St John

Old Nov 24th, 1999, 12:48 PM
  #1  
chris
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St John

Any suggestions on where to stay onSt John for under $300 a night? Something clean and safe. Perferably very close to the ocean-- why else go? A pool would be nice, but not a must. Describe the surroundings -- I've never been there.
 
Old Nov 24th, 1999, 06:09 PM
  #2  
Donna
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I haven't been to St John but am looking into it myself. I was on Tortola, which is the British Virgin Island right next to it in February 99 and loved it. Kind of quiet and relaxing-which is what I went for. Stayed and the Frenchmens Cay-it was the best!
 
Old Nov 24th, 1999, 06:10 PM
  #3  
Donna
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I haven't been to St John but am looking into it myself. I was on Tortola, which is the British Virgin Island right next to it in February 99 and loved it. Kind of quiet and relaxing-which is what I went for. Stayed and the Frenchmens Cay-it was the best!
 
Old Nov 24th, 1999, 06:12 PM
  #4  
Donna
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Hi. Haven't been to St. John but am looking into it myself. I was on Tortola in February 99 and loved it. It's the island right next to St John.

Really peaceful and relaxing-which is what I went for.
 
Old Nov 24th, 1999, 06:47 PM
  #5  
chris
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I checked out Frenchmens Cay's web site and the resort looks very nice and the prices are in our budget. I've never been Tortola, nor to the Virgin Islands, what is the area like? I don't care for busyness and you won't catch me in a chain restuarant or looking for the water sports, but I do enjoy exploring and experiencing local flavor. Is there much to do there?
 
Old Nov 24th, 1999, 08:17 PM
  #6  
Ken
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We just returned from St. John. Rented a condo steps from Cruz Bay. It was a great island and we will return soon. Check out the St. John websites where you will find quite a bit of info regarding lodging.
 
Old Nov 25th, 1999, 04:28 AM
  #7  
Karen
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Check out www.st-thomas.com/usvi/usviprce.html for lots of listing of the condos/villas/homes on St. John and St. Thomas. Frenchman's Cay is lovely with villas set on the hillside ... beach is okay (small man-made) but wonderful views! Tortola is a "jeep about" island with lots of opportunity to explore ... but you would probably want to do the same on St John if you were staying in a villa (few beachside there as well!). Beaches on Tortola are not as wonderful as those on St John (can be rough in winter and rocky) but great opportunity to explore the other BVI's with their wonderful beaches!
 
Old Nov 26th, 1999, 06:47 PM
  #8  
chris
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Checked out www.st-john.com. Lots of villas, but it is difficult to tell much from one photo. Any suggestions on a villa? What is Cruz Bay like? Are there good beaches, trails, or sights to walk to near by?
 
Old Nov 26th, 1999, 06:47 PM
  #9  
chris
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Checked out www.st-john.com. Lots of villas, but it is difficult to tell much from one photo. Any suggestions on a villa? What is Cruz Bay like? Are there good beaches, trails, or sights to walk to near by?
 
Old Nov 27th, 1999, 03:18 AM
  #10  
karen
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Since St. John is mostly Nat'l Park, there are many opportunities for hiking and finding out of the way spots. Although it has become a more popular destination, with the resulting increase in tourists, villas and development, it is more pristine than the other USVI. Not much "walking around" in Cruz Bay ... two "main" shopping areas, Mongoose Jct and Wharfside. You can do the whole town in an hour or so ... depending how long you linger over the posted restuarant menus and shoppes. You would probably want to rent a jeep to tour the island ... driving is an adventure (on the left with narrow, hilly roads with switchbacks but wonderful vistas! Easy access to St. Thomas for more adventure and duty-free "shopping" and day trips available to the BVI's. gobeach.com/uusvi/usviprce.html has descriptions but cannot help with recommendations!
 
Old Nov 28th, 1999, 11:40 AM
  #11  
Michele Malin
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There is only one place to stay, Caneel Bay. You get your own bungalow on one of their 7 beaches. The rooms are large and they just added air conditioning. There are no TV's, clocks or radios. It is a very romatic place. You can take the ferry to their sister resort Little Dix, the Baths are a must see. Bring water shoes and you will trek through rocks and laaders for the most amazing swimming. I would go back in a minute
 
Old Nov 28th, 1999, 12:48 PM
  #12  
Karen
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The poster was looking for under $300 a nite ... Caneel is wonderful (or should I say was - pre Kids' Club and a/c). Those seven wonderful beaches are awfully hard to beat but you do pay for them!
 
Old Nov 28th, 1999, 04:10 PM
  #13  
waggie
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Most likely, either the Westin or Caneel Bay will cost you about $300 a night or more. We rented a villa that had a great view, but we could not walk to a beach from there. However, there are a few that have beach access. Of course, you pay for it! It didn't bother us a bit to drive to the beach. In the summer of '98, our villa cost us $1,701 (that includes the taxes). We had two bedrooms, full kitchen, living room, 3 full baths, loft area, big deck, gas grill, swimming pool, etc. Just the bedrooms had A/C, which was fine. The place was super nice, and even better than the photos we had viewed on the Internet. Not one bad surprise! I don't think the place we stayed in is for rent any more. It was called Sea Wind. We rented from www.st-john.com/homerentals. Lisa picked us up at the ferry at 9:00 p.m., took us to our jeep (she'd taken care of everything!), and led us to the villa. It was all quite easy. There are MANY great villas in St. John. Also check out www.cateredto.com, plus just do a net search for St. John villas.

St. John has a beautiful national forest, great snorkeling, etc. Views are incredible. Not an arid island by any means! We ate out for every meal, and all our food was great! Shopping is minimal but decent, and you can always ferry over to St. Thomas for some shopping deals. An added plus is that you can also ferry over to the BVI, if you so chose. We are going to Tortola this year, and it's nice to know we can visit other islands for the day, too. Any questions, please feel free to email me. Good luck!
 
Old Nov 29th, 1999, 11:37 AM
  #14  
jim
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Chris, there are plenty of places to stay in St. John for under $300/night. From what you've written, it sounds like St. John is for you.

St. John is one of the most uncrowded islands in the caribbean. With only 3,500 full time residents, no stop lights, and no fast food (okay, one Subway just opened up, I believe), it is paradise. As some of the previous people have noted, 75% of the island is a National Park, some of which is underwater, but at least 50% of the land is dedicated to nature - it is nice to look out in the hills and see nothing but vegetation. Incidentally - the Rockefellers used to own most of the island (maybe all of it), and donated it to the U.S. Govt. with the agreement that it stay a National Park. There are no high rise hotels, no significant nightlife, but plenty of things to do.

As some have pointed out, Caneel Bay certainly is nice, but it is definitely a resort atmosphere, which is not what we look for. You will get meals cooked for you, maid service every day, A/C, and access to the pool. We rent private villas (as you have seen from some websites), and they are fantastic. Ultimate privacy, breathtaking views, and the option (but not the obligation) to cook any/all your meals, which of course can save money. Something about cooking on the island makes it less of a chore. We've never had A/C there, and it is not a problem (we really wouldn't want it). If you are concerned about it, just make sure the villa you rent does not face due west -- it can get a bit warmish in the afternoon if you are getting full sun. Almost all newer villas have pools and hot tubs, and I would suggest that you make a pool a requirement - nothing like the cool, clean water after a day at the beach.

Most of the time, St. John is lush and green, but we've been there when it wasn't -- and it still is paradise.

The beaches are some of the best in the world, and some of the little known ones are even better than the well-publicized ones (like Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay).

It takes a while to get there -- from Austin, it is an all day trip (leave house at 7AM, get to villa at about 9PM). You fly to St. Thomas, take a cab to Red Hook (30 minutes - about $8-$10 PP), and then catch a ferry to St. John (20 minutes - $3 PP).

Lots of places to find villas on the web - let me know if you'd like some comments on ones you see.

I personally would avoid Cruz Bay - it is the main town, and is the most crowded part of the island (understand that "crowded" on St. John is different than "crowded" anywhere else). Your best bet is to find some place on the North Shore as that is where most of the best beaches are. Most of that area is National Park, however, so there aren't many to chose from. We go in the summer when the rates are lower, but then you have the risk of bad weather (i.e. storms with names). We've never had a problem going in May, June or early July.

Good luck on your decision. Please let me know if I can help.

- Jim
 
Old Dec 23rd, 1999, 03:16 PM
  #15  
Mike
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Went to St. J in November and was evacuated due to Lenny. The two days we had were wonderful. We loved it so much we're going back in June. we rented a magnificent villa from www.caribeanvilla.com. Even though we didn't have insurance they gave us 4 free nights for our return visit. I would recommend villas in reef bay, hart bay, rondezous bay, cinammon bay.
 

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