Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   Of these 3 choices... (

debbs1130 Aug 30th, 2004 07:06 PM

Of these 3 choices...
which would you recommend for a single girl looking to relax on the beach with a good book or 2 for 3 to 4 days.

Option 1: Barbados - St. Lawrence Gap

Option 2: St John's - Coral Bay

Option 2: Tobago - Scarborough

I've never been to the islands and am not sure how each place is different.

I have heard that Barbados is more of a nightlife town, which I'm not looking for.

I can't really find any information about Coral Bay except that it's mostly a marina town.

Tobago seems to be remote, which could be good. I just to know more. Any help is appreciated. THANKS!

tivertonhouse Aug 30th, 2004 11:43 PM

Of the 3, St.John's would probably be your best bet with shorter travel time for just a 3-4 day beaching-out trip. Coral Bay is a good ,away from the thrash getaway on the opposite end of island and quiet. Rent a Jeep to get into town, restaurants. If you had at least a week, opt for Tobago for a less Americanized island.

RobertoB Aug 31st, 2004 05:29 AM

As tivertonhouse says, with just 3 or 4 days I'd rule out Tobago. The travel time is too long. If you decide to go there in the future there are some great areas outside Scarborough.

Coral Bay is more of a community than an actual town. Very laid back with several good casual restaurants-Skinny Legs ( noted for their same day service ), Island Blues, and Shipwreck Landings. You'll definitely need a 'jeep' but this will give you access to the numerous St. John beaches. There are no hotels in Coral Bay so you'll need to find a rental villa/cottage with daily rates. The rentals on the hills above Coral Bay have some of the best views in the Caribbean.

I'll let the Barbados experts comment on it.

CaribbeanSoul Aug 31st, 2004 05:54 AM

What is wrong with Cruz Bay on St. John? Much more to do....more restaurant selections and closer to the North shore beaches. If I were a single person traveling to the Caribbean, Cruz Bay would be right near the top of the list.

curiousx Aug 31st, 2004 06:07 AM

not Barbados - regrettably, there are too many 'beach boys' on the hustle and you will not be left alone with your book for more than 20 minutes at a time.

When you have more time, go to Tobago, but consider the Charlotteville end (northeastern) instead of busier Scarborough.

caribtraveler Aug 31st, 2004 06:51 AM

I'm wondering why you picked Coral Bay in St. John (no "s" by the way). I agree with CaribbeanSoul that Cruz Bay would be better for you if you decide St. John is the place to go, especially if relaxing on the beach is what you want to do. Cruz Bay is much closer to all the beautiful beaches.
I can't comment on the other places since I haven't been.
Good luck.

debbs1130 Aug 31st, 2004 07:08 AM

thanks all.
I choose coral bay because there is a hostel there. I'm on a budget and dont' really want to deal with all the travellers at hotels.

I have pretty much ruled out the St. Lawrence Gap area, but have found a hostel in the Silver Sands area. Does anyone know about this area.

Sorry for all the questions, but i thought it best to get reactions from people who have been there.

As for not wanting to do the nightlife scene, I'll be 27 when I go and I'm tired of that scene.

The flight to Tobabgo didn't seem to be that long - I live just north of Philadelphia. But i'll double check.

Does anyone recall how much it costs to hire a 'Jeep'?

Thanks again!

curiousx Aug 31st, 2004 08:50 AM

I stayed at the Silver Sands Hotel (not the hostel) one day owing to airline delays. The hotel pools were lovely. The room we had was tiny and musty. The dining room food was awful (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

The beach in this area is quite wild and windy. It is a spectacular setting for the many expert windsurfers and kiteboarders who stay in the area. There seemed to be nothing in the immediate area but a beach bar (Mike's ?) some way past the hotel.

Hope this helps

tpatricco Aug 31st, 2004 09:39 AM

Hi debbs,

Of your three choices, I've only been to St. John, but multiple times, and we always stay out past Coral Bay area in Concordia. We like this side of the island better than Cruz Bay, because it is quieter and more laid back (if such a thing is possible...all of STJ is laid back). I disagree with caribtraveler's comment about Cruz being closer to STJ's beautiful beaches than Coral. Coral Bay is in fact right in the middle of the island. It's much closer to Salt Pond Bay & Lamesur Beaches. Almost a straight shot across to Leinster Bay / Waterlemon Cay area. You'll have to rent a jeep and drive regardless, so getting to the beaches is not that big a deal. I was not aware there was a hostel in Coral Bay...but it is an area with more "local flavor" than the more touristy but active Cruz Bay. You'll have to weigh out your options and decide, but I love STJ!

CaribbeanSoul Aug 31st, 2004 10:15 AM

Sorry...wasn't taking Lameshur or Salt Pond beaches into consideration. Neither of which are in the class of Hawksnest, Trunk, Cinnamon, Francis, Maho, Solamon, Honeymoon, Gibney....all North shore beaches much closer to Cruz Bay than Coral Bay. I have a great place for you in Cruz Bay called Samuel's Cottages where you can rent a 1 BR, air conditioned cottage with a kitchen for $600/week and it is walking distance to Cruz Bay. May be what you are looking for....maybe not. Let me know if I can be of more assistance.

caribtraveler Aug 31st, 2004 10:21 AM

Ah...understood re: Coral Bay choice.
I think we paid about $75 for our jeep in St. John. There might be cheaper rates. We didn't really shop for our rental when we went there.
Coral Bay is not in the middle of the island. It's on the East Coast and yes there are beaches near it. But when you talk about beaches like Trunk Bay, Jumbie Bay, Caneel Bay and Hawksnest Bay, Cruz Bay is a lot closer.
Anyway, wherever you decide to stay, it's a small island so it'll take you probably 1/2 hour (or a little less?? if my memory serves me correctly) to get from one side to another.

caribtraveler Aug 31st, 2004 11:28 AM

debbs: For a recent jeep price, start a new message saying "nancyrusinak-question for you". She just came back from St. John and rented a jeep. If you do a search for her screen name you'll find her trip report. I'm sure she'll tell you how much her jeep rental was. Or you could just ask the question in her trip report posting.

debbs1130 Aug 31st, 2004 06:33 PM

caribtraveler: thanks for the suggestion. I'm hoping nancy can be of some help.

Everyone: thanks again... Too many decisions.

RobertoB Sep 1st, 2004 03:28 AM

This is a list of some St. John car rental agencies. Nancy was very satisfied with the one in her report:

Also a St. John specific forum:

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:13 AM.