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Sunset view or more remote location?

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posts: 52
Sunset view or more remote location?

I need opinions please... My husband and i, and our son 21 and daughter 18 want to visit St. John in mid Dec 2013. I have done a lot of research and looked at many villas online. We will rent a jeep. We only need 2 bedrooms if one has 2 twins or even if it doesn't, we can take an air matress. our budget is up to $3200.

I'm torn between getting one with amazing views like Coral Bay area, Mamey Peak, etc and really geting into the remote island life...OR Cruz Bay area with easy access to town and sunset views from the villa or condo...?

Anyone who can weigh in with a good villa and or opinions on locations ??

- thanks!

South Florida...
posts: 409
reviews: 41
1. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

Hi Mrs. Eisey ~ we have stayed on St. John five times now. Once on Fish Bay, once above Chocolate Hole (both Cruz Bay side of the island) and three times above Coral Bay. We will be back for our sixth visit in March and will once again stay at the same villa above Coral Bay.

We personally much prefer Coral Bay. The views are amazing. We love the quiet side of the island in the evening. There are plenty of good restaurants for dinners out and you are close to north shore beaches for snorkeling and sunsets. The sunset in my avatar here was taken from Francis Bay, just about a ten minute drive from our villa two years ago.

I'm a sunset fanatic and have taken thousands of photos for them over the years. But what I love about staying in the Coral bay area is that you get fantastic sunrises, too. I don't photograph many of them but the sunrises above Coral Bay are special. Here's a link to the photos I took from our villa two years ago: http://stjohnmay2011.shutterfly.com/ Click on PICTURES & VIDEOS, then on VIEW ALBUM, then on ALL to view all the photos. We stayed at a wonderful four bedroom villa that would be too large for the four of you.

Last year, we stayed at Skyflower. It has an upper and lower level so it could work for you, and the lower bedroom bed can be set up as twins. Owners, Bill and Jan Hoffman are wonderful and they don't arrive until January so the villa is available for four people in December. Here is a link to Skyflower: http://www.vrbo.com/182267 And here is a link to my photos from our stay there last year. stjohnapril2012.shutterfly.com/pictures/8 Click ALL to view the entire album. I did a quick look at their calendar and the only week in December that is booked is the first week. Looks like rates for the four of you would be $1750.

There are lots of villas on St. John that could work for you. VRBO.com is a great place to start. I think you can have the amazing Coral Bay views and sunrises and easily drive to many spots for great sunsets.

Good luck with your search!

Denver, Colorado
posts: 4
2. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

What a great question.. We have stayed 3 times on the coral bay side at BBrisas del Mar http://www.vrbo.com/322786 and asking your exact question. We love the coral bay side and it's a quick trip to trunk bay and others. The sunrises and moonrises in the fall are exceptional. We are now asking the same question about should we stay where we can watch the sunsets. The vila we stayed at was perfect for us with 2 yung kids and grandma. Everyone also loved the drive up to the villa with the bumpy road. It was very private and wonderful views.

The reason why we are looking for sunset is that the afternoon seems to go by quick with the sun setting over Bordux mt, but the advantage is with the sunrise we were always up and at the which ever beach we went too before anyone else. We also were able to go to the saltpond easily in the afternoon or back to trunk bay..

posts: 566
reviews: 5
3. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

Personally, I think sunset views are oversold. While it's true that sunsets are usually more spectacular than sunrises, there is a downside to that southwestern view: hot late-afternoon sun beating down on your deck and in your windows. Admittedly, stw has a point about the day being a little shorter on the east side of the mountain.

There is a middle ground - pick a location on the top of the mountain where you can see both sunrise AND sunset. Creolla, on Ajax Peak, really does have a view like that. And, IMHO, there is no more convenient location on the island than Ajax Peak: 10 minutes to the north shore, 10-15 to Coral Bay, and 20 minutes to Cruz Bay.

Creolla is too small for your family, Mrs_Eisey, but take a look at Orion Hill. It was the only villa we could see from Creolla at anything like our altitude, and we spent a lot of time sitting in our humble gazebo admiring the wraparound deck and rooftop widow's walk over there.

posts: 52
4. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

Thank you! Middle ground.... never thought about that! I will look into that now for sure. I will look at Orion. Thanks for your insight!

posts: 566
reviews: 5
5. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

To be fair, you can't see the sun sinking into the ocean from Ajax Peak, but from where we were you could see the sky lit up orange and pink above the peak of Bordeaux Mtn to the west and south. It was QUITE the view. I think Orion Hill would have a similar view.

Orchid Knoll is another affordable 2BR with 270-degree mountain-top views. It's even higher on the mountain, and I think a little harder to get to. But my goodness it looks lovely. There are some properties on Mamey Peak that look to have similar vantage points.

6. Re: Sunset view or more remote location?

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