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First timer to Westin St. John

daynab

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We are going to WSJ this July and have 2 bedroom villa. What is the best location/building to request for Ocean/Bay view?
Also, prices to restock the fridge are pricey, where is the nearest market and should we just take a taxi there and back? Any
recommendations of what to pack to bring with us? Any restaurant recommendations and day tours would be greatly appreciated as well.

Sorry, if these questions have been asked, but I've tried searching and didn't easily find the answers.
I am very excited having owned with Starwood since 2011 and this is the first time I have been
able to secure a reservation at WSJ. TIA
Have a great day,
Dayna
 

SandyPGravel

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Where you are placed will depend on the amount of SO you used to book. Some 2 BR have occupancy of 6, 8 or 10.

Market is half a block from the resort and an easy walk.

You should consider renting a jeep to be able to explore the island, it's beaches and trails on your own pace. We didn't the first visit and regretted it.
Tours are going to depend on what's open. I think the BVI is still off limits, but several local companies will do a charter. Busy Bee and Flyaway are two I can personally recommend. Flyaway did a circumnavigate St John tour for us last year that was phenomenal. The woman that used to run News of St John does an island tour business that will take you around the island to see out of the way things. She also does a half day combo tour with Flyaway(I think) so you get both land and sea tours. www.explorestj.com

St John is beautiful, you won't want to leave. Enjoy your trip. BTW, lots of info in the Westin St John thread, in the Vistana forum.

Gina
 
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DavidnRobin

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Thanks Gina - saved me time typing.

Highly recommend Island Roots Charter - especially if you are a fan of the TV show Survivor.

Go to floating Taco Bar - Lime Out - in Coral Bay

On calm seas day - go to Honeymoon Beach. Taxi to entrance of Caneel and shuttle to Honeymoon Beach.

Beach Bar/Joes Rum Hut/Drink!
(all close together)

Reef Bay Hike (NPS lead) if you are into hiking (and sweating...)


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daynab

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Thanks Gina and David. I haven't been this excited for a trip in a long time. I used 86,000 SO to book. Jeep rental sounds like a great idea.
We have our young adult children with us. Are there BBQ grills at each section?
Should I pack anything from home or is everything available at the market I might want?
Dayna
 

SandyPGravel

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Also, if you plan to cook much in your unit, I would ask for Bay vista or Virgin Grand. Coral and Sunset only have kitchenettes in the 2BR units. 2 burner cooktops are not my thing. Sunset is the newest section, closest to the beach and main pool, beautiful finishing, but that kitchen does me in.
 

daynab

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And should I rent the jeep at the Westin or do you rent from someone else?
 

daynab

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I do like to cook a nice breakfast. Maybe I should request Bay Vista? Virgin Grand seems too far from the beach.
 

SandyPGravel

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Thanks Gina and David. I haven't been this excited for a trip in a long time. I used 86,000 SO to book. Jeep rental sounds like a great idea.
We have our young adult children with us. Are there BBQ grills at each section?
Should I pack anything from home or is everything available at the market I might want?
Dayna
Yes BBQ's near the buildings. Pretty much anything you want you can find on island. I bring tea that I prefer, and spices that I don't want to buy full versions of. St John spice co is a must though!! (If you like that sort of thing) It's near Beach Bar, Joes Rum Hut and High Tide in town. We also like Skinny Legs Bar and grill in Coral Bay and St John Brewers in Cruz Bay.
 

SandyPGravel

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The joke is the Westin Beach ranks 40th of 39 beaches on St John. I personally Love Virgin Grand, but many don't. It has a different feel than the main resort. I like the convenience of Virgin Grand, plus the units have an oven which comes in handy. View of the bay is excellent from Virgin Grand. It's quieter, not that the main resort is rocking! I'm so jealous I miss the sights, sounds (coqui frogs) and smells of the island. February is a long time off....
 

SandyPGravel

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We rent on St Thomas from Amalie. They pick you up at the airport and you drop the jeep off at the airport VERY convenient. You will be driving on the left. Very easy to learn. I was worried the first time we did it, but my hubby converted quickly. Plus you rarely go over 20 MPH.
 

SandyPGravel

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P.S. If you rent the Jeep on St Thomas from Amalie you will spend less $ getting to St John. Taxi to Red Hook + Passenger Ferry Tickets + Luggage cost per piece for Ferry for 4 people will be more than $35 cost of car ferry ticket. But, car ferry only runs until 7 pm I think, so if your flight gets in late afternoon you might have issues making the last ferry. We stayed on St Thomas for two nights and did some grocery shopping at Cost U less (feels like a Costco, but isn't) but you might not have time for that.
 

Cornell

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Enjoy your trip . I’m super jealous .
 

DavidnRobin

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You can rent on STT - we rent from Amalia- and take car barge over. It is not as daunting as it can seem. Take it slow. They drive on left in vehicles with driver on left (US type car).

Or... rent from someone in Cruz Bay (STJ) that allows you to park on their lot. This has become an issue/hassle of late.

We normally rent on STT, but thinking of CB next time


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DavidnRobin

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The joke is the Westin Beach ranks 40th of 39 beaches on St John. I personally Love Virgin Grand, but many don't. It has a different feel than the main resort. I like the convenience of Virgin Grand, plus the units have an oven which comes in handy. View of the bay is excellent from Virgin Grand. It's quieter, not that the main resort is rocking! I'm so jealous I miss the sights, sounds (coqui frogs) and smells of the island. February is a long time off....

VGV Rocks! But, must have vehicle.
We rarely go to the Main Resort.
17 mins to Maho.
Try that from other phases.
Plus - pool between buildings


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bobpark56

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And should I rent the jeep at the Westin or do you rent from someone else?
We rent from Courtesy Car Rental. They let us park in their lot for free when we go into town. Other Cruz Bay car rental agencies may do this as well. It can be impossible (or nearly so) to find parking in Cruz Bay. Courtesy has a 10% discount for low-season rentals, and they give 6% back if you pay in cash (be sure to ask, they don't always volunteer this). Renting on St Thomas can be convenient. But by renting on St John, we get to drop the first and last days and save 2 days of rental costs.
I should add that Courtesy will pick you up at the Westin and drop you off there when you turn in your vehicle.
 
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TravelTime

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Is everything open to enter the USVI? I read that USVI started opening on June 1st and had a gradual reopening through July 15. We had been planning to travel to Ritz Carlton St Thomas but canceled our trip when the Covid situation got bad due to the uncertainly. I read the timeshare side opened but the hotel side will be opening on July 15. I am sort of sad that we canceled if it is now open. But the uncertainty of being able to travel would have had me too stressed. Now I want to consider rescheduling travel to USVI so I am interested if anyone can provide updates and report status on their trips?
 

TravelTime

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The joke is the Westin Beach ranks 40th of 39 beaches on St John. I personally Love Virgin Grand, but many don't. It has a different feel than the main resort. I like the convenience of Virgin Grand, plus the units have an oven which comes in handy. View of the bay is excellent from Virgin Grand. It's quieter, not that the main resort is rocking! I'm so jealous I miss the sights, sounds (coqui frogs) and smells of the island. February is a long time off....

Where is Virgin Grand? Is that hillside?
 

beachlynn

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We brought some meat with us. We were with friends who had traveled all over the Caribbean and said getting good meat can be a challenge. We wrapped the frozen steaks and chops in newspaper and put it in a insulated cooler with a few ice packs. It was still frozen when we got there which was on a red eye from LAX with a couple hour layover in Miami. We saw people at bag check with full ice chests taped up with duct tape. We threw in spices, parmesan cheese, coffee, pasta and rice, oatmeal.
We took the ferry over and rented a car from the rental place right at the Westin for just couple of the 7 days that we were there. We took the shuttle into town and grabbed a tour from there for a couple of the days. One day we took the local bus to the other side of the island. We like to have our painkillers etc so it was nice to turn the driving over to someone else and explore the island. Have fun. I can't wait to go back. I want to wait until the BVIs are open. We had chartered a sailboat for 3 days after our Westin stay and was looking forward to go to the Baths and exploring but a hurricane from Mexico caused some weather issues. I think it is magical there.
 

SandyPGravel

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We bring a carry-on sized cooler with us with meat/cheese too. I didn't mention because it might seem daunting being their first trip. I pack condiment packets too, just so I don't need to buy a full container on island. Especially with the current C-19 situation, the housekeeping staff probably will be leery of taking left supplies.
 
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