St John Trip Report

Old Jul 18th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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St John Trip Report

We just returned from St John on Wednesday and it is indeed paradise. Though we have traveled in the caribbean quite a bit, St John is truly the most special place we've found. It's no wonder people return time and time again. Okay, now on to my report. I'll try not to be too lengthy but I love reading detailed trip reports so hopefully some you do too

We (my husband & I) rented a villa named Happy Moon off Ajax Peak Rd overlooking Coral Bay. The view was indescribable. Our villa owner was a wonderful host. He met us at the dock and gave us full tour of the villa. I would highly recommend this villa (about 5 minutes from Coral Bay and 20 from Cruz Bay). It is two pavillions w/a pool in the middle on an expansive deck - totally private. Really incredible.

We rented snorkel equiptment for the week at Crabby's in Coral Bay. Here are some thoughts on the beaches/snorkeling sites we explored:

Waterlemon - Easy peacful hike. Beautiful beach. We snorkeled from the point around the Cay and rested on the beach. Great snorkeling - parrot fish, blue tang, hawksbill turtle, huge starfish. Saw a mongoose on the trail.

Brown Bay - Decent hike to beach but not too dificult - lots of hermit crabs scurrying accross the trail. We had this beach all to ourselves and had a wonderful picnic. Snorkeling to left is excellent but watch for urchin entering near beach and jellyfish in the water - yikes!

Salt Pond Bay - Great snorkeling on both sides and around submerged rock in middle (though it's quite a swim). Beautiful beach and not many people.

Trunk Bay - We went too late in the morning and got hit w/cruise ship crowd. Underwater trail was neat and would be great for beginners.

Blue Cobblestone/Rams Head Beach - Along the way to Ram's Head. Really beautiful rounded stones that are bright white coral and gray blue stone. Sit at the water's edge and listen to the waves retreat over the stones - magical!

We also did a day trip on Pirates Penny (through book-it vi) to the Baths, lunch at Cooper Island, and snorkel at Peter Island. The Baths are wonderful. We jumped off one of the rocks which was a blast! Only 9 others on the boat with us and this was nice - we all got to know each other which was fun.

Some other things we enjoyed were the Ram's Head hike (very rewarding view at the end), herds of goats in the road, cows by the side of the road, donkeys waking us at night, and all of the wonderfully friendly locals.

Regarding food - we had planned on going into Cruz Bay much more but just fell in love with Coral Bay. We enjoyed Skinny Legs (great cheesburgers, atmosphere, and a pretty good Greek salad too), Island Blues (twice!), Shipwreck Landing, Vy's Snack Shack (wonderful tarts and very friendly chickens!), and Pickles Deli for sandwiches (rare roast beef is to die for). We had the 5 course w/wine pairing Full Moon dinner at Chateau Bordeaux on our anniversary. The moon was a bit uncoorporative but the food and service were impecable. A memorable dinner indeed. We would have liked to try Miss Lucy's but it is closed until Nov. We did go into Cruz Bay one night and ate at Lime Inn - very good - the brie en croute was amazing.

Needless to say, our vacation was a major success. Thanks to all on this board who contributed to my planning. The weather was wonderful - having a villa in the hills really makes a difference (we never needed ac). We can't wait to go back in a few years with our children (they stayed home w/grandparents this time). We'll be saving skymiles and dreaming until then.

snowrooster is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2003, 01:08 PM
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Great trip report!
DeborahB is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2003, 07:17 PM
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snowrooster, glad it was such a great time. I have to say, I got most of my info in planning my trip from reading all of your questions and the posts that followed---so thanks to YOU for making my trip a success as well! I was too afraid to post anything until I got back. It definitely pays off to do research! Unfortunately for me, I had already booked the Westin and wish we had gone with your villa instead. We may try that one next time, just to be able to spend some time in Coral Bay.

Glad to hear you had so much fun. Since you've been to other Carribean islands, would you go back to St. John or try somewhere new?
beachbuff is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2003, 07:27 PM
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Snowrooster, Is there a website for the villa you stayed at?
Old Jul 19th, 2003, 02:50 AM
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Excellent trip report! wish others would do the same instead of the inane "just back, any questions."

Thanks again.
greenie is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Yes, I would definitely return to St John in a heartbeat! We had previously visited Cancun, Jamaica, Aruba, Grand Cayman, and Maui. We enjoyed them all (except Cancun, long story) but I would pick St John over them all. It is so much more unspoiled and laid back. The relationship between the locals and tourists in really nice. Many locals are happy to chat and mingle with tourists as opposed to some other island where tourists seem to be resented.

Here is the link of the villa we rented - it was wonderful. The pictures don't do it just. Each pavillion has really really high vaulted ceilings and multiple fans - a true island hideaway . . .

Any more questions let me know!
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 04:21 AM
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Thanks snowrooster for all your posts. I finally booked a trip to St. John and we're staying at the Westin and Estate Lindholm. We're traveling with 2 kids(12 & 15) and I thought they might like the activities at the Westin. Besides, alot of the villas I was interested in were booked at Thanksgiving. Anyway, I can't wait to go!
lindamar is offline  
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