Planning a Vacation & Need Help
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I am planning our family vacation for January 2 - 8 2014 with includes myself, husband & our 2 boys (3 & 6).
The only plans we have are to lay on the beach. The issue I'm having is what island to choose & what beach. We do know we would rather stay in a villa then a condo or hotel/resort. I want beach front as much as possible cause of the kids getting tired & hungry during the day on the beach would be easier then loading up in a vehicle and driving back.
We have talked about renting a jeep so we can explore the rest of the island. If any of you could help with finding a place to stay, who to rent the car from & other fun activities to do while we are there.
Check www.VRBO.com, Homeaway, and Flipkey for vacation rentals in your price range.
These range from apts., condos and villas. However, January is a busy month so best to make all your arrangements as soon as possible, if you want to secure your dates.
Since you have younger kids, possibly check the Renaissance Hotel on East End or Bolongo Bay on south side, if you want a hotel. Sapphire Beach Resort is also right on the beach on the east end but
1 bedroom with either an additional bed or sleeper sofa for kids but walk out the door and on the beach. Maybe Frenchman's Reef/Marriott. There lots of places but depends on your budget and type accommodations you desire.
You'll find a rental car necessary to shop and get around to sight-see and come and go as you please. My guests favor Budget and Dependable Car (www.dependablecar.com).
Both allow vehicles to go on car barge to St. John for the day, if you think the kids can handle it,
but the barges have good hourly schedules so if they poop out on you, you can always catch a return barge. Taxi's get expensive and you are on their schedule, not the other way around.
If you want to stay in St. John, I can recommend Star Villas ( www.starvillas.com ), if they have availability. Good luck and have fun.
I stayed at the link below in April. We rented both the 1br and the studio. The view in the picture is accurate - you're right across from the beach. Plus, you have a parking spot if you do decide to rent a Jeep. Owner was very easy to deal with. Even let us change our dates after we booked because we had trouble with flights. I would stay again. Easy walk from the ferry and to several Jeep rental places.
We have discussed staying at a resort & decided that that's not what we want. We want a nice quit place that is not over rated, too busy & first choice for most. We realize it's high season & know that we are limited & as soon as we know for sure that he is getting that vacation slot I'm booking it (which should be in the next 2 weeks or so).
I went to a travel agency today & the first place she tried to sell me on was the Westin. It looked amazing but we aren't interested in the fancy restaurants, the gyms or expensive decor. We are simple folk a ma & pa villa with down home feel & personal attention is more our style.
Are we being unrealistic & asking to much? We just want it to be perfect for our first family vacation.
Sapphire Beach Resort is right on the beach and their one bedrooms can usually sleep 4-5. Be sure to ask. If have kids you might want to make sure you get a unit on a lower floor so there are not too many stairs to climb. Be sure to ask.
Sapphire Hill, usually listed on sites like vrbo, flipkey, etc. all have 1 bedroom or studio units and can be a steep walk up and down the hill to the beach with toddlers plus stairs to climb to unit depending on which floor unit is on. Crystal Cove also at Sapphire is also very nice and close to beach but not right on it as SBR is. Good Luck and enjoy your trip.
Though my husband and I stayed in a studio unit at Sapphire and didn't have little ones with us, I could put in a vote for Sapphire Beach. Also we generally are there in August (I'm a teacher) but if you find something that seems to fit your budget and needs in high season on VRBO or Homeaway, it is a good place to consider: lovely beach and nice pool despite some maintenance-deferred buildings at the main reception area of the resort/lobby area.
Also you might check Bluebeard's Beach Club, a Wyndham Resort. We stayed there this past August with our daughter, son-in-law and baby granddaughter and it was a lovely experience. We rented a studio for them and a loft unit for ourselves. If you could deal with a loft unit (bed upstairs for your children and a pull out sleeper downstairs for yourself) it was steps to a nice beach, convenient to Charlotte Amalie and to Red Hook/St. John ferry and a laid-back spot for base camp.
If you're looking for a quiet place with a great beach without a lot of hubbub, then consider Bluebeard's Beach Club. You could easily manage with a 1 bedroom unit, there is a small kitchen in each unit and a grill area for cooking out. The beach is great for snorkeling or just relaxing. There's a pool as well with space for the kids to play and the pool bar where you can get breakfast or lunch. This is a very laid back, relaxing place - you would definitely want to rent a vehicle that would allow you to visit some of the other great beaches, a trip to Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook would be enjoyable. You can take your vehicle on the ferry to STJ (not Hertz rentals) for $50 r/t for the vehicle and everyone in it. You leave from Red Hook - there are great beaches on STJ and wonderful snorkeling as well. If you have specific questions - let me know! We go here every year and it's our break from everything - can't wait to go back in Feb. You can get more information on the Beach Club website . enjoy!
We first started taking our Grandkids to STT when they were your kids age , we have stayed all over the island , Frenchmans Reef, Wyndham , Bolongo , Watergate villas and found the perfect spot for us at Sapphire Beach . The units have the most amazing view and you can fall asleep at night to the sound of the waves . The beach can be crowded when the cruise ships are in but they tend to congregate near the office area , the pool is further down the beach and is for Sapphire guests only and it is patrolled to keep the "outsiders away". It is a great location near Red Hook & the ferries . There is a beach restaurant and the kitchen comes in very handy when traveling with little ones .
The marina is right there where you can book a day trip or meet the fishermen when they come in for some really fresh fish!!
I think that Bldg C , D , & E are quieter and closer to the pool , all units are beach front so there really isn't a bad unit .
We will be back the end of Feb and our G'kids will be down in March , they will be 12 & 16 and have great memories of their trips to STT .
Always a must do every time we are there is the Caribbean night on Wednesday at Bolongo , they really cater to the kids , think conga line and dancing with their parents or the Mocko Jumbos .
We rent thru VRBO and you need to get going on this as they fill up fast !
I hope this helps !