I'm traveling to the Caribbean in January with my best friend (both of us woman in our early 40s). We have no idea which Island (and which Marriott) fits our needs- any suggestions greatly appreciated.
-Caribbean Island with a Marriott (a huge plus, but would consider others)
-Warm, low rain in January (80-85 F)
-SAFETY is a must
-We are not renting a car, so taxi service must be safe too
-Sandy beaches (not lush green areas)
-Would love some culture like steel drum bands, or reggae bands, little shops with local items
-Must have a pool, the bigger the better & would love a swim up bar
-Needs beach lounge chairs
Aruba Marriott meets all of your requirments. Stayed there in October, wonderful resort and Aruba is a safe, fairly clean island that is easy and cheap to get around via taxi.
Hotel has swim up bar, nice sandy beachs with breathtaking water (no waves, almost like a lake but cyrstal clear), two large pools including a swim-up bar, and beach lounge chair and bar service.
I agree with bhamous - Aruba average January temperatures 75 low to 85 high, great bus service from Marriott to downtown, easy cab (treat it as a sightseeing tour as well) from airport to Marriott. Excellent service, safe environment, low precipitation, etc etc
Aruba write up, drawing from many Insiders' input - a wonderful time
Good luck toward a great trip, wherever you end up
b_koutsky, may I suggest the Hawaiian Island of Oahu instead? 80+ degree F weather year round, and if you stay out at the JW Marriott Ihilani in Ko Olina, then its almost always sunny. The property sits on a beautiful, sheltered lagoon with plenty of lounge chairs, has a fire pit, and a pool. No swim up bar, but the bar is very close to the pool. The pool is relatively small, so that's the downside, but the rooms are massive and ocean view rooms have great views of the Pacific. On-site spa (I hear is good), if not Laniwai spa at the neighboring Disney property is excellent. Good dining options nearby (walking distance), though not a huge variety like Waikiki. It's relatively uncrowded and quiet too.
Of course, Hawaii is very safe and we have taxis, though you can also use Uber and Lyft on Oahu! Best of all? No passport, no customs, no currency change, but the different lifestyle of the Hawaiian islands just might make you feel as if you've traveled out of country
This is the lagoon as seen from Disney's Aulani (and its pools). The JW Marriott is further off to the right side of the lagoon, as are its lounge chairs.
Sounds like a fun girls getaway, b_koutsky! I agree that Aruba is fab, and there are so many other options as well. The further south you go the warmer it will be. I went to the Bahamas once in early February and it was freezing! Ok, maybe not freezing, but definitely not bathingsuit weather for me. Here's a link to the Marriott properties in the Caribbean for your reference: Caribbean hotels – See local hotels in Caribbean by Marriott. Can't wait to hear what you decide!
This is not a Marriott resort, so hopefully, Marriott officials won't condemn me for this.
We haven't stayed there in a number of years, but if you've never been to the Ocean Club on Paradise Island, Bahamas, it's a real treat! If you happen to have watched one of the latest James Bond movies - Casino Royale - some of the scenes were filmed here:
There are tennis courts, a mile private beach, but only some 50 rooms, and the facility is far enough away from the tourists spots on the island, particularly the casino area.