Caneel Bay or Westin?

Aug 19th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 209
Caneel Bay or Westin?

I am deciding between the 2 for a June or July trip to St. John. A friend recommended the Westin, but I am concerend that it may be overrun with kids, especially during the summer. My only problems with Caneel Bay are: no phones (I'd like for my family to be able to reach me just in case) and I don't know that they have any fitness equipment. Which should I choose?
beth23 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 08:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,189
Beth: start by typing 'caneel bay' into the text search box. You'll find more opinions and details than you can easily scan. You'll get a pretty clear picture of what Caneel's pros/cons are, and there will be many Westin comparisons in those notes (or you can type in westin st. john to filter those out separately).
Remember that Westin's beach is mediocre at best (not a swimming beach) and great beaches are St. John's biggest asset. On the other hand, Westin has a very nice pool area, TV's, phones, more modern rooms and more activity than Caneel.
Just depends on what you want.
travleis is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 08:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 69
As for phone service at Caneel, it is true that there is no phone in the room; however, your cell phone will likely work there. I have Verizon service and my cell worked fine.
hockeyfan is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 209
Travleis: Actually I did type both those things into the seach area and came up with nothing relevent. When you say the beaches at the Westin are mediocre, do you mean one is aunable to swin in them. Is the beach rocky? Is there a lot of seaweed?
beth23 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:29 AM
  #5  
Sunnyboy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The beach at the Westin is man-made. The sand does not extend very far out into the water from shore, it's more of a silt bottom. Because of this the water is not as clear as you'll find at Caneel or any of the other beaches on St. John. Of all the beaches on St. John, I'd rate the one at the Westin toward the very bottom of the list.

By the way, even though there are no phones in the room at Caneel, your family back home can always get a message to you by calling the hotel directly and as hockeyfan says your cell phone will probably work. I never found the lack of in-room telephones and TV's to be a detriment at Caneel or any other resort I've ever stayed at, in fact, for me I like the sense of peace and quite you get from their absence (but that's my take and it may not be yours).
 
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:49 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 209
Thanks for clarifying sunnyboy. As long as I can get some kind of phone access I think that's fine. Any other hotel ideas on St. John? Soemthing in the 4 star or above range. Beautiful beaches are a must.
beth23 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 07:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 30
Tell us more of what you seek. Phone issue aside. You can stay almost anywhere if you rent a car - you can drive to some of the best beaches. If you want to stay in a hotel, what are the services you want? Caneel is a great resort but it doesn't have the room service/plush environment you might be seeking. They do have the beaches... We stayed at a inn this last month but we are familiar with the island & not shy about renting a car, hiking, etc.
sanbar51 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 07:49 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
Beth23: Check out Gallows Point Resort, just out of Cruz Bay. STJ doesn't any "major" hotels other than the Westin and Caneel. I have not stayed at either as the prices are a tad on the high side. STJ tends to be more of a villa destination....and there are several agencies you can rent through. If you are a beach person, I'd recommend renting a vehicle which will provide you access to all the beautiful beaches STJ has to offer.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 05:39 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 209
I really am a resort person. I like having a spa, fitness equipment, etc. I'd rather not have to rent a car, but just be able to roll out of bed and go to the hotel beach.
beth23 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 05:45 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
Caneel Bay would get my vote, hands down, then. The proximity (walking distance) to Solomon and Honeymoon Beaches and the beach at Caneel is a real beach versus the manmade one at the Westin. Have a great trip wherever you choose!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 06:09 AM
  #11  
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
CaribbeanSoul is right. If a resort and the beach are that important to you, then you should stay at Caneel.
 
Aug 20th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 209
I realize this is a completely different destination, but what about Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands?
beth23 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2004, 09:35 AM
  #13  
Sunnyboy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Little Dix Bay is one of my favorite resorts and Virgin Gorda is my all time favorite island. I like it better than it's sister resort (Caneel Bay). It's on a great beach, the rooms are spacious and nicely apointed (more upscale than CB), the food is top notch and the service and staff are truly great. They have a full service spa (which doesn't appeal to me but my wife thinks is devine). From what you said in your previous posts Little Dix might just be what you are looking for in a Caribbean Resort.
 
Aug 23rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 36
We've been to Caneel numerous times, Little Dix once. In January the wind blows fiercely, and Little Dix has a north orientation, and may be uncomfortable. We did not find Little Dix to be comparable to staying on Scott Beach at Caneel. We missed being able to boat over to St Thomas and going to Cruz Bay, and seeing the lights of St Thomas at night.
traveldoc is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 11:34 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3
This is a message for CarribeanSoul, who mentioned villas on St John. I'm in the same boat as Beth, deciding between the Westin and Caneel Bay, as I am a first-timer to the islands and don't know what's best. However I'm not adverse to going "on my own" as far as a villa instead of a resort, as long as I have some good info to guide me. Any suggestions??? Thanks!
elaine_d is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 11:56 AM
  #16  
Sunnyboy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To elaine_d: For what it is worth I've used Wimco (www.wimco.com) for villas I've rented on St. John, Virgin Gorda, and St. Martin (they do several other islands also) with great success - we were always satisfied, found the villas "as advertised" and never had a problem. Wimco has lots of information on their web-site and they will also send you both hard and soft cover color catelogues for each island with photos, descriptions and price sheets of villas in all sizes and price ranges.

For what it is worth, during our research we found it was not unusual for a particular villa to be available from several different rental companies. Prices were the same so it really doesn't matter too much which broker you use. The important factor is dealing with a broker that has a local reprenentative on the island where you are renting (all the major villa broker offer this service). Hope this helps.
 
Aug 25th, 2004, 12:09 PM
  #17  
droolpatrol
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Caneel. You said beach was important. Caneel has the best beaches of any lodging on St. John. If you don't want to be overrun with kids there are parts of Caneel strictly off limits to children, such as Scott Beach.

Your concerns about phones and fitness equipment. Caneel does have a workout room with cardiovascular equipment and weights. Also anyone who needs to reach you can phone the front desk, and they will get a message to you right away.
 
Aug 25th, 2004, 02:09 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
Elaine_d: There are several agencies....the two that I have used and recommend are www.seaviewhomes.com or www.caribbeanvilla.com. Both specialize (or did) in STJ villas only. The couple that run seaviewhomes are extremely sweet and very helpful! Their database isn't as extensive as caribbeanvilla.com, but I like their personal touch and the fact that they actually live on STJ. Great gig, huh? We have rented several villas on STJ and never the same one twice....all sizes and locations. Many times you can get a very large villa....and the 2 person rate is still quite affordable. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions....it all really depends on your budget and needs.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 10:49 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks to both Sunnyboy and CarribeanSoul for your responses!! I'm getting really excited about going, thanks to all the great info I've got here and on tripadvisor.com. St John here we come!
elaine_d is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 11:01 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 899
So tell us, Diane....where did you decide to stay at? You are welcome for the insight!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:56 AM.