Villa vs. Resort

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Oct 23rd, 2001, 10:52 AM
  #1
Gina
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Villa vs. Resort

I am trying to figure out if I should stay at a villa or resort in St. John (probably the Westin as Caneel is too expensive). I will be going in May on my honeymoon. I really like the idea of relaxing and not having to shop or cook, but also think the villas look very romantic and private. Can anyone honestly suggest one over the other?? I'm so confused. Thanks in advance.
 
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Oct 23rd, 2001, 11:15 AM
  #2
Julie
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Hi Gina, We just returned Sunday night from a week at a villa on St. John. I agree with you wholeheartedly about not wanting to cook while on vacation. The villa we chose was just up the road from the Westin so it was very close to town. We ate all our meals at restaurants in Cruz Bay (lots of good ones!) and never cooked a single meal. Went to the grocery store only once to pick up beer, diet coke, drinking water and a few snacks. In my mind, there's nothing better than the privacy of your own pool and jacuzzi.
 
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Oct 23rd, 2001, 02:20 PM
  #3
ohliz
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Don't know about St. John but in Jamaica villas come with a maid and cook (sometimes butler, gardener etc as well) as a rule - you don't cook anything unless you want to. You don't even have to shop, the cook will usually do that for you if you prefer (I thought going to the market with her was kind of cool though).

We did a villa for our honeymoon and it was great, very private, eat when you want to, nothing like the little bell ringing for breakfast at the time you asked for it....I say villa unless you want to meet and hang out with other people.
Liz
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 04:40 AM
  #4
joan
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Gina, Another vote for villas! As Julie points out, you don't HAVE to cook. Just think of the kitchen as your fridge -- to hold all your special treats you've picked up at the local provisioners, or brought along from home. My husband and I love the fantasy feeling of being alone on a tropical island. After a wedding, you will need time to decompress, and concentrate solely on each other, without having to look at a watch (what time are they serving breakfast?) And you can have cocktails anytime, snacks, you can make picnic lunches to bring on your beach-seeking adventures. And I guarantee your sex life will be wonderful in a private villa...no maid knocking on the door just at the wrong moment!
Congratulations!

 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 05:09 AM
  #5
anon
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Depends if you would miss the full amenities of a hotel or not. Many people prefer the villa route but on St. John there are few on beaches so it would be advantageous to rent a jeep to enjoy the island and the beaches but you may want to do that even if you are staying at a resort. You don't have to cook at all but breakfast and lite lunches or snacks is a budget maker and then go out for dinner - or bring dinner in. The roominess and luxury of the villa has some big benefits but you might give up some of the convenience of the resorts' amenitites such as daily maid service, concierge, etc. However you can do most of planning on your own with help from the villa manager if needed without a problem anyway. Personally I would not enjoy sitting hillside looking at the view or even being in a pool or hot tub when you have wonderful beaches just footsteps from you room combined with some of the amenities that a resort might offer no matter what island - eg. tennis courts, workout room, room service, housekeeping service, spa and on-site spa services, socialization with other guests and the service and pampering, etc. depending on the resort. Both can offer a wonderful experience but you have to decide which fits you and your budget best.
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 08:14 AM
  #6
Desi
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I've stayed in Villas on St Martin, and for my honeymoon in Mustique. I love the privacey of a villa! In mustique, we had a cook, so we could stay in or go out. In St Martin, we ate out alot,(tons of great resturants) and would get wonderful fresh breads in the morning, and have our coffee, by our pool looking out at the ocean. It's pure heaven! Depending on the Villa, some are cheaper then a hotel! Go to Villas of Distinction, and look around.
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 11:00 AM
  #7
cj
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I vote for a villa -- especially for a honeymoon. We were there in 2000 and stayed at a very private villa with a dip pool and it was wonderful not having anyone else around (we've been married 22 years and we STILL crave the privacy!)
Cooking isn't a big deal -- we brought along frozen chicken breasts, frozen shrimp, and frozen steak and just popped them on the outdoor barbecue -- whenever we wanted. We bought packaged rice/noodle mixes which were ready in no time flat. It was also nice that other vacationers had left a nice variety of spices, etc., so we didn't have to worry about that. As for me, I need my coffee first thing in the morning and having to wait to get to a hotel/resort dining room for that is unacceptable to me! Gimme my COFFEE!
We also enjoy cooking together -- nothing fancy -- and knowing what we're eating! Hope this helps as far as cooking goes.
We've also stayed at resorts (although none on St. John) and there is something to be said for the convenience, but I still prefer our own place. We're going back in July and renting through Caribbean Villas -- they're really nice folks.
Happy honeymoon -- and many happy years together!

 
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Oct 25th, 2001, 07:30 AM
  #8
Gina
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Thank you for all of your responses...I'm thinking of doing 7 nights at a villa and then maybe two in the Westin or Caneel.
I have a hard time w/making up my mind as you can probably tell.
 
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Oct 25th, 2001, 12:58 PM
  #9
Karen
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For the coffee drinkers out there, I have a small travel coffee maker that goes where ever the hotel does not have one in the room - or they just have the "instant" kinda coffe maker! The two thermal mugs that go with it have traveled to many a place and been on many a beach before the restaurant even starts to awaken!
 
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Oct 25th, 2001, 01:27 PM
  #10
ohliz
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I get the impression from these posts that villas in St John or perhaps the Caribbean in general are not normally staffed? Is that right?

I don't think there is a villa in Jamaica that doesn't come with at LEAST a maid, cook and gardener, sometimes more than that. Is that not the Caribbean norm? we've only done the villa thing In Jamaica and thought that was how it worked everywhere).
Liz
 
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Oct 26th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #11
joan
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Liz, We've rented villas twice in BVI and once on Eleuthera. No staff. That's why we were surprised when we went to St. Lucia last summer and house came with housekeeper and gardener. To tell the truth, I'd have liked it better without either...more privacy. (Especially since the house had 3 walls, like Ladera, and sometimes when you woke up in the morning and looked out at the view, there was the gardener down below working on the yard! Cover up quick!)

Guess it depends on which island?
 
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Oct 26th, 2001, 03:00 PM
  #12
ohliz
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Thanks Joan.

I'm not sure which I'd prefer, I'm pretty sure I'm not interested in cooking or cleaning on vacation though.

On our honeymoon they stayed out of the way , last time when there were 12 of us I'd say we had more privacy than at a hotel but not as much as if we were alone. But not having to cook or clean more than makes up for that, I think.
Liz
 
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