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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Steal away on a Caribbean vacation with package deals

Find luxury for a steal on a cheap Caribbean vacation to Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, Montego Bay.

By Vince Font

You can find a good number of cheap Caribbean vacations that’ll make you do a double-take of disbelief when you view the final price tag. But with so many resorts to choose from, how do you find the best resort for the money? Minimize your risk: book a package — hotel plus flight — and go with one of these three cheap Caribbean vacation steals.

Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, Montego Bay
If you think Montego Bay is only for gamblers, you’ve spent too much time in Vegas and not enough time in the Caribbean. Next time you need a vacation, consider heading instead to Jamaica and the Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa. Between now and December 26, you can get up to 65% off a 3-night stay plus airfare, bringing the total cost to just over $1000 per person—one of the cheapest Caribbean vacation packages at one of the most luxurious resorts — a darn good deal. Its remote location might be considered a drawback, but that’s all depending on how you view it. A 90-minute shuttle ride from Sangster International airport could either give you plenty of time to take in the countryside, or drive you nuts. I opted for enjoying the scenery, which made the eventual arrival at the resort all the more pleasurable. From the expansive white sand beach to poolside swim up bars, to quality restaurants and nighttime entertainment, the only problem here is tearing yourself away at the end of your stay.

Accra Beach Hotel & Resort, Barbados
With Montego Bay out of the way as the first stop for the reformed Vegas visitor intent on broadening their horizons, it’s time to explore the Caribbean a bit further—this time to Barbados, where you can book a 4-night stay (yes, including airfare) at the Accra Beach Hotel & Resort on the south coast of Barbados for even less than you’d spend at Montego (at the time of this post, prices were around $850-$900 per person). This time the trip from the airport to the resort won’t give you an opportunity to wonder what to do with the money you’re saving — Grantley Adams International is only about six miles away. The Deluxe Ocean View Suite offers just what it promises, a great panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea, and comes with a jacuzzi tub and king size bed. If staring at the sea isn’t your thing, you can downgrade to an equally serene pool view. Just a quick stroll from the resort grounds you’ll find a boardwalk lined with bars and restaurants or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can hop a cab to Champers Restaurant, where the view of the ocean from the dining area is a free bonus. The hotel also offers live music and entertainment, as well as a spa that offers a variety of massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Breezes Bahamas
If you’ve got a taste for maximum time at minimum cost, you can find Caribbean vacation packages to the Bahamas that’ll offer both in spades. If you shop smart, you can land a combination airfare and hotel package that’ll cost you less than most cheap Caribbean flights—but the operative word is “smart.” For both value and quality, check out the Breezes Bahamas all-inclusive resort on Cable Beach in Nassau, where currently every fourth night is free. Activities at the Breezes are aplenty, with waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing in addition to rock climbing and—best of all for the reformed Vegas frequenter itching for the thrill of the bet — gambling casinos which can be accessed by foot down the beach, or by ferry on nearby Paradise Island.

Cheap Caribbean vacations are best had in packages, so be sure to book your flight and your stay at the same time.

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Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

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