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-   -   Just back from a week in St. John (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/just-back-from-a-week-in-st-john-254828/)

jparis Aug 31st, 2002 02:26 PM

Just back from a week in St. John
 
Just back from a great vacation and thought I would just post some notes:<BR><BR>1) Our famiy of four stayed at the Westin, and although I initially wanted to rent a villa, I was very happy we stayed at the Westin. The kids had a great time with the pool and the activities. Our older son was also able to work out at the gym which was good. I would definately recommend the poolside rooms, they are worth paying up for. The gardenside are really far from everything. The poolside are near enough to the beach to feel like it is "practically" out your door. The staff was very friendly and the place was very well organized (arrival, boat trip, check in, check out, etc). The only "downside" was mediocre food.<BR><BR>2) Restaurants we ate in and liked were Morgan's Mango, Panini Beach (you must order the Caribbean Martini), Lime Inn and a teeny tiny barbecue place in the center of town (Uncle Joe's I think). We did not like Asolare (too "full of themselves" for a laid back island), Fish Trap (what a trap!) and Cafe Wahoo (which was the worst of them all).<BR><BR>3) Highly recommend Adventure Catamaran snorkel trip out of the Westin (another great thing about the Westin is that they would make arrangements EASILY to do everything you wanted to do). It is a 3 hour tour and it was great. Snorkeling was great everywhere, but it was AMAZING off the catamaran. <BR><BR>It was terrific being in St. John off season - hotel was not crowded, didn't need reservations in any restaurant and the weather was perfect (I guess we lucked out). Also got a deal from Westin which they don't advertise on their website. If you stay 7 nights, you get a break on the room rate, and you also get all taxes included as well as free buffet breakfast and free round-trip transportation to the airport. Make sure you ask about it when you call their reservation line. I am sure it is only during off season, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

lmcm Sep 3rd, 2002 05:39 AM

Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Westin/St John. We will be staying there next week. One question, what was the dress code on the island for dinner, are shorts acceptable?

Marti Sep 3rd, 2002 05:45 AM

Thanks for the report, another question, if you didn't have a family with you, would you have preferred a villa? I'll be going without kids next year.

Barb Sep 3rd, 2002 06:09 AM

Shorts are definitely fine at most restaurants for dinner. The exceptions would be Asolare, Paradiso and Chateau Bordeaux. Off season you might even get away with shorts at those restaurants. It's a very casual island.<BR>To Marti, if it were me I would only stay at the Westin if I had children with me. It's a nice family oriented resort but my fiance and I like the privacy of a villa.

jparis Sep 3rd, 2002 02:15 PM

One of the wonderful things about the island is that you don't need to dress up, especially off season. Just to let you know, there were men wearing shorts (albeit khaki) at Asolare, with just an open collar shirt, but a clean t-shirt would definitely have been ok.<BR><BR>I think if you are going without kids, you might want to think about a villa. The website that was recommended to me was www.destinationstjohn.com. I spoke to them at one point, and I think there might be wiggle room in the price for off-season. <BR>If you are the type of person that likes to be around people and have a beach and a pool at your disposal as well as all water sports, then you should stay at the Westin. If you crave your own private space and want peace and quiet while you sit by the pool, and then drive where and when needed, then I would rent a villa.

Liz Sep 5th, 2002 01:18 PM

Thanks for the heads up about the 7 night deal thru the Westin. We are booked for 9 nights so I will definitely ask about the airport transfer. I thought it was $65/ PP. for a RT.Also, did you get breakfast each day included?


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