Island Paradise?
April 22, 2006 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Any Recommendations for St. John and the area?

Me and my wife are looking to go to St. John between september and December (yeah hurricane season).

Any info about the nature of the island, potential alternative islands, and so on would be much appreciated.

We're looking at renting a villa for a week, leaning towards mooncottage, but still unsure.

I'm slightly concerned that the concept of the idyllic caribbean island doesn't exist anymore, and they're all like St. Thomas.

Any comments or suggestions?
posted by Lord_Pall to Travel & Transportation around St. John, VI (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think you'll be very happy with St. John. The photographs on the villa website you link to are entirely accurate in terms of views and privacy. Remember that something like 70% of the island is a protected national park. You'll need to rent a 4WD jeep to get around.

When I was doing research for my honeymoon a couple years ago, the quintessential discussion forum was here. The site seems to consist of people who obsessively visit the forum everyday trying to perfect their next annual visit. I.e. one item I learned about is that you can order a $20 coupon book filled with buy-one-get-one-free restaurant coupons- great deal! It paid for itself on the first night.

The villa we stayed was very similar to the one you linked to, but ours was like $220 a night. Probably the best vacation money I've ever spent.
posted by tfmm at 5:24 PM on April 22, 2006

St. John is definitely different from St. Thomas. It's as close as I've ever been to a tropical paradise without being a total backwater. The beaches (Cinnamon Bay in particular) are postcard-quality. You can be content tanning all day, or do anything from parasailing to hiking the petrogylphs and shopping for jewlery.
In deference to tfmm, a FWD isn't a necessity but it's almost impossible not to rent one, other than the one tiny Suzuki car Avis has or a minivan. Be aware that your credit card's insurance probably doesn't cover "off-road vehicles."

If want to be close to town (Cruz Bay), consider Gallow's Point. In terms of beaches, head all the way down to the end of Cinnamon Bay. If you snorkel, you can rent dive lights at Cruz Bay Watersports and do a night snorkel along the reef there (assuming recent hurricanes haven't wiped it out). I've been there ten times over the years and did almost everything, so PM me if you decide to go.
posted by djb at 5:51 PM on April 22, 2006

Response by poster: We've been to St. John on a daytrip a few years back and we loved it. We hiked up one of the trails over to caneel bay and honeymoon beach (i think that's the name). Wonderful place, which is why we're looking there now.

I'm just a typical nervous nellie about the caribbean, mostly because the heavy cruise traffic has a tendency to muck up the islands. :(

Tf - Those forums are a lifesaver. I looked at Siempre Azul earlier today. It's good to hear actual on the ground "reviews" as they're pretty hard to come by for villas/bungalows/etc.

Dj - I'll definitely take you up on that. We're going to talk to the owner of mooncottage tomorrow morning, and probably decide then.

Thanks for the information. It's much appreciated.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:12 PM on April 22, 2006

There is no deepwater harbor on St. John so the cruise ships can't moor there. They come over on small boats from St. Thomas.

Not sure what the place is costing you, but give a look at Caneel Bay, which is a short ride (you can walk it, actually) from Cruz Bay.

Also - be sure to take a day trip to The Baths at Virgin Gorda. Awesome snorkling/diving there.
posted by Thistledown at 7:19 AM on April 23, 2006

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