While the Caribbean may be best known for its beaches and tropical climates, island accommodations are an equally enticing draw.
Charming inns, historic plantation houses, rustic camping sites, luxury villas, all-inclusive resorts, and, of course, full-service hotels all have something uniquely Caribbean to offer. Lodging options do vary from island to island. You won't have much trouble if you're looking to stay at a major hotel, but the less typical accommodations are a bit harder to find. For example, many islands discourage camping to preserve the islands natural beauty, but a country guesthouse in the woods may provide a similar feel.
...inquire about room features.
While packages with airfare, or "air-inclusive" packages, sometimes offer the best prices, these may restrict when or how you get to the islands. Doing your own research will enable you to choose the accommodations that best suit your needs and interests. Instead of choosing a Caribbean vacation with the smallest number of extras, consider looking for packages with themes that interest you. If eco-tourism is your passion, you may want to purchase a tour package that includes hotel accommodations and treks into the spectacular tropical rain forests. If you're honeymooning, look for a special romantic package for two or ask the hotel if they have special rooms or discounts for your trip. Many villas can even be rented for a wedding ceremony, then double as honeymoon lodging. Each island has its own wedding requirements, but there are plenty of event planning companies willing to help you with your special day.
Wherever you stay, be sure to inquire about room features. Many places have fans in rooms, but not air conditioners. Ask for a corner room, as they will have the best breezes. If you're a light sleeper, ask for a room away from lively hotel areas such as the swimming pool or lounge.
The four standard meal packages in the Caribbean region are: the European Plan (EP), the American Plan (AP), the Modified American Plan (MAP), and the Continental (CP) or Breakfast Plan (BP). The CP includes a light breakfast with your room charge. The MAP covers breakfast and dinner while the AP covers three meals daily. The EP includes your room only.
The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) was established more than 40 years ago to encourage the growth of all types of hotels and accommodations on the islands. Recently, however, the CHA have begun a campaign focused on the energetic support of tourism. Thanks to their efforts, you can likely expect a warm welcome from islanders wherever you go.
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