Going to St. John Dec. 2006 - Need advise!

Old Mar 27th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Going to St. John Dec. 2006 - Need advise!

We are so excited!! We bought our airline tickets yesterday and will be on St. John
Dec. 19th - Dec. 28th.

But, we really don't know where the best location for us to stay at is. We are early-mid 50's and will have our son and his friend, both aged 23, with us.

We plan on a lot of hiking and a lot of beach time for the day. We sort of looked at the Eco tent, studio's, etc. set up, and while they seem nice, I don't think I'm convinced to go that route, yet. How remote are they? And do any of them have direct beach access? I couldn't get a handle on this from their website.

But what section of the island to stay on is the question. I'm sure, although we want a nice quiet setting, we also want to be convenient to restaurants and bars for a few evenings out.

Are the two most populated area's Cruz Bay and Coral Bay? These two places have the most night action? While we do not want to be in the "thick" of it for our rental, we would like easy access to 'some' night life.

I think once we get a handle on what area to stay in, then we shouldn't have any problem deciding on a place to rent. I've looked at a lot of websites and have seen many that fit our needs. 2 BDR and hopefully with a pool/spa. Oh, and hopefully an easy access to the beach.

I would appreciate any help I can get. Thnx!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Coral bay is less developed than Cruz Bay.

Cruz Bay is busier but still not as busy as other main towns in the Caribbean.

The best beaches are on the North shore.Cruz Bay is closer to those beaches.Have heard that some of the best snorkeling is in the Coral bay area..Lameshur Bay,Saltpond and Haulover bays.

You might like Gibney Bay beach cottages.There are two of them and they are on a nice, calm beach and not far from Cruz Bay.It would be a quiet place but yet not too far from nightlife.

Just google Gibney Bay beach cottages or try these websites.(I cannot remember who they are listed with)

www.caribbeanday.com
www.caribbeanway.com

I would book somewhere soon as the villas get booked quick for the time that you will be going.

Have fun...St John is one beautiful place!

Christie
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Christie - Thnx for the info. I will try the websites out. I have seen the Gibney cottages on some site and agree, they seem awesome!

So, for night life, dining and drinking, are Cruz Bay and Coral Bay the only two places we would look at? There are no others? I'm just trying to cut down on night time travel time, if we get out in the evenings. I assume the roads are pretty dark and maybe dangerous, lots of hills and curves, to navigate at night?

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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STJ is one of my favorite places. Coral Bay is more laid back, but the hang-outs are still fun in the evenings. Skinney Legs, Island Blues and Shipwreck. Even in Cruz Bay there is not a lot of "night life".
Maybe with your son and friend, you may want to be closer to Cruz Bay. It is all in what you expect.
There are not many villas on the beach. Gibney, and that is big $$.
Last March we stayed at Rainbow Beach villa in Coral Bay( 4 couples) It had a hot tub, pool, and was on the beach, but it was a grassy beach.
Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 02:35 AM
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soggydollar - Thnx! That helps a lot. I think that Coral Bay sounds best for us. We like a more laid back night life. We can always go to Cruz Bay at night if we need to.

A grassy beach is fine. Would you have a contact for me for Rainbow Beach? A pool and hot tub is right up our alley.

Thnx again and I love your screen name!

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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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Hi Coden

The villa company is Great Caribbean Getaways. Their booking office is actually in Maine.
They send out nice color brochures of the villas you are interested in. Also beside Rainbow is Calypso by the Sea. We did not look into it because we needed to sleep 8 people. But has the same beach from type area, but somewhat segregated by shrubs.
I just love the view of the Coral Bay Harbor with all the sailboats!
Take a day trip to JVD and get a painkiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar! You won't be sorry and you "won't be feelin'no pain"!
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 03:49 AM
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Me again...
I just googled rainbow beach villa...the company is caribbean villas. I think I gave the wrong company name.
Also Windspree and Great Caribbean Getaways both had villas in the Coral Bay area.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 03:57 AM
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Coden,
Yes..the roads are very dark,curvy and hilly.Cruz Bay and Coral bay are the only places for nightlife.St John is a very small island.It really does not have alot of nightlife.It was perfect for me and my husband.

We really enjoyed The Quiet Mon and the Beach bar in Cruz Bay.

If you chose to stay near Cruz Bay..I know of a villa that is really convenient to Cruz bay but not in the rush of things.Tamarind is the name of it.It has a pool but not sure about a hot tub.We met the owner last time we were there he was a really nice guy.It is pretty reasonable in cost.

If you want something on the beach...you will pay top dollar because there are not many villas on the beach.

You can have a look at Tamarind at the link below.It is listed under the 3 bedroom villas.

www.caribbeandays.com

Good luck!
Christie
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 04:06 AM
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Coden,
What is your price range for the villa?

Christie
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Coden

I’d suggest getting one or both of the more popular guide books…’St. John Feet,Fins,four Wheel Drive’ by Pam Griffin or ‘St. John Off the Beaten Track’ by Gerald Singer . Both are available at Caribmart (http://www.caribmart.com/usbritviris.html) among other sources. This will give you a ‘feel’ for the geography of St. John and provide you with a guide to the hiking trails.

I personally would not give priority to beach access. On St. John it commands premium rental rates and there are too many good beaches a short drive from anywhere on the island.

While Cruz Bay and Coral Bay are the main rental areas, there are attractive options in the Ajax/Bordeaux Mountain area that offer convenient access to Cruz Bay, Coral Bay, and the north shore beaches. We’re partial to Coral Bay and Island Blues and Shipwreck Landing. Some of our more memorable meals were ones we did ourselves. No restaurant matched the views from Sago Cottage over Coral Bay.

There are many trip reports on Fodors and USVI On-line about St. John to help with your decision. St. John is a great little island and a perfect December vacation.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Christie - $2k - 3k

We will be there for 9 nights. Arrive Tues Dec. 19th - leave Thurs 28th

RobertoB - Thnx for the heads up. I will check the book out. Also, thanks for the info. on Ajax/Bordeauz. We won't give priority now to beach access. I really appreciate it.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 02:37 AM
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Just wanted to report that we have been spending a lot of time on different rental websites and are finding so many Awesome places to stay. We are making our lists and starting to send out inquiries. Hopefully we'll have our rental confirmed by this weekend. Woo-hoo!!!

We can't wait for St. John!!!
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 03:39 AM
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Coden,
Since you are going in December..I would think that you could rent a villa without AC and still be comfortable with the windows open and it would cut down on the cost of the villa alot.

Christie
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Hi Coden
I live on St John and wanted to give you a heads up.The Gibney cottage would be my first choice for a number of reasons, Old friends of mine John and Terry gibney own that property and John did a great job on the house and property, we had many BBQs on the beach and it was always the local beach. Things have changed, the beach is busier then before but still quiter then most. However this cottage is almost always booked up for months to years ahead. However I did notice last week that there was an auction on ebay for a week at this cottage.I would definitly check it out. Also I would check out usviguide.com they have a bunch of villa agencies and villas on their website. The roads can be dangerous at night, primarily cause locals get impaitent with tourist simple becuase we all know the roads and can drive faster on them. I know personally cause I have gone over twice its not pretty. It has giving me a good case of Cliff Trauma. Hope it helps.
st John Island Girl
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 01:36 AM
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Chritie - Thanks for the heads-ups on the a/c. Unfortunately, "lifes a changing" for me, if you get my drift and I best have a/c handy when I need it! Ha!!

We've decided to stay at Bay House in Coral Bay. For our 1st visit we feel this is the best for us. Once there we can get a better lay of the land and if need be choose differently for the next time.

stjislandgirl - thanks for the advise. Unfortunately Gibney is out of our price range. Maybe when our son is out of college. It is a lovely place!
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 05:25 AM
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I think you will be happy with Bay House, when I was looking for your 2004 trip, it was one of the final 3 that I was looking at. We decided on Stone Harbor, which is just a bit down the driveway from Bay House.
You will love looking at the Coral Bay Harbor from your deck. The lights of the sailboats come on as the sun sets!
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 05:45 AM
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soggydollar - Thanks for the reassurance. I just now finished booking it. I can't wait to sit on the porch and look out over Coral Bay!

Our trip is for real now!! Can't wait!!
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Coden,
Glad to hear that you found a place.I look forward to a trip report upon your return!

Christie
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 02:14 AM
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Christie - Thnx!! We are really excited. This has all come about so quickly that I still can't believe that we are going to spend Christmas in the Caribbean and on Awesome St. John!

I will do a trip report when we get back and I'll be here in the meantime writing down helpful hints!

Thnx so much for all of your help!
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