Hi I recently started a travel intensive job this year, to the extent that I've already earned platinum status in about 6 months. I signed up for Marriott Rewards because my supervisor and peers sold me on the fact that they have the best points program! Now that I'm getting points like crazy I'm looking for somewhere to spend them, and I've always wanted to go to the Caribbean.
I'm 24 y/o and and in my short time as a "travel pro" I've realized that sites like these and blogs are where you really get the proper info.
So if there is anyone out there with recommendations good or bad I'd appreciate your help and hope to return the favor somehow.
Welcome aboard Frank,
It sounds like you will have a lot of points there to spend. I personally have been to all those locations but non which I have stayed at a Marriott property. This was all done on a cruise. From what I found here (St Kitts All-Inclusive Option | Marriott Rewards® Insiders), St. Kitts seems to be a good destination. Unfortunately, Marriott removed the all-inclusive packages that were offered in the past. But you still can get travel packages (air + hotel) using your Marriott points at Flight and Hotel Packages | Marriott Hotel Packages
Can he use his point to redeem at Flight and Hotel Packages | Marriott Hotel Packages?
I have been to all these islands but never in a Marriott. Mostly as cruise stops, with the exception of the Cayman Islands, where I stayed with friends.
I would probably pick the destination based on the island, and then look at the marriotts there.
We used our points last year in Aruba at the Marriott Stellaris. it was fantastic.
there are 2 of the condo/vacation club hotels there also - which might be more suitable for your family.
we had a great time.
i have heard many traveler's LOVE the Frenchman's Reef Marriott in St. Thomas.
My family members did St. Kitt's with there vacation club points. They enjoyed the trip but said they would not return there.
hope it helps a little!
What did your family not like about St. Kitts? This would help us select a property more suited to everyone's tastes.
One of my favorite islands is Curacao which I have visited many times as cruise stops. There are 2 Marriotts there, but I have not tried them, though I would like to.
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1388#comment-10369 Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1388 Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/docs/DOC-1389 Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino
My wife and I are considering whether to go to the Marriott Curacao in March. We are looking for a location with a good beach, warm weather and snorkeling. We aren't sold on Curacao as of yet so want to see what others have experienced or
I just stayed at Frenchman's Reef for 1 day on cruise stop there. It was very nice, but very controversial if you read the reviews. Lots of people had negative things to say, but a few people wrote good reviews. There has been a major renovation there, and perhaps the problems are in the past?
Frenchman's Reef & Morningstar Resort, St. Thomas, USVI http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1368
Returning to Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas in March. Would like to do a day sail that includes some snorkeling but not to St. John. Tortolla? Jost Van ****? Can anyone suggest other islands or specific tour companies? Worth going to Soggy Dollar
My 20 year anniversary is coming up next fall. I have plenty of points and am looking for a place to take my wife. We'll have 8 days and would like someplace on a beach (outside of the US) but with history/cultural things to do nearby. Suggestions?
I am going to the Marriott Frenchmans Reef Hotel on St. Thomas in July. I have been reading some horrific reviews on this property and hope they are not correct. Has anyone been here recently that can share their experience? Many thanks.
I have also been to Antigua as a cruise stop. I saw the Marriott there that looked very nice but have not stayed at the property. I really like the island though. Many Marriott Insiders have wonderful things to say about these locations. I have been to Casamagna in Puerto Vallarta and really enjoyed it. I have not yet been to Los Suenos though I have been to Costa Rica and really enjoyed it there.
Other places to consider, though not caribbean are Puerto Vallarte in Mexico, and Los Suenos in Costa Rica.
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta 2012 http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1330
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/7315 We are planning a trip to Costa Rica. Need to spend a couple of days in San Jose, and then would like to venture out. What are your experiences at the Marriott properties?
We have stayed at the Marriott in Aruba, the Rennaisance there, the Marriott on Cayman and the Marriott in St. Thomas. I would definately recommend the Morningstar Beach section of the Marriott on St. Thomas. You are right on the beach and within 50 yards of the water. There is a restaurant/bar there on the beach and more in the main hotel up the hill just a short walk. The main hotel is not beachfront but has some excellent views. As said previously, you can take the short ferry ride to St. Johns Island for additional exploring or just stay on-island. St. Thomas has excellent snorkeling and shopping but I would not drive at night since the left side is the right side to drive on and there are soooo many hills and curves. The hotel has a water shuttle, or it did have one, to Charlotte Amalie and you can take taxi's anywhere you want to go so a rental car is not a must have. Good luck and enjoy!
I agree with your recommendation of the Morningstart Beach Resort.
Its right on the ocean, and has the lovely restaurant oceanside as well.
The walk between Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar Resort could be challenging if you have any disabilities, or lots of young children and all their things. It is a lovely walk if you like the exercise, but a bit strenuous as there are steps to climb. The cruise ship rate this as a level 2 activity. Really enjoyed walking along the Tennis court, the ocean, a waterfall, and the elevator that is glassed in on three sides has a beautiful as you ride up and down.
I also like that there is a water taxi to town. On ship port days, the St. Thomas population of 50K swells to 70K, and there are alot of traffic jams going to town and back.
Would like to return for a longer stay as we thoroughly enjoyed our day.
I agree with you on St. Kitts as I really like that island.
Unfortunately, k-fraz has been there and says the family does not wish to return even though they had a good time. Am trying to find out why they do not want to return, as this is the key to figuring out which of the islands/properties will suit their tastes.
I believe the timing of my family's visit might have been part of the problem. It was immediately after the reopening and there were service issues still unresolved.
I agree completely that personal interests are of the greatest importance when choosing a Caribbean destination --- what island i would go to for beach vs nightlife or watersports or shopping or privacy are all different.
St. Kitts is an island I have always enjoyed, but it is a bit quieter there than some islands. Same is true of Antigua, Barbados, BVI, Grand Cayman and Curacao, which are islands that attract a very upscale, international crowd that wants to relax in luxury. BVI and Grand Gayman have not been very popular as cruise port stops as there is so little to do unless you like diving (GCI) or sailing (BVI). My sister and her young adult children would be board to death on these islands.
On the other hand, Aruba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico have much more night life, and you can still have a good beach experience.
For watersports - all the islands have good watersports, but certain islands are really well-known for certain things and folks travel from far away especially for that