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Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

Bishops Stortford...
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Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

Hello, I have a trip planned to St John next year to burn up some air miles. However, coming from Europe where we tend to have huge price competition (I just booked a deluxe room in a 4* hotel in Prague with 97% Trip Advisor rating for approx $70 USD per night) I find the prices on St John quite staggering for accommodation. It looks like even a basic guest house will cost us in the region of $150 USD per night, is that correct or am I searching in the wrong places?

We would be looking around late March 2014. I think someone pointed me to a camp site before on St John, is this really our only choice if we wanted to spend less than say $100 USD per night? Obviously I'm searching for places on booking.com, hotels.com, etc. I was wondering on here if anyone knows of smaller less advertised hotels/guesthouses that might be more within our price expectations?

Holliston, MA
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1. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

In a word, Yes. You are planning to travel to St. John at the height of the season. St. John is a tiny island, and 60% of it is National Park. Even the smaller hotels/guesthouses such as Lavender Hill Suites and Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel, are more expensive than $100 /night.

If you really want to spend less than $100 /night for accommodations on St. John, I suggest getting a few more people to come with you and sharing a villa to split the cost, even then it might be tough to get something <$100 per night during high season.

Pennsylvania
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2. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

Hopefully someone will prove me wrong but in my experience, it is very hard to find anything under $150 a night. The exception would be camping at cinnamon bay or the tents at Concordia.

St. John doesn't have many small inns. Cruz bay boutique hotel is new. Did you check out hillside guest house? I know a budget minded couple that stay at Inn at Tamarind Court last month and said it was fine for the price. I hear Samuel cottages mentioned as an inexpensive option. We talked to a couple at dinner one night that said they stay at Garden by the Sea every year.

Do you have preference on location?

Raleigh, North...
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3. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

We just booked our March 2014 trip --- 4th time back but first in true high season. We could not find anything cheaper than $200/night. While we have decided on Grande Bay this trip I do highly recommend Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel if you are willing to up your budget a little. We too had a cheaper hotel room in Prague but that is a big city with lots of options and while beautiful it does not touch the natural island gorgeousness of St John.

St Thomas
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4. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

You'll find less expensive accommodation on St Thomas. Check www.vrbo.com for condos at Sapphire. A gorgeous beach with excellent snorkeling, easy access to everything and only a 5 minute drive to the Red Hook ferry terminal from where you can take day trips to St John either on the passenger ferry or the car barge - and also hop over to the British Virgin islands for day trips.

Relatively new on the scene on St Thomas is Rhoda's guest house which would be in your price range. That's about a 10 minute drive to the ferry terminal and is a delightful place in a lovely setting:

http://www.rhodasguesthouse.com/

Bishops Stortford...
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5. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

Thank you for all the helpful replies.

Please don't get me wrong, I fully understand that St John has far less price competition than big European cities, I just didn't quite expect prices to be so high even for relatively basic accommodation. It looks like Cinnamon Bay campground may be our best bet! Rhoda's guesthouse certainly looks nice, although ideally we'd like to be nearer the beach even if it means our quality of accommodation suffers.

Does anyone have a website for the tents in Concordia mentioned above?

Out of interest, how easy is it for eating/drinking somewhere like Cinnamon Bay - is it pretty well cut-off from the rest of the island or are there nearby places? And what kind of price range would food/drink be? Having recently returned from a road trip down the US West Coast, we would expect to pay around $15-20 USD for a main course in a restaurant. Is this achievable? I have to admit that we're the travelling type who prefer quantity rather than quality i.e. we like to see as much of the World as possible, using various air miles systems to achieve this, but once we arrive somewhere we're more than happy to keep it basic and spend our time exploring/relaxing. We don't necessarily need fine quality restaurants or the biggest/most comfortable hotel room on the island to enjoy ourselves.

St Thomas
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6. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

Rhoda's Guest House is a 5-10 minute easy drive (same road) to the best beaches on St Thomas - Coki, Sapphire and Smith Bay Park. At Sapphire there is direct beachfront accommodation.

http://www.sapphireinthesun.com/

As far as St John is concerned, there is almost no beachfront accommodation on the island as the majority is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service which prohibits any development.

Link to Concordia:

http://www.concordiaeco-resort.com/

and there are several reviews right here on TA.

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

The only food option at cinnamon is the campground restaurant. Otherwise you will need to travel to Cruz bay or coral bay. If you haven't already done so, you should reserve a rental vehicle now.

I would plan on $20-$30 entrees at most restaurants. The BBQ stands will be cheaper options. The from the stands varies from merely ok to quite good.

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

I have to chime in here, as I have been doing so much research on this very topic...we came to the conclusion after literally over a solid month of research that due to our outings on the island (5 nights on St. John and 3 on St. Thomas) being so inexpensive-we plan to mostly snorkel around, lay on the beach and read, drive around and hike...that we would increase our hotel budget as we could not find anything we liked under 285/night. Yes, this will mean we eat in a lot and do a lot of free things...but we very seriously weighed our options and while something like Caneel Bay was not in our price range, we did not want to tent it. We booked a Villa for St. John and Sapphire Beach Resort for St. Thomas. We are going in January.

Bishops Stortford...
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9. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

I like the look of Concordia, I'm just wondering if we can adjust our dates until the beginning of May when the prices come down considerably by the look of it. How is the weather by early May?

St Thomas
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10. Re: Are my price expectations completely wrong? (accommodation)

There's precious little change in the weather year round. May and November are historically the wettest months of the year but I wouldn't be surprised if June topped May this year. Weather is one thing I really wouldn't be too concerned about when planning a visit here as there aren't any wild extremes. Your packing priority should be sunscreen.