If you really want to get away from all the noise and hustle of the cities, the best place to stay on the east coast of St. John is Estate Concordia. Estate Concordia is a 20 minute drive south of Coral Bay. They have a variety of rooms from open air studios all the way up to loft duplex's which are the size of small apartments.
I have stayed at Estate Concordia several times and have always chosen the Loft Duplex. It comes with a full kitchen, dining table, sofabed, bedroom, and two full bathrooms. However, the best part of the duplex is its 180 degree views of Salt Pond Bay.
Estate Concordia has a limited number of rooms and therefore stays fairly quiet throughout the year. They enforce quiet time as well which I believe is after 11:00 PM. We can attest to that as we were yelled at by the manager when we became too rowdy late one night.
One of my favorite activities at night was to go up to the road where the cars are parked. There is a bench up there which is pretty much at the edge of a cliff. On a clear night, you can sit here and see more stars then you have ever seen in your lifetime.
Amazing views of Salt Pond Bay and the night sky.
During our third trip to the Virgin Islands, we were planning to spent the first two days and last two days on St. Thomas. Since I was hoping to increase my Marriott rewards points, I thought that I would give the Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort a try. This, unfortunately, turned out to be a not so pleasant stay.
On our arrival to the Marriott, we found that there was a conference being held and therefore, there was no parking available. I stayed in my car for over half an hour before I found some parking. This was definitely not the way I wanted to start my vacation.
At check-in, I was told that they did not have the room I had requested and for which I had received a confirmation. I was asked to wait in the lobby for the manager who came in after thirty minutes and quickly fixed the problem. For my trouble, he even upgraded me to a room overlooking the Morningstar Beach.
The room we were given was absolutely amazing. The view were gorgeous and the room was beautifully appointed. We made our way to the pool area and saw the greatest views of Charlotte Amalie. After some time at the pools, we made our way to Morningstar Beach through the beautiful trails from the hotel. The beach was absolutely perfect as well.
During the evening, we made our way to Rum Bar which is the hotel's signature bar. The views from its patio overlooking the lights of Charlotte Amalie and the crashing waves below made this the most perfect setting to end the night.
At the tail-end of our trip, we had planned to stay at the Marriott once again. We came to the hotel a bit early and were told that our room was being cleaned. We were asked to wait a few minutes. I went back to the reception desk after 30 minutes and was told the same thing. After an hour of waiting, I offered to pay a higher price to get any of the rooms they had available. At that point, I was told that one of the rooms was almost ready. Yet another half hour later, we were still waiting for our room to be ready even though we were past the check-in time of 4:00 PM. At this point, I asked them to cancel my reservation so that I could go elsewhere.
This hotel has its good and bad. The service is absolutely horrible but the rooms and amenities at the hotel are fantastic. If you do not mind waiting to find parking and getting a room, then, this may be a good mid-range hotel for your stay on St. Thomas. However, with my experience, I don't expect to ever come back.
Large pool with amazing views of Charlotte Amalie, beautifully appointed rooms
This is another good option for people who want to stay downtown or are in St Thomas for a short stay before moving on to other islands. Danish Chalet Inn is a nice B&B. It looked clean and well maintained from the outside.
Sapphire Beach Condominium Resort is one of St. Thomas's premier resorts with complete amenities. The resort's beautiful beach is over a half mile long, with plenty of sun, shade and sand. Sapphire Beach Condominium Resort provides few accomodation options: Beachfront and Yacht Harbor Suites and Villas.
We opted for a Beachfront Villa. The room was big, with a queen size bed, a living room with a pull out sofa bed and full kitcken. A/C, cable TV, fridge and stove, fan ceiling, phone and safe were other things that we really enjoyed having available to us.
Big and clean rooms, perfect location, free parking for residents. The resort has a breath taking multi-level cascading freshwater pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
The beach is one of the best in St Thomas, with white sand and clear water. There is a water sports center on site, with snorkeling, windsurfing and sunfish sailing. Guests enjoy complimentary tennis on two courts, lit for night play.
Maho Bay is built with conservation of the environment formost in importance. For this reason, the tents are placed on raised wooden platforms and there are raised wooden walkways inbetween. The trees and plants are allowed to grow pretty much undisturbed. The tents consist of two rooms, a sleeping room with twin beds and a living room/kitchen. Linens are provided and you may exchange them by returning the old to the laundry and picking up the new. Water is provided in thermoses and there is a propane cooking stove. There is a grill for each little cluster of tents and a spiggot for non-potable water every so often along the boardwalk. There is a restaurant where the food is very tasty but we ate out most of the time.
This place is very remote and the drive there was pretty scary late at night when we actually ventured there from Cruz Bay. But the view as the sun came up the next morning made it all worthwhile. If tenting is not your "thing" then this may not be for you. There are no personnel to carry your bags to your room and no room service. Once you get settled in it is comfortable and the staff is friendly and accommodating. I would definitely go back and stay there again. Now that we know exactly how things work there, it's be easy. I much preferred being so close to nature, rather than in some stuffy hotel. I don't think there are any stuffy hotels on St. John. We did have some uninvited house guests. There are geckos everywhere but they eat the bugs so we welcomed them. Not so welcome, however was the huge spider who greeted us one night when we arrived home. We shooed him out and he didn't come back. The Bananaquits come looking for a handout every morning and are fun to watch.
Frenchman's Cove has only been open a few months, but my family of 11 stayed there in (2) three bed rooms units for a week. The whole family loved the location. It is located right next to the big marriott hotel and you are able to use all of the aminities of the marriott. Our whole family was able to use Charlotte Amilie as a home base and travel all around the Virgin Islands and come home to a high quality huge room in a great resort. We used the fully functional kitchen every day during or stay and save a lot of money.
The pool and whole resort had the best views of the harbor.
$27 a night based on 2 people occupancy. Nice, private areas built in a loop and between other types of campsites (tents and "cabins"). Nice COLD water showering facilities/bathrooms. Bathrooms have flush toilets and electricity. The restaurant was convenient, but pricey - dinners running 17-20 dollars a plate for nothing special. The taxi ride costs$7-9 dollars to get there from town (the ferry and all of the stores) and to most attractions on the island.
Gorgeous beach. Not ideal for snorkeling, but good for swimming and splashing around in. Close to Plantation ruins and several hiking trails. Watch out for the wild donkeys - don't feed them!
Our hotel was fabulous. It is on the small side, but gives you the feeling of seclusion and relaxation. Make sure you stay in one of the beach front suites. We had a master bedroom, bath, living room with 2 sleeper sofas, fully stocked kitchen, dinning room, balcony with table and lounge chairs.
The hotel has a pool on the hill overlooking the beach front suites and Nazareth Bay. Behind the pool on the hill is the oceanview suites. The beach is beautiful and has some of the best snorkeling right off the beach. There is a swim dock, scuba store, shopping boutique, bar, restaurant, and massage therapist. Everyone who works at the hotel is incredibly nice and they even have a manager's party every Tuesday, an oppurtunity not to be missed.
Beachtops Condo (www.beachtops.com) - 3BD/3BA condo with oceanview and steps down to the Elysian Beach / Pool / Jacuzzi. My group loved the condo and would stay here again.
On other trips to St Thomas: I have stayed at Secret Harbour - Room 734 - Loved it ! (Sept 2005) I liked Secret Harbour's beach better than the Elysian Beach.
Holiday Inn Winward Passage (Oct 2005) - nice downtown location except for the seaplane landing / departures early in the morning.
Villa Blanca - Great View (Feb 2003).
Cabrita Condo (June 1997) - nice view, but no A/C.
We were a group of 3 women and we each enjoyed having our own bedroom and bathroom to ourselves. The condo also had 2 expansive balconies with a great view. The condo had everything we needed.
It's not everyone's first choice, and it is not a "beach" accommodation, but the Holiday Inn has some advantages:
--Price. I paid $100/night for a 3 star accommodation.
--Location. Across the street from the harbor, in a central location and near all the shopping.
I've never stayed there, only visited, though I have tips for those who might want to.
Legend has it that the pirate Bluebeard built this castle for his wife, Mercedita. When he found out she had cheated on him, he killed her and left never to return. Some legends even have him married six times, killing each, witht the seventh killing him, though, in the only known reality,this place was a watch tower that assisted the Fort Christian fortress built by the Danish in the 1670s.
Fort Christian is one of the oldest buildings on St. Thomas, and you can stay on the grounds by renting a timeshare from the resort. A website is listed below for contact info.
I felt like I was in a MASH tent. Not like my bivy but not like a luxury spa/suite....for me....it was the perfect mix of both! We ate in the restaurant quite often, as you need to bring your own food as shopping was scarce in 1997.
Great view, electricity in tent.
The place is beautiful. Has a pool and bar/restaurant right on the beach. The villas were extremely large. 6 Girls stayed in on Villa and we all got ready on time- imagine? The service was not so great, may have been b/c it was off-season- no excuse as far as I'm concerned.
There is a casino on the premesis but it wasn't the best. Also, by the villas there is a private pool/hot tub that is lit up at night. Grab a few drinks and go swim under the stars.
We rented this apartment (1/2 house) in Coral Bay and it was the perfect get away. The setting was charming quiet and out of the way.
Private location with wonderful pool and wonderful hosts.
For a first class, charming alternative to resorts or villas try Estate Lindholm. It is located on a hill side north of Cruz Bay. The Harbor View rooms do have great views of Cruz Bay and Pilsbury Sound. Even our shower had a great view of the sound!
The gardens are lush and beautiful. The pool and breakfast area are dominated by a large Frangiapani tree where birds like to gather.
The owners, Lauren and Brion, were very helpful and freindly. If you need advice all you need to do is ask.
Our room was clean, bright and had AC. Some people find that AC is critical in the Tropics for a good nights sleep. I am not one of those people.
Estate Lindholm is a ten minute walk to the town of Cruz Bay. Each night we walked into town for dinner. Check out Estate Lindolm's website, and trust me when I say ti does not do this great B&B justice,
Great views, beautiful garden, resonable prices (for St. John), and wonderful hosts.
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