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Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

boston
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45 posts
3 reviews
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Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

Hi everyone! We'll be traveling to St. John with our teens and I'm wondering if we should stay at Maho Bay (eco-camping) or rent a villa on VRBO?

We love snorkeling, scuba, wind surfing and pretty much all things ocean. Some of us will want to hike as well. We aren't resort types - typically we do self-touring trips - renting a car and villa along the way. We love things that are a bit off the beaten path (as in, not overrun with tourists) and like to get a feel for the local culture.

That said, I think we'd like to be close enough to activities that we can easily participate - renting wind surfing equipment or taking a charter for snorkeling.

Any thoughts, ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

Philadelphia...
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3,069 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

If you are not a camper...or somebody in your party isn't....PLEASE, rent a Villa. There are so many on STJ and some of them are so beautiful.

You deserve it!

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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5,751 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

Do you mind walking up stairs, outside, at night to a shared bathroom?

If the answer is yes, rent a villa.

I love to go camping at home and I understand that some people love Maho, but I work hard all year to afford a STJ vacation and sharing a bathroom with strangers not my idea of vacation.

New Hammpshire
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413 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

Just another perspective - I am certainly not a camper, and I love Maho. Your kids would have lots of other teens to talk to, and there is a long list of activities - day sails, night sails, snorkel trips, etc. - scheduled every day. That being said, in our house it always comes down to $$$. If we've got the money, we rent a villa, and if we don't, we go to Maho.

Michigan
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43 posts
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4. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

I also love Maho, but realize it is not for everyone. Recommend you read all of the reviews here in Trip Advisor, paying particular attention to the comments on the many stairs, the community bathhouses (5 for 114 tents), the extremely rustic accomodations. the lizards in the tents, the remoteness, etc. On the plus side, the hiking opportunities from Maho are wonderful, and watersports are just steps (about 160 of them) away from your tent.

The reviews will also give you an idea of why so many of us keep coming back year after year. It is a beautiful, unique place which may not be here after this season.

If Maho still appeals to you, recommend you consider getting two tents. One would be pretty small for two adults and teens.

Boston
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6,037 posts
38 reviews
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5. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

If you want to stay at Maho but don't want to camp you can always get one of the Harmony studios. They have bathrooms and more amenities. I love Maho and the nice thing about it is that it is right on the beach. Yes, you have to go up and down stairs to get to the beach, but at least you don't have to get into a hot car. The food is good there as well and there are alot of activities. Maho may not be around much longer, so it is best to enjoy it while it is there.

Boston
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3,725 posts
35 reviews
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6. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

Having stayed at Maho several times, including trips with our kids, and including a couple of stays at Harmony, IMHO one of your biggest annoyances will be SPACE. Kids take up room and they wiggle alot. The tents at Maho and Concordia are not designed square footage wise for families of 4 with "strapping" teens unless they are petite girls but even then, there is simply not enough room to move. The ventilation is marginal so when the breezes aren't blowing and/or you are there when its raining and/or its time to sleep , you will be cramped beyond comfort. There is little room for the stuff that teens like to bring ( I am an ex-teacher of high schoolers also)Either rent more than one tent cottage or rent a villa. Been there, done that. That being said, go to STJ, you will all LOVE it!

pa
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612 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

i concur with saffie 11. i stayed in both the eco tent and harmony, and while i loved both, harmony wins!

8. Re: Where to stay - Villa or Maho Bay?

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