There is a net-web-inter-thing belief that browsers love lists, top you-pick-the-number lists and where do I fit in lists. The digital marketing experts tell us that this is the way to get peoples’ attention. So we have a Top Five Who You Might Be In the Eyes of Locals If You Were On Vacation In the Caribbean List.
Photo courtesy of Women Who Live On Rocks. Com
The final accommodation choice in our slightly arbitrary categorization is the private villa. This is a very popular choice and one that represents a small industry on the island. Booking agencies, property managers, exterminators, landscapers and trades people depend on the private villa rental business to put food on their tables. And people with cash to invest, who enjoy vacationing on the island, often buy or build new villas. They come to stay a few weeks and then rent the villa out for rest of the year, employing the above mentioned island citizens to oversee their investments. While attractive as this sort of investment sounds it is not without its issues including tales of final construction costs that can be double the original estimates. Remember, everything that comes to an island comes by boat or plane. Shipping costs can be exorbitant and most of the remaining building lots can be precarious.
Photo courtesy of Cimarron St. John
Finally we come to what we all think of as the basic accommodation and St. John has only two and perhaps three depending on how you categorize things. Caneel Bay is St. John’s original resort hotel and of all the properties on St. John it has the best access to some of the best beaches on the island. There is a good reason for this and it involves the Rockefeller family who bought up huge tracks of land on St. John, kept the best for a hotel and gave the rest to the US government for a National Park. Suffice it to say it is the premier property on St. John. Of course the price point is commensurate with its’ status.
Photo courtesy of Luxury Travel Magazine
Ok listen up. This is what we are. We not only sell weeks in paradise but we rent them too. So do two other properties on the island and though we are reluctant to tell you about them, they might be more of your cup of tea than we are. It is hard for us to imagine that but it could be true.
Sunset Ridge Villa view from a private deck.
This is a great catchall category and one that we hope others might chime in on. We will include as many links as we can think of but we are bound to miss someone. For those that we have inadvertently missed; it is not personal or purposeful.
This category may provide one the best choices for first time visitors especially if your choice of St. John for a vacation is on the tenuous side. Most of the condo units for rent are on the more populous western side of the island with the most services and stores. They represent a range of price points and distances to town, some are right in the middle of it all. While some these accommodations refer to themselves as resorts or suites, we have listed them as condo rentals. We could debate the point if necessary but we’d give in so what’s the point?
Photo courtesy of Lavender Hill Suites
At first blush you are going to say, “This isn’t a category. It’s an item.” And, you are partially right. But it follows a natural, no pun intended, progression from roughing-it on Cinnamon Bay to the comparably luxurious camping that was introduced by Stanley Selengut 38 years ago. Stanley’s eco-resorts have had such a vital role in the history of tourism on St. John that we thought we would give it its’ own special posting. The original Maho Bay Camps introduced so many people and young families to the island and those people continue to return year after year that we wanted to give special recognition to that vision of Stanley’s a model eco-resort, a self-sufficient hotel integrated seamlessly into the surrounding natural vegetation. And it was a huge success. According to yourtravelchoice.com, “…Stanley Selengut of Maho Bay Camps in the US Virgin Islands was already proselytizing around the world about his low-tech, low-impact green model for hotels. Stanley …never shy about discussing the “amazing profits” his firm was earning from simple tents on platforms by a sugary sand beach on St. John. And, he was the first to point out that travelers frequently care more about simplicity than they do about luxury, which as far as he was concerned, only improved the profit margins.”
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
We have sequenced our posts to follow the sequence of events as they happen on your first trip. This is, of course, not your preferred timeline for making reservations. Your first or second reservation choice will be your accommodation. This is a massive topic and we won’t be able to handle it in one post. We will make each category of our accommodation posts separate. In general your choices range from:
3. Condo, Guest House
4. Time Share
6. Villa Rental
Photo courtesy of Trip Adviser
These are basic categories. Each of them might have several subcategories but it is a good list for us to start from. Now it is here that our knowledge of traveling to St. John might not be as acute in some categories as others. Since we are timeshare people or fraction/interval owner people, our experience in finding other accommodations is not as broad. Hopefully we can point you in the right direction. In many cases while we may not be your cup of tea, our property managers Cimmaron St. John may have the answers you are seeking. You will find them amiable and competent and they will be sure to make your first visit to St. John a memorable one. And we mean that in a very good way.