Great value, fewer crowds and cheaper flights are the big draws for couples looking for a summer getaway to the tropics. Warm and welcoming year round, the summer is the new cool for a holiday by the sea. Whether it’s just newlyweds or couples with kids, building sandcastles on the sand beats a backyard barbecue any day of the year.
“Travel to the Caribbean during the summer provides better value for your dollar as most room rates are discounted by up to fifty percent,” said Josef Forstmayr, president, Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), “travelers will also find island parties like CropOver in Barbados that liven up a vacation.” From weddings on the beach and golf games by the sea to quiet strolls on the sand and afternoon naps on a hammock, values abound and sunsets await.
Glorious GrenadaIt can be tricky getting there but ask anyone who has been, and you’ll hear Grenada is well worth the effort. Dubbed the Spice Island, twice the size of Washington D.C. and one-hour south of Barbados, the rolling mountainous land perfumed by fragrant spice trees exudes romance from dusk till dawn. With forty black and white sand beaches and fifty dive sites, this unspoiled island is made for relaxation, romance and adventure.
Wooing those on a budget, the charming 32-suite Blue Horizons Garden is offering seven nights in a one-bedroom suite from $590.00 per person, for travel through December 15. Too good to miss, the package also includes dinner at La Belle Creole, yoga classes, scuba lessons and roundtrip airport transfers. www.GrenadaBlueHorizons.com.
Also spicy on the Spice isle, romance is the hot ticket at Spice Island Beach Resort where couples seeking to tie-the-knot can take advantage of a bouquet of wedding enticements. “We are the quintessential Caribbean retreat for romance,” said Sir Royston O. Hopkin, owner, “couples can enjoy a stroll along the exquisite Grand Anse Beach, dine on gourmet cuisine or simply relax by their own private swimming pool.”A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, the elegant 64-suite resort is offering a wedding package priced at $500.00 that includes a ceremony on the beach or among the gardens; bottle of bubbly, framed photograph, en suite dinner and all the legal paperwork. “Our proficient staff takes pride in preparing a memorable, hassle-free ceremony so couples can enjoy the romantic spirit of their wedding,” added Sir Royston.
Couples looking to ramp up their special day can add spa treatments, sunset cruise along the coastline and a steel band to keep guests on their feet till the sun comes up. To marry in Grenada, couples must present valid passports, be on the island for at least three days before the ceremony and present sworn affidavits showing that both are single or divorce decrees if previously married .www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com
Islands with Benefits
For travel from June through December, Aruba lives up to his slogan “ One Happy Island“ with the “One Cool Family” program that dishes up a delectable platter of deals for couples with kids who want to make the most of their summer vacation. From swishy suites and golf games to dining on the beach and nature tours, the sunny island north of Venezuela is easy to get to with a plethora of flights from many cities in the US. For families who may want to time their holiday with a local event, Aruba Hi-Winds is the largest amateur windsurfing competition in the Caribbean from July 3 – 9 and invites spectators, windsurfers and everyone else who enjoys a day under the tropical sun. www.aruba.comThe summer is CropOver time in Barbados which means wild parties like the Grand Kadooment Parade on August 6 and hotels with off-season deals on room rates. On Needham’s Point, 350-room Hilton Barbados is surrounded by a pair of sandy beaches and a quick five minutes from Bridgetown. Summer rates as low as $229.00 per room includes watersports, ocean view fitness center and a host of sunny extras. Guests visiting in the summer months truly experience the best of both worlds,” said Matthew Mullan, general manager, “with our warm temperature and our summer rates, visitors can take advantage of a great deal for a summer escape.” www.hiltonbarbadosresort.com