More about Westin St. John Resort & Villas
Westin St. John Resort is a Winner
Celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, my wife and I just returned from a wonderful week at the Westin St. John Resort and Villas. The grounds were absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. We had requested a pool view room and were placed in Building 27, one of the buildings furthest away from the pool area; however, our patio and room had one of the most beautiful, unobstructed views of the bay. In fact our room was larger and had a great patio (on the lower level of the building) than those rooms near the pool. It was very short walk to the resort facilities from our room. Our room contained the Westin Heavenly Bed as well as a combination of contemporary, tropical furnishings. The air conditioning was excellent and managed to keep the room temperature and humidity levels comfortable for us. We especially liked the in-room safe to keep our valuables, passports, and other items secure. The housekeeping staff did a great job of keeping the room clean and refreshed. The resort staff were very friendly and greeted us whenever we were walking or needed assistance. While a number of the restaurants were closed in Cruz Bay, we still managed to find a few great places such as the Lime Inn, Mongoose Restaurant, and Duffy's Love Shack open.
One of the benefits about staying at the Westin St. John during the low season was that the resort's facilities were completely at our disposal without crowds or waits. While the resort's beach is not as nice as Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Beach, and the other popular beaches on the island, the resort's beach was just as nice or nicer than what one would find on either coast of the U.S. Eating out is expensive on St.
John as it is at most resort destinations. The resort's restaurants were excellent and the quality of the food was better than at other restaurants on the island. We recommend purchasing an ice chest from one of the supermarkets on St. John and buying soft drinks, beer, and snacks.We were a little leary about paying $68 per person for the Westin ferry service. However, it ended up being a great service and well worth the expense. You could save money by arranging a taxi from the airport to Charlotte Amalie to catch the ferry to Cruz Bay; then taking a taxi from Cruz Bay to the resort. However, the convenience of the resort picking you from the airport, handling your luggage (and delivering to your room), and a direct connection to the resort cannot be beat. In fact, we utilized the ferry a couple times for shopping or to pick up a jeep rental at the airport, so we felt like we received value for the money spent.While a jeep rental is fun and allows you to see a great deal of the island, I would recommend renting an SUV from the resort on a daily basis as needed. While my weekly rate of $280 from Budget was reasonable, we didn't utilize it enough to be worthwhile; plus it cost $40 to transport it by ferry to St. John.
Taxis are plentiful on St. John and the cost into town was only $3 per person each way. I highly recommend the Westin St. John for those who want to relax and recharge their batteries. My wife and I can't wait to return.
Although I did not stay in this location, I did drive by the complex and boy was it gorgeous!
I would highly recommend spending a couple days in this paradise!
Westin St. John....Just don't.
Take them back to slap their travel agent silly for booking a trip to The Westin- St. John! Dirty, run- down, over priced, and full of gloids from other planets, or at least they seem so. Just NOT a good value or appealing resort at all. Leaving The Westin.
My wife and I spent Nov 19th - Nov 25th, 2003 at the Westin St. John Resort. We stayed in a hillside villa. We had a beautiful room that was much more than a typical hotel room - balcony, two baths, upstairs bedroom, laundry facilities, kitchen, etc. The only downside was that it was quite a distance from the main lobby, pool, etc. Transportation is provided by golf carts that continuously travel around the property to shuttle the guests around. We found the staff to be quite friendly, accomodating, and for the most part eager to please. Lot's of beach activities for the kids! We found the food at the Westin to be very expensive and mediocre at best. Spend the $6 per person and catch the taxi's to Cruz Bay. This funky town is only one mile away but over a very large hill with no sidewalks or shoulders for pedestrians. Cruz Bay has a number of excellent restaurants and my wife loved the little shops. The Westin coordinates 2-3 hour narrated tours of the island for $25 per person. Well worth it and very interesting! We did not rent a car. We chickened out when we understood the liability we would have if we had an accident. The Westin offers sunset sails on catamarans via a company they contract with. $50 per person - a little pricey, but we enjoyed a nice evening on the water and the company of our fellow passengers. If you're into shopping you must catch the ferry (we used the Westin ferry that takes you to the Crown Marina) in neighboring St.
Thomas! Very different from St John since St. John is peaceful and quiet. The Westin is a beautiful, well-maintained property. They experienced flooding in mid-November, but pretty much had things cleaned up by the time we arrived. Would we go back? Definately!!
Amazing! Fantasy Island...
Returned from the Westin St. John October 28, 2003. We stayed in St. Thomas at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef for 3 days and then took the Ferry over to the St. John to stay at the Westin for our final days on the island. When we arrived at on St. John a feeling of calm just came over us like this is a true island vacation .. We found St. Thomas to be a little congested with the traffic and Cruise ships bringing thousands by the boat load daily! As the taxi pulled into the Westin..the landscapingis absolutely gorgeous. The front desk check in was a breeze and although our room would not be ready for about an hour we had our room number so we could enjoy the pool bar and restaurant immediately and charge our bill to the room. Major Tip..unless you want the luxury of taking the Westin Ferry from St. Thomas to the dock at the Westin.. Take a cab to the Charlotte Amalie ferry (45 min trip to St. John) or to the Red Hook Ferry (20 min trip to St. John) and save yourself about $50-$60 pp/rt It was a breeze no hassle. Cabs are waiting on both sides to take you where you need to go. Rooms were clean and contemporary. There were some little tiny bugs in the bathroom but they were not a complete nuisance. The heavenly beds were just that..after 3 nights at the Marriott .. it was great to have a nice soft bed. The food at the grill is great for lunch and the breakfast buffet is very good. The was perfect and the 2 outdoor jacuzzi's were private and great at night. The pool and Jacuzzi's were open 24 hours. We ventured out downtown to eat and can't really say that we found the food to be amazing. Most of the restuarants were italian, french etc. It was off season so the bar/dancing clubs were pretty quiet. The beaches are amazing.. we went to Trunk Bay a must do ..but really crowded not a lot of beach space.. and cinnamon bay . hated this one.. It is a campground and there were stray cats and the surf was ruff..we grabbed the next cab back to the Westin. Wish we had more time to explore other beaches but we were only there for 2 days so we decided to play it safe. All in all great trip.. I will definitely return.
St John for dummy's
Ok I just came back. Let me start out by saying if you cant decide on maui or st john lets just say maui should be your first choice. OK listen to me these are easy tips for you to follow......-5 nights is plenty to stay on st john. - Don't rent a car you can go anywhere for $3 each -Go to the public beaches (the best!!) - eat at Morgan's Mango (best drinks) -Eat at Asolare at 5:30 for sunset view - Breakfast at mongoose resturant then go shopping -buy booze for your home bar-cheap!now that was easy.now heres the bad If you have to stay at the westin dont waste any money there, dont eat, dont drink, dont do a thing just sleep and swim at the pool at night. Its the only hotel that I have stayed in that has had a great pool open 24 hours a day and to mention the hot tubs (*wink,wink)Its a long trip . the $69 farry and going through customs - whew - its a long trip. rember if you go on off season a lot of things are closed. ok hope this helps
Everything I expected...
Wife and I sans child stayed at the Westin Resort for 4 nights. We decided to take the Westin Ferry after much debate about taking the Cruz Bay ferry. Looking back we should have taken the Cruz Bay Ferry and saved $80 roundtrip. We waited almost 2 hours after our plane landed until the Westing Ferry came. Note: The Westin will only send a special ferry if you need to take an early or late flight going back to St Thomas. Yes it was convenient but we did not like waiting around since the Ferry landing is not within walking distance to do any sightseeing or shopping except for groceries.
Other than the ferry, we were very happy with our room and the layout of the resort. Since we went off peak Oct 11-15, the resort was not at full capacity. There is no need to claim pool chairs early, they have plenty for guests. The pool is beautiful and very kid friendly. They supply a foam raft that is great for cooling off. The weather was perfect-high 80's and no rain. The beach is man made and thus the complaints of seaweed. However there are plenty of things to do in the water. There are trampolines and an inflatable climbing wall. The beach sand is good and it is pleasant to look at the beautiful sailboats that are in the cove.
The hotel grounds are pristinely manicured. All rooms face the bay however some views may be blocked by trees. The higher up the better the view the longer the walk. Housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired.
We never once saw the bathrobes that were supposed to be there. And they will not change your sheets or towels unless you place a change card on the bed.
Speaking of the beds, they are the most comfortable mattresses I ever slept on. They will take out your exhaustion and leave you refreshed in the morning.
Dining-avoid the restaurants unless you absolutely need breakfast and lunch at the hotel. The deli on the resort provides adequate sandwiches and everything else beer,wine, liquor, snacks, bagels, etc. The restaurants in town ($6 taxi ride per couple each way) are very good.
Highly recommended in order of quality- Lime Inn, Morgan's Mango, and Fish Trap. They provide good service and great drinks as well as very nice dining experience. We did not try Chloe and Bernards at the resort even though it was highly recommended.
Best advice: Rent a Jeep (hotel desk will arrange on-site) and go to the other beaches on the island. Be sure to take the very easy mile hike to Waterlemon Cay and snorkel. This is at the end of Leinmiester beach. On the way back stop at Maho Bay, Cinnamon Bay (the best beach I've ever been to!), and Trunk Bay ($4 pp to get on beach). We did all this on Monday and stopped at Caneel Bay for dinner on the way back.
Unknown little secret-there is a 6:30 happy hour with free drinks and appetizers only on Monday's at Caneel Bay next to the bar. All we needed then was dessert at the bar/restaurant at Caneel. Be sure to try the key lime pie (best we ever had).
Overall advice: except nitpicking with the housekeeping, the stay was absolutely fantastic. We were there 3 full days and it felt as though I had been away at least a week. The resort is kid friendly. Even though we didn't bring our child, we did miss her and she would have enjoyed herself. Go into town for dinner. There is nothing to do at night so expect to be in bed early watching TV. Must go to other beaches.
Caneel vs Westin: Westin wins with pool, activities, and overall appearance. Caneel is better if you want to go away to a bungalow and not see anyone. Their pool is small and a far distance from the beach.
There did not appear to be any child activities so beware if you are bringing a child to Caneel.
Just got back from spending a week at the Westin...it is gorgeous. The rooms are large and clean with super comfortable beds and nice views of the lush landscaping/pool or the sea. There is a water shortage on St. John and while the Westin has a desalination plant they appreciate if their guests can stand sleeping in the same linens more than one night...this did not strike me as a problem at all.The island is very mountainous and requires a jeep rental to explore thoroughly. The majority of the St. John is a national park which can never be developed so stunning beaches and vistas are everywhere. The reefs are accessible from the shoreline on the northern coast and have lots of colorful fish but the corals have suffered from hurricanes and a disease that is harming coral throughout the Caribbean Sea. The loveliest beach we found for lounging around was Hawknest but Leinster is also excellent for snorkelling. We snorkelled to Waterlemon Cay off Leinster and saw large starfish, parrotfish, flounder, a very large barracuda, and sea turtles.The food is a problem...we found it to be very expensive and not all that good at the hotel or in Cruz Bay. Ask for the bar menu at the Westin's restaurant by the beach if you want more casual fare for dinner. The Stone Terrace restaurant in Cruz Bay had prices comparable to the dinner menu at the Westin but at least the food was very good.We will come back to St. John, it is great little place but next summer try to rent a house so we can cook instead of spending a fortune eating at the restaurants!
My vacation in St Thomas, St Croix, St John
"Sapphire Beach Resort"
We arrived late afternoon and spent at least 1 hour at the car rental place. We had a reservation, but in St Thomas all the car rental places are small and run by 1-2 people. We learned fast that being patient is key there. You can not expect fast service. After all, everybody is on vacation and you are supposed to take things slow :)
We spent few days in St Thomas, then 2 days in St John and about 8 hours in St Croix. Since St Thomas was the place we stayed longer in, I decided to dedicate the most of the pages to St Thomas.
We stayed at Sapphire Beach Resort. The building we stayed in was right on the beach. We had to pay a little bit extra for this, but it was worth the price!
This picture of the resort and the beach was taken one morning, when I woke up at 6am and decided to take a walk while everybody else was sleeping.
The resort beach is one of the best in St Thomas. There are not too many hotels/resorts that have such a nice, sandy and wide beach as Sapphire Beach Resort. I had no idea about this until we got there, but was surely glad we booked a room here. Most of the other beaches are very narrow, small (and crowded because of this) and with lots of rocks in the water.
The resort has a beautiful pool and lots of iguanas roaming around. They are very cute and I got some nice shots of them.
The resort also has 1 big restaurant (not cheap!) and one small one, by the pool area. The one by the pool area is like a bar on the beach, but they serve good food and drinks at very decent prices. They are not open all day long, though.
Our room had a kitchen with a stove and fridge in it. We had lots of pop, fruit and veggies in the fridge and also some other stuff we bought at the grocery store (close to Red Hook and just about 5 min drive from the resort). We always ate breakfast in the room or on the room patio. It was very hot and you could not eat too much during the day anyway. Lunch was mainly a salad made in the room or bought from the bar by the pool. Dinner was usually the main meal and we mainly ate outside the resort.
There are plenty of restaurants by Red Hook, with decent prices.
We ate at Caribbean Saloon, Off The Hook and Burrito Bay Deli. They are all by Red Hook. Burrito Bay Deli was the cheapest one, but the best seafood we had was at Off The Hook.
"Exploring the island"
There are lots of things to do in St Thomas even if you are not big on water sports. Here are some things that I would say are worth doing:
1. go to Charlotte Amalie and browse around the stores. The place is huge and you can find some good deals if you are into shopping. We just went to few stores and bought a few small things to take back home with us. Buy some Rum Balls or Chocolates (island signature) and have an easy lunch at one of the restaurants there. They all have nice seating outside, shaded, of course, from where you can look at people strolling around and also you can watch all the ships docking.
2. Take the Paradise Point Tramway (few minutes walk from Charlotte Amalie). You will see all the island from above and once you arrive, make sure that you go to the Parrot Show and take some pictures with the parrots. I have attached a picture that I took there during the show. Have a drink or an easy lunch at Paradise Point Bar. There are few shops here, but I really did not care too much about what they were selling. Also, things were a little bit more expensive than the ones you can find in the stores in town.
3. go to Magen Bay Beach, the best beach on the island. It is a public beach, breath taking! We drove there and had to pay few dollars ($6 or $7) to get in. If possible, avoid going there on a weekend as it can get crowded and noisy. We ended up going there twice, once during the week and once on a Saturday (very noisy and busy!!!!). If you have kids or if you have long hair, get some braids done. I paid about $10 to get mines (I had long hair at the time) and it was a fun and interesting experience.
4. if you have kids, take them to Coral World Marine Park, close to Coki Beach. I did not care too much about the place, the beach is small and crowded all the times, but the kids may enjoy the marine life they will see there. We also did a little bit of snorkeling here, but it is nothing compared to the one in St John. In my opinion, if you skip this place and go snorkeling in St John, you do not loose anything.
"St John and St Croix"
We took the ferry to St John from St Thomas and spent 1 night on the island. We stayed at The Westin St John Resort and Villas. We did not rent a car here, we decided to take a cab since we really came to St John to do some snorkeling. There is really not too much you can do in St John except snorkeling! Bring your own equipment from home if you plan on snorkeling, you can save few bucks and use them to pay for a 1 day long snorkel trip. We brought our own from here. The best place to snorkel is Flanagan's Cay. The first day in St John we rented a Hobbie for 4 hours from Sail Safari and the next day we took a full day snorkel trip with them.
In St Croix we spent just few hours and rented a car to have the flexibility to move around. We went to Buck Island Reef and also visited a Rain Forest (head towards Frederiksted and you will see it).
Westin St. John
Caneel Bay or Westin St. John?
Hi --- I'm taking my mom and grandma to St. Thomas/St. John for their Mother's Day gift this year, and I'm looking for some advice on a hotel. The 2 that I'm leaning towards are Caneel Bay and the Westin St.John. Both are in the same price range and have received very positive reviews from the research I've done. Has anyone stayed at either? Or have any other suggestions for a nice hotel for a girls vacation? We would be most interested in someplace that has a nice spa, clean and safe beach (direct access or within walking distance) and good restaurants (on-site or close by).
Thanks in advance!
Re: Caneel Bay or Westin St. John?
I have not stayed in either place. I stayed on a sailboat or in a little guest house which I don't think is there anymore. But I have been reading about St. John for almost 14 years.
Caneel Bay has the beaches - gorgeous natural beaches - several of them. Hands down the best beaches. The beaches at the Westin are man-made beaches.
The Westin has more fancy pools and an actual spa and is a more vertical resort (steps) and probably has more families and kids.
Caneel is more spread out horizontal because of the many beaches. It is also a bit more old fashioned - no phones in the room but they do have wireless access now. They have one dining room where there are no kids under 8. It's primarily a beach/water activities and tennis place. They have a massage center, but they don't call it a spa.
As for on St. Thomas, I haven't been following the things written there very closely but Secret Harbor has been recommended as a good relaxing place with a nice snorkeling beach but it doesn't have a spa per se.
Neither the Westin nor Caneel are in walking distance to town - both because of distance and because the roads are narrow with no shoulders. You can rent a car but keep in mind that they drive on the left with left hand drive cars. Both probably have restaurants, but we got a lot of fun out of walking around Cruz Bay and eating in different restaurants each night.
Re: Caneel Bay or Westin St. John?
Thank you so much for your great tips! I was thinking that I would probably rent a car/jeep so we could also do some exploring on our own as well. I take them on a trip every year for Mother's Day that just includes the 3 of us (me, mom and gram)....it doesn't really matter where you're at as long as you're together, but it sure helps to be in a gorgeous spot! Thanks again, I appreciate it :-)