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-   -   Harbour Island vs St. John, USVI (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/harbour-island-vs-st-john-usvi-95770/)

nancy Dec 6th, 2000 05:32 AM

Harbour Island vs St. John, USVI
 
My boyfriend and I are planning our first <BR>vacation together in May...we had planned on <BR>St. John, USVI....but I was reading about <BR>Harbour Island....one of the reasons is <BR>that it is much less inexpensive to <BR>fly to the Bahamas...from Washington, DC.... <BR> <BR>I have read some responses on this website and others and it seems that "tweedy" is <BR>the only one that talks about how she loves <BR>Harbour Island......I would like to hear thoughts from others that have been to Harbour Island..re most romantic and picturesque place to stay....how are the no-seeums in May........are there boat trips (day) that one can take to other islands ...any adivice would be appreciated... <BR> <BR>Thanks!!! <BR>

robin Dec 6th, 2000 12:19 PM

Pink Sands Hotel on Harbour Island was the most exquisite vacation I have ever had. Rent a villa overlooking the Carribean and enjoy the wonderful people. Top notch hotel...magnificent accomodations. Went in May and had the whole place to ourselves.

Geo Pro Dec 6th, 2000 05:24 PM

Harbour Island is nice, but there is no villa there from which to view the Caribbean. The Bahamas are not really in the Caribbean. Neither are the Turks and Caicos nor Bermuda. They are just lumped in with the real Caribbean by people in the tourist industry.

mike Dec 7th, 2000 05:36 PM

Never been to Harbour Is., but if you want beautiful beaches, friendly people, r+r, great hiking, great restuarants I'd highly recommend St. John

Louis Dec 7th, 2000 06:01 PM

If you want an area mostly devoid of typical US type of influences, Harbor Island is the choice. If you want some sort of typical American action in the evening, go to St. Johns. We are laid back people that love nature and tranquility so we would pick Harbor Island since we have known both places. The only negative factor for my tastes is that the ocean temperature is most likely a few degrees F cooler in May than the Caribbean.

Fendrock Dec 8th, 2000 08:37 AM

I was in contact with Tweedy before going to Harbour Island, and I'm glad I took her advice. <BR> <BR>My husband and I stayed at the Runaway Hill over Memorial Day weekend, and we really enjoyed it. <BR> <BR>It is a great place to go for a quiet vacation -- walking on the beach, sitting by the pool with a great view of the ocean, reading a book. <BR> <BR>The beach was virtually empty while we were there.

Joan Dec 8th, 2000 10:33 AM

Nancy, I agree with the above posts. I have been to both places and St. John is beautiful, but it's funny -- even though GEO is right technically about the Carib, it feels like the opposite is true: St. John is very Americanized, while HI has the "feel" of the Caribbean. <BR> <BR>By the way, Harbour Island is very tiny -- no cars for rent, just golfcarts. So if you are counting on renting a car and exploring, know that you won't be able to do that unless you take a water taxi over to the main island of Eleuthera (100 miles of deserted beaches). We also went in May, and it was hot enough to "loll" in the surf. <BR> <BR>And oh yes, the pink sand is really truly pink. <BR> <BR>Have fun wherever you choose to go! <BR>Joan <BR>

joan Dec 8th, 2000 10:36 AM

P.S. Check out the website: www.briland.com

tweedy Dec 12th, 2000 10:47 PM

Hey gang thanks for the nice thoughts. I have been going to Harbour Island since 1986 and have been to lots of other Carribean islands, but always go back to Harbour Island. <BR> <BR>I like being able to walk everywhere, eat great food, walk on the mostly deserted beach (funny thing, even during high season the beach is mostly deserted), meet wonderful people from all over the world (our little gem of an island is becoming well known, so shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone else). <BR> <BR>There is a bit of shopping now and some nite life and great snorkle trips oh and so much more. I even met my honey on Harbour Island 4 years ago, and now he loves the place as much as I do. <BR> <BR>If you need any more info on the island, come and chat with us on Monday night at the Harbour Island Yahoo club, you can get the address at www.briland.com. Chat is every Monday night at 8pm. <BR> <BR>Goombay to you all. <BR> <BR>tweedy

Karen Dec 13th, 2000 04:57 PM

St. John, Americanized? Well, it is the USVI! LOL Since most of the island is US Nat'l Park it can offer you some wonderful pristine beaches and laid back limin'. Known as the smallest yet the most pristine and most expensive USVI, it offers only two resorts - Caneel Bay and the Westin (neither highrise hotelish). At the Westin, you will find the more typical American hotel experience (other than the recent move of the chef from Asolare to the Westin!) but Cruz Bay is an enchancting escape from the hussle and bussle of many other "americanized" places like Cancun or Aruba and I hate to say it, the Bahamas! It is more difficult to get to and probably more expensive than the Bahamas since one has to ferry from STT but the Westin will often have some very good packages including air that will get you on island and then you can jeep about to the wonderful beaches and enjoy some wonderful "high end" eating or just laid back casual depending on your choice! Caneel will take a big bite out of your wallet. Many are choosing condo/resorts such as Lavender Hill, Gallows, etc or one of the many villas as an option!! Not sure what the Ocean temp might be in May in the Bahamas - it is pretty far north in the Atlantic! Whichever you choose, happy vacationing and I am sure that you will enjoy!

Karen Jan 3rd, 2001 06:24 AM

We went to Harbour Island last June and just loved it!! It is just beautiful and very romantic!!We stayed at the Coral sands but would probably not stay there again...we would try Runaway Hill next time around. This June we are going to St. John.....we have never been so I can't give any thought on it. We are staying in a villa and are really looking forward to it. I don't think you will be disappointed with Harbour Island!!

nancy Jan 3rd, 2001 09:24 AM

Thanks so much for responding....could <BR>you tell me why you wouldn't stay at <BR>Coral Sands for it was going to be our <BR>second choice if "Runaway Hill Club" <BR>would not be availabe. What would <BR>be then another choice...(except Pink <BR>Sands) way to pricey...... <BR> <BR>thanks again, <BR>nancy

Lynn Jan 5th, 2001 10:18 AM

This is for Karen: <BR>I am also interested in hearing why you would not return to Coral Sands. We are planning to go to Harbourt Island in September or October (when Runaway Hill is closed). We were considering either Coral Sands or Ramora Bay (but I heard they are not right on the beach ). It will be a while before we book so any insights would be appreciated. Thanks

gail Jan 6th, 2001 05:55 PM

Coral Sands is very nice and right on the beach. They have done alot of rennovation to the resort the last year or so, after the new owners took over. Also the food is top notch now with a new chef running the kitchen. <BR> <BR>I think if Runaway was not open or available I would stay at Coral Sands or Romora Bay. All of the resorts on island are beautifully done, but Runaway is by far the niceest and the smallest, only 10 rooms and the best food on island. <BR> <BR>Romora Bay is on the Harbour side of the island, so there is no beach, it is only a short walk away however. The accomodations are pretty villas that overlook the bay in beautifully landscaped, so you have alot of privacy. <BR>Also there is now a nice pool and a bar that is right on the water. The food at Romora is also excellent. <BR> <BR>Let me know if you have any other questions on the island. <BR> <BR>gail

nancy Apr 3rd, 2001 04:54 AM

Hi Gail,<BR>We just booked at Coral Sands because <BR>Runaway was full...I also got another<BR>email from someone who stayed at Coral<BR>Sands last April and said she would <BR>never go back...I also read that the<BR>Coral Sands did a complete renovation<BR>and it reopened in November...we got<BR>one of the deluxe oceanfront rooms..have<BR>you seen them...also..I have time to<BR>cancel reservations if you think Romora<BR>would be a better choice...although we<BR>really wanted a place where we could just get up in the A.M. and walk right<BR>onto the beach if we wanted to...any<BR>thoughts would be much appreciated...<BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>Nancy<BR>

tweedy Apr 3rd, 2001 02:12 PM

Nancy, I think you will be happy with Coral Sands. As I mentioned earlier, the resort has gone through alot of rennovations and after the last storm alot of changes were made to the beach bar and alot of the landscaping. The entire beach was redone and alot of work was put into making the island just like it was before the storm.<BR><BR>Coral Sands has a nice new pool and deck area, also overlooking the ocean and tennis courts.<BR><BR>All of the rooms have been redone in the last two years.<BR><BR>I think the reason people have decided on Runaway Hill is that it is much smaller, only 10 rooms and a bit more intimate. <BR><BR>The staff at both resorts are very friendly and excellent in their jobs so you will feel very welcome.<BR><BR>The view from both resorts of the water is amazing. I enjoy just sitting and watching the water, so relaxing.<BR><BR>So take lots of sunscreen and have a GREAT time. Again, email me if you have any more questions.<BR><BR>tweedy

Maya Apr 24th, 2001 01:13 PM

Nancy, I just returned from Harbour Island several days ago. It is very beautiful quaint and quiet. I stayed at the Pink Sands hotel, in a cottage right on the beach. It was a magical, beautiful place. The beach is absolutely breathtaking, the water aqua blue, palm trees, and tropical foliage. Unfortunately I did not go to the Coral Sands property, however it is located a few doors down from the Pink Sands, directly on the beach. <BR> <BR>It was extremely windy while I was there, so there was not a problem with bugs. <BR> <BR>Harbour Island is a quiet little island, so if you are looking for a place with lots of action, (shopping, dining, partying) this is not the place for you. <BR> <BR>As far as boat trips go, not much unless you take the ferry to Eleuthera or a high speed ferry into Nassau. <BR> <BR>Have a terrific time!

Paul Apr 25th, 2001 05:32 AM

Nancy; <BR> <BR>Been there, done both and they are each very nice. BUT. Harbour Island is the place to go. AND...Pink Sands is worth every penny you spend there. Ask to stay in "Glass Windows". You'll love it. PS....This is quickly becoming a <BR>hot spot so go now before it gets any more popular than it already is. <BR>Have fun!

gina Apr 28th, 2001 05:46 AM

Maya, <BR>How large was the property (Pink Sands), and how was the food? <BR>Did you rent a golf cart?

Paul Apr 28th, 2001 08:12 AM

The property itself is...(im guessing) <BR>about 10 acres or so. To walk from the dining area to the beach is maybe 5 min or so. Unless you have trouble walking, you certainly do not need a cart to get around Pink Sands itself. You might want a cart just for kicks one day to get around the island. Other than that, we enjoyed just walking anywhere we wanted to get. That quite frankly is one of the great things about this tiny piece of heaven in the sea. Have fun!


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