St. John questions??????????

May 28th, 2002, 05:51 PM
  #1  
marta
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St. John questions??????????

I am thinking of travelling to St. John this summer. Where is there to stay and how are the beaches, food, safety,etc?
 
May 28th, 2002, 06:17 PM
  #2  
Geoff
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I would say the best thing to do it rent a small house (or large, depending on budget). Then rent a 4x4. I have Stayed at Beach Villa, which was great. I have also stayed at the former Hyatt/new Westin many times, which has been declining in service and I do not recommend. The beaches along the north shore are awesome. Most have snorkelling right off there too. I would also recommend chartering a motor boat/sail boat with other people to sail the islands for a day. They Baths at Virgina Gorda and the bars at Jost van Dyke are a must: Foxy's and the Soggy Dollar Bar. Snorkelling of Cinammon bay and Truk bar is great. For the houses look at www.islandhideaways.com and
www.lime-coconut.com
If you can afford a chef go to
www.stjohnchef.com
For food I recommend Asolare. Morgan's Mango is another great restaurant. I have been to St. John many times and have never had safety issues. The crime is much worse in St. Thomas. Do not go over there to shop, it is a tourist trap. You should go to a different beach on the north shore every day. DO NOT try to make every one is one day. It is exhausting. If you like to hike, there are great trails up into the park.
 
May 29th, 2002, 05:27 AM
  #3  
Dan
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I agree with Geoff. St. John is
a beautiful island. Lots of villas
and Caneel Bay is an understated
luxury resort. You can't go wrong
with that island whether you choose
Caneel or a villa. Villa was our
preference.

Dan
 
May 29th, 2002, 07:14 AM
  #4  
X
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Can you really feel safe in a villa though? I guess that's what I like about resorts - the security . . .
Are they many villas that are good for just 2 adults??
 
May 29th, 2002, 07:41 AM
  #5  
Jean
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X,
I felt completely safe in a villa. We've stayed in villas on St Bart, Barbados and St John. Never had any problems. We don't bring valuables (jewlery and such) on vacation, use common sense.
Our strong preference is for villas. On vacation we want privacy and villas provide that.
 
May 29th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #6  
X
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Thanks Jean -

And you shopped for and cooked your own meals?? Are there many homes that are good for just 1 couple? Any that anyone recommends?
 
May 29th, 2002, 08:58 AM
  #7  
Dan
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The villas we stayed at on St. John
also had safes. Also, you can hire
a chef to come in cook for you one
evening. We had one come
in on our last night. Fantastic and
the price was no more expensive than
if you went out to one of the fancier
restaurants. Food was better also. They set the table, cook and cleanup.
Have stayed in resorts and villas and
we preferred a villa.

Dan
 
May 29th, 2002, 09:05 AM
  #8  
Krista
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I also agree that a villa is the way
to go on St. John. So many to choose
from. You asked about the beaches.
They are incredible. Gorgeous azure
waters. It is even more beautiful than
photos you see online. Very safe island.

Some villas to choose from:
Stoneridge
Cinnamon Tarn
Argonauta
Orchid Villa

You can't go wrong going to St. John
or renting a villa. Preferable choice
is rent on the North Shore. That's
where the exquisite beaches are and
the town of Cruz Bay.

We prefer not to rent on the other
side which is Coral Bay. More remote
and a longer ride to everything. It's
fun to visit there but our choice
would be to stay on the Northshore.

Krista
 
May 29th, 2002, 10:17 AM
  #9  
Kelly
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Are there any beachfront villas? The idea of having to climb into a car every time to go to the beach turns me off. Having the water steps away is what makes the Caribbean so special...
 
May 29th, 2002, 11:15 AM
  #10  
Karen
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Wonderful USVI website www.usvi-on-line.com to check out villa rentals and reviews as well as pose your inquiries. You will find invaluable information. I also agree a villa is the way to go on St. John. You are charged by the number of people as opposed to the size of the villa, which we still find unusual. The first villa we rented there about six years ago for the two of us was a five bedroom, 5 bath (5500 sq. feet) including decking and pool and cost us about $1500/week out of season in November. High season starts mid Dec. We've returned every year since we love this island so much. Normally, I would want a villa where you could walk out to the beach, however, in STJ, the best villas IMO are those high on the hills overlooking the incredible waters and surrounding islands. Also, the best beaches are on the North Shore and you have to drive to most of them. Restaurants are not that much more expensive than stateside and no tax on anything. There are ample grocery stores to purchase any food item you may need to stock your villa. Safety has never been an issue for us, and, as someone stated, most of the villas have their own safes. Enjoy whatever you decide, but I cannot imagine you would be disappoited in STJ.
 
May 29th, 2002, 11:39 AM
  #11  
David
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Perhaps the biggest negative about St. John is that most of the accomodations are not beachfront on great beaches like you will find on islands like Grenada, Anguilla, and the Cayman Islands. It all depends on whether staying directly on a world class beach is the reason you go to the Caribbean or not. For us, there's nothing like waking up to the beach at your doorstep, and the moonlit walks on the beach and sitting on your veranda at night listening to the the gentle surf. We stayed away from the beach a few times and will never do it again.
 
May 29th, 2002, 01:03 PM
  #12  
Steve
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We also rented a villa on a hillside
in St. John. Believe me, you really
don't mind driving to the beaches.
There are so many that you want to
experience them. The views are
incredible. Driving is half the fun.
Beautiful, pristine island St. John
can not be beat.

You will be hooked as we were after
our first trip. If you insist in
having a beach at your doorstep then
go to Caneel Bay resort. They have
7 beaches. We think you get a lot
more for the money with a villa plus
privacy can't be beat and lots more
room. A pool added is a special
treat in the evenings after a long
day on the beach.

Good luck!
Steve
 
May 29th, 2002, 03:20 PM
  #13  
X
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David - where do you stay when you go to world class beaches? which hotels or villas on the islands you mentioned?
 
May 29th, 2002, 03:36 PM
  #14  
carlos
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try www.stjohnlinks.com
 
May 29th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #15  
Joan
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We DO mind driving to the beach, which is why we only pick islands where there are lots of great BEACHFRONT choices. We would just never consider staying anywhere but directly on the beach. We stay in villas, condos, and hotels that have pools for that late night swim after a walk on the beach. There's just nothing like walking out your door directly onto a soft white sand beach anytime of day or night!! The idea of having to jump into your car is kind of liking staying at one of the cheaper places because you can't afford beachfront...
 
May 29th, 2002, 05:35 PM
  #16  
Sorry
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Joan,
Obviously you've never been to St John. Part of the reason so many people go there year after year after year is that it's not like so many other Caribbean islands with rows and rows of hotels and houses on the beaches. The beaches are protected for the most part within the boundaries of the National Park. I love the commanding views of a hillside villa with a pool and a spa. It has nothing to do with being able to afford beachfront. It has to do with choosing an island I love and making the most of all of it's attributes.
 
May 29th, 2002, 06:06 PM
  #17  
ML
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Joan, honestly some of the more expensive places are not directly on the beach.
But I do like beach front. The Westin
in St John is beach front you can walk out of the Caribbean get a drink at the bar and jump in for a swim.


ML
 
May 29th, 2002, 06:08 PM
  #18  
Joan
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Sorry to disappoint, but we used to love St. John as well, back in the 70's before it became what it is today. Fortunately we branched out and were surprised to discover how much nicer it was on so many other islands with much better dining and beachfront accomodations. Our only regret is that we didn't realize what was possible earlier! I only discovered SCUBA last year - I wish I had tried it years ago! Live and learn!
 
May 29th, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #19  
ML
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Joan,

My first trip was in the 80's to St
John when the Westin was a Hyatt. The
landscaping was and still is beautiful. Loved the island then and still do. We also like the BVI 's and since they are short boat trip away we can travel a bit. We have also branched out but St John is one Island we keep going back to every few years. Have you tried St Barths, I have never been but it is on my list and if your looking for expensive away from crowds or maybe you have been and can advise.

ML
 
May 29th, 2002, 07:00 PM
  #20  
Joan
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St. Barts is on our list too. We like to keep trying new islands, we're going to Little Cayman and Tobago for our next two trips. For us, each island has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each one has something we like better than anywhere else. So to me St. John is WAY overhyped. I disagree with the people who in this thread use phrases like cannot be beat, can't go wrong. In my opinion, St. John is beat by some other island in just about every category. But I also understand how it is many people's favorite. It does have many great things about it. But there are just so many other wonderful places, I just hope people aren't overly influenced by those who try so hard to convince you that their favorite is "best".
 

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