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First timer with questions on villas and driving

Boston
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241 posts
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First timer with questions on villas and driving

We've been considering Bequia for our December vacation having been told it's like Anguilla used to be. I've been reading this forum trying to soak up knowledge and have a few questions. First off--just how bad are the roads especially for night time driving? How do they compare to Tortola? We typically rent a villa and car are pretty independent and like to go out to dinner each evening. Given the road concerns we've focused our search on 3-bdrm villa's closer to town and restaurants. We want to be able to walk to beach, if possible; prefer well-maintained villas with nice views; don't need pool or want a villa with "nail-biting" access. We'd appreciate feedback on the list below as some of these don't have recent reviews & 2 have negative reviews that are old but may no longer be relevant.

--Dragonfly--villa was recently sold and renovated

--Stone House and Cottage

--Avalon By the Sea

--Princess Hill

--Letovah

Toronto
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for Bequia, St. Vincent
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1. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

Driving and renting a car is not necessary. Many people walk wherever they need to go or take a cab. The roads are small Caribbean roads, not terrible, but small.

Pasadena, Maryland
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2. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

The roads are not as bad as Tortola. We always rent a car in the BVI's but last year we relied on taxi's for Bequia. We will be on Bequia again the end of this month and plan on renting a car for a few days just to explore some more. We are staying in Moonhole again. Last year we stayed in Moonhloe and also at Tropical Hideaway in Belmont. Both were very nice and completely different.

UK
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3. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

The huge increase in vehicle numbers in Bequia over the past few years, has, IMO , been really detrimental for environmental, safety and economic reasons. I know you can't turn the clock back, but as visitors we can help by not renting vehicles unless absolutely necessary and spreading our fare money amongst the taxi drivers so making walking a pleasanter and safer experience for everyone..

And as I've posted before, I've too often seen visitors drive after one too many rum punches (and in fact one rum punch is too many when you're driving) - so I'd urge any visitor to take a holiday from driving while on the island. And yes I know that the car renters will lose out - but most have other businesses - several as Taxi Drivers in fact.. !

Innisfil, Ontario...
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4. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

Depending on where you are staying on Bequia and your mobility level will dictate if you should rent a car. Taxi's are reasonable and plenty. Remember you have to pay for a local drivers license and that is 65 ecd, if you're going to rent for a day or 2, factor that into the cost of the rental. I rented a jeep for a month in Feb and never had an issue with the driving conditions, just use common sense and drive on the left.

Toronto
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for Bequia, St. Vincent
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5. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

If I was staying in Moonhole I would rent a car. If I was of lesser mobility and staying Lower Bay or Princess Margaret I would rent a car. If I was staying in Spring i might rent a car. For the rest cabs are great and easy.

london
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43 posts
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6. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

Have you considered Allamanda Villa .? It has 3 bedrooms , is big,airy and well maintained and has everything you need, but best of all a veranda with amazing views of the harbour, it is at the top of a hill looking down on the bay ,breathtaking views.It has a good pool but you can't walk to the beach. We hired a car and had no probs driving atall, used taxi if I wanted a drink. Loved it so much we have rebooked this year

Boston
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241 posts
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7. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

Unfortunately Allamanda is booked for our dates which is over Christmas when things book up early. Glad to hear the roads are better than Tortola! Any feedback on the villas I listed?

London, United...
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8. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

Can't comment on the villas but don't be too concerned over driving. Yes the roads are narrow with sharp bends but if you are careful you'll be fine. A couple of personal experiences which may be of help: if you do run off the road into a ditch etc you'll find plenty of willing volunteers to haul your jeep back onto the road. This happened to us where we blew a tire but in no time three young guys pulled the car back onto the road and changed the wheel then told us whee to get another tire, all for $20 EC beer money . We were back on the road in less than 20 mins. Here's another one - don't stop in the middle of the road on a bend to have a chat or someone may clip you. Yes stupid I know but that's what happened once to us but the other guy just shrugged it off and we went our ways and paid a couple of hundred bucks to get the ding out and a quick re spray overnight. So in summary if you take sensible precautions you'll be ok. You'll never get beyond 20 mph anyway. However one word or caution. - don't drive fast after rain, you'll find the tires are all bald and you'll skid. Finally one story which although anecdotal is supposed to be true. Guy driving from town to Lower Bay one Sunday afternoon drinking a bottle of beer and driving one handed. Gets stopped by the police who say " you know it's an offence to dink and drive!" . Driver, v apologetic. Police, " Well I won't prosecute you but just finish your drink before you get under way". Ha ha maybe but it rather sums up good old Bequia (although agree you are silly to drink n drive).

Toronto, Ontario
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9. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

I have driven in Tortola but have never felt the need to have a car in Bequia. In my opinion, driving in Tortola would be easier because, though the roads are similar, in Tortola your are driving a left-hand drive car on the left side of the road, which gives you a much better view of where the (often steep) edge of the road is, whereas the cars in Bequia are right-hand drive. As far as your villa choices, I can only say that the Stone House is probably in the most ideal location, especially for first-time visitors. It is right at the end of the Belmont Walkway and thus an easy walk to most restaurants and bars, even at night, has Plantation beach (which has been cleaned up nicely this year) right at its doorstep, and by next year should be an easy walk to PM beach with the new walkway--all without ever going on the main road.

Glen Cove, New York
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10. Re: First timer with questions on villas and driving

My husband and I just stayed at Avalon by the Sea a couple of weeks ago. We enjoyed it immensely. Great location on Lower Bay. Walking distance to Keegan's, La Plage (formerly Mango's) De Reef, Dawn's Creole Cafe (formerly in Industry Bay) and Fernando's Hideaway (restaurants/bars). A very short walk to Lower Bay Beach and a short uphill and downhill hike to Princess Margaret Beach. Lovely garden, and good views from the second floor. Lovely furnishings. Only thing missing for me was a mosquito net in the master BR, so we had to run the AC to sleep. Not a terrible thing, but I would prefer to sleep without AC if its not too hot.

Driving was a little scary the first day, but we got used to it pretty quickly. We just took our time and if we were going too slow for someone behind us, we would just pull over to let them pass.

If you rent a car, I would recommend backing in to the driveway so you can pull out forward.

We loved the location, especially the the sunsets. There is also a woman a couple doors down who has a very small farm and she sells some organic fruits and veggies. Very sweet lady named Jacqueline.

Just be aware that food and groceries are quite expensive on Bequia. Restaurants are not too bad, but the groceries are steep. It is also recommended to not drink the tap water. Make ice with bottled water. The sole water source on the island is catchment, and is kept in cisterns. (Untreated.) So you will spend a bit of $$ on water as well. All totally worth it! :)

And I hear there is a new recycling program underway through the schools, so I would inquire about that when you arrive.

Edited: 1:41 pm, April 17, 2014