Just booked Caneel! :)

Mar 10th, 2006, 08:50 PM
  #1  
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Just booked Caneel! :)

After many weeks of deciding on islands and getting a wealth of information here from you all, I booked Caneel Bay today - premium beach front suite on Scott Beach. I booked through Rosewood Resorts, and the woman, who was very kind, assured me that I was going to get the room I requested. I will be sure to check back a few weeks before I go though to make sure. It is $625/night, plus the 18% tax. I'm going June 2-7.

Now, I'm debating on flights...there is a $2000 total difference to fly first class ($3200 total for flight for two people round trip) on Delta, and only have one stop (Phoenix to Atlanta, Atlanta to STT). Otherwise, I have layovers from 4-7 hours with two-three stops (but only $1200 total round trip). Part of me thinks it's worth that small fortune to do first class (especially since I may be pregnant by the time I go). Any thoughts about first class being worth it or not? It is a red-eye on the way there, making it much more comfortable to sleep. I upgraded to first class to hawaii and I thought it was definitely worth it (it was only $250/per person to upgrade). We're talking less stops and layovers too, though.

I can't wait to gather all of the information I learned here and plan my trip now. I'll be sure to post a trip report upon my return. Thanks again, to everyone!
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 10th, 2006, 08:56 PM
  #2  
 
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Well, personally I prefer only one up and one down....and I hate long layovers, they just make me feel tired by the time I get to my destination...
but I can't speak for your budget/finances, but I would go the first class route if it works for you - it's much more comfortable, they are much more attentive, everything is easier and better, especially the comfort of the seats, leg room, etc. - just make sure you join the frequent flyer so you get the points.... as my friend says "it's always nicer to take a left when you get on a plane"

You will love Caneel - have a wonderful, wonderful time and defnitely post your trip report !!
escargot is offline  
Mar 10th, 2006, 09:03 PM
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thank you so much, escargot! you are right on about first class, and your friend is right, too...it is nicer to take a left when you get on the plane. i am really leaning toward first class and so is my husband. i thought we'd spend about 7K on the trip anyway, and first class puts us at $6300 (split about half flight, half room/taxes). and who knows the next time we'll get to travel somewhere so nice? might as well live it up, right? thanks, again for your post.
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #4  
 
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Back to Caneel gor a moment. We have been there 7-8 times. We personally think Hawks Nest, while 30 yards from the beach is a little nicer if you request upper level in an end unit. It also is about 10% less/night.

If you want what we think is the best accommodations, I would put Cottage #7 "on request" in rooms C, D, E, or f but NOT A or B. They are much larger and a little nicer furnished. It to has its own little beach. You have seven beaches tosnorkel from. Then have Scott Beach as your back-up.
Make sure you book a 3 hour snorkel trip with Sally's Tug Boat. It is lot's of fun.
StanKase is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Caneel has the best from the beach snorkeling---follow the Turtles at Scott and Paradise. We have been there about 5 times--stayed in Scott and Cottage 7. Have not been there in a few years.

Stankase--correct if I am wrong but isn't B in cottage 7 on the lower floor--I think the only room to stay away from is A. We have had C a few times---nice large room, evidently its not requested as much since it does not
have a 4 poster bed!


Jackie- I have seen your posts, Caneel is a very nice place. Not the service or the bathrooms like Cap Juluca, but we have enjoyed it. The from the beach snorkeling cannot be beat! You will love the beauty of the grounds--even the donkeys. Make sure you get out of the resort to funky Cruz Bay.

Escargot-it is much nicer to make a left
to the front of the bus---except on the 737 when everyone goes thru the aisle!
Continental flys these to the islands--
its nice in the front but its almost like coach use to be years ago!

Jackie you will enjoy the flight!

penny is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 10:13 AM
  #6  
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thanks so much for your posts, stankase and penny! i will definitely look into those accommodation choices/upgrades(?) and snorkeling opportunities. i really like right off the beach snorkeling though, because i am not a fan of deep water. thanks, again!
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 11:11 AM
  #7  
 
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jackiehammond,

First class on Delta is so much better than coach. You will have first-on boarding, attentive service, a meal, where in coach there is only snacks. It is much, much more comfortable with wide seats and much more leg room. My sister said that they felt very squeezed in their coach seats on their Atlanta - St. Thomas flight.
A vacation is such a special time, and a first class flight makes for a perfect start.
Did you make arrangements for Caneel's transfer service? Your luggage will e whisked from the air terminal, where you will find it awaiting in your room. All in all, from the time you leave Phoenix, you will immediately have that offff to fantasyland feel.
You will have an outstanding trip.
Dianebridles is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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I'll second Stankase re Hawksnest Beach. The rooms are less pricey than those on Scott, but have more privacy if you are upstairs. Other plusses to Hawknest are that the rooms face the tradewinds, so you are comfortable leaving everything open to drink in the air and nature sounds, using the ceiling fan for cooling. Also Hawksnest faces east with lots of shade on the beach, particularly afternoons when the sun will be glaring into the west-facing Scott Beach. Both beaches can be used, as they are only about 100 yards apart.
xkenx is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 11:26 AM
  #9  
 
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ps. One way to maximize your time at Caneel is to fly to Miami late in the day, stay overnite inexpensively at or near MIA airport, then fly to STT first thing in the morning, getting you in early enough, and rested, to enjoy Caneel for your arrival afternoon.
xkenx is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:46 PM
  #10  
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hi diane,

i think i'm definitely going to book first class now...you are right...from the moment i get on the plane, i want to feel like i am on vacation.
also, i appreciate your feedback on delta's first class. some airlines definitely have better first class service and comforts than others.
i didn't make arrangements for the transfer service yet (i was waiting to see if i was flying first class for sure, and about the times), but it sounds wonderful (and $85/roundtrip/pp is not bad)! do you know how bumpy the boat ride will be? i MAY be pregnant by then (it would be only first trimester), and wanted to make sure everything i was planning on doing is safe (also, the day trip to the baths).

hi xkenx,

thanks for the recommendation of hawksnest. i guess i assumed since it was windier at hawksnest, the water would be more active, and i really like calm bath-like water. also, thanks for the recommendation on flying to mia and spending the night there. we considered that, as well. with the first class trip, we'd get in around 1:30. thanks, again!
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 04:55 PM
  #11  
 
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Jackie, American from MIA can get you into STT mid-morning. Hawksnest water is calm because there is land on the other side of the bay where the breeze is coming from. Hawksnest is the place for temperature comfort and best shade on the beach.
xkenx is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:19 PM
  #12  
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hi xkenx,

thanks so much for that info. only prob with american is their price for first class and the amount of stops...i looked at flying america west to miami, spending the night, and then going to st thomas from mia on american. i will look at that flight option again, and price out the difference. thanks for that extra info on hawksnest. i was not aware that the water was that calm there. is it shallow, too? are the rooms top/bottom configurations? thanks!
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 07:56 PM
  #13  
 
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jackie: I don't think you can go wrong with either Hawksnest or Scott.
The choice comes down to your personal preference when looking at all the facts.

I'll try and compare and contrast the two.

As pointed out by other posters, Hawksnest faces east giving you trade winds and the morning sun, allowing you to seek shade in the afternoon if you need to. While Scott faces West giving you the sunset over St Thomas (It can also get hot, but itís the Caribbean itís supposed to be hot!). You can also view the lights on St Thomas at night from your bed.

Scott rooms are all single level, which some say reduce privacy during the day, but on the flip side you walk out onto the beach. Hawksnest rooms are top/bottom config., which some say are "motel like" (imo: nothing about Caneel is "motel like") but requesting and getting the top floor will give you some added privacy and Hawksnest rooms are a little less of an expense. Another thing to consider is Scott has 4 fewer rooms on a beach that is probably twice as long.

Snorkeling on both beaches is very good, especially if you like shallow water. To inject a personal experience, during my last stay I snorkeled Hawknsest exclusively- a tropical depression parked itself in the area the entire week, resulting in water to rough for snorkeling- except Hawksnest which was like a swimming pool.

I think you already made a great choice on flight times. No matter what time of night I arrived at Caneel -knowing I would be waking up in paradise instead of an airport hotel in Miami would be my goal.




WaywardSeal is offline  
Mar 11th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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Hi Jackie,

Caneel's boat is spacious and comfortable. Seating is available in and out, ffirst and second level for great viewing. The caribbean Sea is usually calm; thus it makes for smooth boat trips. My sister is sea sickness sensitive, and has not had a problem with their boat. Another plus, you will be offered complimentary fruit punch drinks, both rum and non-alcholic.

I have never found Hawksnest to be windy - just the cool, refreshing tradwinds. Water there is also calm. I choose my location there for the privacy and upstairs view.However, Scott Beach is also gorgeous, and everyone that i have met staying in those rooms love it.

Caneel, also offers a moderately priced sunset cruise, complete with steel drum music, drinks, and enough food, that you will not need other dinner plans. You may want to check their activity desk for other things to do. Water toys such as kayaks and sunfish are also complimentary.
Dianebridles is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 04:51 AM
  #15  
owa
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You are in for a real treat to experience Caneel for the first time. I highly suggest you book their transportation from STT to Caneel's dock. On our first trip, snow delayed our arrival time to 1130 at night. Caneel had a van waiting at the airport, and had sent one of their smaller boats to pick us up. A golf cart was waiting for us at the dock to take us to our room. There we found sandwiches and fruit. The best part was, as WaywardSeal says, waking up to beautiful Caneel. It is definitely worth the price to have that convenience. Owa
 
Mar 12th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #16  
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hi waywardseal,

thank you so much for comparing and contrasting the two. that helps out a lot! it sounds like scott is the beach for me, but when you said that hawksnest was like a swimming pool during that tropical depression, that makes me think more about hawksnest...what is the difference off price in the two rooms? is it considered an ocean suite? i agree with you about waking up in a hotel to save a few hundred dollars is prob not worth it, rather than waking up in paradise. i've been checking various flight times, and i hate to say it, but the first class not only works out for the comfort and layovers, but it also works out for the best flying times.

hi diane,

thanks for letting me know about the boat; that helps me a lot. i think if i'm pregnant, then there shouldn't be a problem of harming the baby or anything if it is too bumpy, or having sea sickness. also good to know that hawsnest is not "windy", but rather has refreshing tradewinds. the steel drums and fun on the sunset cruise soudns interesting, and i'm so glad there are kayaks and other water toys. my husband and i really like taking out a kayak and other water toys! i am so excited!

hi owa,

i will definitely book the transfers from STT. for $85/rt pp sounds like it is definitely worth it! how nice it must have been for you to come from snow to paradise! i'll be going from desert to paradise, probably will be in the 100s in arizona when i leave for st john. so it should be a nice change for me, as well.
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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I would second owa on reserving the Caneel ferry. One of the great things about their transfer service, they will always pick you up no matter what.
My last trip in October was delayed getting in because of weather (that tropical depression I mentioned earlier). Any rate, we missed our connection in San Juan and were four hours late getting to St Thomas -missing the last ferry. Because of this they sent a water taxi for us, which was a relief coming at the end of a hectic day of travel.

I'm not sure what the exact price difference is between Scott and Hawksnest. You can go to the Caneel website and the rate page will give you the rates per room category via the corresponding season. For my money I always love Scott, but as I said earlier- you can't go wrong on Hawksnest. On normal weather days the beach at Scott is pretty much the same as Hawksnest- nice and calm.
WaywardSeal is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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thanks, waywardseal. when i go to caneel's webpage, i can see all of the different rates, but i'm not sure where to find what beach each room type is on. are the rooms on hawksnest beachfront, oceanview, or premium oceanview? thanks so much for your time. i really appreciate it!
jackiehammond is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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Hawksnest is "beachfront" category.
To avoid confusion about my earlier comment about staying overnite in MIA, I assumed that you have only so many days at Caneel at their premium prices.
Maximizing the time there means getting in as early in the day as possible. Come to think of it, that could mean flying to San Juan and staying overnite, then puddle-jumping to STT in the morning. American flies Dallas-SJU in the afternoon, and frequently from MIA.
xkenx is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 05:29 PM
  #20  
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thanks so much, xkenx! i'm going to check out american's flight options and see about possibly staying overnight in san juan. then, i could get to stt and stj early...but i wouldn't be able to check-in though, right? i wouldn't mind a little quick sight-seeing in san juan for the morning, and getting over to stt around noon.
thanks for the info that the hawksnest rooms are the beachfront ones. that's $100 cheaper/night, plus the differnce in tax, would make it a $472 price (we're staying for 4 nights). do you think the rooms are just as nice as the ones on scott beach? does caneel bay resort have a/c? if not, i could see why hawksnest would be a favorite. i kind of liked the idea of having the sand come right up to my doorstep, like at scott beach. thanks, again!
jackiehammond is offline  

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