Antigua or St. John Honeymoon Dec.

May 22nd, 2017, 04:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Antigua or St. John Honeymoon Dec.

Hello all!
Long time lurker, first time poster. I am utterly torn between these two fabulous islands for our honeymoon this December, and I need your help. After a lot of research already we have narrowed out all other islands, so, our dilemma is this:

-Budget of $5k max including airfare. We are both 30, but do not need to feel like we are 21 again. Been there done that, but do not get me wrong, we definitely like our cocktails.
-We do not need an AI, but wouldn't be bad if we could get one. After extensive research, and this forum we have decided against Sandals. I'm not knocking their properties, it's just we would like an AI with less people around, and more privacy. I know AI is going to be Antigua, as St. John only has a couple AI.
-We need activities. Snorkeling is high on the list, as well as horses on the beach and possibly some other cool things we can still do while our knees are still working properly. 50/50 beach active is a must. I was really looking forward to renting a dinghy and heading over to BVI for a day. Anything like that on Antigua? Zip lining?
-We have looked into villas and St. John does not have a variety that are on those beautiful white sandy beaches that are in our price range, so that is a bummer. We need that beach feel, or pretty damn close to it.

As you can see I need your help! I would prefer St. John, but with lack of beach front, and the only places Caneel and Westin really on the beach, I'm finding it difficult to see that as a possibility. I do like Antigua, but know snorkeling does not compare to SJ. I'm torn, and know I'm not the first person to say it. Either is great, but damnit, I need some suggestions.
rudek012 is offline  
May 22nd, 2017, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,591
You are going to have to make some concessions, so perhaps this will help.

There are no beachfront villas on St. John so if you want beachfront accommodations on St. John you are limited to staying on a resort property which effectively means the Westin or Caneel Bay. You can find some rental villas that are near a beach but they will be very expensive. Consider mountainside villas rentals since they will be closer to your budget and you'll usually be anywhere from a 5 to 15 minute drive to the islands beaches. For "small" resorts" with nice water views check out Gallows Point Resort and Estate Lindholm.

If you are willing to stay in a rental condo you can find plenty of beachfront/beach access units on Antigua. Plus, there are dozens of beachfront resorts.

By the way, your overall budget is on the low side for a rental villa in December on either island, especially if you are planning to travel after December 15.

St. John has much better snorkeling than Antigua.

Antigua has zip lining but St. John does not. You can, however, take the ferry from St. john over to St. Thomas or Tortola where you will find zip lining.

Most dingy rental companies will not let you take their dingy's to the BVI's. You can, however, take a day trip to the BVi's by dingy or small boat if you are willing to hire one with a licensed captain. If I'm not mistaken you need a captain's license to hire a small power boat on Antigua.

You can do horseback riding on both islands, so that's a toss up.

St. John is one of the more expensive islands in the Caribbean so budget-wise you'll get more bang for your buck on Antigua.
RoamsAround is online now  
May 22nd, 2017, 08:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Yes I forgot to mention that our dates are before the big holiday rush in December. The plan was to see about dingy rental when we got to BVI. I know I have to make the concessions, it's just a tough one to make. Thank you for your help RoamsAround.
rudek012 is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,662
Antigua has great beaches. I would not go for rental accommodation myself, we were glad to go AI since we did not find particularly great restaurants, there are a number of them around Jolly Beach, Dickenson Bay and Falmouth. You might have a different experience though. However your budget and time of year for travelling might mean you have to consider rentals.

There are lots of AI hotels in Antigua and not just around St John's.

I know people who honeymooned at Sandals in Antigua (it is on a gorgeous beach) and thought it was fantastic, I also know people who vacation at St James's Club AI every year - they love it too.

Other receommended AIs:
Verandah Resort
Pineapple Beach Club although both these hotels are on the Atlantic side, the beaches are very nice though, close to Stingray City.

Jolly Beach hotel is great value & fabulous location but be sure to book the best room type you can afford. There are dive operators on that beach who can take you out for snorkelling trips. You can also take trips to Barbuda or Montserrat.

Cocos Hotel which is on the same beach as Jolly Beach.

Odin is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 481
In all the years I've been traveling and reading these forums, I have never once heard anyone say anything about good snorkeling in Antigua.

St John has amazing snorkeling, period.

If snorkeling is important, then it's an easy choice.
Bassguy66 is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,575
I would pick St John over Antigua anytime.
brennynp is online now  
May 23rd, 2017, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,575
If you can, up your budget and stay at Caneel.
brennynp is online now  
May 23rd, 2017, 06:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Thank you all for the information, it has been helpful to say the least.
rudek012 is offline  
May 26th, 2017, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 257
Our family went to St. John's just prior to Christmas (left the 22nd) a few years back and had the best time. Stayed at Grande Bay in Cruz Bay, rates about doubled just a day later. Walk into any restaurant in town, rented a jeep, hit all the beaches (not crowded), great snorkeling, couple of nice hikes. we thought about taking a trip to BVI prior to arriving, but had plenty to do on St. Johns. Gallows Point resort just up the street was higher end and has a small beach out front. Our place was on the bay with great views so didn't miss the beach out front.
DaveS is offline  
Jun 20th, 2017, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 4
If you are still looking stay at Caneel Bay in St. John! Pricey but worth it, we saw the best snorkeling sites! Colorful fish, turtles all the time! Best honeymoon location ever, we may go back this year for our honeymoon!!
hughesm8 is offline  
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