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Westin on St. John or Hyatt Dorado in Puerto Rico - Please help?

Westin on St. John or Hyatt Dorado in Puerto Rico - Please help?

Feb 13th, 2001, 12:52 PM
  #1  
Cat
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Westin on St. John or Hyatt Dorado in Puerto Rico - Please help?

Trying to find that perfect vacation on a beautiful island, great beaches, resorts, shopping, etc.

Our first choice on St. John (Caneel and Gallows)were both booked up for the month of April/May (the dates we'd like to travel). My travel agent has given me some good prices on the following resorts and I'd like your opinion if you had to choose:

Westin - St. John
Marriott Frenchmans - St. Thomas
Hyatt Dorado - Puerto Rico

We need to keep the price for 5 nights under $3,000 - so many of the resorts that are recommended on this site we can't afford (ie. Ritz on St. John)

My husband and I are in our late 20s. We want to find a resort that not only has a great pool area with swim up bar,etc. but also a place with a beautiful beach (tropical). Never been to the Caribbean/PR before. We love to veg out/sun bathe all day, do a little shopping and check out the local restaurants/bars/nightlife.

Puerto Rico sounds intersting with its rainforest and nightlife, but the beaches in St. John also look amazing. I'm worried about the Westin on St. John, as it gets so many mixed reviews. We are definitely "resort" people, so we're not interested in a villa. Please help me choose, or give me a better option.

Thanks!
 
Feb 14th, 2001, 02:34 AM
  #2  
Tara
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If you're looking for a great pool area, we recently stayed at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancun. It has a 3 level pool, 2 swim-up bars, lots of beautiful landscaping. Perfect for vegging out for a few days. It's not all inclusive.... and be sure if you're checking into the hotel you look into the GRAND CORAL BEACH. There are other Fiesta Americana hotels there.
 
Feb 14th, 2001, 05:21 AM
  #3  
eileen
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If you a do a search on this forum you will find lots of my comments on the Hyatt Dorado -- we really loved it. I have heard lots of negative comments on the Westin St. John and St. Thomas would not be my first choice because of the crowds, but there is great shopping. The Dorado is 40 minutes outside of San Juan we only went into SJ one day for shopping the rest of the time we just enjoyed the resort. If you want a beautiful beach and lots of peace and quiet and rooms close to the water, the Dorado is the way to go -- get a beachfront room if you can.
 
Feb 14th, 2001, 07:48 AM
  #4  
bob
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I love the Hyatt Dorado, the beachfront upper or lower are the way to go. you will be fairly isolated there but you can use the facilites at the Cerromar. Golf is great. the rates are fairly high until the first of june. St. John is gorgeous but small and dont know much about the Westin. Im going to the Ritz in Montego bay in June, first time in jamaica but i just love the Ritz.
 
Feb 14th, 2001, 08:10 AM
  #5  
Karen
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I really enjoy Dorado but I love St. John. The Westin does usually have "great" prices and it has a lovely pool but the beach pales in comparison to the other beaches on St. John. I don't personally like the Westin much preferring Caneel but if you rent a vehicle, you can explore all those beaches!! You didn't mention the Ritz on STT and I mention it only because of your saying you were considering Caneel. It is out on the lovely quiet East End of STT and has a wonderful infinity pool overlooking Pillsbury Sound that makes you think you can swim to St. John. It really is wonderful! Beach is on the smallish side tho! There are many good restuarants nearby and Charlotte Amalie is the mecca of the Caribb for shopping. The Reef has wonderful pools also and is a beautiful property with 5 restaurants to choose from overlooking the Town and Harbour. I much prefer beachfront properties such as Dorado or the MorningStar which is Marriott adjacent to the Reef. Other than at Su Casa, Dorado had very typical Hyatt food! The golf and tennis at Dorado is great!!
 
Feb 25th, 2001, 07:24 PM
  #6  
John
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You can rent a very private and beautifull 3 bdr villa with swimming pool and hot tub for 2000.00 for a full week on st. john and there is a large selection. check out caribbeanvilla.com & islandgetawaysinc.com & cateredto.com
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 04:13 PM
  #7  
Kurt
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My family and I just booked a villa in St. John (our favorite island) from Kathy at island-getaways.net She was great, if you use her, please say Kurt and Myra Naebig recommended her. We searched a million places and here are some of them that book in the virgin islands

beachnutsvacations.com
bookitvi.com
ivacation.com
carefreegetaways.com
http://www.stjohnguidebook.com/index.php?mode=acco

Good Luck and Happy Hunting,
Kurt
 
Mar 1st, 2001, 03:23 PM
  #8  
alene
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this is a no brainer for a couple in their twenties. Puerto Rico is beautiful no doubt...i must have been there at least 10 times if not more. The hotels were beautiful and San Juan is kind of nice but for the most part, you are restricted to your own hotel. St. John is exquisite. We stayed at the Westin and there were many honeymooners there (we were celebrating our 10th anniversary). The beach is nice, the pool is inviting and the food is ADEQUATE. But you don't eat at your hotel in St. John. There are too many great restaurants to try in town and around the island. You two are young...you are ripe for exploring. Puerto Rico can wait.
 
Mar 17th, 2001, 02:11 PM
  #9  
Ronnie
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I visted St. John with my husband we stayed in the 3 br villa at the Westin, it had a private pool and we found it was wonderful. The nightlife was limited but the island was spectacular, we visted many different beaches. The beach at the Westin was not that great but we loved the private pool. You can enter your courtyard and strip down and take a dip in your own pool, very private. Very quite. Ferry to St Thomas was easy to take and we enjoyed St Thomas as well. I would go back, anytime.
 
Mar 19th, 2001, 01:32 PM
  #10  
luca
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Honeymooned with my wife @ Dorado. Plenty of peace & quiet. Has sister hotel Cerromar for a little more action. Food is expensive on resort, but we also ordered pizza hut and hat it delieverd to the chairs on the beach. Plenty to do and not to do, including Bacardi factory.
 
Aug 9th, 2001, 11:00 AM
  #11  
jane
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If you choose the Dorado, pay the extra for the beach front room. We stayed at the Dorado in a golf front room and it was dirty and badly in need of refurbishment. I peaked into a beach front room and it looked much nicer. The food was average and overpriced (captive audience) but the grounds of the resort are gorgeous as is the beach.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 11:36 AM
  #12  
Suzie
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Hey Cat,

Maybe you have this figured out already. but just letting you know - we got married 3 years ago at Frenchman's Reef in St. Thomas. It is a very beautiful place...some rooms in a separate building are not so great but there are some cool ones on the beach, also. What we most remember was the incredible pool! We spent most of our wedding/honeymoon at the resort..beach in the am..pool in the pm. The food there was good and of course St. Thomas was crowded but great bargains. Sailing opportunities are everywhere and the hotel has an incredible view..we would watch the cruise ships lined up in port early each morning....and from the pool area, also. We are low key people, like the sun and the sea and it was great for us. The wedding program is superb, also. ENjoy
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 11:28 PM
  #13  
K
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We have stayed at both Dorado Beach and Frenchman's Reef. My husband is an avid golfer, so he loved Dorado. Great beach, gorgeous grounds and we had a beachfront room which was very nice. We have been to Puerto Rico many times. We were there in Dec. of 99 and it poured. We were limited in where we could go because of the flooding. The other times we were there it was ok.
The French.Reef had a great view. You could almost reach out and touch the cruise ships that go by. The rooms were just adequate. There is no beach, however there is a nice one on the adjacent Morning Star. They have a water taxi that runs from the resort into Charlotte A. We have been to St. Thomas 11 times in the last 10 years. I love the shopping!
We have stayed twice at Gallows Pt. on St. John. It is my favorite lodging in the Caribbean. Love the units and the view is dynamite. It is walking distance to town for shopping and restaurants. St. John is a beautiful island. Almost as beautiful as Tortola, which I highly recommend that you take a ferry for the day and rent a car and drive around and see the island.
If you want a recommendation on where to have lunch while there, you can e-mail me as I know of a wonderful small little open air restaurant right on the beach with great food. Also recommend shopping at Sunny Caribbee Spice. They have their own factory there and they have just about everything.
 
Aug 27th, 2001, 01:56 PM
  #14  
Dana
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No comparison in my book. Go to St. John. I lived in PR for three years and while I enjoyed all parts of that island, I lived for my several trips to St. John. The island is absolutely beautiful and because 2/3 of it is National Forest, it is very unspoiled. The suggestion to stay at the St. Thomas Ritz-Carlton is a good one if you want luxury accommodations. The ferry from Red Hook only costs $4 one way and leaves every hour. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes to get over to St. John. Some of our best vacations on St. John were spent in villa rentals. Be sure to rent a jeep or similar if you will stay on the island - there is much to explore. Cinnamon Bay is one of my favorite places on earth. Enjoy!!
 
Aug 31st, 2001, 09:02 AM
  #15  
Pete
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Stay in St. John. If you were looking at Gallows, try Lavender Hill, less luxurious, and not on the point or shore, but within walking distance of the bars/restaurants in Cruz Bay. The Westin is not within walking distance of Cruz Bay, neither is Caneel. Caneel's beaches are spectacular, the Westin's is man-made, but they have a nice pool.

By the way, St. John is very quiet, there isn't a big nightlife scene (disco, casinos etc.), everything is very casual (and relaxing). If you're looking for a glitzy vacation St. John might not be the right choice. If you just want beautiful beaches (without a lot of people on them), and dinner plus a few drinks is your big nighttime activity, it's perfect.
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 04:47 AM
  #16  
Ana
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Cat: Look into the Caribe Hilton (787) 721-0303. They have a great pool with a bar with view to the Atlantic Ocean and the north shore. Five minute ride to Old San Juan culinery capital of the carribbean (French, Rumanian, Indian, Italian, Puerto Rican, etc. The west cost of PR has the best beaches. Tourism info 787-722-1709 www.prtourism.com Ask copy of Que Pasa!
 

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