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Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

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Columbus, Ohio
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605 posts
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Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

DH and I will be in STT July 26 - 23, 2011 for our biannual trip. We have decided that we would like to extend our trip on one side or the other by adding a three night camping trip on STJ. We are avid campers, but I don't want to tote all my gear on the airplane and have to live with moving it for 10 days...so I am exploring some "cottage/tent" camping options. We've been around the cottages at Cinnamon Bay (but have never stayed) and I was content on booking there until I came accross the Maho Bay tent cottages information.

So - where would you stay (or have stayed)?

Allen, Texas
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365 posts
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1. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

I would stay at Caneel! (just joking :-)

But seriously, it's going to be H O T in late July and if it were me, I would visit Cinnamon and Maho during the day and then return to a villa or condo with a hot shower and cold A/C. But that's just me!

A few weeks ago I did check out the Concordia Eco-Tents that overlook Ram's Head and Drunk Bay. There was a nice cooling breeze up there and stunning views so you may want to check that out too!

Good luck~

Houston, Texas
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291 posts
49 reviews
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2. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Haven't stayed at either, but have been to all three locations a few times. This is all opinion, but Concordia has the nicest facilities and is cliffside, but it's very exposed to the sun and it can get extremely hot during the day. Maho and Cinnamon have a great deal more shade, which can make a huge difference. Cinnamon's facilities are all sea level, Maho is kind of carved into the cliff above Little Maho. I personally would choose Maho every time, but particularly in the hotter months.

If you are concerned about the heat but are looking for a cheap option, consider some of the B&Bs. That time of year you can get in for <$200/night. You can use taxis to get around most of the northshore and bus / taxi to get to Coral. If you want to camp though, you want to camp!

Columbus, Ohio
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605 posts
91 reviews
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3. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Thanks for the replies - and the suggestions on other facilities to stay at...but we are already staying on STT at a resort for 7 nights, so I am not interested in other resorts, Villas or B&B's on STJ. We've been to STT several times in the past, and while we've experienced several day trips (both on our own and through vendors), it will be our first time staying on STJ. We fell in love with Cinnamon Bay in 2009 and knew then we wanted to stay in 2011. It takes me a few days to settle into vacation mode, because my job is very high stress...so, the idea of kicking off our trip with three nights of no cell phone service (international roaming on STJ), no television, no internet, etc. - would force me to start the vacation wind down BEFORE we transitioned to STT and our family joins us for 7 nights. :)

Honestly, I like the idea of literally walking out of our cottage onto Cinnamon Bay the best, but I also like the idea of the "treehouse" feel that Maho seems to provide. The reviews of both facilities are both positive and negative - so I guess, it's going to probably come down to price and what's more important - proximity to the beach (and fewer stairs) or an immaculate view, with a better potential for evening breezes.

Thanks again!

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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24 reviews
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4. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

I am strictly a villa person so take this for what it is worth.

I think that I would have to pick Maho. Cinnamon is closer to the beach but you are in a concrete block room. My brother and SIL stayed there and I was not impressed at all when I went to visit. I know it works for many people and I have a friend that stays in one for a month each year, but I think that Maho provides you with a better STJ experience.

New Hammpshire
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413 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Having stayed at both, I'd pick Maho for the atmosphere, the food and the whole Pavilion vibe, for the many, many activities (snorkel trips,etc) that they offer at the activities desk, and for the fact that you're close to 3 walk-able beaches: the campground beach, Big Maho, reachable by the Goat Trail, and Francis, which you can either walk or swim to.

Barrington, Rhode...
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3 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Have been going to maho for 11 years and love it. we have visited cinnamon and do not get the same feeling as at maho- much more like a community. the facilities at cinnamon seem shabby, too spread out. No question in my mind. try maho. if you become a member of the friends of the virgin islands national park, and mention it when you book at maho you get a 20% discount!

Boston
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3,675 posts
34 reviews
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7. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

We've stayed multiple times at Concordia and Maho- I vote for a studio at Concordia first, Harmony (at Maho) second. This way, you get the feel of a campground with less heat (big fans in units) and far fewer no-seeums. I have never been impressed by Cinnamon Bay, the facilities look pretty run down to me. The Concordia side might have more wind to help keep you a tiny bit cooler. Personally, my camping days are over but I will remember them with great fondness and will toast to both places on my next trip back to STJ -as I sit in my villa with AC and working lights at night.

Columbus, Ohio
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605 posts
91 reviews
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8. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Thanks everyone! I think I met in the middle, and booked an EcoTent at Concordia for three nights, before we head over to STT for 7.

Illinois
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229 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Camping on STJ gives you a feel for the island like no other!! You will have a great time!

Have camped at Maho a bunch o times-something that we brought that made the experience a "luxe" one-a camp shower (black vinyl pouchlike that we hung in a sunny spot all day so the water was quite warm to wash off sand/salt water later) If Concordia has "solar heated" showers,like Maho does, the water never really heats up to beyond "barely warm"

Also have brought miner type headlamp flashlites. Might look dorky, but quite handy when you are trying to carry stuff around & it's dark round camp

If you see lizard types in your cottage, just remember that they like to eat bugs, they are nature's pest exterminators. HOWEVER, do check your pants pockets, shoes & such before you get dressed. I had a big surprise early one am as I was getting dressed for a dawn time hike-big ugly millipede in my shorts pocket!! I dropped my shorts real fast & shook that critter out!

STJ is BEAUTIFUL & you'll be oh-so-close to it all as happy campers!!

ENJOY!

NY metro
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565 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Maho Bay or Cinnamon Bay for Camping

Ahhh, memories of camping at Cinnamon. Maho was still a gleam in the developer's eye back then, it was that long ago.

I loved it. a 16x16 (IIRC) tent with a wooden floor, 2 cots, a shelf, mosquito netting, a picnic table with benches, gas fired grill and lamp.

A very clean bath and shower facility shared by 4 sites.

Utter luxury !! ;)

. . .and I loved every minute of it. The beautiful beach was a mere stumble from your tent and the snorkeling on the right side of the beach was simply stunning. The off season rate of about 14 bucks/day wasn't too shabby either. Even by the standards of 1977.

I'm not so sure that given the choice between that and Caneel, I wouldn't pick Cinnamon. I enjoyed the trip that much.