More about Maho Bay Camps
Across the bay, we could see the tents of the Maho Bay Campgrounds.scattered about the foilage. This is among the world's first eco-resorts, Maho Bay opened in 1976 on the St. John. The tents and walkways were buit so as not to harm the natural landscape.
We didn't stay here but I would love to do that if we ever get back to the island.
A "camp ground" unlike any you have seen before
I did not select "camp Ground" for this because you don't pitch a tent, haul an RV trailer or "any of the like" to Maho Bay Camps. It is what is called an "Eco' Resort". If you don't know what that means, (which I didn't either when I first heard about it) "read up" on it on the WEB page given below. Outstanding characteristics: It is in the Caribbean at a price families can afford!
Check the WEB page given below but I think you will find the taxi fare from downtown NYC to JFK will be more than the "day rate" here!
Eco-tourism at it's best
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.
Maho Bay $100-200
Other hotels $375+
Rental Villas varies Gallows Point Resort - The only resort I can recommend. There are only about 20 condos so no big crowds, it is set apart but still walking distance from downtown. The condo owners maintain the rooms comfortably so you'll get a separate bedroom, kitchen, living room with amenities.
Maho Bay - I like their concept of environmental friendliness. They are a bit far away from Cruz Bay but have everything you need on-site. Their beach is public and is very popular. Warning: cruise ship passengers have day excursions here.
Camping in StJ
I will preface this by stating that I have not used any of these facilities. My knowledge is gained from those who have used some of these locations.
There are numerous choices for camping on St John.
-Cinnamon Bay Camps
-Maho Bay campground and ecotents
-Botanical Villas and camping
You can select a bare site up to a fully equipped campsite at some of the above locations. Camping puts you virtually at waters edge. You might consider a lower end villa if you are looking at a low cost accomodation. You will find that a camp site can end up close to the same price as a villa in some seasons.
Camping in the Caribbean
Where to begin about Maho Bay? Maho is a stunning complex of ecotents connected via elevated wooden walkways. Maho bills itself as an eco-resort with the whole complex designed to exist in harmony with the delicate ecosystem of the Virgin Islands.
The tent-cottages are made of translucent fabric on wood frames with screened windows and open air terraces. Each has a separate sleeping area with comfortable twin beds. An extra mattress is behind the sleeping-couch in the living area. Bed linens, blankets, towels, cooking and eating utensils are all provided, including propane stove and ice cooler. Every tent-cottage has its own private deck, electric outlets, lights and fans. Barbecue areas and fresh water are available along the walkways.
Remember that you are in nature and if that sounds like a drawback then stop reading, but you will encounter your fair share of bugs so bring the bugspray and also make note that the small harmless lizards will likely make an appearance inside your tent. A Few Miscellaneous Tips
1. The Maho Bay complex is easy to get lost in, so use the map to learn the way from your cabin to key places like the dining pavilion, nearest bathroom, and registration desk.
2. Be sure to bring a flashlight. It gets very dark here, and the walkways aren’t lit, so you’ll need it to get around in the evening.
3. Every cabin location has its advantages and drawbacks: view; amount of privacy; number of stairways you have to climb to reach it; proximity to the bathrooms, the dining pavilion, the beach, and the road. If any of these is particularly important to you, be sure to mention it when you make your reservations or at check-in and see if they can accommodate you.
4. There’s a free “help-yourself” center across from the registration desk. This is where departing guests can leave anything they don’t want to take back with them, and incoming guests can help themselves. There’s always plenty of pulp fiction, usually some sunscreen, and a varying selection of food items.
5. If you don’t have a rental car, memorize the schedule for the shuttle, which runs several times a day between Maho and Cruz Bay and will drop you off or pick you up anywhere along the route. You’ll find the schedule printed on the back of the camp map they give you at check-in. There are also several places you can realistically walk to from Maho, including Cinnamon Bay, Annaberg Plantation, and Leinster Bay.
6. Have a fabulous time! There’s no other place in the world like Maho!
Low-season (May 1 - December 14) rates are $105 - $125/night, double occupancy in a bedroom studio, $125 - $135/night in a living room studio. Additional guests in the same suite are $25/night per person.
During the winter season, from December 15, 2000 through April 30, 2001 rates are $175 - $190 per night double occupancy in a bedroom studio, $185 - $200 per night in a living room studio. Additional guests in the same suite are $25/night/person. (Minimum stay of seven nights required.) Harmony Studios is a short walk up the hill from Maho Bay Camps. Perched on the hillside above Maho's tent-cottages, with vistas overlooking the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Virgin Islands National Park, Harmony Studios are the ideal vacation for those seeking to combine luxury accommodations with environmental sensitivity.
Eco camping at it's best
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.
Loved It soooooooo much!!!
When we went to Maho Bay, we had a wonderful time!!! We went swimming, snorkeling, shopping, and sailing on the boat the Pepper! It was a great summer getaway!!! I wish I could go back to Maho every summer!
St. John in the summer
My bf and our three teenage daughters and I spent five nights at Maho Bay the last week of August. I had been a bit concerned that the weather would be unbearably warm, and that the insects would torture us, but happily, that was not the case! It was certainly very warm during the day, but quite comfortable at night with the fans in the cabins. Some of us were annoyed by bugs at night, but after careful application of repellent, we were fine.
Don't believe any negative posts about staff or even people on the island. Remember what you give is what you'll get back.
View from the restaurant is spectacular, and the food is more than adequate.
Yes, there are many steps to the beach, but after a few days one becomes quite accustomed to the walk. Swimming and snorkeling right on the camp's beach is grand! Hardly anybody there in low season.
Some tips: we visited Trunk Bay, Hawknest Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Big Maho Bay and Leinster Bay. I have to say Cinnamon Bay was my favorite. Walk a 1/4 mile or so down the beach, and you will find a very private area surrounded by rocks, that feels like your own little piece of the island.
Snorkeled for the first time at Maho, and LOVED it. Also took a resort dive lesson at Maho with one of their PADI instructors, who was extremely competent and made my first dive enjoyable. Rent equipment right there at Maho.
Do take a day trip on a boat out to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. Quite unique and beautiful.
Shuttle taxi available, but if you are more than two people, I suggest renting a car. Makes $$ sense since you pay per person for the taxis.
Bring a roll of quarters for the laundry machines onsite.
St. John is an amazingly beautiful island, and Maho Bay makes an amazing vacation possible. Highly recommend it!
Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
We are seeking affordable accomodations for St John in April. I am having a hard time choising between Maho and Cinnamon Bays. Any advise?
Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
Umm.... no, I don't have any advise.
Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
There were no affordable accomodations on St. John when we went. We stayed on St. Thomas for most of our trip, where it's much cheaper. The one night that we did stay on St. John, we stayed at a place called the Tamarind Inn, which was expensive for us, but one of the cheaper places on St. John, about $180 per night. It's in Cruz Bay, in the town. The rooms are clean and functional. Both of the locations you want are really expensive. Even the campgrounds are expensive. St. John is very beautiful though. Good luck.
Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
When I stayed on St. John it was at a great B&B called Estate Lindholm. It was aboaut $170 a night. It was very clean, beautiful grounds, a great view of Cruz Bay and Pilsbury Sound. The rooms have AC too, if that matters to you. It is about a ten minute walk from the town. If your heart is set on either Maho or Cinnamon all I can tell you is they both looked nice. Maho seemed a little more secluded though. St. John is a great place! Not crowded like St. Thomas. Beautiful beaches and wondeful snorkling.
Re: Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
Perhaps this is too late for you, but we prefer Cinnamon Bay if you can get a beach view or beach front cottage. The beach is amazingly beautiful and is just feet away. The cottages are rather ugly, but we felt that we had privacy. They also have tents, which tend to be dark and bare sights. Go snorkeling at the far right end of the beach, out around the nearest island, or over to the next beach to the left if you'd like to see a 35 year old plane wreck and have true privacy.
Maho is interesting. The beach however, is much smaller and the snorkeling not as good. Also, the stairs can be exhausting!
Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay?
We stayed at Maho for about 100 USD a night- had reservations at cinnamon but had to cancel due to hurricane but it looked great also-especially cottages on the beach. The tents at Maho were nice and everything is ECO except the deck under the tent had typical slats that let the bugs in- we got ate up by no-see-ums. Lots of steps to the beach but who's being lazy?-When we got back we looked up the site and for not much more tents with solid floors were available a few more flights up- would have been nice and worth the climb-Tons of good snorkeling in Leinster Bay and every where- we took a side trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda and it was exquisite! would stay there again-
Have a great trip!
Beach front accomodations
I would like to travel to St. John May 16 - 23, 2003 and am seeking reasonably priced accomodations - beach front cottage preferably, for @ $ 1,000 for the week, total, tax included etc.
Can you recommend?
Re: Beach front accomodations
Most of St. John is parkland. There are campgrounds, and a spectacular "Rock resort" that has prices to match. I was there in 1987 and we stayed at a place called Maho Bay--they have "tent cabins" in the woods above the beach. I have no idea how much it cost. I'll try to find a website for you. As I recall, the biggest tent-camping site was called Cinnamon Bay.
Travel in October?
I know it's hurricane season, but from what I've read it doesn't seem that bad, unless you get unlucky enough to hit a hurricane....any thoughts? Would you go?
Re: Travel in October?
October is great! Toward the end of November it gets into the iffy weather season. GO! GO! GO!
I can fill you in on lots of great places & deals in Cabo san Lucas, MX if that is one of your destinations. Great place! See my review on Cabo.
Re: Travel in October?
absolutely, st. john's is one of the most beautiful places i've ever visited. if you have the opportunity, go!! i have travelled to tropical places many times during hurricane season (cheaper!) and had about 90% good luck. never been actually hit by a hurricane, but have been soaked by serious rain for days on end. if you're into semi-rustic, try maho bay camp!
Re: Travel in October?
I have not traveled to St. John or the caribbean in October or September because of weather concerns but if I had an oppurtunity for St John at the right price I would jump at the chance. You should expect a lush green island and of course the ever present chance of rain. As a result of the wet weather, expect an active mosquito and no-seeum population. These pests are ever present especially at sunset and into the dark hours but more active about a week after a good rain. Bring repellent with DEET and we bring citronella/repellant coils. These items are available on island but I have had one instance when stores were out. Their price is about 40% or more than on mainland. If I were to visit during rainy season I would not stay at the campgrounds because of the rain and the insects are more prevalant at sea level, near the beaches, near fresh water and where people gather. This describes Cinnamon and Maho campgrounds. While these pests are a nusuiance, they can be avoided and/or tolerated. Off season usually ends Dec 15th. During those months we expect rain at least once per day somewhere on island. September through October is major off season on StJ. You will find some resturants and businesses closed. I have a list and link of resturants and closures on my StJ pages along with much information on this beautiful little island. We visit StJ during Nov and early Dec and sometimes Jan and have always had wonderful weather. We are headed to StJ mid Nov this year and I am ready to pack NOW!