Westin St. John Villa or Hotel room?

Old Mar 16th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Westin St. John Villa or Hotel room?

Thanks for all the helpful postings re: the Westin St. John. My husband and I are going in June with another couple who have 2 young children. We're trying to decide whether to book hotel rooms or a large Villa. The price differential suggests that the villas are more upscale/nicer -- is this true? I understand the villas are farther away from the beach/pool. Are there any other notable differences we should be aware of?
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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We stayed at a Villa and I wouldnt do that in St. John again. I would much rather stay at the hotels. The way the island is shaped, most of the villas are high up and away from the beach which can make the whole children thing annoying. Trying to get quickly to and from the beach is annoying. Which is not the case for the Westin. Plus food at the supermarket is WAY TOO expensive. Butter was 10 dollars. Alcohol was way cheaper. It was cheaper just to buy from some of the shacks around town. FOr instance. right in town is this great breakfast stand which is reasonably priced. You would be surprised how much a supermarket bill gets up there when you have zero food. My friend had a beautiful villa but battled bugs all the time, however it had an excellent view of Cinnamon Bay. Plus with children, it might be nice not to have to clean up and worry about cooking. Plus the hotels provide a lot of stuff for you like - snorkel gear, chairs, towels, umbrellas, etc... So you dont have to worry about buying it or dragging it all the way there. One word of warning - If you do get a villa make sure it is on the Cruz Bay side of the island.

By the way, there is a place on the other side of the island that has an amazing island brunch. The view, music, food, and mimosas were amazing. The drive over there is scarey but so worth it.
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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One other small thing - I was in St. John with for wedding so a lot of people had villas all ranging in price and luxury. They were gorgeous inside and had nice grounds but no one really stayed at their villas because they were in St. John. Plus everyone had to rent a car and I think the Westin provides some transportation. I am not sure so I would check that. That's it!
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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We've stayed at the Westin in a poolside room, which was fabulous. the kids adored the pool and also feeding the iguanas which miraculously enough came out exactly at 4 pm to be fed! That being said, I would not stay there again because the prices have become ridiculous. Also I would never ever stay in the Westin villas which are up the hill and a huge trek to come down to the pool. We are renting a villa this summer (Sapphire Breeze) which is going to be fantastic- our own pool, and we can eat breakfast on our own deck with fantastic views. Yes, we'll rent a jeep for going around the island, but we can have a fantastic breakfast on the deck and plus have a place to chill after a day in the sun that is beautiful. You can't be on a beach all day long! We probably will grill once to save for dinners out, but the fridge will be great to save on food for the two teenagers- as they can help themselves to another sandwich or leftovers as needed. I say do a villa- there are some near the water. The beach at the Westin isn't great either. You can have them by the pool or in their room taking a nap without fear of losing them. Then take a trip out to a beach and come back, they can nap while you are sitting by your own pool or hot tub and chat with the other couple.
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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Also, snorkeling equipment, chairs, coolers come with our villa. I am not aware that the Westin offers these things. (except there is some chairs already on their beach- you just can't take them with you somewhere else) Their beach is not nice so you would be trekking out to other beaches anyway. We also have a mid-week maid service included that will change sheets, trash, bathrooms, change towels included with our villa.
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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I have been to the Westin twice. I have to advise the villas are nice, but they are on a hill far from the beach. The grocery store is expensive-going into town to eat is fun and comparable in price. The pool side and beach side rooms are really the best. You will be happier closer to the pool and beach. Dragging the kids up and down the hill with toys and such will get old fast. I love the Westin and can't wait to return soon!
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Two years ago, I stayed at the Westin Villas with my then 10 and 8 year old sons. The villas are up on the side of a hill with a nice view of the water, and a convenient shuttle down to the pool and the beach. There are also smaller pools in each section of the villas that my kids really enjoyed. I love eating in restaurants. With the kids, it was nice to cook a few simple meals in the villa. Having a washer and dryer is a nice convenience as well. I would stay in the hillside villas again. It seemed quieter. We enjoyed the extra room, the full kitchen, and the washer/dryer. The shuttle was so convenient that we did not mind the trip down to the main part of the resort.
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Old Mar 18th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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My family and I just returned form vacationing at the Westin. We had an ocean view room. We were about 300 feet from the beach overlooking the Great Cruz cove. Our room was close to the beach, pool, restaurant, and it was very quiet and peaceful. There is no way we wanted to go to St. John and be high on a hill from the beach. Yes, the Westin has golf carts to transport you from the top to the bottom. I would see this as a pain waiting for them to pick you up . We took a tour of the Villas while on vacation . Personally, I was not impressed because they are so far from the beach.You have to remember you are in the tropics and sometimes things are not always perfect.
The hotel rooms are acceptable, but what makes them exceptional is the view facing the ocean. While watching the sunset every night we listen to the water gently lapping the shore. I have to say the rooms are not as splendid as the Ritz on St. Thomas, but that is a different more formal resort. We found the staff at the Westin to be exceptionally helpful,friendly and courteous.The Westin definitely has a more guest friendly staff than the Ritz. Even when we stayed at the Ritz we had some surly staff .
People said the beach at the Westin was not nice. That was ridiculous. They only said that because it had been man-made. The beach was very nice and we never felt the resort was crowded. Many people with children were at the pool. Staying at the hotel leaves you more time to unwind and relax, rather than worring what was left behind at your villa high on the hill. When you have children there is always something that gets left behind and you need to return to get.
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Old Mar 19th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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One other little tidbit. When we were in St. John and staying at a villa our electricity when out the day we were supposed to go to a wedding. Our showers wouldnt work because there was an electric pump that pushed the water through. We all ended up going to another friend's condo for showers. Anyway, i would make sure that the place you rent has a back up generator.
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