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
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!