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St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

NJ
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St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

To be filed in: "Better late than never" category!

My DH and I stayed at Caneel Trailside Cottage in St. John for 1 week in November 2008. We have been to STJ on 4 other occasions, but this time we wanted to try a villa and we were not disappointed in any way. We had a wonderful time.

We were met by the villa manager as soon as we arrived off the ferry, picked up the rental, and followed him to the villa. The cottage is beautiful and very well built. It was very clean inside and out including the pool. The welcome gift basket was a lovely touch. It was very comfortable, quiet, private, and serene. It is located in an area amongst private homes rather than in an area chock full of rental villas. There is another villa visible from CTC but it's on the other side of the shared drive and this did not affect our privacy at all. This is a very secluded spot next to the jungle.

This villa is about 1 mile/5 minutes from Cruz Bay. You definitely need a vehicle since it is all hills and curves. CTC is also great for 2 couples who would like to vacation together, yet still have some privacy. There is a great room in the middle with a master bedroom suite on each end. Each suite has its own private balcony access in addition to the sliding doors in the great room. The kitchen is much nicer than my own and we stocked up on supplies from Starfish Market which saved us a lot by not eating breakfast/lunch out.

We booked it directly from the owner, so that saves us the 5% service charge that the agencies charge.

We didn't do much while on vacation other than pure relaxation, but that was the whole idea anyway.

A rundown of our week:

Saturday - Starfish for supplies, dinner @ Villa.

Sunday - The Beach Bar (Pain Killers - yeah!), Honeymoon Beach, dinner @ Paradiso (filet mignon was good!), Starfish Market again, Wharfside Village (window) shopping

Monday - Hawksnest Bay, Jumbie Bay, Trunk Bay, dinner @ Waterfront Bistro (Caribbean lobster was good!)

Tuesday - Jumbie Bay Beach, dinner @ Morgan's Mango

Wednesday - Maho Bay Beach, Francis Bay Beach, eaten alive by no-see-ums on the beaches that day because it started raining while we were at Maho and then we decided to drive to Francis during the rain and stayed there until after it stopped, a big mistake and we know better! - a group of way more experienced STJ vacationers arrived at Francis right after we did, they poured drinks into red plastic cups, then they all stood in the water together up to their necks while holding their cups - VERY SMART, I'm sure they were not bitten! - dinner was Pizza take-out to eat @ Villa

Thursday - Honeymoon Beach, dinner @ Asolare

Friday - Salomon Bay Beach, Honeymoon Beach, dinner @ Chateau Bordeaux

Saturday - The Beach Bar, High Tide, then the 2:15 ferry to CA, 5:30 flight from STT, and back home to NJ that night while it was 27 degrees! OUCH, that really hurt!

We rented a Jeep for the whole week from Cool Breeze Jeep Rental. “Connections” in Cruz Bay was exactly what we needed when we had time to kill carrying our luggage after dropping off the rental jeep and waiting for the ferry. Rather than lug it around, we were able to "check" our luggage for a small fee.

Our favorite beaches are Salomon & Honeymoon. The view from Chateaux Bordeaux is beautiful, but not so much if it isn't on a clear night. We eat at Paradiso every time we are there and love it every time.

I would go back to CTC and/or St. John any day and any time. Bites or no bites - a small price to pay for paradise! We absolutely loved it!

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CT
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1. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Great report. We looked at this villa for this year but it just didn't work for us, glad to hear that you like it!.

Sounds like a great time!

Pia
St John, VI
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2. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Glad you had a wonderful trip - hope you will be back soon :)

Pia

ps: for anyone reading this, Chateau Bordeaux restaurant has now closed :(

NJ
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3. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

When did Chateaux Bordeaux close? I guess it hasn't been that long. Previous to Nov 08, we were also there in Nov 99. I will say that it has changed a lot in that time and it was much better in the past than it was last fall.

Any chance of a new restaurant opening there?

Hope to be back soon!

Rocky Top
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4. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Thanks for the terrfic report. It gave me a stong case of DIF, so I cranked out a batch of Bushwackers and pretended to be at the Beach Bar!

It there alot of topless at Salomon still? Whcih did you like better Chateau Boardeaux or Asolare?

5. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

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NJ
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6. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Glad to be of service!

Salomon is not TL like it used to be. We saw families there this time. Not a crowded beach and probably will never be due to the hike (even the easy one from Caneel Bay).

As a matter of fact we believe we spotted a VI NPS boat patrolling the beach from the water. Let's just say we didn't push our luck to find out!

Chateaux - There was a Cuban dish on the menu and my parents are Cuban. It was called "Ropa Vieja" (Old Clothes) and was served with black beans & white rice. I ate this all the time while growing up.

This was so good my eyes rolled up in my head - very authentic! Yet Chateaux felt like a different place this time. Maybe it was the new decor?

Asolare - Don't recall specifically what we had but I am very sure we enjoyed it. It's the bad stuff that you never forget. We been to Asolare before and we would go there again. The view of St. Thomas lit up like a Christmas tree at night is something I won't tire of seeing.

I haven't really answered your question, just pleading the fifth.

My menu choice at Chateaux that night was a hit. I remember my DH enjoying his meal, but nowhere as much as I was enjoying mine. I left with a huge smile on my face.

We have always liked Asolare.

Now that I hear Chateaux has closed its doors, there is no "choice" to make. I read that the same owner owns the The Balcony at Wharfside Village so we will have to try that place on the next trip.

HTH!

New Jersey
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7. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Great report. I'm glad you had such a nice vacation. We're thinking of staying at CTC in March of 2010. Do you remember how deep the pool was? Also, by the photos it seems small. Did you feel it was a good size?

Thanks

NJ
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8. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

The pool was about 5 feet deep. It was not large but plenty adequate for 2 and still comfortable for 4 people. It was kept nice & clean during our entire stay as well. HTH.

New Jersey
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9. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

Thanks. It sounds so nice and we love wildlife. I think we'd get a kick out of the chickens coming around and we always put out sugar water and bath water for the birds on our stays in St. John.

Marietta, Ga. USA
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10. Re: St. John Trip Report - 11/15/08 - 11/22/08

TN - You've inspired me. I'm going to "crank out" some homemade Painkillers for Friday Happy Hour, if only I can wait that long. It's only Monday :(