Anyone familiar w/Coral Bay, St John?

May 6th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Anyone familiar w/Coral Bay, St John?

Though I realize Cruz Bay is the main town on St John, we have decided to rent a villa in Coral Bay. I understand this is the more remote part of the island and was wondering if someone could give us an idea of what to expect (we usually stay in resorts but like the idea of the privacy and extra space). Some of the things I'm curious about are: how long/bumpy a drive to Cruz Bay?; is Coral Bay any less safe since it's more remote?; and good spots to eat/shop for groceries in Coral Bay if we aren't up for the drive to town?

It seems most posts and info on St John are about the Cruz Bay area so any feedback would be appreciated.
snowrooster is offline  
May 6th, 2003, 08:44 AM
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Coral Bay is beautiful but it is definitely more remote. You can figure about a 25-35 minute drive from Cruz Bay depending on where in Coral Bay your villa is. It is very quiet but keep in mind that that is relative because St John is a quiet island to start with.
There are a few restaurants on that end. Skinnylegs, Shipwreck's, Voyages de St. Jan, Miss Lucy's (great Sunday Brunch) and Vie's Snack Shack (don't miss it!!) Chateau Bordeaux is about halfway between Coral Bay and Cruz Bay and has amazing food and spectacular views.
I would stock up at one of the stores in Cruz Bay and not expect to do grocery shopping in the Coral Bay area. You can buy gas and there is a well stocked convenience type store but that's about it.
It's very safe on St John as a whole, that side of the island included. You mentioned that you normally stay in resorts, I hope that this isn't too drastic a change for you. I love that side of the island but it's not for everyone.
Enjoy every minute! I'm jealous!!
SillyGirl is offline  
May 7th, 2003, 04:57 AM
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I agree completely with the other poster. While I would not choose to stay in Coral Bay my first trip to STJ, there is no reason to be concerned about safety. You will not find provisions like you will in CB and the one beer/liquor store (Cases by the Sea; you gotta love that name)was closed when we were there last year. There are not the numbers of restaurants from which to choose. Voyages is high end and rather pricey, but quite good. Shipwreck is a favorite of ours to stop for drinks and lunch while in the Coral Bay area as well as Skinny Leggs. So, unless you plan on cooking in, the drive to CB at night will be a long, windy one on rather unfamiliar roads. STJ is a quiet island and Coral Bay much more so than CB. If you haven't made definitive plans to rent a villa yet, I might reconsider until you have an opportunity to see the two areas for yourself - just my opinion, however, I don't think you will be disappointed in Coral Bay, but quite different if you are accustomed to a resort type environment.
klqkauai is offline  
May 7th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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Yes it is drive with alot of sharp turns. I was nervous while my husband drove. We went to Skinnylegs and Chateau Bordaux. Chateau Bordeaux was very nice although you need a reservation and it is expensive.My husband and son went horseback riding over there and had lots of fun. I would rather stay in cruz bay because the beaches near there are sooooo beautiful. We stayed at the Estate Lindholm and loved it.The views are so pretty. They have a web site if you are interested. The island is so charming I am sure you will have a great time.
jns2 is offline  
May 7th, 2003, 06:47 PM
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There are plenty of villas nearer to Cruz Bay. Why do you feel you must stay in Coral ?? Just to state the obvious--those of us who have been to SJ numerous times are not recommending a first timer doing this. But if your minds made up--good luck !! And one good thing---the road is not bumpy.
ezron is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback. Just to clarify, though I said we usually stay in resorts, that was before we had children (2 & 8mos) and since the grandparents will be watching them while we're away we thought the seclusion of Coral Bay would be nice. It's amazing how much you appreciate quiet time when it is normally so hard to come by!

We reserved our villa months ago (Happy Moon). The 20 minute drive to Cruz Bay doesn't bother me - it takes us that long to get anywhere at home and since we're used to having to get 2 kids ready to go, just getting in the car and driving w/the two of us will be much easier that what we're currently accustomed to!

I will definitely talk to my husband and make sure he agree to drive at a moderate pace - I don't want to feel nauseous from the curvy road before we even make it to town !

So based on my explanations above, do you think I should look into changing villa? I don't even know if we can at this point and I don't really want to, but if you really think Coral Bay isn't a good idea for a "firt timer" let me know.

snowrooster is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 07:30 AM
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OK, here's a vote for Coral Bay ... We actually prefer Coral Bay over Cruz Bay specifically because it is secluded and private.

Noticed you are renting Happy Moon. I have never stayed there, but I have stayed within view of it, and it looked very nice from the outside. The views from that area are spectacular.

For groceries, we shop in Cruz Bay when we arrive, then re-stock at Love City (the convenience store) behind the gas station in Coral Bay, where we find everything we need. (We always have breakfast in, and almost always pack a lunch to go.)

The restaurants in the area have already been mentioned--we like them all, so we only go to Cruz Bay for a meal once or twice.

About the driving, we enjoy the drive to/from Cruz Bay on the North Shore Road; the scenery and all those beaches along that road are part of what we go to St. John for.

We like Coral Bay because it's quiet, secluded, laid-back, and friendly. It's also very close to good off-the-beaten-path snorkeling beaches. We'll be there again this June and can hardly wait.

Enjoy your trip! You will have a wonderful time!
DelkRanch is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Lisa -

Since you asked, yes, I would try to change villas from Coral Bay as a first time visitor. If you think the villas close to CB are going to be noisy and touristy, you are in for a surprise. Also, it will take you longer than 20 minutes to reach CB from Coral Bay. Again, just my opinion, but you did ask. The entire island is quiet and every villa we have ever rented has been extremely secluded. I have nothing against Coral Bay. We always spend some time there, however, I would never recommend it to a "first time" visitor just as I would probably not recommend that a first time visitor to Hawaii stay on Lanai or Molokai. Most of the rental agencies in STJ are very accommodating. They will make every attempt to find you another villa if your trip is planned a good bit in advance and they have the opportunity to re-rent your particular villa in Coral Bay.
klqkauai is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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So far the only drawback of Coral Bay seems to be the drive to town. Since we don't mind the drive, I think we'll stick with Coral Bay. If there are other drawbacks I'm not aware of, let me know. We stayed on Maui our first visit to Hawaii, but our hotel was in Wailea (before the shopping complex was there); so we had to drive 25-30mins each night to dinner anyway (at least to get to the good places).

Any other thoughts are welcome. If there are drawbacks to Coral Bay that haven't been mentioned, please let me know .

snowrooster is offline  
May 16th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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St. John is our favorite Caribbean island. We have been many times and love it more every time. On our first trip there, we too rented a villa in Coral Bay. We never regretted it. Do not let the naysayers get you down. My husband prefers Coral Bay for its peace and quiet. It is more remote, which appealed to us. We don't like crowds and we like our privacy. We found that end of the island to be a nicer place to stay. We have stayed nearer to Cruz Bay on other trips, and were not as happy. The drive is no big deal - we enjoyed it every time. We drove to the North end or to Cruz Bay every day and thought it was half the fun! You get to enjoy lots of animals and tremendous scenery! Even driving late at night in the dark was no problem. Coral Bay has some nice places to eat, if you don't want to drive over to Cruz Bay. You must go to Miss Lucy's. Dinner right at the edge of the water near sunset was fantastic. They were also nearing completion of a very large new restaurant when we were there last fall - you may want to check that out. Skinny Legs in Coral Bay was good for a hamburger. I can offer no drawbacks to staying in Coral Bay. Just be sure to drive to the other end and enjoy all that St. John has to offer.
vcook is offline  
May 16th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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You will love St. John but like so many others I wouldn't recommend Coral Bay to any for their first trip. Besides the long drive, time wise, you will probably spending way too much time in your car driving to the better and more child friendly beaches on the North Shore. Coral Bay are does have nice snorkeling but not really any sugar white sand beaches, most are rocky. Just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions. Have a great trip.
Pulley is offline  
May 16th, 2003, 04:42 PM
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1st Things 1st....You are going to St. John...that is tough to beat!!! Like anything else, the answer depends. It depends on what you like. The worst that happens is you love St. John and decide to come back a 2nd time and stay closer to Cruz Bay. Now with that said, if you are staying a week, the drive will start to get to you.....25-30 minutes doesn't sound bad until you do it at night a couple of times after a long day and a couple of beers. We prefer to stay either overlooking Cinammon Bay or the Chocolate Hole area.....easy to find places as secluded as Coral Bay.

Remember.....anyway you do it you can't go wrong....relax and have a couple of happy hour beers at Woodys....because it really doesn't matter!
Cyclone is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 10:09 AM
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We stayed in Coral Bay our first time there for our Honeymoon, and we loved it. It was romantic, private, and close to nature. The money goes a little further on a rental there I think.

Yes, the drive is an adventure. The drive to our place was like going up a wall. But it was fun too. Of course, my husband did the driving.

It's not really that far away anyway---like 10-20 minutes max.

If I had my choice, I would stay there every time.
Catmomma is offline  
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