westin st. john and beaches

Jul 1st, 2002, 06:29 PM
  #21  
pete
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Michelle, I haven't stayed at the Westing, I stayed at Gallows Point (really liked it), but drove out to the Westin to check it out, since it was the other place we were thinking of staying so wanted to see it for future visits. We walked around, and as I said before, the pool are is really nice (Gallows has a small pool, I don't think that Caneel has one at all), so the Westin is your only choice if you want a large resort-type pool/bar area. The public rooms were nice (open air), and we peeked into a couple of rooms, which also looked nice. As far as the $65 ferry, I can't help you there. I bought our vacation through American Airlines Vacations, and transfers to Gallows Point were included (van to ferry at Red Hook, tickets across to St. John, Gallows met us at dock). I think that the ferry is very cheap though, and it is easy to get to the Westin from the dock on St. John. If you're up for it (and it really is not hard to do), you could take a van or taxi from the airport to the Red Hook dock, buy your ferry tickets, and then take a taxi to the Westin from the dock. I think that you should be able to beat the $65pp easily. Once you get to St. John, rent a jeep for at least a couple of days. It's great to have your own car to get around the island. There are lots of posts on these boards about good restaurants/bars, things to do while on St. John. It really is a great place. One other piece of advice; take a day trip to the British Virgin Islands and go see "the Baths" on Virgin Gorda. It's an area of huge granite boulders in the water, and you can snorkel all around them and climb around on the rocks (and they form grottos and cave areas). Lots of fun. We went out on a day trip on "Stormy Petrel", they also have another boat "Pirates Penny", it's a powerboat that held about 10 paying people, plus a captain and mate. It was $100 per person including lunch and all drinks, and was a full day of snorkeling and going to the Baths, Norman Island, and a couple of other snorkeling spots.
 
Jul 1st, 2002, 07:11 PM
  #22  
michaeux
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hi michelle

Regarding the transfer from the airport to the Westin - once you have claimed your baggage at the airport, you go to the Westin counter in the far corner of the baggage area. There, the Westin will check you in and give you tags for your bags - and a bottle of water if you need it. Then you will never see your bags again until they are delievered to your room. The Westin will put you in their taxi for the 5 min ride to their own boat for the 45 min lovely ride to the resort. On board their is unlimited bottled water - good after shopping in St Thomas. They greet you at the dock and take you to your room. There, your bags will follow in about 15 - 20 mins. I enjoyed being catered to this way. You do get unlimited rides to St Thomas but you have to get a $3-$3.50 taxi ride back to crown bay dock. On the other hand, a round trip ticket from St John to Charlotee Amaliee(spelling may be off)on the regular ferry from cruz bay is $14.00 plus $3.00 taxi from the Westin and back again. I only went to St Thomas twice. Is the 65 worth it? I'm in paradise, why not?!!! As to renting a car, I rented a jeep for a week. Next year, I will only rent a car for one to two days only as it is easy to get around the island with a taxi. Use the car for exploring the east side esp. salt pond bay, Miss Lucy's and Shipwreak Landing(resturants).
 
Jul 2nd, 2002, 01:34 PM
  #23  
MIchelle
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To Pete and Micheaux: Thanks so much for taking the time to post such informative replies. I greatly appreciate it. I think we'll just stick with the Westin ferry and pay the $65. What the heck... We usually go to Europe around this time of year but are in the process of buying a house so 3 weeks in Europe was NOT an option this year! Anyway, thanks again!!!
 
Jul 2nd, 2002, 05:50 PM
  #24  
michaeux2
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regarding rooms at the Westin

I stayed in the timeshare area across the road from the beach. The hotel part of the Westin has 6 buildings surrounding the pool area with 2 of those right at the beach side. It has lower and upper hillside buildings as well. I can not tell you where to stay yet but... if you like to sit on the balcony, know that the pool is open 24/7 and you will hear the kids in the pool and that the area is heavy with traffic. If you stayed around the pool I would consider the 2 buildings that face the beach or go to the lower or upper hillside buildings. The view there would be better and that should cut down on the noise factor from the pool. They have little golf carts that will take you up to the upper hillside bldgs should you want a lift.
 
Jul 3rd, 2002, 08:32 AM
  #25  
Michelle
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Thanks, again, Micheaux. We actually have a hillside room booked. I had a feeling that the pool area might be a bit noisy and we most certainly want peace and quite. I'm really looking forward to it. We really need the break from NYC.
 
Jul 3rd, 2002, 02:06 PM
  #26  
michaeux
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Dear Michelle

I know you will enjoy your stay at the Westin. For one of the best clam chowder and sea food, you MUST do Lime Inn.
 
Jul 10th, 2002, 06:03 PM
  #27  
Betsy
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Returned from second trip to St. John & Westin on 7/3 with 3 kids. Ditto on eating at Lime Inn, ate there three nights! We especially liked Francis Bay beach. My husband enjoyed snorkeling off the rocks but there were schools of fish right off the beach that the little kids got a thrill out of seeing. Had visits from wild donkeys and mongooses or is it mongeese? Does anyone know?
We were supposed to have 2 hotel rooms but the Westin was "overbooked" and put us in a villa. It was very nice, just a little farther from the big pool & beach. Since we went to other beaches it really didn't matter. The kids loved having our own pool (one for the group of villas).
A couple of thoughts:
If you have a car, go to the Starfish Market or at least not the store at the Westin.
We were very unimpressed with the restuarants at the Westin.
Parking in Cruz Bay is problematic, so even though we had a car, we took taxis to dinner in town.
Our plane was very late from Miami and since we had the Westin transportation included in our package, we didn't have to worry about getting to a ferry at late night with 3 kids. Our ride over was in a water taxi and even though it rained, was very enjoyable.
We had great housekeeping service, don't know if its true of all Westin housekeepers but ours was very personable.
Feel free to eamil me if any other questions.

 
Jul 10th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #28  
jackie
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we stayed at the Westin last august. the beach looked great. we then went to morgans mango ( a great place to eat) the waiter happened to be from New York . So are we. he told us to go to Cinnamon /trunk bay to snorkel.. Are we glad we met him. the beach blew the Westins away. I just wish we rented a jeep to tour the island right from the start. The island is beautiful and if you come from a fast paced environment you will not appreciate the laid back quiet pace until you return home. The is why i miss it so much. On our trip it was funny to meet so many people from the New York area who moved down there.
 
Jul 16th, 2002, 01:37 PM
  #29  
Michelle
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This may seem like a silly question, but I'll ask anyway. I made our reservations online and received confirmation from the hotel. Do you think I should call them and re-confirm? We are leaving in 2 weeks.
 
Jul 17th, 2002, 09:32 AM
  #30  
ttt
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tothetop
 
Jul 17th, 2002, 10:03 AM
  #31  
Adrian
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Nancy:

We were in St. Johns last year and thought the best places to snorkle was Hawks Nest and Horseshoe Bay. Horseshoe is a little tougher to get to b/c you have to park and walk down to it, but since you have a jeep, its fun to go exploring.

Another pretty fun thing to do is to rent a small "dingy" at the resort and work your way towards Caneel Bay. There is a small island just off the coast on a few hundred yards. I can't remember the name of the island but its just off the Caneel Bay Resort. Park you boat on the small shore and snorkle around the island. Make you stay close to the shore b/c it get deep very quickly. The reef life is unbelievable.
 
Jul 21st, 2002, 07:24 AM
  #32  
pete
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Go ahead and call to reconfirm, if you're worried about it--it can't hurt. I'm sure they have space for you--it's low season. Have a great trip--I'm very jealous!
 

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