time, altough I could have considered Maldives, nobody in the right set of mind would travel so far for a one week trip. Vacation is supposed to be a time to relax, not to exhaust yourself in neverending flights. Two weeks, is another story. Third, the accessibility, some of the suggestions looked very nice indeed, but there is no charter going to Dellis Cay nor I could find any broker that sells Hotel Sanctuary Cap Cana or Raffle Resort from the Grenadines. So, MANY MANY THANKS to all of you who participated, who dreamt with me, I’m sure your enjoyed doing research and making recommendations, you surely wished you were there. I sure had fun reading you and testing the suggestions. Like a wise once said: A large portion of a trip is actually to plan for it, the anticipation and the wait for it to happens.

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