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Caneel Bay Trip Report: I guess I don't get it.


Nov 8th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Caneel Bay Trip Report: I guess I don't get it.

I'm kidding. I couldn't resist. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then never mind.

I was very curious to see what we'd think of Caneel since we had read so many things (great and not so great) about the place. The bottom line: We liked it but we didn't love it due to a variety of reasons... from dated accommodations to issues with our final bill. However, I will say that the staff was great. We never experienced the "surliness" I've read about.

This was our 2nd trip to St. John and boy, do we love that island. Caneel does not hold the monopoly on great beaches so next time, we will rent a villa just like we did on our other favorite island, Virgin Gorda.

Here's our trip report:
caribtraveler is offline  
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Nov 8th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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We loved the island and Caneel, too. To me, St. John is heaven.
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Nov 8th, 2009, 10:31 PM
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Yes...St. John is beautiful...hard to beat..I, agree...renting a villa is the way to go, in my opinion..We visited Caneel while there but was so happy with the villa experience...if and when you return, check out "Argonauta" villa..absolutely stunning. It's on the northshore side of the island...Photos and description are exactly what it appears to be online...
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Nov 9th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Lovely photos as always!
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Nov 20th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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I enjoyed your exchange. We've never been to St John or any VI and are thinking of going with grown daughters next August. Since you love St John, can you tell me why? I see it's gorgeous, but not sure about a summer vaca there. We do love to hike, snorkel, swim...Is it possible to say what makes it soooo special?
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Nov 20th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Nadine, enjoyed your report! Patrick is growing like a weed and I suspect that soon he will be bigger than you . I have to say that Caneel is not our style for the price. Different strokes....

We are making our 8th trip to St John on Thanksgiving, all back to back. I really think you "get" St John or not. You really have to like more of a self catering vacation unless you want to stay at The Westin or Caneel Bay. Most people stay in villas. I am now spoiled by having living space and know that we are not resort people. The island is beautiful and unspoiled, the beaches and snorkeling are great and there is plenty of hiking to do.

Check out this website and see if St John has what you are looking for. I think the fun of St John is getting in the jeep every day and come what may. British Virgin Islands also easily accessable for day trips.

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Nov 20th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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I thought you never met a place you didn't like! ;-)
Seriously, I heard Caneel might have problems (as many places do) and maybe not putting much at updating? Did you hear any rumors while there?

Probably hard to top Barbuda too, Barbuda looks sooo nice.

As always, i enjoy your reports, especially the pictures. One day I want to go with you! 8-)
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Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Great trip report! I think you were our neighbor at Caneel. My mom, sisters and I stayed in rooms 50 and 51 Nov 1-5 and I think I remember seeing you around the resort. Overall I really enjoyed Caneel, especially the easy access to so many beaches. St. John in general is my favorite Caribbean island. My husband and I have visited two other times, once staying in a villa and once staying at Estate Lindholm. This was the first trip for my mom and sisters to St. John and I think they'll be back one day. When I go back with my husband I think we'll stay at Caneel, but if I were to go with a group we'd definitely stay in a villa.

PS, I love your review website. I'm going to bookmark it for future reference since you have so many Caribbean reviews and that's one of my favorite places to visit!
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Nov 25th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Thanks everyone.

Soxgirl: It's hard to put it into words... but we love the views.. the green hills (vegetation instead of concrete).. the multitude of beautiful beaches (with no hotels on them).. and we love how laid back the island is.. Cruz Bay at night is funky and busier than what I remembered from our last trip.. but it was cool.

Brenda: It was still low season when we went so the price was not bad and included breakfast. I've read reviews from people who've said they paid $600 and were not happy with what they got. If we had paid that much, we'd feel that way too.
Why don't we not talk about the fact that my son will be taller than me by the time he turns 10. ;-)

Blamona: I'm sure we'll end up on the same island on one of our trips. There was work being done at Caneel while we were there, like rooms being painted.. but I didn't see any big projects. If we're comparing islands, we prefer St. John over Barbuda but if we're comparing resorts, the Lighthouse Bay Resort leaves Caneel in the dust. LBR is first class.

Lauren: Yes! When I saw you, I thought "oh fun, a girls trip".
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Nov 25th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Another fun report--there don't seem to be as many pictures for this one as your others, though. Any chance you could post links to more photos? My goodness, I can't believe how big Patrick is getting!

Sorry that Caneel wasn't entirely your cup of tea, but I'm glad you confirmed your love for St. John. Out of curiosity, do Brian and Patrick rate the islands the same as you do? Or do they have different favorites?
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Dec 4th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Hi Emily: We actually were not in a picture taking mood on this trip. That's why there aren't that many pics!

Brian and I are pretty much on the same page about what we like. I think the only island we had a bit of a disagreement was Grand Cayman. He liked it more than I did. Patrick is happy wherever we go. He does keep asking us about going back to Virgin Gorda. We think he just enjoyed having his own pool. Whenever we go back, we'll have to rent the same villa or I think he'll be severely disappointed.
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