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USVI / BVI – Affordable and Not a Dump / Where is the middle?

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Hello! New to the forum here and planning a belated honeymoon / 5-year anniversary this upcoming January, on a budget of approximately $6000 USD (I realize that's high season). We are highly interested in St. John, but are open to anything really (also browsing Tortola, Virgin Gorda [love]). We are looking for easy access to gorgeous beaches, would probably do some island exploring/hiking, but I think priorities are beaches and a clean, non-dumpy, tastefully decorated and relaxing room. Several acquaintances have recommended St. John and we've never been, so why not? Also, it looks like we can get airfare for around $400 / person if we book soon, into St. Thomas, where other places are somewhat costlier. We are traveling out of BOS Logan.

Ideally we want to go for 2 weeks. Many of the villas seem to have 4 bedrooms and several baths, which is overkill. We would be open to a hotel room, a resort, or a bnb / house, but have been very discouraged by the appearances and cost based on what we've seen online. We've seen really nice hotel rooms (Caneel Bay) that are just way too expensive, 600–1100+ per night ... when I think we can really only afford 300 per night sort of range. Everything I've seen in that range looks like it hasn't been updated since the late 80s and is either tastelessly decorated (kitschy island decor) or a total dump. Oh, and a bathtub would be nice too.

Is there no middle ground? I realize I can't afford to stay at a high roller resort, but I'm getting really disheartened by the experience of looking online for a place to stay, and not finding ANYTHING decent. True, we will be spending lots of time out doors, but this is a belated honeymoon and we'll be spending plenty of time indoors and would love it to be romantic and relaxing.

Does anyone have any advice that doesn't entail winning the lottery or taking out a loan, or know a specific hotel or place that could work with our budget? Should we look at other countries instead of the Virgin Islands?


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