Want the real scoop on the best beaches, bars and boutiques in a destination?
Travelers want to go where the locals go, discover where the hotel staff chills out at happy hour and how and where to claim the best spot for a sunset view. Gone are the days of a resort getting by with simply promoting its own restaurants and beach, or websites listing destination attractions and activities, according to Paradise by Marriott, a collection of 10 Marriott properties in the Caribbean and Mexico.
The collection tapped into an information portal that offers insider info straight from the horse's mouth, or in this case, the GMs of nine of the properties. Paradise by Marriott has resorts in Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts and St. Thomas (as well as Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta).
“We went to the general managers to find out their favorite local spots, and here's what they told us,” a Paradise by Marriott spokesman said.
In St. Kitts, said Jacques Hamou, the general manager of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and the Royal Beach Casino, visitors should head for Fari Organic Farm and down a glass of Moringa Green Vibes juice to start the day.
When in Curacao, beach lovers, and lovers in general, should make to Santa Cruz beach and ask for Captain Goodlife, a local fisherman who will drop them off at secluded Lovers Beach, according to Eduardo Reple, the general manager of the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort and the Royal Beach Casino.
Malmok Beach on Aruba “is perfect for morning runs, then head up the north coast to the lighthouse and watch the sun rise” was the tip from Tom Calame, the general manager of the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino. He added that the West Deck restaurant was the best spot for a cold Balashi, the local Aruban beer.
Schnitzel House, a Bavarian food hall in St. Thomas, features traditional German fare, a biergarten and a lot of fun, according to Jean-Paul Nel, general manager of Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort. He also recommended the Paradise Point Skyride, a well-known attraction, but suggested that enjoying the specialty Bushwacker cocktail at the peak, overlooking all of St. Thomas and surrounding islands, makes for a memorable experience.
Guests will get insider info at check-in or from the concierge at each property, along with a handy card that lists the locations of each site mentioned. Tips from different staff members, such as the hotel bartenders and chefs, will be featured every three months.
Eduardo Reple is the general manager of the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort and the Royal Beach Casino and Jean-Paul Nel is the general manager of Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort. Their names were misspelled in a previous version of this article. In addition, Malmok Beach on Aruba was also misspelled in the same version.