Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Caribbean Islands
Reload this Page >

St. John or T & C for "best" beach for kids...........

St. John or T & C for "best" beach for kids...........

Old Jan 26th, 2007, 04:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
St. John or T & C for "best" beach for kids...........

Hi there...I am in the very early stages of planning a trip to the Caribbean for June 2008 and have been scouring this site for your opinions on this with plenty of good ideas. I have been leaning towards St. John for a few weeks now and have narrowed the resort down to The Westin, Caneel Bay and renting a private villa. Our kids will be 6, 4 and 1 at the time of travel and they absolutely love the water and the beach and the pool. That said, I am leaning towards the Westin if I can ever find a good rate there in the future, mainly because of the kids club and the pool. I have heard the beach is not very appealing however, mixed reviews on the beach at the very best. Is there one beach on St. John that is perfect?? Sandy, easy water entry, shallow, warm which I should be focused on??? (i.e Is Cruz Bay better than say Coral Bay) Or are the beaches in the T & C better for small children?? My kids will spend hours sitting on the beach making sand castles and playing in the shallow waters if I will let them. Any help on this resort decision and island decision will be wonderful and I sincerely appreciate it since this will be our first trip to either of these destinations and want it to be special. Thanks in advance.
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:08 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,716
I love St. John, one of my favorites, but for kids, it doesn't get better than Grace Bay Beach in T&C. 12 miles long, flat, shallow, brilliant turqiouse, clear, no waves, it was "made" for kids. (and big kids like me 8-) !)
blamona is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:33 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
Thanks for the reply...which resort on Grace Bay Beach?? I checked out the Buccaneer. Any others on the beach that come to mind?? great pool for little kids and great beach???
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:43 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,370
This is a tough one because both islands have excellent beaches, but are different altogether. I haev been to both. There is much written on this site comparing the two islands. I agree that you just can't top the powdery white sand and clear calm turquoise water of Grace Bay at T&C, but SJ has so much to offer that T&C does not - more natural beaty in the green lush mountains and more tropical flowers. You do not mention budget - but since you seem more interested in a hotel versus a villa, there are more resorts in T&C than there are in SJ. The Beaches resort in T&C seems to be popular with families, but it is very expensive, and for the money you spend there, a villa with a pool and maybe a cook for a couple nights would be something to think about.
bankbabe is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
Thanks bankbabe and blamona (sp?)...for your responses...I have been looking at lots of pictures, reviews, etc. so am really doing my homework on this one. My thoughts so far have it narrowed down ath the present time : The Westin-St. John, renting a villa there, Caneel Bay is sort of moving further out of my plans at the time, (Westin seems a bit better for the kiddies if we choose St. John) and the T & C, looking into Ocean Club resorts there maybe or another kid friendly resort, possibly the Buccaneer. Have either of you stayed at Ocean Club or Ocean Club West??? Thank you again everyone.
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:57 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
Sorry, forgot about the budget thing. I was thinking around $3,000/week for the accomodations but have found that there are several villas for rent from the private owners at the Westin for a bit less. Don't want to go way overboard on expense but would like something beachfront and suitable for our large family, so a two bedroom villa would be absolutely perfect but if the location was great we would make due with other arrangements. We are a pretty flexible family that loves the beach and pools!!!
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:58 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 995
I have to agree with Blamona about TCI, I would definitely take kids to Grace Bay over St John. The beach is amazing! Having lived there, it is really a gem!
MIM04 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 929
The Buccaneer is in St. Croix. For kids on T & C check out The Sands. St. John would be much more difficult logistic wise because the appeal is all the very nice beaches but you would have to load all the kids and all the stuff into transportation and take them there (unless you choose Caneel). A T & C condo right on the beach can't be beat for ease and convenience with three little kids and the beach is perfect for them.
eileen is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:27 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,716
I second the Sands. (Bucaneer is in St. Croix)
Sands has an awesome restaurant, and they are condo units treated like a resort. You get full kitchens so you always can have snacks and drinks for the kids. You can walk around to other places, and the beach is made for kids! You kids will make friends with other kids at Sands.
I have not stayed at OC, but been through, and is very kids friendly. But you can't go wrong with Sands.
St. John is goegeous, but hilly and in coves. Westin Beach is okay, but when you have stunning beaches, do you want to settle on just okay? You would have to pack up everything and travel to the better beaches.
I would take my kids to either, excellent choices: I have taken my daughter to both. Just when you compare which is easier, I choose T&C.
blamona is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 06:58 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
Having been to both with our toddler, I think both are great for little ones.
I think it's all up to what you think we'll make your lives easier as you're traveling with 3 children.

Things to think about:
--Don't know where you're traveling from... but you can't fly into St. John. You'll have to take a boat to St. John from St. Thomas. That will add to your travel time.

--Would you prefer to be able to walk out to the beach from your hotel? Meaning not have to rent a car to go the nice beaches? If so, T&C would be the better choice. Why? Lot more accommodations to choose from on Grace Bay beach.

--If you pick St. John, then Caneel is the best choice over the Westin re: best beach but a lot more expensive too. Yes, the Westin is more family friendy but I'll be honest, when we stayed there, we didn't spend one day on that beach. It just was not appealing to us. I'm not saying don't stay at the Westin. I would stay there again if I got a good price (bidding on Priceline most likely), but I wouldn't stay there at their regular rate. Not worth it. You also should not stay at the Westin without renting a car for a few days to check out the beaches on St. John. There are lots to pick from that would be good for little ones.
caribtraveler is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:02 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
I have no idea why I said we went to both islands with our toddler. We only went to St. John with him. T&C was an anniversary trip. I must still feel guilty for leaving him behind when I know he would have just loved Grace Bay beach??
caribtraveler is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
i have not had the pleasure of st. john yet but have been on provo 3 times. the main beach - grace bay - is protected by a huge fringing reef, making the beach normally quite calm. also there are 2 beaches on the south side of the island - sapodilla and taylor bay beaches that are excellent for kids. taylor in particular is very calm and very shallow. mostly knee high for approx 1/4 mile out. and the sand is like talcum powder. sopadilla is a little deeper and better for swimming.
no resorts (on taylor/sopadilla) but a number of nice rental villas. on taylor - coco lobo, casa de isle, alizee, villa jasmine, bahia mar* and bamboo house. on sopadilla - crystal sands, moonglade II and oceana. you can see most of these houses at www.tcsafari.tc there are others i am forgetting to mention.
on grace bay beach you could look at www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com - has pool, good central location and sandy beach entrance.
fyi - you will need passports for all 3 kids (and you) if you choose provo, not for usvi. travel to provo is flight then taxi to villa or resort. for st. john you fly to st. thomas, taxi to ferry dock, take ferry, take taxi to villa/resort.
just off the phone with a friend who says trunk bay on st. john is good for kids but has no place to stay.
virginia is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
I cannot say "thank you" enough to all for the great information so far...keep it coming. You fodorites always have great input for me when planning, I appreciate it a ton!!!! Now, I am leaning more and more towards T & C, primarily because of the great comments about the beaches and being able to walk out the door of the hotel/villa and be on the beautiful beach. We are traveling from Michigan. The kids are little so maybe T & C for the best beaches this trip, and then maybe St. John for next time, it sounds so beautiful at both places. I really need to check out The Sands resort on T & C. Any ideas of where to stay at that resort as far as room location etc?? Any place to get good rates or just go direct with the resort?? Do they have suites or villas at the Sands or just hotel rooms?? I have kind of decided to save St. Croix and the Buccaneer for a future trip maybe. Thank you so much.
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,370
I rented a villa in T&C through tcsafari.com and it was ideal for us, but my girls are teenagers. I stayed in StT and took the ferry over to SJ for 2 of the days we were there. I fell in love with SJ and wish we had stayed there. If $3K is your budget with 5 mouths to feed, Caneel on SJ will not work. You will not regret taking your little ones to T&C.
bankbabe is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:05 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 308
Also, we can really choose June or July for our trip to the Caribbean..does either month sound better for less crowds and great weather?? Thanks again.
mcmckissic1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sandiedog
Caribbean Islands
4
Feb 12th, 2008 11:38 AM
dc4168
Caribbean Islands
9
Feb 9th, 2008 08:52 PM
Eric40
Caribbean Islands
7
Feb 21st, 2007 10:26 AM
ziggy60
Caribbean Islands
11
Jan 5th, 2006 09:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO