St. John trip I am planning

Nov 21st, 2006, 06:23 AM
  #1  
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St. John trip I am planning

Hi everyone, I'm planning a trip to St. John in February. Any advice or places I MUST go to? Also...the no-nos... and where should I stay? Westin is a no from what I hear.. and I'm hearing villas? I need reasonably priced and can you get all-inclusive with the villas? Thanks!
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Westin a no? Explain please.
Curt is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 09:59 AM
  #3  
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I read a few bad reviews.. but more so, I heard that it's away from the pulse of the island..did you stay there?
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:13 AM
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February is high season and it's already almost December. If I were you I'd figure out my lodging and airfare and then worry about what not to miss.

As for loding and where to stay, that depends greatly on your budget, how many of you are going and what your lifestyle dictates.

STJ can be done on a budget at Maho Bay or Estate Concordia camps - with ECO-tents. Or it can be done in at Caneel Bay or a premium location fully amenitied villa. Big differences in what you get and what you pay. There's also a wide degree of in betweens.

If you can clue us in a little more on where you fall budget wise and what you hope to get out of your lodging, we'll be happy to guide you further.

Typically villas are individually privately owned, so all inclusive villas I think do not exist.
tpatricco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Absolutely! We'd rather not do the tent thing, it's just 2 of us and we're staying for 5 nights.. budget prob only around $1600 for both of us/5 nights.. unless it's all inclusive which is a differant story. I like the idea of the villas...I think? Don't know where to begin..
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:33 AM
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$1600 is a seriously low budget for STJ in February.

Take a look at small villas for availability & rates on www.vrbo.com we also had luck with www.stjohnlinks.com

You may have to rethink your $$ or your destination.
tpatricco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:45 AM
  #7  
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windsprees villas have a few for $325/night with a good view.. so i am really wondering how they are?
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:48 AM
  #8  
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I did mean $1600 for just hotel for 5 nights.. is that really crazy low?
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:52 AM
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I would also focus on getting your lodging settled. We just booked for February and while we found that the lower-priced villas seem to get booked up quicker than the more expensive villas. We were hoping for $2,500 or under, but ended up around $3,000.

We did see several condos that were less expensive, but we opted not to go this route - we really like the privacy of our own villa.

You may want to check out Coral and Blue a condo - $1,800 per week (www.stjohnvi.net)

I also came across a place that appears to be a villa in an attached unit with the owner - looks cute (www.st-john.com/valleyview) and $1,400 per week.

There are also other condos out there that should be within your budget - though some do have a 7-day minimum. The villa is going to be tough given your budget.

No all-inclusive villas, but villas (which are really just rental houses) can help save $$ over a hotel since you can eat some (or all) of your meals at home, which is a money saver. We eat breakfast and lunch in the villa and dinners out...
LauraT is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Windspree has about 25 villas on their site. Some are in your $300-ish a night range. Many of those had sketchy availability in Feb.

I think if you spend some time researching, you will find STJ is not an inexpensive place to go.

For villas, you will definitely need to rent a car as well, so factor that into your $$ too.
tpatricco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 11:27 AM
  #11  
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Thank both of you so much! Yes, I really like the idea of the villas. Any great villa recommendations?
inbluedesign is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Take a look a Windwardside, part of Calabash Cottages. There's 11 days available at the end of February. We stayed at Sago, but can attest that Calabash takes very good care of their units.

http://www.calabashcottages.com/wwside.htm
RobertoB is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 11:50 AM
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We've stayed at Estate Concordia's Eco-tents as well as 2 villas - John's Folly Cottages (has since changed owners) and at Little Plantation - great villa but we had problem with our check in person not showing up. Both of these are out in Coral Bay, which is on the quiteter side of the island, which we prefer.

For a first visit, you might want to consider staying more toward Cruz Bay side of the island.
tpatricco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 12:11 PM
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go to www.caribbeanway.com and take a look at Caneel Hillside villa under the 1 bedroom villas...it is $305 a night,it's new and looks really nice.

Good luck!
Christie
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Nov 21st, 2006, 12:15 PM
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The name of the previous villa that I mentioned is Caneel Trailside Cottage not Hillside villa...sorry for the error.
christiegr is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 01:16 PM
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inbluedesign: You can go to STJ on a budget, but it is very difficult to find a stand-alone villa for $1600. Most places will not rent for less than a week during high season. You can still have an amazing time even if you are not in a private villa. IMO, there's nothing wrong with the Westin. Complaints are usually centered around the beach or the fact that it caters to families. Hey, if you've got kids, it's a great place to go. I've stayed there several times and have always enjoyed it. Their beach is kind of mediocre but I never stay on one beach the whole time anyway. People go to STJ to explore as many of its gorgeous beaches as they can. It's definitely not the place to stay on the resort/hotel/villa the entire time, although Caneel Bay resort (very pricey) does have 7 of its own gorgeous beaches. IMO, you should look into studio apartments or condos which may be willing to rent by the day and are within your price range. You will be most likely close to the "pulse" of the island (I'm assuming you mean nightlife in Cruz Bay). Check out www.caribbeandays.com They list a lot of Cruz Bay area places. Also, I'd consider the inns such as Estate Lindholm or Garden by the Sea. You do need to act fast because February is extremely popular and many places have already filled up.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:39 PM
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here are some sites for rental companies we've used on st. john for 10 yrs+...very satisfied with each !! www.caribbeanvilla.com , www.suitestjohn.com , www.cateredto.com --some great villas/condos for every budget. remember, feb. is "high" season, rental prices are at their highest and by now many will already be booked, so don't hesitate to make plans...PRONTO !!
tess53 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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We rented through caribbean villas a couple of years ago and were very happy. You can get more for your money in Coral Bay since it is a bit more remote (though STJ as a whole is pretty remote!). We loved it - lots of hiking, uncrowded beaches & great snorkeling.

I too have heard not so good things about the Westin. I guess their beach in manmade and far less than spectactular, which kind of defeats the point of going to St John. I think most people who travel to St John are there for the natural beauty and there are so many wonderful villas set into the hillsides that the Westin just doesn't seem like a smart choice. Nothing against Westin - we stayed at the Westin Casuarina on Grand Cayman and loved it, but for STJ, no thanks.
snowrooster is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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inbluedesign stayed at the Westin end of october and I would do it again. The beach isn't the best but as Tuxedo cat said you don't stay on the same beach every day. Although more expensive than a villa and no kitchens so you have to eat every meal out when on vacation I want someone else to clean up after me. The pool was great, played tennis 1-2 times a day which is a big plus for me and they had a good gym.The ferry to St Thomas is a walk to their beach. AS for The Westin being away from the pulse of the island its a 3-5 min. ride from Cruz Bay so I don't know where you got that from. Good Luck on finding accomodations.
JJR is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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We just returned from two weeks on St John. From what I saw, I'd avoid the Weston for now: they are undergoing a major construction project turning 1/3 of their hotel rooms into time-share condos. We have stayed there in the past and LOVED it. This time we stayed at the Caneel Trailside Cottage mentioned above and were very happy. Its location was cool and breezy even when it was blistering down on the beach. The house is nearly brand new and everything was in tiptop shape. LOVELY VIEWS! We hung out by the pool and watched our little one explore and chase the little green lizards that came onto the back patio. I would definitely get into the National Park while you are on the island. The Island is very lush and green right now due to a heavy rain season, and the forest was alive with birds and other life (LAND CRABS up on the ridge top). If you do decide to rent a villa, most have their own websites, and in our experience you can get first hand information from the owners (they also seem to have more flexibility than the agencies).
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