St. John Tips (Food, day trips, ships)

Aug 18th, 1999, 07:46 PM
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St. John Tips (Food, day trips, ships)

I am going to St. John for one week. I will be staying at the Westin (note: I am not choosing the hotel, I work for Starwood, it is a money thing).
Anybody have any advice for dining and/or day trips? If you know of any 'good' ships to take for a day cruise, please let me know. Your help is appreciated .
Thank you. I will give a travel report upon my return. ~Chris
Aug 19th, 1999, 09:03 AM
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Chris, St. John is paradise. You will love it.

I would strongly recommend renting a car while you are there -- you can get to some of the more remote parts of the island that way. Restaurants I'd recommend:
1. Lucy's. Between Coral Bay and Salt Pond. Excellent west-indian food.
2. Skinny Legs. Best cheeseburgers, and coldest beer. Locals hang out here. In Coral Bay.
3. Lime Inn. In Cruz Bay. Excellent fish, and other local caribbean favorites.
4. Fish Trap. In Cruz Bay. Similar to Lime Inn, but better known for their fish.
5. Shipwreck Landing. Between Coral Bay and Salt Pond. Shops next door.

As far as day trips, I'd go to Jost van Dyke. I haven't taken the trip, but I heard it is outstanding.

I'd also recommend the following beaches:
1. Hawksnest
2. Little Hawksnest
3. Waterlemon Cay (best snorkeling)
4. Salt Pond (beautiful sand)
5. Francis Bay
6. Jumbie Bay
7. Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay (try to find out when cruise ships are in St. Thomas, and avoid those days. Most of the cruise ship people who are taking a day trip to St. John go to one of these two beaches... it can get crowded).
Aug 19th, 1999, 09:13 AM
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Chris - My husband and I went to the Westin in St. John in June and loved it. The previous poster gave some really great dining recommendations. I loved Skinny Legs, after a week of eating rich food, a hamburger and cold beer hit the spot. The Lime Inn has the best Filet Mignot stuffed with crab meat, it is to die for. We took the Jost Van Dyke trip and had a ball. The boat picks you up from the Westin Dock and drops you back there. Make sure that you have a valid passport, the trip takes you to the BVI's. Take plenty of sunscreen, it is an all day trip in the tropical sun. Lymnos also does a trip to the BVI's, they take you to the baths and snorkeling spots. I did a post on "St. John Snorkeling" and gave a detailed discription of the snorkeling spots on St. John. It was a really helpful list for my husband and I. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Aug 19th, 1999, 05:29 PM
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One of my favorite spots to stop for lunch is Vie's. Best garlic chicken, homemade limeaide, wonderful desserts ... all home cooking ... and her own little "private" beach! Do call before as she is not always there. Believe the Lime Inn closes in September (but that might have changed!). Sunset dinner at Chateau Bordeaux will knock your sandals off ... good food, better view! Check the Yellow Book for cruise ship dockings and make plans accordingly ... low days for trips, shopping in Charolette Amalie, if you want to do that! Blast does the trip to Jost on Tuesday and Thursday, I think. Limnos will take you to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. Any info, e-mai me!
Aug 20th, 1999, 06:20 AM
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All of the above postings mention great recommendations. A few that I would like to add:
1. La Tapa restaurant, in the center of Cruz Bay. My best dining exper. on St. John.
2. Morgan's Mango, awesome tropical drink selection and open wall style dining.

To Do's:
1. Rent a dingy (small boat, cost @$90) and circle the island. It was great to see the island from the water vs. the roads. You can rent in Cruz Bay on the beach. Bring you lunch, drinks and lots of sunscreen.
2. If you like hiking, there are trails all over the island. We had loads of fun hiking, but it's too hot later in the day to do this type of activity. My recommendation would be to go early, before 11am.

Email me with any more questions. Have fun, St. John is paradise.
Aug 20th, 1999, 08:47 AM
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My husband and I stayed at the Westin in May and enjoyed it. I would suggest renting a jeep through the hotel and driving around the island and stopping at some of the great beaches. You can rent snorkeling gear through the hotel as well. Hawksnest and Cinnamon Bay were great.

Our two favorite places for dinner: Asolare and Le Chateau de Bordeaux. Both have GREAT views and great food. Go around sunset. Asolare is near the downtown area. Ask for a table on the terrace. Le Chateau is a long ride (but worth it) to the middle of the island. The restaurant resembles a little treehouse filled with antiques. Very romantic, great for a special occasion. You will need reservations at both places. Enjoy!
Aug 22nd, 1999, 06:47 PM
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Chris- You got many excellent recommendations but I would add Cafe Roma in Cruz Bay for great Italian food and atmosphere. Take the Reef Bay hike with the national park-if you are going at a peak time you should reserve in advance- the hike is all downhill, they take you back to Cruz Bay on a boat and although none of us are really the outdoors type(except for beaches) we all found this hike fascinating.
Aug 23rd, 1999, 07:11 AM
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All of these suggestions are great, but as far as restaurants, I'd like to add Paradiso in Cruz Bay as my favorite. Although a bit pricey (no more than Asolare), the food is extremely superb and gourmet. Everything was delicious down to the dip for teh bread. It blew me away. Also, someone mentioned Asolare, and I agree whole-heartedly with them. Have fun!
Aug 23rd, 1999, 10:21 AM
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I agree with all the postings re: restaurants. You must try Chateau Bordeaux and Paradiso. They are both owned by the same company and are wonderful. The menus and food rival some of the best restaurants we've ever visited. We went in June to Caneel. I would recommend booking a day sail through Preferred Yachts--they have an office in Mongoose Junction--all the way at the end, headed out of town. We took the Hinckley Day Sail that sailed from Caneel's dock and LOVED IT! The crew was very friendly and there were only 6 people on the cruise. I really liked the small crowd b/c it was like being on the boat by yourself. The food was delicious and the beer ice cold. We went sailing down near Jost Van Dyke and up to an island to snorkle. We would do it again in a heartbeat. If you want a larger crowd, my in-laws went on "Coconuts" and had a great time. I don't know where to book that cruise. You should spend a day renting a car and exploring the island. You can do it in one day--just set off to Coral Bay and you'll see most of the island. Eat lunch at Skinny Legs and head back, stopping off at Waterlemon Cay for a snorkle. Good luck on your trip--you'll have a great time!
Aug 23rd, 1999, 11:06 AM
Keith's Nan
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I would like to jump in on this post. I have read with interest all the great eating places. We are going early Nov. Do we need to bring sports jackets for men and fancier slacks, blouses, etc. for women or are most places casual, ie. a step above jeans.
The less I have to pack and lug the better. Advice appreciated.
Aug 23rd, 1999, 01:40 PM
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Everything is very casual on St. john. Shorts are acceptable at all restaurants except Caneel & possibly Westin.
Aug 25th, 1999, 12:17 PM
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Hey, what about Uncle Joe's Barbeque across from the jeep rental place by the ferry docks? Great barbecued ribs and chicken! Cafe Roma had the best pizza I've ever eaten, Rick at the Lime Inn is an excellent host and the all you can eat shrimp on Wednesdays is great!

Sep 11th, 1999, 04:44 PM
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My husband and I have been debating over whether to go to St. John's Westin or St. Thomas Ritz Carlton. It appears the Carlton hotel may be nicer, but I've heard St. John's is the nicer of the two islands. Any recommendations?
Sep 11th, 1999, 05:07 PM
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Chris, The Ritz is out on East End of St. Thomas just a short ride from the ferry in Red Hook to St. John making day trips and dinner trips possible as it runs hourly. The Westin is a lovely property (well manicured) but when comparing the amenities, the rooms, the view and even the beaches, there is no question that the Ritz wins ... hands down! If you are convinced that St. John is your spot, please give serious consideration to Caneel! The Ritz is beautiful with lots and lots of marble ... not very Carrib-like however!

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