Readers Take Another Spin Around Their Favorite Islands

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Earlier this month, in our special Island Finder issue, we set out to provide a Caribbean matchmaking service, listing travelers' favorite beachy things to do and then figuring out the best islands to do them on. But just in case we missed something, we also invited readers to tell us about their own favorite island destinations. Here are some of their recommendations, with tips on hotels, restaurants and activities.

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I feel that Santa Maria Beach on Long Island, Bahamas, should be included in the list of great beaches. This four-mile stretch of tree-lined white sand must rank among the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is quite unspoiled and usually totally deserted. At one end of the beach is the high-class Cape Santa Maria resort, with beach bungalows, but our favorite is the Stella Maris Resort Club (, which we have visited five times. We can highly recommend this resort with its comfortable, well-appointed, spotlessly clean rooms, great service, excellent food and a management team dedicated to making each visitor's stay as enjoyable as possible. Visitors can scuba dive, snorkel, fly-fish, deep-sea fish or swim and enjoy the beautiful beach.

Gert Stern


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You overlooked one absolute gem in the History and Culture category. The last remaining descendants of the Carib Indians (they call themselves the Kalinago) live in a reserve on the island of Dominica. They have a cultural center where they perform their music and dance, as well as demonstrate and sell native crafts. My wife and I visited in October, and I even got to dance on stage with the Kalinago.

Robby Burke

Harrisonburg, Va.

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I would have loved to see information regarding what I'd call the "Hassle Factor." After visiting a few islands and having our vacation experience diminished by timeshare pitches, people selling trinkets along the beach and people touting booze cruises and watersports, my husband and I now choose our destination based not only on the quality of the beaches and food, but also on whether or not we're likely to be harassed and how safe we feel walking around at night.

We were hassled regularly in Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas, but were left undisturbed and felt safest in Aruba and St. Martin.

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