St John and family adive

Jan 24th, 2009, 07:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8
St John and family adive

Planning on making a trip to St John in March, April or May. We have two boys 12 and 10 that will be going with is.

Our biggest problem is finding a place to stay due to the fact of so many places to select from. We would use our place as a base camp and explore the Island each day.

I love the idea of the Villas but have some concerns who maybe sharing the building next to you. Is this a concern? Looked at and they seem to have some great Villas. Also looked at Caneel Trailside Cottage and it seems very nice. Caneel Bay Rosewood Resort is nice but not sure if it would be good with kids. The same with Gallows Point Resort.

I like the ideal of having a kitchen instead of eating out all the time.

We live in Florida so we are not far away. This is our first trip and we want to make it special.
SeaDave is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 8
I stayed at Island Manor on St. John back in November and it was like a movie for bad places to stay. We had a few large roaches upon arrival, when it rained it rained in the kitchen down onto the toaster etc., 2 of the tv's didn't work (one being in the kids bedroom),the airconditioner in the living room didn't work, the bedroom doors wouldn't lock and the web site we rented from boasted of a short path down to the beach with your own coral reef which was not true at all. We had to drive 10 minutes away everytime we went to the beach. Be careful who you rent from and find out for sure that there is beach access. We will not rent from villas caribe ever again!
evcobe is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your experience. It's a shame that places like that can't be held accountable. The best to get back at them is to do what you are doing and post about it on message boards.

Thanks for Responding
SeaDave is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607
There are many Fodor's forum members with St. John experience. One thing that will help is if you can stipulate a villa budget for on and off season. Late April and May will put you in the off season with more attractive villa pricing. St. John is a relatively small island so just about everyone uses the villa as a base. I agree, selecting a place to stay is the most difficult part of going to St. John.

Searching the Fodor's threads should bring up some recommendations.
RobertoB is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I've stayed at both Caneel Bay and Caneel Trailside. Caneel Bay is fabulous and would be great with kids-wonderful beaches and snorkeling on property. The only thing is they only allow 3 people in a room so you'd have to get 2 rooms which would be pricey. They offer the second room at a reduced rate, though, so you could call and check rates.
Caneel Trailside would also be great with kids. The villa is very nice and access to the trail and observation tower would be fun for the boys. Ths pool is VERY small, though so I don't think they'd get much use out of it. It's only 3 feet deep and maybe 12 feet long. The villa is very convenient to Cruz Bay. It has a steep driveway and is in a neighborhood so it can be a little noisy, but the set-up is perfect for a family with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on opposite sides of the great room. There is limited availibilty there in April & May and nothing in March, though. Good luck and let us know what you decide!
turtlegirl is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 371

We rented through Destination St. John,, and are very pleased with them. We have rented LaPapaya several times because their are 4 couples but it's a great villa. When are you going and what's your budget? You can rent a nice villa for way less than two rooms at Caneel Bay. You can visit and snorkel Caneel without staying there, we do it every trip!
Pulley is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 446

I would definitely book something for late April or May just because the rates go way down for many places by mid-April.

I would contact a few of the more reputable villa companies, and tell them what you are looking for, along with your budget, and concerns for privacy. They will give you the run down on what to expect from certain villas. In the off season, villas seem to be the way to go on STJ. Gallows is nice, but for the $$, you should be able to get a nice villa for close to same money.

Good Luck
ScottB is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 03:33 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,184
I have no experience with this myself, but check out the Westin's villas. You would have resort atmosphere, with I think a kitchen and more room.
girlonthego is online now  
Jan 28th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 125
We rented a villa in Coral Bay last year and it worked out beautifully: Private Homes VI was great to work with -- they're a family run business that's been in St. John for more than thirty years. The drive up the mountain (and the driveway itself!) was hairy, but the villa could not have been more beautiful or well appointed. It was private and we never saw or heard any of the neighbors.
adlmllr is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
I've been to St. John several times with my kids and have tried several different accomodations. We have stayed in a hotel room at the Westin, Condo at Lavender Hill, 1 bedroom condo at Gallows Point and a timeshare at the Westin. I liked Gallows Point the best but the kids like the Westin timeshare much better. If you're traveling with kids, the ammenities at the Westin make a big difference. The kids LOVE the westin because of the huge pool, activities, access to on-site store, easy poolside lunches, quick open air cab ride to town for dinner, watersports hut, etc. Also, the kids met other kids by the pool so had instant playmates, volleyball games, etc. Happy kids mean happy parents so although I prefer Gallows we had a better experience at the Westin timeshares. There are great deals to be had right now online with renting timeshares so take a look. The hotel rooms at the Westin are SO overpriced and are nothing special but with the timeshare you get a small kitchen, more room but same amenities, and a much better price for the week. I think I simply googled 'timeshares in St. John' and found a few sites where owners were renting their timeshares.
Maggy is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
SeaDave: I would definitely look into a villa or condo rental through an agency which has a presence on the island. I like the site because they have a great layout but I don't know what their management is like. destinationstjohn folks are definitely nice and very professional. is also on island and run by a couple who seem very dedicated and professional too. I agree with the other posters regarding the Westin "villa" rentals for groups with kids and elderly because the amenities are terrific. But if you really don't require big amenities, and will take advantage of the opportunity to explore the island and not hole-up in your villa, then Caneel Trailside is probably an excellent choice. It's a newer villa and there have been good reviews. Your boys ages are so great for a trip like this, especially if they love the outdoors and the water. Make sure you make time for Little Lameshur and the Reef Bay Trail!
Tuxedocat is offline  
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