Short, warm beach weekend
April 14, 2016 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a location for a weekend beach vacation from the East coast, mid-May!

We'd like a hotel on a beach, with a pool or two, all inclusive is NOT important (but not totally unwelcome). An easy flight from DC, let's say 4 hours tops. International is fine. I'd like frozen drinks, my husband would like an afternoon diversion or two. We are super adventurous. It's sad, but we have no frame of reference for what might be cool in Florida, for example (but we hear Little Havana is totally worth seeing/eating/walking around). Puerto Rico? Bahamas? Weekend of May 13th, if it's important. Help?
posted by ersatzkat to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Puerto Rico is fantastic. I've only ever been there on a cruise, but San Juan is gorgeous, there's a neat fort to explore and no passport required! I'd review Trip Advisor and pick any hotel that looked good. Then I'd go find a place to eat pork. Because lechon!

I'd say if you want the whole swinging Beach thing, you might want to check out Miami Beach.

Fountainebleau is between South Beach and the rest of Miami Beach, but it's a fantastic hotel. It's not near anything though.

The Ritz-Carlton is right at beach on Lincoln Road, which has tons of shops and cafes. This is the prime location in my mind. But Ritz is spendy.

A lot of the hotels on South Beach are funky, in the very best way, but the rooms can be small and if it's really hip and happening, it might be noisy.

I don't think there's a direct flight from DC, but you might want to check out Key West. I think it's great for a weekend (and not one hour more.) I've stayed at Pier House and it's fantastic.

The Westin in Hallendale exists, but Hallendale is a bit sleepy and boring, Fort Lauderdale...more of the same. Although prices will be WAY less expensive.

I don't have too much experience on the West Coast of Florida, one of my best friends lives in Ft. Myers, and it's also a bit sleepy and retirementy to be fun.

Another thought is Bermuda. For Dark and Stormys.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:43 AM on April 14, 2016

Unfortunately, I've never really sampled the warm beach weather parts that are East Coast adjacent. But I have a friend who went to the Dominican Republic and stayed at an all-inclusive resort called Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladia. He said the food was only so-so, but that the no-kids section, private beach, and full-sized bottles of booze in the room was a very powerful balm.

Have fun!
posted by helloimjennsco at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2016

Playa del Carmen
posted by repoman at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2016

Isla Mujeres. It is one of the places on the Riviera Maya that retains its genuine sense of being Mexican. There is a small but lovely beach at one end of the island, it is easy to get around by golf cart, it is low key and gorgeous, you can swim with dolphins or go to the shrine to the god of women at one end of the island or bicycle or snorkel or visit the turtle farm or just stroll. To get there, just fly into the Cancun airport and head for the ferry to the island.
posted by bearwife at 1:20 PM on April 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

My coworker really liked the Ritz-Carlton near San Juan, and Old San Juan is a pretty town to walk around in.

I wouldn't go for the Dominican Republic - it can be quite nice but I think you want to stay some distance from the capital/airport and it will probably be in a so-so all-inclusive.

I would look into St Martin/Sint Maarten, personally. Or some St Lucia, Martinique, Dominica. I just think the less- populated, European-oriented Caribbean destinations are lovely and easy. I don't know what the flight situation is like from DC, though.
posted by vunder at 1:39 PM on April 14, 2016

Bermuda. It's closest and thus gives you more time at your destination. For a short stay I like the Fairmont Southampton. You can walk through the gate at their beach club and be at Horseshoe Bay, then go back through the gate and take the shuttle to the hotel. Eat or drink at the Ocean Club which overlooks the beach club. You'll see some information saying you don't need a reservation there, but you really do.

However, this is Bermuda's conference hotel, so bear that in mind.

I prefer Rum Swizzles.
posted by jgirl at 2:00 PM on April 14, 2016

Seconding Miami Beach and San Juan as your best bets.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:17 PM on April 14, 2016

My wife and I stayed at the Olive Boutique Hotel in San Juan a couple of years ago, which has a lovely rooftop bar and pool.
posted by ewiar at 8:46 AM on April 15, 2016

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