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Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

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Miami, FL
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Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

We are going to St John for a week in October but we have never stayed there so would like to get some info. We were planning on renting a car in St Thomas through Budget as it seems to be like $250.00 for the whole week. We would like to visit Tortola and Virgin Gorda via water taxi. Is there a lot to see there?

cypress
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1. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

Have you learned abything about Sunset Ridge Villas? We've been tempted to buy a timeshare there, but have never seen it and are looking for reviews. Thanks!

nowhere
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2. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

On renting a car on St Thomas and taking the ferry to St John, check out the vinow.com message board on St Thomas Dirty Little Secret. I always rent on St John as I find it's less hassle and I can get 'roadside' service if there is a car problem.

You can charter a boat to the BVI's or rent one and do it youself. For a 1 day trip, it's Tortola OR VG, usually not both. There are also plenty of group tours that may suit you better. Most of what there is to see/do is snorkelng. VG has remarkable rock formations called The Baths that is also good snorkeling.

I don't know the RCI villas, but if memory serves, they are older, well built homes up high on the hill above the Westin Hotel near the Virgin Grande Estates. VGE is a group of very upscale homes constructed in past few years. Don't know if the building is still going on.

usvi.net, St John has many useful links on getting around the VI's including ferry schedules, charters, boat rentals, etc.

Miami, FL
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3. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

This is my first time going to Sunset Ridge Villas. We have a timeshare in the US and are using RCI to stay at the villas. All I know is that its 6 villas situated up on the hill right by Cruz Bay. I saw pictures of them and it looks really nice, nothing fancy but that's ok. We are going mainly to explore the island and not spend much time in the Villas. I was told that Budget in St Thomas airport provides insurance while you are in St John. I just thought it would be a lot better since its 4 adults going to rent the car right from the airport and drive to Kmart to get supplies and then take the car ferry over to St John. Its kinda a hassle to do all this in taxis with so much luggage and supplies. We are staying for 7 days.

nowhere
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4. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

MariaG928 - i find renting a car on STT and trying get on the car ferry - whch the locals MUST use to get food, goods and service trucks back and forth, a real trial. Instead, I save myself a lot of time and rent at one of the many car rental ompanies right in Cruz Bay St John. Walke off the ferry and in a 2-3 block radius there are about 8 rental agents. As for buying on St Thomas, well I and most frequent ST John visitors don't. Carry any speciality items, like a particular coffee (for me it's tea), health foods, special diet foods, etc with you and there is a very nice small, but complete and modern grocery store - Starfish Market - on the way to the house you've rented. Just get everything thing there. What little you save on StT will be irrelvent compared to trying to move all that stuff over. Travel as light as possbile and use the people ferry. It has a more frequent schedule and runs far later than the car ferry, which stops fairly early.

I know there are those who disagree with this. But saving $100 on an expensive vacation and risking a car problem that won't be serviced on a different island, and carting groceries to St John in all that heat while waiting to board a car ferry is not my idea of a good way to start a vacation. For other's the small savings is worth all the effort and risk. Different strokes for different folks.

The location you described is the hill behind the Westin, which sits on Great Cruz bay. Great views of STT.

nowhere
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5. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

By the way. I normally stay on St John for 3 weeks. I arrive on the people ferry with one carry-on bag and one small check-thru, and if I'm working, a laptop. That's it. And my own snorkel gear and about 20 books to read while I'm there take up most of the check-thru bag. St John is VERY casual. No one has ever seen any sign of the fashion police.

Miami, FL
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6. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

Earlybrass, thanks for the info, it makes a lot of sense. We will probably do that. Can you tell me about some of the best places to eat there and are all the restaurants casual. We can wear shorts? Should be ever bother to pack any long pants?

Do you know if the road is hard to get to up on the hills where the villas are? Sorry for all the questions, but it sounds like you know the island very well. We have been there only twice and it was for the day only on a cruise. We fell in love with St John and is now our favorite island. We have been to all of the Caribbean pretty much and as you know nothing compares to St John. Not only are the beaches paradise but its not very developed. We love that because it's not so crowded. Thanks again

St Thomas
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7. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

We stayed there for a week in April. there are only 6 units. We had "B" unit which I think has the best views, which is gorgeous! I can't say enough about the beautiful view is gorgeous in the day, sunset and night , Looking at the lights of St Thomas. Same views from the pool. The units are big and placed well for privacy. Each has there own court yard with a plunge pool. Biggest draw back is no AC. does have ceiling fans and portable fans. Also Furniture could use some updating. But units are well stocked with everything you will probably need. Make sure you get drving directions before hand. Not the easiest place to drive to.

nowhere
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8. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

St John is the top of an extinct volcano and, as such, is all steep hills. The main roads are all paved, but there are still dirt roads, even in the more densely populated areas, as you get to the fringes. Rain can cause potholes and the roads can get pretty slippery. The dirt roads get very rutted, but are re-graded periodically. Yes. You really need a 4-wheel drive. Not for the dirt roads, but because of % grade.

From Cruz Bay to the top of Bordeaux MT you will climb 1000 ft. It's an easy drive, and a beautiful one, just take your time and watch the switchback turns. They're there to help slow the traffic. The roads aren't very busy, except in Cruz bay. Folks stop in the road, roll down their windows and start chatting, blocking traffic in both directions. Just stay relaxed and remember you're on island time.

When you hear a truck blow its horn near a curve, be prepared to to wait and let him have the whole road. He needs it as they're too sharp and narrow for a truck to stay on one. The main beaches, like Hawksnest, Trunk, Cinnamon and Maho have lots of parking. Some, like Jumby and east end beaches, have edge of the road parking.

From Cruz Bay to where you're staying you will exit the town to the right - toward the Westin Hotel. You'll need directions on which of the roads leads to you villa. You'll climb a hill a few hundred ft, but nowhere near as high as Bordeaux. I'm not sure how RCI handles it, but usually you're met at the dock and the local agent leads you to the house. If not, get detailed directions from RCI and ask the local car rental agency for help. The tricky part is turing right across traffic at the gas station to get to the southshore.

Driving can be a bit daunting at first, but since you've been to the Caribbean before, you should be fine. I recommend a Grand Vitara. It's good for 4 and has the engine for the hills, barely. The open cars (Suzuki) can be more fun, but they're really 2 people cars and you can get whacked by branchs and other stuff. St John Car Rental, Penns, C&C, and Courtsey, to name a few. Be sure they offer free in town parking with the rental and they will be open when you arrive. Many close early and since you have no local rental agent to help, you'll be on your own. By the way, they may still not be there if something comes up. These are not big operations, and most of the owners are related to each other.

The Lime Inn in Cruz bay is a nice 'better' resturant and very popular with locals and visitors. Joe's Bar-b-q by the post office is a favorite of mine for lunch. Get a beer across the street to go with the ribs. Tiny little spot with good ribs and chicken. Woody's by the ferry dock is good for lunch and drinks. Miss Lucy's out past Coral Bay toward Salt Pond is very good and a fav of mine. Shipwreck Landing, a good spot, and Skinny Legs, a bar know for its hamburgers, are local hang-outs esp with the yachting crowd. There are some new places in Coral Bay that are getting great reviews. If you want expensive fine dining, and good food, try Chloe and Bernards at the Westin or ZoZo's at Gallows point (friends have done both and loved them), where the bar has a great sunset view - as will your house - and you can eat right at it. Just read through some of the earlier posts here and there are lots of favorites listed.

Shorts are accepted everywhere except at the 'better' resturant in Caneel Bay restort, which isn't worth the price. Paradiso, Stone Terrace and asolare are consider 'fine dining', but I'd skip them (in all my trips, I've never bothered) and stick with places like the Lime Inn. OK. Here is where I put in a disclaimer. I travel a lot on business and eat out a great deal, so it's no treat when I travel for vacation and I prefer local places to yet another 'fine dining' night. That's me. Miss Lucy's is very casual fine dining and that's about as high class as I get.

Don't know where you've been before, but St John is getting more developed by the day, unfortunately. Still, with ferry only access and no fresh water, hopefully it won't get too built up. The northshore beaches are about as pretty as any you'll find. Rent a dingey for a half or full day and check out the beaches from the water. They aren't crowded and they will lure you back again and again. Don't feel compelled to do the BVI's. St John is worth the time to explore beyond the famous north shore beaches to the eastend and down to salt Pond. Visitors and locals are friendly, but don't let the occasional grouch bother you. And Cruzan Rum cures all sorts of things and goes so well with sunsets!

Pia
St John, VI
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9. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

Hey MariaG928,

St John is VERY casual so here goes: (for a 7 day stay)

2 pair capri's (wear twice)

2 mini skirts (wear twice. or more)

4 t'shirts (wear twice plus extra to come home in - only wear for about 3 hours while we eat)

Underwear :-)

1 flip flops (to go with everything)

Lip Gloss :-)

3 bathing suits

1 beach shoes

3 beach cover ups/sun dress for daytime

Suntan lotion

beach bag.

Done :-) and this coming from a girl who is in an industry at home that requires me to own at least 20 full length evening gowns and business suits :-) along with 3" heels at all times (OMG I sound like a hooker but I'm not )

You can wear shorts to all the restaurants except maybe Chateaux, Chloes, Asolare where it is alittle dressier - but having said that we always stick to Lime Inn, Miss Lucy's, Morgans etc where casual is the norm.

So you see your reference to "all that luggage" - you don't need "all that luggage"

Hope this helps - you will have a great time and remember carry on's are all that is required (if it dosen't fit you won't need it)

Miami, FL
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10. Re: Anyone stayed at Sunset Ridge Villas through RCI timeshare

earlybrass, thanks a lot for all the valuable info. I agree with you, we dont need to go to the fine dining restaurants. I enjoy best to sit in a casual restaurant by the beach and listen to some island music. By the way, which bars have live bands at night. We love to listen to Reggea or island music. As for the islands we have visited include, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Thomas and St John of course, Antigua, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, Curacao, Isla Margarita, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Cosumel and I lived in Cuba for my first 10 years :-). But I am a beach person, and I can't never get enough of beaches. To me the most beautiful beaches are in St John. My favorite country star is Kenny Chesney and he has a house there and a boat. Maybe I will run into him if I am lucky. He says he goes down there every year when he is done touring to destress and unwind.

Pia, you are so funny with your packing list. But you are right. I have a walk in closet full of clothes too and dont like to repeat same stuff when I go on vacation but this time its different. I will take your advise.

Pia or earlybrass, when are you planing to go back to St John again?