St. John Trip Report

Dec 25th, 2003, 07:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9
St. John Trip Report

Island -- lovely.

Car -- rented a front-wheel drive mid-size from Avis in St. Thomas, took it over on the car ferry and were able to completely explore the island without difficulty. Belive the need for a jeep is overestimated, but may have felt differently had the roads been wet.

Westin -- Initially apprehensive due to negative postings, but found the accomodations, grounds, service and spa to be great. Afer first night, upgraded from a pool view room to one-bedroom villa in Bldg. 32 with wonderful view, fully equipped with kitchen and washer & dryer.

Restaurants -- without a doubt best restaurant on island is Ten Tables -- new, small, with an outstanding chef. Found Stonewood Terrace and La Tapa to be good.

Snorkeling -- best spot we found was Salt Bay Pond

Scuba -- dove with the outfit on the Westin property -- one out of four dives very good -- others so-so.

Regrets -- didn't rent a power boat for a day and to go to go to nearby islands.

Would definitely return to St. John Island. Favorite spot remains the Amalfi Coast in Italy -- harder to get to, much less expensive once there.

BebeO is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 394
BebeO - Thanks for the trip report. I'm glad to hear your positive comments on the Westin as we will be there 4 weeks from today. Since we have a jeep rented, we will eat all meals off the resort. I have a pretty good idea on restaurants for dinner, however, did you find any good spots for a good, reasonably priced breakfast? Also, thanks for the tip on Ten Tables.
mjz is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607
Spent two weeks on St. John in Oct./Nov. and agree, it is a great island. The issue with 4 wheel drive/'Jeep' is not the paved roads but the inpaved roads to many of the villas/cottages. It would have been extremely difficult to reach our cottage without 4 wheel drive.
RobertoB is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 23
mjz, don't miss Asolare, a charming restaurant with great views. The food is amazing. And I'm comparing this with top restaurants in NYC. You won't regret it!
oliviamc is offline  
Dec 27th, 2003, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 193
The same place where 10 Tables is, in the morning, is Chilly Billys, a good breakfast spot.
RonUSVI is offline  
Dec 27th, 2003, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 22
We found the best BBQ place in St. John's just down from the ferry terminal on a corner. Uncle Joe's BBQ have never had better and I've eaten a lot of BBQ. It's great for take out back to your resort or visiting while dining in. We can't wait until we can go there again!
TJBREW is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
Can everyone please make sure to post your trip reports upon returning. I am honeymooning there next year(Oct. ) and love to read your feedback!
jkurtiak is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6

I'm honeymooning Oct. 04 as well. So, what info do you have for ME?

My fiance and I have decided to rent the nicest villa we can afford near cruz bay. We decided that we'd sacrifice a little privacy/view for the convenience of being able to walk into town.

The questions I found helpful to ask:

-Do you need AC/cableTV/Pool?

-Would you rather have an amazing view or be closer to town?

-Is having a beach within walking distance important to you? (most Island veterans would say no, as there are to many great beaches to visit).

-Villa or resort? (we just assume have the added privacy of a villa).

-Will you rent a car all week/some days/one or two days?

Hope this helps!

windswept is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
Also, here is my "starting" budget for the week:

$1350 airfare for two
$1400 eating/spending money - ($200/day)
$2000 villa rental
$ 360 jeep rental (5 days w/insurance)
$ 400 day boat rental w/captain

Does anyone have anything they would add?
windswept is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
windswept, we wil be there Oct. 24th-30th and then going to Virgin Gorda for 5 days.
We havent completely comitted to the hotel. This week I am leaning to the Westin but I had originally wanted Caneel Bay. I am going to make the final decision when we book next week.
I did look into Villas and I am sure we will use them in the future when we return (since I am sure we will love it)
I have gathered lots of info on good places to eat (most important) and got the off the beaten path book which gives great hikes and beaches that arent out in the open. It is a great resource.
Let me know if you need to pick my brain for any info I found
jkurtiak is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
I talked to a guy yesterday who stayed at the Westin and loved it.

windswept is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 09:23 AM
Posts: n/a
jkurtiak...curious to know what is the issue for you between westin and caneel. price or something else?
Jan 5th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
Sorry I was away for a few days

I feel like we can get a better room at the Westin and since we are also going to Little Dix Bay we will get the seclusion we are looking for there. So we can sort of ease into it.

We would have to stay in a tennis room at Caneel and I dont want to be stuck in the middle of no where on the property. Also my friend who is a travel agent has much more pull at the Westin and we might get a great upgrade.
I had my heart set on Caneel at 1st but it might be better for this trip to stay with the safer bet at the Westin and save Caneel for a full one week stay. Plus, we plan on exploring many of the Beaches in St. John so if the beach there isnt so great we are renting a jeep and going exploring.

Or I may change my mind by next week and book Caneel. I have been over this a million times.
jkurtiak is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 29
Caneel is the place to stay. Even the tennis garden rooms are great. you do not feel far away. just a walk down the hill takes you to one of the seven most gorgeous natural, not man made beaches. westin is fine but nothing compares to the "natural" appeal of caneel. If the choice is between a deal or a natural setting...go for caneel. Little dix is great too but prefer the atmosphere at caneel.
dekinjack is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,963
If you really want a natural setting, rent a villa in Coral Bay. That's what we did for a week in July and loved it. A view to die for and our own pool to enjoy it in. Paradise!
snowrooster is offline  
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