Caneel Bay and the Tennis Garden Rooms

Jan 6th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
Caneel Bay and the Tennis Garden Rooms

The more I read the more confused I am getting. Last night I had decided on the Westin 100% and today I am second guessing again. I looked up the property map of Caneel and the rooms seemed soooo far away from the beaches and everything else.
How far is the not far walk to the beach? How long did it take?

How did you move around the resort? Did you have to walk eveywhere?

If you where a 1st time visitor, where did you stay?

This is driving me nuts. At this point I dont think either the Westin or Caneel are a bad choice, and I know we will love both, since we dont plan on spending alot of time in the room (even though we are honeymooning). I just want the trip to be perfect.

please give me any info to make my decison once and for all.

jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I have not stayed in the Tennis Garden rooms but have been to Caneel. As the crow flies, it is not very far to the beaches from the Tennis rooms, but they are up a hill which is a bit steep. My guess is that it is about 10-15 minute walk to the nearest beach, which is Caneel or Scott. There is a shuttle bus which you can take down and to the various beaches and the lobby, but having to do this more than once a day might get old. However, if the price for the rooms is substantially less than the rooms on the beach, it might be worth it. You will also have nice sea views during the day and at night from the hill.

There is a small pool where the Tennis Garden rooms are (the only pool on the resort) which is fine but has no lifeguard or children's pool so if you were thinking of staying there because you have children and thought they could use the pool, you might want to rethink this. The surf at Caneel Beach is very calm and children could swim there safely (albeit with supervision), plus they will see turtles, sting rays etc.

I have not been to the Westin, but would not stay there as I hear over and over again that the beach is man-made and disappointing. They also apparently have a lot of seaweed. Caneel has 7 beaches and each is different and beautiful: Caneel Beach is calm and you see St Thomas in the distance, Hawks nest has rougher surf and is wildly beautiful, Scott has great sunsets. All have good snorkelling and lots of fish, turtles and stingrays.

The property is large, but there is a shuttle bus that goes to all points if you don't want to walk. I personally like staying on Scott Beach as the rooms are the largest and the nicest, but Caneel or Hawknest would be fine. It is really nice to hear the ocean lapping at your doorstep as you go off to sleep, and to be able to step outside and be on the beach.

Cruz Bay is 10 minutes by taxi ($3 per person) where there are about a dozen good restaurants and some shopping. You can always find a taxi in the hotel parking lot.

The property was more luxurious than I was expecting, given the posts here. I thought the beds were extremely comfortable and the bed linens excellent. The bathroom in our unit at Scott was done in beautiful bright blue tile. The towels were bar none the best I have had in any hotel ? thick and huge (including Four Seasons, Ritz, Villa D'este etc), and the mango shampoo and other products are great.

To give you a sense of comparison between Caneel and the Westin: we met people on several occasions who were staying at the Westin and came over to Caneel to see the beaches and snorkel. I don't know anyone staying at Caneel who went over to the Westin to see their beach?
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 07:28 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
Thank you for your helpful words.

There is a huge difference in price between the Tennis rooms and Beach view or beach front. We are going for our Honeymoon and are paying for quite a bit of the wedding ourselves so we are trying not to break the bank on our trip for a room that we dont plan on being in very much.

Our plan is to also explore several of the other beaches on St. John so we really would'nt be as concerned with the beach at the Westin. We have 6 days there before moving onto Little Dix Bay.

If we have to keep getting on a bus to go around the resort we can just as easily hop in a rental jeep and go to other parts of the island.

My dream was to stay on Scott's beach but for this trip I just dont think its going to happen. There is a difference in price by about $250 per night and I dont think I can justify the extra $1500 just for a hotel room.

Does that make any sense?
I figure we can go check out Caneel Bay and plan to return for upcoming anniversary trips.

If you notice I am trying to make a case for my decision to stay at the Westin. I think I just have to make a choice and be done with it.

thank you for your help
jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 350
For what it's worth.....

Having stayed at a Caneel Scott's beach room.(which was super) I would still easily choose a "tennis room" over the Westin in a heart beat. (Especially for a honeymoon) We traversed the whole property many times and never used a bus. I really think it would be no more than a 10 min walk to the beach max. The property at the Westin is also large and a walk down to the beach could be 5 - 10 min as well. Thus...what's the point. (imho) Who knows, you might get an upgrade at Caneel as well. The rooms are all very nice no matter where you are on the property. I say......Go for Caneel! Life's to short!
Michaelpl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
Do you think there would be a strong likelyhood of an upgrade in the end of Oct? I know it is their slow season.
How would we go about it? Just asking upone arrival? Or would be know before hand?

I am second guessing myself way too much, I need to just chose once and for all so I can move on.
jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 42
My 2 cents.... the LEAST desirable room at Caneel beats the MOST desirable room at the Westin. No contest, especially for a honeymoon.
Unless you need a huge resort style pool or tv's and phones in the room go to Caneel, you won't regret it. You will hopefully only have one honeymoon, do it right! Enjoy!
SillyGirl is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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thanks for your 2 cents. I am looking at the grounds map again and I think you are all changing my mind...AGAIN!
I am driving my friend who is our travel agent crazy. He is a friend but we dont necassarily trust him since he is a salesman at heart. I need more unbiased opinions and it seems you are all pointing me in the direction of Caneel Bay
jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
October is hurricane month and the weather could be rainy regardless of the hotel you choose, so do bear that in mind.

If you choose Caneel, for an upgrade, I would definitely tell them it is your honeymoon when making the reservation, and remind them again when you arrive. It will all depend on availability on the day you arrive. Your rooms are already assigned and they meet you at the pier with your key as you get off the hotel ferry on the island, so if would probably need to speak to someone on the ferry or to the person greeting the boat at the hotel pier on the island. You might also remind them that you are staying at Little Dix as well, so you are a good customer.

Not to second-guess your friend the travel agent,but have you called Caneel Bay yourself to find out about packages and prices? I don't see any need to use a travel agent unless you have confirmed yourself that he can get you a better price than booking it yourself. They have several packages on their website as well.

To really drive you crazy, several people on this site recommend renting a villa which is cheaper than either the Westin or Caneel Bay. Have you explored this option as well? Of course you have to grocery shop and do everything yourself, which might not be your idea of a honeymoon. . .
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 620
For what it's worth ... here's another vote for the lower end rooms at Caneel over the Westin. It will be worth it just to be on the property for all the beaches. Also, you may get an upgrade. We did when we were there in April a few years ago.
Cher is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
thanks to all for your advice

It ends up we are going to book the Ocean view room at Caneel for our stay in STJ. Once we talked about it we realized we should make the most of our trip, since you only have one honeymoon (you hope)

any other advice is always appreciated
jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 429
Depending on what time of year you are going perhaps email Caneel directly and ask for a free upgrade. I would do this about 2 weeks prior to your arrive. They will probably upgrade you to beachfront if its available. Last October we booked beachfront and were upgraded to premium on Scotts Beach. Hey, it can't hurt! -Susan
SSypniewski is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 194
Some great oceanview rooms that you may want to request are Cottage Point, which is on a hill, and at night, you can enjoy the twinkling lights of St. Thomas from your private patio. It is very close to both Caneel and Paradise beaches and relatively close to both the main building and Scott's Beach.
Also the oceanview at Turtle Bay offers a terrific hillside view from its balcony overlooking lush tropical vegetation, with a private footpath to the beach just a few steps below. It is close to Turtle Bay restaurant and the sight of the afternoon teas, but farthest from the main building which is walkable amidst beautiful, scenic views, or can be shuttled to.

You will be glad you made your choice. Most of the beaches are very private and romantic - perfect for a honeymoon.
Dianebridle is offline  

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