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Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

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Washington DC...
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for St. Thomas
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3,164 posts
168 reviews
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Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

St. John is one of our all time favorite places. We've been to many other islands, but keep coming back to STJ.

However, we have never been to St. Martin or Anguilla and was wondering if anyone on this forum has been to both STJ and one or both of the other islands. If so, how would you compare? How are the islands alike, different. What did you like/dislike about each? Would a STJ devotee likely enjoy a vacation in SXM?

Many thanks :)

Maryland
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1. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

Prior to coming (for our 3rd time in Feb) to STJ we went to SXM. It is a completely different experience on St. Martin. It is much more like St.. Thomas in that traffic is a real issue, it is just a more populated island with all the issues like trash, some rubble and potential traffic jame. That said the food is great in SXM and we love Orient Beach.

SXM also has gambling and a nightlife where STJ is limited in this regard. We will likely return to SXM but is will be mostly for Orient Beach. For now we prefer a less hectic place (as we deal with DC traffic daily - who needs it on vacation?). We have gone so far in this regard that we are looking at a trip to Bonaire - which is really quiet!

Roslyn, New York
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2. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

We stayed at Cap Juluca on Anguilla several years ago. The island is quite different from STJ. Anguilla is flat, scrubby and dry. In our opinion not as beautiful as STJ. Although the beaches were very nice and the water clear, we felt STJ had more to offer: scenery, better snorkeling; hiking; options for day trips. There are many very good restaurants on Anguilla, just as with STJ, but we felt Anguilla was more expensive. Having been there once we do not feel the need to return. It seems every time we go to another island we always end up thinking we will stick to STJ.

Washington DC...
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for St. Thomas
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3. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

Thanks for the info. Maryland Mark -- you said that you did enjoy Orient Beach. Did you get to Grand Case? I understand the restaurants there are superb. We enjoy natural beauty, great food, and good snorkeling off the beach. I guess that's why we like STJ.

St. Thomas can be very nice, too, if you stay at the Ritz (expensive) or Secret Harbour (reasonable). Great locations, pretty beaches, and there are some good restaurants on STT as well.

Maryland
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4. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

iWe did eat several times in GC, with our favorite being Bistro Caribes and also Talk of the Town for Ribs etc.. Also very good is Sol e Luna nearby. But GC itself is a noisy crowded town with limited parking and frankly we felt slightly uncomfortable there walking around after night fell. The island is much more "lived in" that STJ and snorkeling is not really very good anywhere (at least as compared to STJ.

We did stay at the Ritz on STT about 6 years ago and enjoyed it but would not likely go back. The $60 seafood buffet was not really what we were looking for in dining value.

I think, for us, STJ has the right combination, we don't need nightlife - the food can be very good, the whole atmosphere is laid back, you can drive around with few issues and having your own villa is great. I spend perhaps 80 nights on the road in pretty nice hotels but it's good to not have to stay in one on vacation.

chicago
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5. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

Did a joint vacation -- 5 days in St. Martin in Grand Case and 5 in Anguilla. Cap Juluca is gorgeous and lovely but the island is not pretty and does not have a cute downtown. There were some good restaurants off the resort and pretty beaches. I like St. John much better although the Westin and Caneel Bay don't compare to Cap Juluca.

St. Martin is another story. Even Grand Case which is billed as quaint seems seedy. Yes, the food was good but then you come out of the restaurant and don't get a good island vibe. Pass on St. Martin. And Orient Beach is over-rated.

Washington DC...
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for St. Thomas
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6. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

Thanks so much to all...This is really helpful. Looks like we'll be heading back to St. John!

7. Re: Compare St. John & St. Martin/Anguilla

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