Hi Katie, we have stayed at the Tradewinds (their Paradise Villas) 3 times and it is our choice to go back there. Nice units, nice grounds, secure and close to everything without being right in the center of the noise and bustle (such as it is, all relative). The pool is a nice touch, with plenty of room to sun and very seldom crowded (again, relative). Downtown is a pleasant stroll down the beach away. Our favorite restaurants have always been Estels for breakfast or lunch, and for dinner, Papis or the Reef. It is extremely difficult to find any eating establishment that is less than good. Just wander around and get the feel of the place, you'll be at ease very quickly. Even if you don't dive, do a snorkel trip, it's a whole new world. Check out the Belikin beer, it is great. for more exotic cocktails you may have to hit some of the better restaurants, but rum drinks are pretty readily available anywhere. If you like to mix your own, the grocery store is a stones throw away and they carry a good selection of liquor.
Now to the beaches. The beaches are not the greatest, no wide span of white sand available, and turtle grass in the water, not everywhere, but big patches of it. Good for snorkeling right off the beach.
The sad part is that we just returned from the island of Culebra off Puerto Rico, as the girls insisted they needed the beautiful white beaches this year. No AC this year. In retrospect, we are not going back there. The beaches were beautiful as a postcard, but the beach we were on also had sand fleas. We were tied to a rental car for our wanderings, and we couldn't find any food that we couldn't easily get in the states. General consensus of the whole party was that we are going back to AC next year, and regain the relaxation that we didn't find on this vacation. AC gets in your blood and sets the bar for all other vacations.
So, go, get yourself on island time, have a Belikin on the beach. Eat something you don't usually eat, and just relax. You will have a great time. If you have been to other Carribean locations, be prepared for folks that are friendlier and generally happier to see you. You are more than just a "customer" to them, you are a new friend.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt