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Confused Where To Stay

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(@mikebuffett)
Posts: 14
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Down to (3) options for our family of six (wife, daughters 19,17,14,7, and myself) for our St. Thomas vacation July 2010.
1. Rent (2) connecting 1-bedroom condos on Sapphire Beach. Comes with free car rental. Looks like GREAT beach but very little else happening. Think kids might get a little bored. No beach bar for dad.

2. 4-Bedroom condo @ cowpet beach. Nice place and location but not crazy about the actual beach. Looks like it is "roped" off and lots of boats limit swimming area.

3. Bolongo Bay Condos: Love the fact that the resort and restaurant is there but it is very rocky in front of the condos. The beach looks OK but not great.

I would appreciate any info. I am sure any of the locations would work but just want to make sure I make a good decision for the family vacation.

Thanks, Mike

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 11:38 am
(@seaweed)
Posts: 37
Trusted Member
 

We stayed at the Sapphire condo you are referring to. Here is the link to the trip report. Copy and paste.

https://www.vinow.com/wwwtalk/read.php?4,103677

We rented from Jeff and Kelli. The car was a nice option. The accommodations were OK, not real fancy, but, we were not in the room that much. We would consider the property again. I do not know what the second unit is like however we were in unit 2 and it adequate for us. We had enough towels, PT and TP for the week but it was just the 2 of us. The beach is gorgeous and we experienced great snorkeling. Being able to use the beach chairs was a nice plus. There are three vendor options at the beach. 1. a hamburger stand right next to building C. Grilled sandwiches and drinks. 2. Up next to the dive shop they sell cold beverages. 3. One of the eateries from up the hill have runners that will deliver food and drinks.

We stayed at the Elysian before. We had a studio and it was adequate for 2. There are two dining options there - Roberts and Ainsley's (they used to have a Sunday BBQ that was nice to go to. Not sure if they still have it.)

Haven't stayed at Bolongo, but they have local fare restaurants and a beach bar with entertainment on certain nights. Has been quite crowded when we have been there, and we usually go in late June.

That said, our experience has been for us to go to where we think we would enjoy going to. We like the dinner and music and dancing thing after a day sightseeing or swimming. There are several Caribbean shows (we liked Bolongo's the best), pan musicians, and a variety of entertainment venues are posted in the local paper. You are close to Red Hook and there is always something going on there - from Duffy's Love Shack to Molly's to the Caribbean Saloon.

If location is important you cannot go wrong staying on the East End of the island. There is so much to do you will not have any trouble keeping everyone engaged.

Have a great trip.

Paul and Karen

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 12:18 pm
(@mikebuffett)
Posts: 14
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for your insite. I probably just throw a dart...it's a no lose situation. Mike

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 12:45 pm
(@lolly)
Posts: 165
Reputable Member
 

Mike, first of all , God Bless you for taking teen age girls anywhere! We are going to STT in Feb., for our 3rd stay at Watergate condos which is where the Bolongo condo is. We rent from private owners thru VRBO. We have stayed at Sapphire, and most of the larger chain hotels. Now that the restaurants are closed at Sapphire and the cruise ship people are being shuttled there I would stay elsewhere. I know a lot of people on this forum own units there and it is a beautiful place. We had some issues with the office management, we were signed up for a unit at Crystal Cove, when we arrived we were changed to a unit at Sapphire, 3rd floor over looking the Marina, we were expecting to be right on the beach.
At Bolongo you will have a choice of 3 restaurants, one night I would get a pizza for the kids and you and your wife could have a romantic dinner at Mim's which is right out side your door. Bolongo has a lot of activities, sand volley ball and not to miss Caribbean night. All the beautiful beaches are a short drive away, this is a SMALL island so everything is close by.
We usually take the car ferry to ST John, beach hop, go to Coral Bay for lunch and snorkel over there. I think the last car ferry leaves at 6. Another day we will take the passenger ferry over, shop at Mongoose Junction and downtown St John. Have a nice dinner somewhere and relax on the ferry ride back. I hope this helps some Regards Donna

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 1:33 pm
(@iamolly)
Posts: 564
Honorable Member
 

You might also want to check on VRBO and see about renting a villa. You might be surprised at the affordability on the off season.

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 1:36 pm
(@cynthiad)
Posts: 67
Trusted Member
 

Try looking for a place on www.afvclub.com for $329 a week and let me know which one you want.

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 1:50 pm
(@mikebuffett)
Posts: 14
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Donna, thanks so much for your response. I am leaning towards the Bolongo condos. The bars and restaurants are very appealing. How would you rate the beach itself? We are big beach people and would great to have a real good beach for our home base. Thanks, Mike

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 1:53 pm
(@talkintx)
Posts: 34
Eminent Member
 

We stayed at the Watergate Villas which shares the beach with Bolongo Bay Resort last month. In our opinion - this beach is pretty much unusable - very rocky with sea urchins and jellyfish. It may have been just the time of year - but it was not the white beach with blue waters we expected. The condo was a great "home base" with Iggy's right there on the grounds - but we really missed being able to put on our suits and step out for a swim and snorkeling.
We spent a day snorkeling at Sapphire - while the beach line there was a bit rocky (which is not normal I am told) we loved it. We felt like if we were to visit STT again - Sapphire is where we would stay - depending on the unit and it's proximity to the swim area.
We did not visit Cowpet and I wish we had since there are alot of rentals available there. Hopefully someone that has stayed there will reply back. You could also check with tripadvisor.com and search all 3 units and see what others have to say.
Be sure to visit other great beaches - they are amazing and all have something unique to offer.
The island is small and easy to get around. We took our Garmin Nuvi GPS and it was worth it's weight in gold!
If you PM me with your email address, I can send a couple of pics of the beach/waters of Bolongo/Watergate area taken last month.

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 2:30 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

The best beaches are Sapphire and Secret Harbour. Very good snorkeling at both and water sports, etc. at both. It's not strictly true that there are no bar/eating facilities at Sapphire. Although the main restaurant and the pool bar have indeed been closed for a long time there there is a nice little casual BBQ/drinks/sandwich set-up between two of the buildings on the beach and the Grapevine Grill up the hill has a "runner" on the beach who will deliver lunches and drinks to you. At Sapphire you will of course have kitchens so you can make up your own snacks and drinks for the beach!!

Personally I don't think your kids will be bored at Sapphire one bit.

The beach at Bolongo is fair, no snorkeling ops so if beach is important it's not what I would pick. Cowpet beach OK but limited - and the condos aren't right on the beach.

Have fun planning and choosing!

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 3:31 pm
(@mikebuffett)
Posts: 14
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for everyone help....I'm going to Sapphire Beach. Now I just have to wait 11 months. Thanks again, Mike

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 3:43 pm
(@east-ender)
Posts: 2023
Noble Member
 

Okay, I am too late, since you made up your mind... but for someone else:

on #2: Cowpet and the Elysian share the beach with the St Thomas Yacht Club, which is why you see those boats out there.;) The roped off area is a "no boats" area, which makes it nice for swimming. Robert's and Ainsley's are excellent restaurant choices!
on #3: Bolongo has a lot of beachy activities as well as the restaurants and bars, if you are looking for teenager activity- a catamaran that does day trips and sunset sails, scuba diving tours, paddle boats, jet skis... The jelly fish mentioned are very seasonal visitors- they love July in the tropics!

I think all three have pluses and minuses! And remember, you aren't stapled down to the beach in front of your chosen hotel! Go beach hopping and investigate all the spots.:-)

 
Posted : August 11, 2009 4:40 pm
(@connie)
Posts: 1634
Noble Member
 

Believe me with teen girls you are going to have to eat alot of meals in. Breakfast and Lunch are the most important because you will have a kitchen, soooo it doesn't really matter if you need a bar or a restaurant on site. Just pack your lunch or go back to your room and then back on the beach.

Sapphire's Beach is well worth it and the view is incredible. I also know someone who has connecting condos. Let me know if you want to check it out. We're staying there again next April and we got 9 nights for 888.00 taxes included. Can't beat that!

 
Posted : August 12, 2009 7:57 am
(@ssseeker)
Posts: 35
Eminent Member
 

The beach in front of the resort is good. Stayed there our first trip to the VI and fell in love with the islands. Heavenly Daze does a great job of taking you snorkeling and sailing to St John if you get a chance. If Peter is still the captain they actually sail - don't just motor! Have stayed there twice - just not recently as ended up renting villas on St John's once the family grew up but thinking about going back this Dec.

 
Posted : August 12, 2009 8:53 am
 lip
(@lip)
Posts: 147
Estimable Member
 

I own "Sail Away Villa" and am always willing to make deals in the off season. Especially for the folks who blog on this fine site. Google it and let me know if your interested.

 
Posted : August 12, 2009 10:19 am
(@connie)
Posts: 1634
Noble Member
 

Lip, you really do have a beautiful villa. I'll definetly keep that in mind for future vacations. With just 2 of us going, we stick with Sapphire for the convenience.

 
Posted : August 12, 2009 11:13 am
 lip
(@lip)
Posts: 147
Estimable Member
 

Thanks Connie, Anytime... Please just reference this site if you make an inquiry through one of the rental sites.

 
Posted : August 13, 2009 11:38 am
(@stthomas)
Posts: 50
Trusted Member
 

Connie,
My daughter is getting married in November and we need a place for the future in-laws, and this place you're describing sounds like a winner. We need accomodations for 5. If you think it may be available 11/23/09 - 12/1/09 please send me the information.
Thank you,

Linda

 
Posted : August 24, 2009 4:12 pm
(@stthomas)
Posts: 50
Trusted Member
 

I'm looking for accomodations for the future in-laws. My daughter is getting married and we need a place for 5 11/23/09 - 12/1/09.
Please advise as to availabilty. Sail Away Villa looks great.

Linda

 
Posted : August 24, 2009 4:17 pm
(@connie)
Posts: 1634
Noble Member
 

stthomas, how many people are you looking for a place for? Sail Away really really looks nice. I'd look into it.

Private message lip and she'll feel you in on everything I'm sure.

 
Posted : August 25, 2009 8:30 am
(@billd)
Posts: 660
Honorable Member
 

we have a two bedroom at sapphire beach.

pm me if interested

billd

 
Posted : August 25, 2009 11:04 am
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