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First Timer

Illinois
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373 posts
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First Timer

Hi all,

could someone tell me on which island most people stay and where at on the island to stay. I tried to look on the offical website and it's very confusing.

We are a couple in our late 30's who want a nice beach hotel with snorkeling near by and some shopping.

thanks for you help

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: First Timer

Marriotts frenchman bay is near charlotte amalie and has a nice beach. You can shop in charlotte amalie. That is on st thomas which is the most populous island. Don't forget to check out st john for a day!

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: First Timer

Westin on St John could be a choice....St Thomas is way more developed , has the shopping and you can catch the ferry's to other close by island. St. Croix is the largest but you can't get anyway from there so you are pretty much just on St. Croix when you're there. In St John there really isn't shopping although Cruz Bay has some nice shops and is quite cute. I like St John the best for snorkeling and the lack of development.

Virginia
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3. Re: First Timer

This is a guess corrections will arrive if warranted.

St Thomas gets the largest % of overnight and cruise ship visitors and is the most populated. St Thomas and St John are 5 miles by ferry from each other. St John is mostly National Park. St Thomas and St John border the British Virgin Islands which if you have your passports are easily accessible by boat I am least familiar with St Croix. which lies about 40 Miles to the south.

In St Thomas most but not all the resorts lie to the east of Town, Charlotte Amaile and most of those are clustered towards the east end near Red Hook.

Sugar Bay, Point Pleasant, Crystal Cove, Secret Harbour, the Ritz Carlton, Cowpet Bay and the Anchorage are included. Towards the South East you can find Bolongo Bay, Bluebeard's Beach and Watergate Villas and near the entrance to the harbor is Frenchmans'

Best beaches with lodging are arguably Sapphire and Secret Harbour. For what you describe I'd suggest Secret Harbour as a good fit since there is no hotel to speak of at Sapphire. Most people who stay there tend to rent condos directly from the owners using VRBO or HomeAway.

St John, St Croix and Water Island should be considered too. For what you describe and if you can afford the ticket check out Caneel Bay

Edited: 15 May 2012, 22:46
Bonita Springs
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4. Re: First Timer

Each of the US Virgin Islands has its own personality. If you go by popularity, I'd say St. Thomas, only because most of the cruise ships stop there. But if you want to go by pure natural beauty I'd pick St. John in a heart beat! I'd have to say its my one of my favorite islands in all the Caribbean. Here are some videos on why STJ is such a special place... rumshopryan.com/2012/04/06/st-john-beaches-2/

Those are some of the north shore beaches on STJ. It seems that they get more beautiful as you drive further down the road.

I haven't been to St. Croix yet so I can't comment on it. But have heard that it is a nice island as well. A boat drink out to Buck Island from St. Croix is a must I hear.

Hope this helps!

Cheers

Illinois
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5. Re: First Timer

Thank you so much everyone. These suggestions are really helpful and give me a great start. I like the idea of StJ and going to StT for the day.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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6. Re: First Timer

I'd stay on STT and go to STJ for day trips as you'll find virtually nothing beachfront on STJ because of the National Park restrictions on beach development. In my opinion you should definitely take a look on www.vrbo.com at condo rentals on Sapphire or at Crystal Cove where beautiful Sapphire Beach with great snorkeling is right on your doorstep. It's also only a five minute drive to the Red Hook ferry terminal where you can take day trips to St John (both passenger only and car barge too) and the British Virgin Islands (passport a must for them). Here's a link to the Sapphire webcam:

http://www.sapphireinthesun.com/

Have fun planning!

Edited: 16 May 2012, 14:35
Illinois
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7. Re: First Timer

Thanks STTR.

a condo looks great. never stayed in one before, are there grocery shops near by or restraunts besides the one at Sapphire Beach? How far is it to Charlotte Amalie?

Thanks again.

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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8. Re: First Timer

The island is one where you can easily get out and about and constant advice is to rent a car so you can go where you want when you want. Taxis charge per person and are very expensive, public transportation is totally undependable. The best grocery shopping is only a 10 minute drive from Sapphire and there's a slew of restaurants of all types and in all ranges all over the island. Charlotte Amalie (we call it "town") is about a 15-40 minute drive depending on time of day.

Virginia
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9. Re: First Timer

The "restaurant" at the beach resort is better described as a snack bar. Sapphire Bar and Grill, 500 yards from the beach, a good all purpose restaurant, is located in the Village condos that run up the hillside on the back side of the marina. Mexican place one property to the west at Pavilions and Pools. All of it is within 1.25 miles of Red Hook and the St. John Ferry.

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: First Timer

Chili..it's all about what you want. We prefer to stay on STT and venture out to STJ and the BVI's. The East End is the most convenient for us. The ferries are there, good eats, shopping and Sapphire, where we stay.

STJ is really beautiful, but a little too quiet for us, so that's why we do day trips.

Good luck!