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The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Newton, MA
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The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

It's our first time to the Caribbean and we are looking for an island with great beaches, good food, the possibility of boogie boarding and snorkeling (for Dad and the two teenage kids -- 17 yo son and 14 yo daughter) and some other cultural/walking around activities (for Mom). After much reading on TA, seems like Barbados has all of this, but the other islands still in consideration are Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, and St. Martin. I think I need to narrow this down soon because it seems to be getting late already to be booking for next February break!

Also, any recommendations on nice places in Barbados to stay near or on a nice beach where the kids could each get their own room (they are no longer keen on sharing)? We're not looking for top of the top luxury, but ideally the equivalent of a nice 4* hotel. For other vacations, we've done VRBO or timeshare-style suite hotel to avoid breaking the bank, but we would love to hear advice on options and which part of the island to stay on.

O'Fallon, Missouri
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1. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

I have never been there, but we are considering staying there in Oct. The Crane residential resort on Crane beach. Crane beach is on of the best beaches in the world, has great body surfing and the resort has condos with 1,2,3 bedrooms. Hope this helps.

Iroquois, Canada
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2. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Not knowing your budget is, but you could check out Pirate's Inn but I think they might be booked for February

Newton, MA
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3. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Thanks for the replies! Pirate's Inn looks like a great location and a great deal based on the reviews, but we would probably look for something a little higher-end (either a nice 3 BR private rental, or something like a 4* hotel equivalent -- we're willing to splurge some for this particular trip). I looked at Crane Beach resort, but was leaning towards the other side of the island as it seems like Crane Beach might be a little isolated from the non-beach activities and the nice beaches for snorkeling on the west side of the island. Do Rockley beach or the beaches nearby have enough waves for boogie boarding or do we have to go to Crane Beach on the east side of the island for waves?

London, United...
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4. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Rockley beach sometimes has large waves - but not as big as Crane. Wouldn't recommend Crane unless the kids are very good swimmers?

Newton, MA
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5. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Thanks for the reply.

They're pretty good swimmers. We routinely boogie board in the Atlantic ocean beaches of Cape Cod (Wellfleet) when the waves are 3-4 feet or maybe a little more, but not sure how Crane or Rockley compare. I think we will stick to the south or west as a base. Talking to them again today, snorkeling is even more important, they've never done that and want to try it out, so being near the west side of the island probably makes sense. Is there a beach would you recommend for beginner snorkelers who are good swimmers where we could snorkel right off the beach, or do we need to take a tour?

Sorry to ask even more questions, but would you suggest condo/villa or hotel? It seems like some of the nicer hotels are either all-inclusive (which we're not sure we want given the restaurant options) or have reviews suggesting they are a little tired.

United Kingdom
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6. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

When our kids were a similar age to yours we preferred to stay in hotels rather than a rented property because it was easier for them to have an independent social life with other kids of their own age.

Being a south coast aficionado, I can't offer suggestions for west coast hotels but I' m sure you'll get several recommendations here.

Atlantic Shores...
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7. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

newton,

If your kids are used to the Atlantic coast they would have no problems with either Crane beach or most anywhere on the south coast, absent unusual weather conditions, of course. I think they would be quite bored with the flat calm on the west. You could always stay in the south and take a day trip up to Folkestone or other similar location for snorkeling.

New Haven...
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8. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

The 4 of us stayed at the Villa- "Bolli Heights" this past February, I highly recommend it.. It was just fantastic! You might want to consider it... 3 bedrooms, a private pool, absolutly marvelous, Imo...

Palm Beach Condos...
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9. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

Yes the beach in Holetown not only has water sports - but Folkestone Marine Park is a few minutes walk away (there is an oceanographic inst. there as well, so it is well buoyed for snorkelers safety.)

Holetown, Barbados
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10. Re: The right island for family of 4, and where to stay?

I would look at 2 studio apartments at Tropical Sunset on Holetown Beach or a 3 bed apartment at Villas on the Beach. next door. Both are on the newly restored St James Beach ( Holetown Beach) and both are right in the hub of things for you son and daughter . being within walking distance of all the restaurants , bars and the best Nightclub on the Island, which is called Priva. Both properties are also across the road from a very good Supermarket .

Self catering is the cheapest way to go in Barbados. There are so many different places to eat of all prices, and above all, it is very safe for a Caribbean Island .providing you act with common sense.

Edited: 20 April 2014, 20:25