Which side of St. John is best?

Old May 18th, 2005, 11:59 AM
  #1  
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Which side of St. John is best?

My husband and I are starting to plan our honeymoon and are focusing on St. John. It looks like most of the shopping and resort activity is located near Cruz Bay. Is there a big disadvantage to not staying on the West or North side of the island? We like the thought of renting a villa and liked one we saw online that was located near Coral Bay. We don't mind being off the beaten path, and plan to do a lot of driving/exploring/outdoor activity while there. If we're on the East/SE side of the island will we find it really inconvenient and regret our decision?
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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You should stay at Caneel Bay for your honeymoon. There isn't a whole lot to do on St.John, but you can always take the $3.00 ferry ride over to St. Thomas. Stay away from downtown at night, as it can be dangerous. St. John has amazing snorkeling and beautiful beaches, as does St. Thomas. Make sure you go to Cokey Bay in St. Thomas. Don't miss it!
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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fox- My family and I are going for the first time to st john in June.It is a small island so I really do not think that it matters where you stay.We rented a car and we are staying in Gifft Hill in a villa.I was told that it is only a 10 ride to Cruz Bay from there.

If you rent a car..I think that you will be fine wherever you stay.Coral bay area also has a grocery store.Good luck.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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fox2, St John isn't a big island, but because of the terrain, driving from East End or out past Coral Bay isn't a quick ride to Cruz Bay.

My personal preference is to stay in Concordia area out near Salt Pond Bay, but we don't mind the quieter areas of the island, and aren't really concerned about nightlife.

For a first trip, I'd recommend staying somewhere in the vicinity of Cruz Bay. This will put you in a location that is easily accessible to restaurants, shops & activities. In order to properly explore the island, IMO you definitely need to rent a vehicle.

Figure Cruz Bay to Salt Pond Bay is about a 35 minute drive. Not one I'd want to do with a few cocktails in me either. We really love STJ. I'm sure you'll have a great trip. Trish
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Old May 18th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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If you're into nightlife and would like a nice dinner out, you would probably regret being far from Cruz Bay.
Driving on the island can be time consuming. I especially agree with tpatricco's assessment of not wanting to deal with driving from Cruz Bay if you have a few cocktails. Cab fare is usually @ 5 dollars from Cruz bay to anywhere in the vicinity.
I stayed at Caneel for my Honeymoon; the resort is very close to Cruz Bay. If you rent a car you can have the best of both worlds by either staying on their incredible property or exploring off property.
There are also other options in the area if you prefer a villa. Depending on your budget, you can find one with everything you would want (pool, some even have beach access) including a lot of privacy if you're looking for that.
One place I would not recommend is the Westin. The property is beautifully manicured, and is great for kids. The man-made beach was a turn off for me, and the family orientation might not be what you’re looking for on a honeymoon.


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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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We rented a villa in Coral Bay 3 years ago and loved it, but it's not for everyone. I agree with the above posters, if you want nightlife, even a few dinners out, you'll want to stay closer to Cruz Bay. However, if you want privacy, beautiful surroundings, romantic dinners in w/just your husband, then I highly recommend saving your money and staying in a villa. The villa was probably 1/3 the cost of Caneel Ba; it was 2 bedrooms and had a lap pool! There is/was a small restaurant on the water in Coral Bay run by a Bostonian (we're from MA), so that was fun - meeting the locals and hanging out. But we did wake to the sounds of roosters and a few wild donkeys braying and galloping down the road each morning - early (no kidding!). There are tremendous beaches, very secluded, that you can drive to, but like the above posters, don't try driving from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay after a few cocktails! Finally, one other benefit to Coral Bay was the trade winds that blew through our villa - no bugs to speak of! You'll love St. John!!!
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Old May 18th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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I have been to the Westin twice with family and toured Caneel----love both but would HIGHLY say CANEEL for honeymoon. About 7 beaches to choose from, comfortable, quiet, a little pricey, but worth it. Coral Bay is nice though----more arrid, farther from town. Caneel would be close to town and good beaches/snorkeling and would have good amenities which you want for a honeymoon. You can also split the trip with the shared ferry to Little Dix Bay the sister resort on Virgin Gorda. My cousin and wife did that and loved it.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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We are renting a villa for part of our honeymoon in St. John. It's in Devers Bay and only a five minute drive to Cruz Bay. It's on a pebble beach and has three bedrooms (not that we need a place that big), 3 bathrooms--one with an outdoor garden shower, and our own pool and jacuzzi. We thought about staying at a resort, but choose this because of the privacy (and it was also a better price!). The villa is called Dream Come True, and we rented through caribbeanvilla.com
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 06:48 PM
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Just wanted to thank everyone for their input. We've decided to stay closer to Cruz Bay and are opting for a Villa. Thanks!
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 09:18 PM
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Your consideration of St. John as a honeymoon spot is stellar. Back in January, 2002, my husband and I went to St. John for the first time. We found it so romantic and beautiful that we eventually purchased a home in Coral Bay. Coral Bay is not as quiet as it used to be. At least 5 restaurants to choose from, small grocery stores and fun, laid-back, Jimmy Buffet-esque bars. It is at least a 25 minute drive to Cruz Bay, a drive not recommended after bar-hopping. Cruz Bay is also very fun but laid-back nightlife where you'll risk running into celebrities (e.g. Kenny Chesny and new wife Renee Zellweger!). Villas are great if you enjoy the independence and privacy of your own space. But do you really want to be cooking and cleaning on your honeymoon? Some folks might not mind. Caneel Bay is great, the Westin is more hip but more family oriented. You might consider Estate Lindholm (can't remember exact name but most travel sites mention it) which is a small, cozy inn near fabulous restaurant Asolare (must go for great food and romantic setting, try to go around sunset time) just outside Cruz Bay. Also, try to get out to Miss Lucy's out in Coral Bay for dinner. A casual restaurant with a great menu. It has the most beautiful and romantic setting of any restaurant anywhere, overlooking the bay into the open waters of the ocean. Awesome at sunset and truly unbelievable on moonlit nights. Ahhh... St. John... everyday is a honeymoon day!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the "Estate Lindholm" recommend. We're at Cliffside Terrace Villa for the first week (found out a friend stayed here and loved it) but may just try Estate Lindholm for the last couple nights on the island.
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