We are planning a late June first-time visit to non-US Caribbean islands (went to St. Croix for work). I've looked hard at State Department travel advisories and island profiles, because safety is our biggest selection factor. I've been around long enough to know that where ever we go, within and outside the US, we need to be careful. Anyway, we've narrowed down our island list to: Turks & Caicos, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada. Others are off the list due to safety; BVI and Cayman are off because reviews generally mention those being so built up that you don't even feel like you are in the Caribbean.
We are looking for the happy medium. Here is our wish list:
1. family friendly; we aren't interested in baby-sitting services, or activities for kids that parents can't also attend
2. pampering-type resort on a nice beach (ie, good service, kitchen in-room even if AI, AI is okay, good food with variety); we do want to feel pampered, because we rarely get away
3. large property (we are not interested in going off the resort frequently, except for must see natural areas like jungles/mountains and grocery store to stock the kitchen)
4. nice pool(s) (maybe with some shade?), calm ocean
5. out of hurricane alley
6. direct flight from NJ area airports
7. rental-car/driving friendly so we can do a couple day trips to natural places
Is this possible within $500/night for two adults and one child?
I'd love to have your opinion on resorts, and even islands, that you think would fit our wishes best. Thanks!!!