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BVI or St. John?

Minneapolis...
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BVI or St. John?

Hello-

I am in the early stages of planning a trip for our extended family to celebrate a number of milestones in June 2010 (Yes, I know it's a while away.) We will be traveling with our 2 sons (will be 18 and 19), our in-laws who will hopefully be celebrating early retirement, my brother and his wife, and my mother in her early 70s. My husband and I are considering renewing our vows on this trip as well. We would be looking to stay in probably more of a villa type arrangement. Relaxation, nice beaches, outdoor activities (hiking, snorkeling, fishing for my father-in-law) are more of a priority than nightlife or shopping. Would the BVI be a good choice, and if so which island? I had also been looking at St. John. Any help would be most appreciated.

Nevis
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1. Re: BVI or St. John?

BVI's are a perfect destination for what you are seeking. Check out rental villas on Virgin Gorda's Mahoe Bay. It doesn't get much better anywhere in the Caribbean.

Pasadena, Maryland
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2. Re: BVI or St. John?

I second Mahoe Bay on Virgin Gorda, we stayed in Loblolly Villa last year and loved it this year we will be in Adagio Villa for 2 weeks to celabrate my 50th BD. We went to St John for many years untill we discovered VG several years ago, it was like SJ 20 yrs. ago. The Villa choices close to or on a beach are much better on VG.

Charlottesville...
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3. Re: BVI or St. John?

Another vote for Virgin Gorda. We've been there with groups of 4, 6, 10 and 13 and you can find pleasant, roomy, beautiful villas to accommodate your group. We've also been to St. John with groups of 4, 10, and 16, and it is a beautiful island, too. However, you can stay in villas closer to the beach on VG, it is less crowded than St J, even in "high season," and has a # of very good to excellent restaurants. It is smaller than St J and I think easier to get around.

Mahoe Bay is a beautiful beach with excellent snorkeling right out your front door.

Leverick Bay has comparable villas that are less expensive than Mahoe, great views, better breezes than Mahoe, and an excellent waterfront resort, but only a small beach, so you would need to drive to the better beaches on VG.

Some feel as though the best beaches on VG are in the southern part of the island, near the Baths, and you can find villas there thorugh Guavaberry Spring Bay.

Sounds like a great trip, alashas http://honeymoon2.smugmug.com/

Rocky Top
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4. Re: BVI or St. John?

Been to both and prefer STJ. I think the beaches, snorkeling, and restaurant are better on STJ. I give accomodations a tie. I think the people or locals are friendlier in th BVI's.

You can not go wrong with either choice! The VI's and the VBI's are the best in the Caribbean.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: BVI or St. John?

Thank you all for the suggestions. Virgin Gorda looks perfect.

Queensbury, New York
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6. Re: BVI or St. John?

Don't make your final plans until you check out guavaberry Spring Bay vacation homes..They have many cottages and homes to rent and the beach is beautiful. You can walk to the Baths or snorkel there from the beach. The owners are wonderful, friendly people and it's our favorite vacation spot!

Tortola, BVI
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7. Re: BVI or St. John?

Check out Sol Y Sombra, Aquamare and Beachcomber on Virgin Gorda. Great villas on great beaches on Virgin Gorda.

Cheryl

purplepineapple

ACB
Rhode Island
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8. Re: BVI or St. John?

look at a post I put up on the USVI forum titled "VG vs. St John".

Fairfax, Virginia
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9. Re: BVI or St. John?

Just returned last week from one week on Virgin Gorda, BVI, followed by one week in St John, USVI - both entailed renting a villa for one week. Was with our children and grandchildren.

Overall, I found the BVI experience somewhat better. In terms of the towns (Spanish Town in BVI and Cruz Bay in USVI: Let's face it - both are dumps ! You won't want to spend time in the towns except to buy food.) Restaurants in St John are more upscale, and pretty good.

The experiences at both locations were good because of the water/beaches at both locations. We stayed at Mahoe Bay in Virgin Gorda, and had the ultimate view with beautiful islands in the distance, and the georgeous beach was virtually deserted - and a short stroll down a slight hill. The water at Mahoe was great for swimming and snorkling. Saw and followed two turtles and found it great. Go to BVI if snorkling is important.

Stayed at Chocolate Hole in St John. Went into the water there, but found it very murky. So, didn't have swimming near the house. The well-publicized beaches in St John were absolutely beautiful and great for swimming, but the snorkling left something to be desired. The water and sea life has suffered tremendously from so many visitors. Hiked into Waterlemon (sic) Cay area in St John (easy hike - I'm 66 yrs old) and found the snorkling there great.

The houses, with pools were both fine. However, in St John there was much noise from nearby construction.

Can't overemphasize both how convenient the beach was to the house in Mahoe Bay and how beautiful the view.

Be very sure of what you want - snorkling versus swimming. You have it all at Mahoe Bay without having to travel from the house by rental car or taxi which one needs to do from most places in St John.

Wishing you well,

Pat

Charlottesville...
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10. Re: BVI or St. John?

Thanks, Pat, for your insightful comments from your recent vacation on both islands. We found the snorkeling to be outstanding when we visited St John in 04, and the beaches are gorgeous there. At the same time, we felt it was crowded in June and July and can only imagine what it is like in "high season." We roasted in the villa we stayed in at Chocolate Hole, and our pool was used at various times during the day as a commode for a local inguana family (:>(

There are few places in any island with the stunning properties right at or near the water than Mahoe Bay on VG. A beautiful beach with an excellent snorkeling reef right out your front door.

We also like the slower, laid back pace of the BVI.

Did you take any photos?

Thanks again, alashas

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