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3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

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New Jersey
posts: 1,251
reviews: 7
3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

Hi all,

so excited my husband and I have decided to book a last minute trip to STJ for Nov 17th to 24th. This time we just want to really relax, no jeep driving although that was fun on previous trips , no food store cooking etc... just beach bumming , snorkeling and romance. Caneel seemed the ideal choice but before booking I'd like an idea of where to stay on the property. I looked over the property map but could not get an idea of distance from lets say main check in to turtle beach or tennis courts to hawksnest does it really matter is it easy to get from any room to any beach on the property and to the restaurants/beach bar?

We have explored and snorkeled many of the diverse areas of STJ so are content to spend our week on Caneel's beaches , how is the snorkeling around Caneel and what are some of your favorite spots? We plan on hiking over to Solomon as this is a favorite of ours. Any insider tips would be much appreciated. Thanks

8 replies to this topic
Corydon, Indiana
posts: 170
reviews: 1
1. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

The snorkeling at Caneel is good (my tip would be to snorkel, rather than walk around to Solomon/Honeymoon from the Little Caneel beach....this is one of our favorites). I haven't found any snorkeling from a beach on St.John to be any better than at Caneel, but have found better in snorkeling off a boat.

Your reasons for going to Caneel are the same as ours, just relaxation and beach and the beaches are some of the prettiest on the island. It's really easy to get anywhere on the property because of the shuttles, particularly if your visiting one of the beaches and you have snorkel gear and beach stuff. But it's not too far to walk either (going from Hawksnest to the tennis courts involves somewhat of a hill, though). It takes us 10- 15 minutes to walk from Turtle to the Front Desk.

Have a wonderful time.

Louisville, Kentucky
posts: 111
reviews: 15
2. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

We stayed in the Garden view rooms last year near the tennis courts. Very quiet and private and a quick walk to the front desk area for breakfast. I have seen some other people who stayed in beach front rooms mention they aren't as private, but I can't speak from experience. Some of the beaches were a little bit of a hike from there (turtle/scott, etc.), but as the other poster mentioned, it is very easy to catch a shuttle. We liked to walk the property and look at the donkeys, deer, and flowers, but there was almost always a shuttle going by that stopped and offered to pick us up. I posted a review last year with some pictures of the room we had. I hope this is helpful. You will love Caneel!

New Jersey
posts: 1,251
reviews: 7
3. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

Thank you for the replies and tips. I am really leaning towards the garden view because they look so authentic, I don't mind walking I actually look forward to wandering the grounds but worried about lugging all the stuff to the more remote beaches so shuttles sound good for going to turtle and scott.

Edited: 2:27 pm, August 10, 2013
posts: 1,185
reviews: 14
4. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

Walking around the grounds is one of favorite things to do at Caneel. The paths are wide and smooth. Many of plants are trees have identification plaques. The shuttles run continuously if you feel like riding.

Last trip we saw turtles, rays and huge snapper at Scott. I read reports about the area of Scott heading towards Turtle to be very good snorkeling but the current can be extremely strong.

We stayed at Scott a number of times and then moved to Hawksnest after our son came along. I liked both spots. I didn't feel privacy was an issue since the Scott rooms sit back from the water, it wasn't like people were walking back and forth by the patio.

The Hawksnest second floor end room (118 I think) closest to Turtle was nice and private. I liked being elevated and having a different view. Those Hawksnest rooms have front and rear balaconies/patios.

Are the garden rooms the ones with lots of stonework? They look very pretty on the website.

Corydon, Indiana
posts: 170
reviews: 1
5. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

The Garden view rooms are gorgeous, particularly the shower! We haven't stayed there but have gotten to peek in several times, including when they were undergoing renovation. You wouldn't be 'on' a beach but at Caneel nothing is very far away, and we always go to at all the beaches while we are there, not just the one we might be staying on...they are all a little different.

NY metro
posts: 508
reviews: 3
6. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

After the garden View bathrooms, I admit I'm spoiled. The ones near the jitney stop, closeby the sugar mill ruins appear to have good patio/deck views of St Thomas sunsets.

The getting around thing is a complete non-issue for us. It's very easy with frequent jitney golf-cart pick-ups. Like hoosier74; we use many of the beaches during our stay and find the Garden View rooms close enough. The bonus is the nearness of the fitness facilities and the main buildings as well as the very private pool.should you wish to do laps. Since very few people use the pool; I find it a good space for a cigar.

A possible downside is the "plonk" of tennis balls. This doesn't bother me much as I'm usually on a beach during the day and not in my room.

Edited: 9:25 am, August 11, 2013
posts: 125
reviews: 34
7. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

Here is a recent article on Caneel Bay Resort in Travel Dreams Magazine that should prove helpful.


New Jersey
posts: 1,251
reviews: 7
8. Re: 3rd trip to STJ first time to Caneel couple questions

could not match up flights( direct being a must for me) dates, availability, so we booked Honeymoon cottage for week 11/10

Caneel will have to be left on the bucket list for now

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