St John Villas

Apr 22nd, 2003, 01:54 PM
Posts: n/a
St John Villas

My husband and I are planning a trip to St John in early November. Have done lots of research on places to stay and believe a villa would probably be best for us. We live in Florida so we are not looking for a resort type atmosphere...just laid back. Thinking a hillside villa would probably be best but not sure which part of the island. Does anyone have any recommendations? Also, we'll be renting a car. Should we rent in St. Thomas or on St. John? Thanks!
Apr 24th, 2003, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28
I could use advice on this as well. I'm also considering St. John for our honeymoon the first week of November. Also thinking a villa would be best. I found some on I'm not sure what part of the island would be best to stay on either. How much to you expect to pay for your car rental?
caribbean_dreamin is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
We just returned from a wonderful vacation in St. John. Location depends on your personal style. We were very close to Cruz Bay (across the street from Gallows Point). I like being close to restaurants, shops, etc. so this was perfect for us. We drove to Coral Bay and were very glad we didn't stay there because it is about a 20 minute drive to get to the center of the 'action' in Cruz Bay. Of course, if you want isolation...Coral Bay would be perfect. There are many restaurants in Coral Bay (Skinny Legs for burgers was fantastic for lunch) but most of them seem to be nearer to Cruz Bay. By the way, I walked into Gallows Point and loved it; I would stay here next time. They aren't villas and it's not a traditional hotel...they are one bedroom units clustered in small buildings, small pool, on the ocean (but no beach really), and there is a fantastic restaurant on site (Zozos), as well as a small grocery where we rented our snorkeling equipment. We stayed at Lavender Hill across the street which was perfect since we were traveling with our children. I saw some couples there as well but I think if it was a romantic getaway or honeymoon I would prefer Gallows Point. Car rentals are around $65 per day and we used the car to go to different beaches every day but walked to dinner every night, which was nice (after having a few glasses of wine we didn't have to worry about driving, only walking up the hill!).
Maggy is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 44
You mentioned that you stayed at Lavender Hill with your children. Could you answer a few questions:
1). Could you walk to Cruz Bay for dinner (heard the hill was a killer)?
2). Did you like the accomodations?
(It looks really nice on the website)
3). What unit did you stay in?
4). Did you ever go to the Westin (pool or dining?)

tjcm is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
Lavender Hill is in Cruz Bay and the walk to all the restaurants we went to including The Lime Inn, The Fishtrap, Stone Terrace, etc. were about 5 minutes away. Zozo's is just across the street so that took us 2 minutes. I don't know what killer hill people are talking about; there was no such thing. The driveway that takes you up to the Lavender Hill Condos is steep, but it's a driveway and takes all of 30 steps, not an issue at all. I have heard people talk about a steep hill to get to Cruz View condos, though. Location couldn't be better at Lavender Hill unless you want utter silence and quiet since we could hear the comings and goings of boats and some music at night but this, again, is not an issue for us. We are early risers and were so tired at night after snorkeling and swimming that the music just lulled us to sleep. We stayed in Unit 2W, a 1 bedroom with a pull out sofa for the kids with a wrap around balcony facing the ocean (port). The unit was nice but not luxurious, the price was right for us. We brought some food from home in our suitcase, including steaks, cereal and wine and grilled the steaks at the grill by the pool. It was nice to be able to have coffee and breakfast in the condo every morning (on the wrap-around terrace!). If we were on a honeymoon I think I would have liked something a bit more upscale and luxurious but with kids it was absolutely perfect. Lavender Hill is above a cemetery which some people might not like...again, not an issue for us.

We did go to the Westin to check it out one day. We had a drink at the pool bar and noticed how expensive the food was for average stuff. With all the great restaurants in Cruz Bay I see not reason to go have dinner at the Westin. The pool is huge and seems like a convenient place to stay if you have small children but there was nothing really special about it. We also went to Caneel Bay and spent the day at their one public beach. This was definitely worth it; great snorkeling just off the beach and you could order drinks on the beach (expensive but definitely worth it for the relaxing and indulgent experience).

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Maggy is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 44
Maggy, thx for replying so quickly! I really appreciate the info provided.
Lavender Hill sounds just right for us. I had been looking at their website, but couldn't tell from the pictures if the 1-bedroom units could accomodate four people. The idea of being able to walk to/from town in 5 minutes for shopping and/or dinner is a real plus.
Q: Did you take any day sails while on the island? Should you have brought more/less food with you?
I appreciate any further suggestions!
tjcm is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
I should have brought a bit more food with me, but my husband was laughing at me as I was packing stuff. The wine is very expensive, a bottle of $10 wine cost about $20 in St. John so I wish I had brought more wine. There are a couple of large grocery stores not too far from Lavender Hill. I like to walk so I walked to one of them but it's probably better to drive (we had a Suzuki Vitara during our stay). Lavender Hill provides you with a cooler so most days we made tuna or ham sandwiches, packed some beer and chips, plus water and headed in our Suzuki to one of the beaches. I do like going out for dinner so bringing the steaks for that one night was fine. Across the street from Lavender Hill (in Gallows Point) there is a small overpriced store that was perfect for milk when we ran out. We did go out for a day sail. In the apartment Hill there was a book with recommended restaurants and sailing trips and we found ours in there. There are several people with boats doing this though and all you have to do is walk 5 minutes to the little port area and get the information.

Also, try not to stay in one of the units on the bottom floor at Lavender Hill, the view is not that good because you are much lower. The best view is from the top floor but those are 2 bedroom units and of course, more expensive. I saw one of them and they are nice because the 2nd bedroom is a loft area but the living/dining is not really much bigger. The guy who owns several of the units (Gary)is fantastic to deal with and his nephew lives on the property.
Maggy is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 216
Stayed in a hillside "villa" years agon on St. John. You'll love it! It was a really neat Island. Beautiful beaches. We shipped with us an ice chest of food, but did eat out a good bit. Since I was there, there has been incredible development...probably wouldn't recognize it...
atticus is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 273
There is a fantastic grocery store on StJ the Star Mkt. You do not need to bring any food at all. Everything you'll need is there and their selection is very good and prices are reasonable. Also, if you can afford Gallows Pt., its across the road from Lavender and nicer. Good Luck !!
ezron is offline  
Apr 27th, 2003, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1
Maggy, thanks so much for your review of Lavender Hill. My husband and I are leaving this Thursday and are staying at Unit 2W. Can you confirm that this unit definitely does have a pull out sofa? When we booked we were told that it did not. Also can you tell me how the view was from the balcony? Are the pictures shown of Unit 2w on really what the condo will look like? Again, thanks for your help.
smithj3 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2003, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
Yes, I'm sure there is a pull out sofa; my kids slept on it every night. The view is great; you are across the street from the water. You do get a clear view of the cemetery if you look straight down but just beyond it is the water. You can see all the boats pulling into the port. You are in town so there is activity, people walking up the street, cars driving by below, etc vs. complete isolation but we like that. The previous poster makes a good point about that Star Market; you could buy all your groceries there instead of bringing, whatever works for you. The pictures on the website are accurate; it has a tropical casual feeling with wicker furniture in the living room. You'll find that you are out of the apartment all day long at the great beaches anyway so enjoy your visit and have fun!
Maggy is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 3
My fiance and I are honeymooning in St. John, the second week of October. From what I hear, St. John is a better, less touristy spot, great for a honeymoon. Everyone we have spoken to that has visited (and honeymooned) St. John has absolutely loved the island. We found a great deal on lodging here:

If you are looking for a traditional resort or hotel, this may not be for you. We are renting a second floor bungalo bedroom studio (complete with kitchen, couch and private deck) with sweeping views of the bay, for 130 per night. The prices vary, but I know the highest living room studio is priced at 140, for the top half of a bungalo. They own several properites on both sides of the island, but the Harmony Studios we are staying at are located close to Cruz Bay; while being close to the action they are also are semi-private-out-of-the-way because they are located on a hillside. That means a lot of stair climbing (from what I hear) but its worth it for us. Check it out if you are interested! The prices are right, and for the more adventerous traveller, they have a camp as well, with open air platform tents (not ideal I wouldnt think for a honeymoon).

Also, the one thing I keep hearing over and over is bring bug spray and wear it all the time! Good luck!
Valmae is offline  
May 8th, 2003, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Maggy: You talked about staying at Lavender Hill Suites, but you said not to stay on the ground floor. We have reservations on the ground floor -- two suites, two couples. How bad is it? No view at all????? We have 7E and either 1 or 4 W -- whichever one DOES NOT have the wrap-around balcony. We also did not rent from the people onsite. Do you know if that makes a difference. We are to contact someone by phone who will meet us at the dock and take us to our suites. We were told not to deal with the proprieter on site. What does that mean? I'm pretty apprehensive about all this!!!!
REply here, but also, please reply to [email protected] Thanks!!
rcmab is offline  
May 18th, 2003, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7
Suite St. John represents units 1,4,7,11. 1,4,7 are ground floor suites. Lavender Hill Suites represents 2,3,5,6,8,9,10,12. Units 2,5,8 are middle floor 1 bedroom units. 3,6,9,12 are the top floor,2br 2ba penthouse units.The higher you go, the better the views.
tropicon is offline  
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