Condos St. John/St. Thomas

Mar 31st, 2005, 09:28 AM
  #1  
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Condos St. John/St. Thomas

We are planning a June/July trip, 4 adults and 2 children. I am having no luck finding a 3bedroom condo on the beach, with a pool. The villas look great but we are afraid the kids will be miss having other children to play with. Caneel and Westin are too pricy for the space we need. (Like separate bedrooms and kitchen). Gallows Point doesn't appear to be on the beach. What about The Anchorage? Though we have been told St. John is a better choice that STT for families. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
bonmark is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 10:08 AM
  #2  
 
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gallows point are all one bedroom and do not encourage children to stay. there is no sandy beach at gallows only rocky. you probably will not find any place on the beach housewise on st. john since most of the land is either rocky or national park. the westin is geared towards families with children.st. thomas probably does not have to much that is beachfront. on any island you will probably have to rent a car to get to the beaches.
murphjam is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 10:15 AM
  #3  
cdt
 
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St. Thomas actually has quite a few beachfront condos but the trick is finding a 3-bedroom. I think maybe the Elysian Resort has them; also check Secret Harbour, or maybe Blazing Villas.

You could ask the people at antillesresorts.com - they handle rentals at several complexes.

St. John is gorgeous but St. Thomas has a lot more lodging options, in different price ranges.
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Mar 31st, 2005, 03:47 PM
  #4  
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I really appreciate your posts. Gallows is ruled out. Will check the others. I think it may work out better with the kids to stay on St. Thomas and ferry to St. John when we want. Again, thanks for your help.
bonmark is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:00 PM
  #5  
 
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bonmark--My family and I are going to St John in June..we will have 3 adults and 3 kids..ages 10,7,and 2.
I would suggest you rent a villa..that is what we did..for only $1500 for a week.
We are renting a 4x4..we have plans to take the ferry over to St.Thomas one day and go to Coral World and Coki beach.
I am sure that your kids will be entertained on the beaches..if you do like we do(which is snorkeling)I'm sure that there are other children..Cinnamon Bay is were the campground is and I bet there are kids there.
If I where you..I would stay on St John in a villa.I have read that St.John is the safest of the USVI's..DOESNT mean that the others are not safe.
If you need any help with a villa on St.John..check out www.vivacations.com
Hope that this helps.
christiegr is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 05:17 PM
  #6  
 
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I too would love to find a beachfront condo with 3 bedrooms on St John for our April 06 trip--but it doesn't seem to be out there. I personally do not prefer to drive to the beach. Caneel sounds awesome, but with two teens(boy/girl) the cost would rule it out for us. If anyone has any info would love to hear it!!
beachluver is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 04:29 AM
  #7  
 
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From my experiences with St.John, you're only gonna find alot of kids for your children to play with at the Westin. We have stayed at Gallows and will be going to St.John for our 4th time this summer. We tend to rent villas. You definately have the space and the beaches aren't far away. It is difficult to find a villa on the beach though. I would definately stay on St.John even if it means not staying directly on the beach. The two islands (St.J and ST.T) are completely different. St.Thomas is much more hustle and bustle, where St.John is low key and very relaxing. You may have an easier time finding other children at some of the more populated beaches on St.John like Trunk and Hawksnest. Another thing to keep in mind is that you are able to go to the Westin and Caneel to use their beaches even if you don't stay there. I think there is just a small fee and at Caneel, not all beaches are open. We use privatehomesvi.com but there are many other rental agencies around. Take note that many of the well known beaches are on the north side of the island, so staying up on that side of the island will make it much quicker to get the beach. We stay on Mamey Peak which is a mile drive down to the best beaches. Good Luck!
zachsarbean1 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 04:52 AM
  #8  
cdt
 
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The responses since my earlier post aroused my curiosity and I did some checking. The Anchorage condos and Blazing Villas are the only places I could find on a beach with 3-br units on STT.

B. Villas consists of a number of individual cottages adjacent to the old Renaissance Hotel on Pineapple Beach. If you rent the entire cottage you have 3 bedrooms.

The hotel itself (briefly a Palace Resort) is closed for renovations. I'm not sure how this affects beach maintenance, services, etc.

Villas on St. John are great but almost all will require driving to a beach.


cdt is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 10:48 AM
  #9  
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Again, thanks for the posts. Does anyone know anything about Pineapple Beach? Blazing Villas are 3 bedroom as are Absolute Paradise Villas. Both look okay on line but not sure never having been there and can't find much about Pineapple Beach. I really appreciate all your help.
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 04:54 AM
  #10  
J62
 
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We just returned from a week on St. Thomas with kids and had a great time. We stayed at Crystal Cove condos at Sapphire Beach, booked through bestbeach.com. Dave (the owner) was really helpful and even found us a condo from another owner when he was fully booked. For 4Adults + 2kids your best option there may be 2 units. A 1BR (4 bed/2 bath) unit upstairs and a studio (2 fold down bed) downstairs. You could probably squeeze 6 in a 1 br unit but it would be too tight in my mind.

Bldg A is right on the beach. There's a pool on the grounds but we only used it once since the beach was so handy and a lot more fun anyway.

Sapphire Beach is beautiful, great snorkeling right off the beach (without the snorkel to head combat of Trunk Bay St John.

For me, the advantage of being right on the beach with the kids outweighed any need for private villa, being on St. John, etc. If you want further info from our trip, post a reply and I'll be glad to add another 2c.
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 04:05 PM
  #11  
 
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J62! We are a family of 5; children ages are 6, 14 & 16. Also, trying to find something to accommodate our family. Plz let me know what there is to do for the kids, is there cooking facilities in the units, how are food prices, are you near Red Hook? All input willbe greatly appreciated. We have taken the kids to Aruba & Jamaica, they seem to like the boat tours/excurtions.
iluv2go is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2005, 04:48 PM
  #12  
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Thanks for your responses. J62, I have emailed Crystal Cove regarding the availibilty. Did you rent a car? Were you close to a grocery? And did you feel the kitchens were adequate when you wanted to stay in and cook? Our kids are 7 and 10 love the beach but also love the pool. Was the pool fairly good size? Sorry for the questions. Iluv2go, you may wish to check out absoluteparadise.com they are another possibility as they have units that connect to sleep 2-8 people.
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Apr 4th, 2005, 02:10 PM
  #13  
J62
 
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Well I guess I should get my act in gear and write up a real trip report. Until then….

Iluv2go: OK, my kids are 9 & 11. Right at Sapphire Beach is a marina with both charter boats & private boat rentals available. I spoke to a few people who went on the New Horizons II boat, either for a day excursion to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) or the dinner sail. If you go to the BVI make sure you have the proper ID as you'll need to clear customs (not exactly sure how that's done, but I hear the boat captain can do that for you whilst you frolick. The NH II seemed to get very good reviews elsewhere in this forum. For the price of a party of 5, it's just about the same price to hire a smaller private boat w/ captain for the day and go wherever you please around St. John or BVI. I was tempted to do that but only had 4 full days on the island so never did.

Red Hook is just around the corner (<1mi) and there are all sorts of boats available there as well. I saw some people walking but it's a long climb up the hill (both ways), no sidewalks or shoulders on the road.

I came across 4 or 5 places to buy groceries in my travels. Marina Market in Red Hook has it's own small parking lot, so it's a breeze to zip in and out – 2min drive from Sapphire Beach area. They're open 6:30 to 9 every day. Great deli, fresh baked goods, and a fantastic meat counter for steaks. I got up earlier than the rest of the group most days and would hop down to Marina Market for a fresh baguette and some croissants a few days. The market is pretty small, but they have a good sampling of just about anything you could need, if not your favorite US brand. Prices for produce and packaged goods were higher than US, maybe 30-40% higher. On the way from the airport there are 2 Pueblo markets. We stopped in one on the way to the condo the first night just to get morning food – eggs, milk, fruit. Bigger store, more selection than Marina Market, lower price but not as upscale. In the Tutu park mall there is a K-mart (with a small grocery section) that had good prices on packaged goods and a Plaza Fresh market that looked like a really big market – never went in myself. The Kmart is basically a full sized Kmart – we picked up sunscreen, kids snorkel gear & misc stuff we forgot there for basically US prices.

We stayed in 2 different units. 1st night was a studio #A17 (the bigger unit wasn't avail the 1st night). A17 is owned by Dave. The unit was redone recently (full new kitchen, full gas stove, microwave, blender, toaster, granite counter top, dishwasher, full sized fridge) and was in great condition & nicer than I have in my own home. One bath, 2 fold down beds and an air mattress worked fine for one night. The rest of the week we moved upstairs to #A18, owned by a different person but sublet to us. This had a full bedroom & 2nd full bath in addition to the 2 fold downs, plus an in-unit washer/dryer. Basically the same kitchen as downstairs, minus the upgrades (granite (white formica was fine)) and no dishwasher. We washed ½ of our dishes and the housekeeper did whatever we left behind – be sure to tip the housekeeper well! Outside was a charcoal grill. I guess the other units owned by Dave have also been upgraded recently but you'd have to ask. We ate in more than we went out, but made sure we were rested a couple of evenings for nice dinners out.

For kids, we had all sorts of things planned but didn't end up doing much of them. Never went to Coral world or Coki beach. Sapphire beach itself was beautiful, the end by the condos was never busy and never noisy. Great snorkeling right off the beach. So the kids preferred to build sand castles, snorkel in the shallow water or explore the exposed reef at low tide for any critters they could find. We spent 2 days on St. John. One day with the car and one day by passenger ferry. It was good to have the car to explore the island, but the car ferry is slower & somewhat confusing / hassle to figure out the local system. If you have questions I can fill in more details about the ferry and St. John beaches. Just ask.

As for car, I highly recommend you rent a car. You can get around by taxi but for $200 for the week from Budget it's a bargain. We rented a small Ford at the airport that just fit 4 of us with luggage. There is a Budget office at the Sapphire Beach resort (budgetstt.com) that you can also rent from. The airport location you can book through the regular Budget website. One more suitcase or one more person and it would have been better for us to get a taxi to/from the airport or get a bigger car (i.e. Taurus).

The pool was very big (15yd long x 8yd wide) – salt water which was interesting. I swam laps there when the ocean wasn't calm enough. Pool water was a little warmer too, maybe 84 deg vs 80 for the ocean. The kids enjoyed the pool, but preferred to swim at the beach to see the fish, play in the sand, etc. Plus, the beach was about half the distance as the pool from the condo.

If you have any more questions, just ask and I'll try to fill in any details I've missed.
J62 is online now  
Apr 4th, 2005, 03:47 PM
  #14  
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J62-Thanks for the info. I have an embarassing question somone suggested I find out the answer to-are there any topless or nude beaches on STT or St.J that I should know about? I'll be with my parents and kids and don't think I could stand the embarassment! (Mine I'm sure.) Does anyone know anything about Absolute Paradise at Pineapple Beach? Again, thanks for all your help.
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Apr 4th, 2005, 03:58 PM
  #15  
J62
 
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Either fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, there are no topless or nude beaches on STT or STJ.

You'll have to go to French St. Martin for that.

Beachwear is standard US attire. Didn't see a boy aged 10-17 with anything shorter than the knees - must be the current style.

Be sure to bring long sleeved T-shirts, esp for the kids as after a few days in the tropical sun they'll need to be covered midday and the back, chest and forearms get a lot of sun exposure, plus ankles & feet too, so my kids wore socks in the water the last few days just so we didn't have to stay cloistered~!
J62 is online now  
Apr 4th, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #16  
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Whew, that's a load off my mind. I started looking at Sts. M and M but that was one deciding factor!(andI wasn't sure how kid friendly they would be) NOW if only I can get a condo booked and find airfare that won't cost me a 2nd morgtage I'll be set. I'm seeing nothing under $750/person from here in Louisville, KY. You have been very helpful and I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks.
bonmark is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #17  
 
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For airline tickets..check out www.travelocity.com..I have found that they are cheaper than..say Expedia,cheaptickets and orbitz.
Right now tickets keep going up and then down..today they are a little cheaper.
I will be buying some to STT in a few days so I have been watching the prices.
christiegr is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 12:29 PM
  #18  
 
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If we wanted a 2 bedroom A/C villa/condo on St. John, but not stacked one-on-top-of-each-other, nicely furnished with a den/living room, 2 baths and maybe 8x10 kitchen can we find that within 1/2 mile of Caneel for $2000-$2500 for the week at the very end of October? If so, can you do it privately or should you use an agent? If an agent, who do you trust??
StanKase is offline  
Apr 7th, 2005, 05:27 PM
  #19  
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Not sure if you are looking for a private home villa or a villa condo sort of thing. I looked at. condo's on St. John and found none. For private homes many people mentioned wecaterto.com and several others. You may wish to post a separate message re: trusted agents.
bonmark is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 04:32 AM
  #20  
 
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stankase-we rented our villa from www.vivacations.com they are all private villas not stacked on top of each other.
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