St. John or St. Lucia??

Old Apr 29th, 2002, 09:02 AM
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St. John or St. Lucia??

Hi! My fiance and I are considering either St. John (Westin) or St. Lucia (Hilton) for our honeymoon in July. Can anyone please provide input on the positives / negatives of each? Does anyone have a preference?
Old May 1st, 2002, 06:22 AM
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Hi Greg,

A lot of this decision will depend on what you are looking for. St. John will give you more of an 'american' feel than St. Lucia. The beaches on St. John are far, far, far better than those on STL, diving will be better on STL though. Restaurants are better on St. John and you also have the ability to easily get over to St. Thomas for shopping or other restaurant choices. You will find the A/I option very limited in the USVI and very popular on STL and that is for a good reason.

Weather on both is comparable as is the scenery. STL has the Pitons and banana plantations while STJ has the National Park property. Local folk on both islands are very friendly. On STL you will find many speaking a patois so you may feel uncomfortable if you don't like people around you speaking in a language you don't (most likely) understand.

Both islands are vote would be for St. John because of the beaches and the proximity to other islands.

Old May 1st, 2002, 08:17 AM
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Just to clarify a little bit in case Schultz's post was misunderstood. While many can speak in patois, most if not all will speak English when conversing with you and 90% of them are easily understood. There really isn't much of a language barrier. I've been there twice and have traveled the island quite extensively.

But all in all (from what I've heard about STJ over the years and my experience on STL) I'd pick St. John. But have fun wherever you go.
Old May 1st, 2002, 08:27 AM
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Hi Greg,
I've been to both and my vote is St John. It's very difficult to get around St Lucia and it usually takes a long time to get there. There is a lot of info here on the 2, you might also pick up a Fodor's Caribbean guide at your library and do a little searching.Remember, in St John you are a ferry ride away from the BVI and St Thomas. There are beautiful beaches, great food and lots of hiking in St J.Personally, I think it is cleaner and safer than St Lucia. JMHO. Congrats!
Old May 7th, 2002, 09:41 AM
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My husband and I went to st.lucia for our 20th anniversary three years ago. Stayed at the Rendevous it was great. People were nice and it was a couples only resort. Not as fancy as a Hilton. The food was great, can't wait to go back again. We like to snorkel and they have a sister hotel where we did that.
Old May 7th, 2002, 05:31 PM
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You're getting some good advice here. I've spent time on both islands, and it depends on *you*. Want an island that the water is so blue it hurts, with good dining, easy to get around (smallish), great snorkeling, and American feel? That's St. John. If you want the authentic Caribbean experience, lots of places to explore (do you like to drive yourself - on the left?), enjoy different cuisine and music, then St. Lucia is the place. We camped on St. John (at Maho) and stayed at Anse Chastanet and rented a villa another time in the Pitons (Soufriere) are of St. Lucia.

Also, the St. Lucia Jalousie Hilton gets mostly rave reviews here, while the Westin gets lukewarm reviews...Caneel might be a more comparable choice on St. John.
Old May 7th, 2002, 05:44 PM
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I stayed at the Jalousie Hilton last July and wish I would have saved it for our honeymoon this year. There were alot of couples there for their honeymoon and I think it is a perfect place to spend it. The villas are so terrific and you have your own plunge pool. The beach is very nice and you will never have to rush down to stake a place out. Even when the hotel is full - you still feel like you are the only guests there. We absolutely loved it - atomosphere is amazing with the Pitons. Almost like you are in the South Pacific. We flew in from Chicago and did not find it hard to get to. Air Jamaica has flights to St. Lucia - you should fly them if you can because they fly into the South airport. I would definitely splurge on the helicopter transfer - we did and it was so cool. You really feel like a rock star - plus you get to the hotel in 7 minutes. They have the helicopter waiting on the tarmac at the airport and the helicopter company has someone waiting there to expidite you through customs. Totally worth it. The hotel has a helicopter pad so you are right there. It is practically on the beach - it is fun to watch it come in and out (only about once a day). Pretty cool though.
Food could be better I must say. I think they try to take the French thing too far. Did not do the all-inclusive - unless you are getting a great deal - I don't think it worth it. On your second day - take a day trip into Soufriere and ask to stop at the grocery store - stock up on the beer (Piton) pretty good. Also bring a great bottle of wine with you. We were there on 4th of July last year - our fridge was so stocked - we had a party in our villa for the fourth with 2 other couples that were there on their honeymoon. I recommend lunch in the bar area outside - fish and chips are really good - and food at the BANG which is restaurant just off the property of the Hilton. Cheaper and better. The guy who owns it used to own the entire 325 acres the hotel is on. He can tell you stories. He is a british expatriat - wild, wild older gentleman (used to have an elephant on the property the hotel is on until it died?!?)
Anyhow - can give you more info if you want - but I give Hilton 5 stars!!!
Old May 9th, 2002, 05:34 AM
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Most planes do not fly directly into St. Lucia. From most destinations in the US you will have to switch planes 3 times to get to St. lie!

St Thomas/St. John is much easier to get to.
Old May 9th, 2002, 06:17 AM
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My wife and I planned our 4th anniv. to StJ this July. We seriously considered the Westin and the Caneel Bay Resort but decided to rent a private villa instead. We've traveled many times to All Inclusive resorts in the Carib. and feel that's the way to go. The Westin didn't offer a complete (american) All Inclusive and after speaking to the hotel staff themselves, felt the Caneel Bay resort was more plush. Of course, it will come down to how much you want to pay. If you have time, check out some private villa rentals. they offer everything from fully catered to buy and cook your own food, private beach, etc. all depends what you want in accommodations. for your review: OR
Old May 9th, 2002, 08:25 AM
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If you are in a major city - it depends on what time of the year it is to find a direct flight to St. Lucia. In the high season there are direct flights from most big cities on Air Jamaica or even Apple Vacations has a charter. Otherwise - you only stop in Montego Bay if flying Air Jamaica or San Juan if flying AA. It is not that bad considering how far it is.
Old May 13th, 2002, 04:27 PM
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We just returned from wedding on Trunk
Bay and honeymooned in St. John, USVI.
First time there. Absolutely without
a doubt the best island.

Villa is the way to go. We rented
Argonauta Villa that had the most
fabulous views. We had Chef Shay
Mulcare come to the villa and cook
the most fabulous dinner. He was
no more expensive than any upscale
restaurant but way better. He cooked
the meal, set the table and cleaned up.
Plus, he was the sweetest man to talk

I promise you, you won't be disappointed
with St. John. The most gorgeous
beaches to be found anywhere. The
whole island is just breathtakingly
beautiful. Again, rent a villa......

I've been to Hawaii, Bermuda, Cabo
San Lucas and Harbour Island, Bahamas..
Any questions, I'd be happy to answer.

Old May 14th, 2002, 09:04 AM
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Better read Jana's trip report posted today on the St. Johns Westin and avoid it at all costs.....
Old May 14th, 2002, 09:48 AM
No Bride Gene
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I've been to both St. John and St. Lucia. The Hilton is definitely nice, but you have to be careful of added costs. For example, we stayed at Ladera for our first three days. We took a half-day tour of our part of the island with a taxi driver and another couple. It cost us $40 a couple. We bought lunch at a cafe for $10 each. When we got to the Hilton, they were offering a tour of the same exact itinerary for $200 a person, including lunch - ten times the amount we paid. They said it was because of the "exclusive healing volcanic mud bath." Unfortunately for the Hilton, we explained in front of some other guests who were considering taking their tour that we had been to the volcanic mud bath on our tour with the cab driver, and that as it happened, the people who were on the Hilton tour that day were in the mud bath with us. The volcanic mud bath had an entry fee of something like $3, which was included in our tour price of $40 a couple. Anyway, just watch the hidden costs. The food's not great anywhere on St. Lucia, so don't spend a lot of money on it. Bang, which a previous poster recommended, is a good deal. You might want to go to Dasheen at Ladera one night at sunset for dinner and their spectacular view, but despite being called the best restaurant on St. Lucia, the food's just okay. You want great food, go to Anguilla.

St. John is nice, but very American. The Westin is comprised of people who can't afford Caneel Bay, and families. It's a nice property, though, and there's more to do on St. John than on the Hilton end of St. Lucia.

Overall, I think that for a honeymoon, I'd pick St. Lucia. It's just more romantic. It's quiet, though, so you have to be okay with that.

Have a great time, and congratulations!
Old May 14th, 2002, 10:02 AM
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I haven't been to St. John, but we went to the Hilton on St. Lucia for our honeymoon in January 2000 and had an absolutely wonderful honeymoon. I actually don't think we would change a thing. My husband isn't really a beach person, so we wanted an island were there were things to explore--volcano, rain forest, etc., so St. Lucia was just perfect for us. I found the Hilton to be great--the only slight disappoinment was the food--not great and overpriced. But, like another poster suggested, get some snacks for the fridge and explore the Bang Between the Pitons and Dasheen for at least one meal. Have fun!
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