We spent three days (too short!) on St. John after a visit to the BVI's. St. John is still my favorite island in the Caribbean. I think it has the perfect mix of beautiful beaches and mountainous scenery, great snorkeling, friendly people and fun towns. This was my fifth visit and I'll be back again soon. (And the VI's are about the only place where I do repeat vacations!)
We arrived St. John at about 10 am. We were able to check in to the room early which was nice. We had a premium ocean view room. It had the most amazing view! The room had a view of the ocean and of Honeymoon Beach. The balcony was large with an umbrella, table and chairs plus two lounge chairs. The room seemed a bit larger than our room last year on Turtle Bay. The bed and furnishings were comfortable. The air conditioner cooled the room well, but was a bit on the loud side. Housekeeping did a great job of keeping the room clean. We were located near Cottage Point which was a very convenient location. Far enough away from the main area that it was quiet, but just a short walking distance to the lobby area.
The grounds are beautiful, although they were less green than our visit last year. I loved walking around looking at the hills, beaches and wildlife. Lots of deer and donkeys (including a cute baby donkey!), along with iguanas, mongoose and one scary looking caterpillar (or maybe it was a centipede).
Dining at the Resort
The breakfast buffet was included in our rate and was very good with a large variety. I always like the made to order stations. We had two lunches at the beach bar and both were good. My husband really enjoyed the lobster salad. We also had gelato one night at Canella. Delicious and reasonably priced. The small seemed quite large to me and cost $4.50-- similar to ice cream shops at home.
We rented a jeep from Varlack on the property. Last year we had rented a two door, but they tried to give us a four door and charge us the higher rate. After much back and forth a two door jeep appeared. I was skeptical, but decided to rent from them this year too because of the convenience of their location. Well, they pulled the same thing. My husband was not happy! We ended up having to get the four door jeep (at the higher price) even though I had reserved the two door. The resort had given me an email confirmation, but the car rental employee said that it was only a request and not an actual reservation because we didn't have a confirmation number on the email. The jeep itself was fine, but next time we won't be renting from them. The resort and rental company need to straighten out their reservation process.
Beaches and Snorkeling
We are avid snorkelers and chose Caneel because of the easy access snorkeling from its beaches. This year was amazing because we had our pick of any beach. In the past we visited in October, November and December. During those visits there were always some beaches that were just too rough or stirred up for snorkeling. This year the water at all the beaches we visited were relatively flat and crystal clear. Seems like April may be a better time to visit, even if it's a bit more expensive than fall.
Snorkeled here twice, the right side of the beach, around the point to Paradise Beach. Saw a turtle, a grouper (I think it was a grouper!), stingrays, tarpon and many other fish and coral.
Our room was on Turtle last year, but the water was so rough that there wasn't much beach and snorkeling was not good. (It was nice going to sleep to the sound of the waves though!) This year the water was calm and there was plenty of beautiful beach. I think this is the prettiest beach at Caneel. And the snorkeling is pretty good.
I thought this was the best snorkelingat the resort. I did swim pretty far out and saw a wide variety of fish and coral. The beach was pretty busy (by Caneel/St. John standards). I was wondering why there were so many kids on the beach, but I heard they lifted the restriction since it was close to Easter. I hope they notified the guests who were paying a premium to stay on that beach planning on peace and quiet!
This was my first time snorkeling here because conditions weren't good on my previous visits. We had heard this was the place for turtles. And we saw at least 5 while snorkeling. Seeing turtles is always a highlight for me. Even while we were relaxing on the beach we were entertained by the turtles. By the afternoon they were out there in droves and swimming really close to the shore. It was fun watching their shadows and seeing their heads pop out of the water for air. I had never seen so much of that before.
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- Also Known As:
- Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Hotel Caneel Bay
- Caneel Bay a Rosewood Resort
- Caneel Bay Resort St John
- Caneel Bay St John