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St. John/Caneel Bay or Maui/Four Seasons - Please help me decide!

St. John/Caneel Bay or Maui/Four Seasons - Please help me decide!

Mar 16th, 2003, 10:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
St. John/Caneel Bay or Maui/Four Seasons - Please help me decide!

Dilemma - Anyone been to both that can maybe help me decide? I've read and read and read and can't make up my mind. This would be a special vacation for my husband and I so I want it to be great. Am a little concerned about not enough variety of things to do on St. John and condition of Caneel Bay rooms. I understand that location is a large part of the price but for the money they charge, I want a very nice, clean room too. The location of Caneel Bay and being right on the beach is a big plus. Please, anyone with input help! We would be going in a few months.
Jillian is offline  
Mar 18th, 2003, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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We've never been to Maui, but from what I understand it is quite different from St. John. The better choice depends on what you're looking for. St. John is like a very small town. There are plenty of good restaurants and beautiful places to stay (mostly villas other than Caneel) but it isn't heavily developed and most of the island is national park. If you're looking for lots of shopping and nightlife don't go to St. John. With that said, we found plenty to do there and were never bored. Take a day-sail, go snorkeling, explore a deserted beach, hike one of the many gorgeous trials or just relax with a drink and a beautiful view. If these things appeal to your husband he'll love St. John.

From what I understand, Maui is much more developed and, of course, feels more like you are in the States (we're planning a trip to Hawaii this fall so I've been doing plenty of research myself). It's a bigger island and would have more choices both for nightlife and other activities. The downside is more people and more commercialization.

I'll let others comment on Caneel vs. Four Seasons, but from what I understand the Four Seasons offers a more traditional luxury experience (i.e. marble bathrooms) whereas Caneel is less opulent but has a more natural setting. We toured the grounds during our vacation and it was beautiful.

Good luck choosing. I'm sure you'll have a great time at either location.

Julie304 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I have only been to St. John's for a day trip from St. Thomas. It is incredibly beautiful, but very quiet compared to Maui.
We stayed at the Hyatt on Maui, so can't help with the hotel, but Maui is much larger and you do feel like you're in the states, but it certainly is a beautiful state. It is much more developed than St. John, with a lot more going on. We took a helicopter ride over the volcano, which was incredible. The beach is beautiful, with views of the other islands. If you want a variety of activities, I'd recommend Maui. Enjoy!
cybertraveler is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
There is no question that you will get " a very nice, clean room" at Caneel Bay. The rooms are spacious and lovely. They are all air conditioned but you can open the windows if you prefer the fresh air and breezes. There is turn down service etc and the types of amenities you'd expect from a luxury resort. What is missing is opulence, things like marble bathrooms etc. If you want that, then you should look elsewhere. If you want a gorgeous resort, with simply, beautifully furnished rooms and the most incredible beaches you've ever seen right on the resort grounds, then go to Caneel Bay.
MaryBeth is offline  
Apr 6th, 2003, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 126
I agree with the other posters...I have been to both and they are both wonderful...so it depends on what you want.

The 4S on Maui will be glamorous and more glitzy (although nothing as Las Vegas as the Grand Wailea next door!)...Caneel is much more low key, but still elegant and super nice. 4S has all the toys - Caneel does not have TVs or telephones in the rooms.

Expect far superior service at 4S than on St. John -- island time and a lack of service mentality is a problem for some visitors, but I find it helps me relax, but at these rates you do expect better service...

Maui is VERY VERY American...stip malls, super markets, Costco, Barnes and Noble...St. John is non of those things...very rustic, but chic at the same time...

Very little poverty on Maui - some on St. John (lots on St. Thomas)...

Many more food options on Maui, but food is wonderful and variety can be found on St. John...

I love both places for different reasons...for me, St. John is less than half the distance, and that makes it do-able for a shorter trip...
Andrew304 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2003, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 60
haven't stayed at Four Seasons out at Wailea, but have been to Maui twice, once at Hyatt at Kaanapali and then at Ritz at Kapalua, but spent an entire day from Makena to Kihei and a entire day at Hana and one week at Caneel and Mary Beth and Andrew have described Caneel very accurately.
We loved Caneel, lots of beaches right on the resort, lot of day trips to keep you busy if want, or just do nothing at all. Beaches on St. John much more beautiful than Maui, snorkeling comparable for both, would be hard to say which was best, though snorkeling up around Lahaina, Kaanapali was better than around Wailea. Many more restaurants on Maui as far as number, but great cuisine to be found at both. Great restaurants with gorgeous views at both. Maui is of course much more commercialized. Great day trips from both- power boats/catamarans to other US or British Virgin Islands with great, great snorkeling from St. John as well as their many, many great beaches;
day trips on Maui - a trip to Haleakala, a great sunrise, hike down into crater, great bike ride down the mountain- a day/night over to Hana, the road to Hana is an experience in itself - a few hours at Honolua Bay or Hookipa Beach watching the surfers, a great experience with a cooler of cold drinks and just chilling out - a helicopter ride over the island, a truly great experience not to be missed, a hike into Iao Valley State Park, a quick flight back over to Oahu to explore Pearl Harbor, and several places on that island that can be easily done in a day. Both islands have so much to offer.
We have been blessed to be able to go to both twice and only have taken our boys to St.Thomas/St. John once, but we are going to take them to Maui and Kauai so they can experience the Hawaiian island flavor and uniqueness. WE were fourtunate enough to hire a local guide the first trip over to Maui and he was available on any given day we wanted to go out and explore so we were much more familar with things the second time around.
For our consideration coming out of Nashville we would travel to St. John hands down opposed to traveling to Maui, we can be settled in on St. John before we can even get to Maui, and have found we love the the Virgin Islands so very much.
denette is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,963
I've been to Maui and am going to St John this summer.

I don't know if you are set on Four Seasons, but we stayed at the hotel next door - Kea Lani - on Maui & loved it. About the same price but all of the rooms are suites and really wonderful. I know Four Seasons is considered tops but you might want to check this out - we really loved it.

Like I said, we are going to St John this summer so I haven't been yet but I'll give you my thoughts based on research I've done. I think there is a ton to do on both St John and Maui, but the options are probably more diverse on Maui given it is much more developed. A lot of differernt towns to visit, restaurants, shopping, luaus, etc. St John has a lot to do, but most is centered around nature - hiking, snorkeling, etc (which you can also do on Maui). We are actually renting a villa on St John - I like the idea of the privacy as well as having my own pool.

Either way I'm sure you'll have a great time. If you go to Maui, rent a boogey board - it's like surfing without needing any balance!!

snowrooster is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Maui all the way. Although we liked 4S on the big island better . . .
cecelia is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 423
Maui is far more lush, St John is far more subdued . . .
Snoopy is offline  
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