Description from owner
TripAdvisor Property ID: 5316677
About the area
Over 70% of St. John is within protected National Park
It encompasses many beautiful beaches with great snorkeling, lots of hiking trails, Annaberg Plantation and more. For snorkeling, the most famous is Trunk Bay which has a 225-yard, self-guiding snorkeling trail marked by underwater signs that identify coral and marine life. Other beach accessible snorkeling sites are available like Waterlemon Cay, Lameshur and Caneel Bay. Although we have not tried all of the beaches yet, one of my personal favorites for snorkeling thus far is Waterlemon Cay but it’s about a 20 min hike to get there. This beach is not for everyone. There are no facilities so you need to bring everything with you. There are no beach chairs, bathrooms, etc. nothing but the beach itself (and a huge colony of hermit crabs which inhabit the old stone walls behind the beach). Swimming out to the small cay off the coast is a snorkeling treat but the currents can be strong on the ocean side so please be careful. You can visit Annaberg Plantation up the hill from the same parking lot as well. I’ve been told that the water at Hawks bay can shimmer with bioluminescence at night. Salt pond is another wonderful beach on the east end.
The villa buildings are part of the Westin Resort. Though most of the villas are owned by private individuals, they are managed by the Westin.
The Resort property is beautifully landscaped. In addition to all of the facilities and activities on the Resort, even just a stroll around the resort is quite enjoyable. The main lobby of the Resort is an open-air design with a nice view out over the property and Great Cruz Bay.
As our villa guest, you may make use of any of the Westin Resort's facilities, including those we've listed below.
A magnificent 1/4 acre pool*
Hot tub near this large pool*
Six tennis courts*
The Resort beach on Great Cruz Bay*
400 square foot semi-private pool for the exclusive use of those guests staying in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom villas in the Virgin Grand section of the Resort.*
Children's playground with slides, swings, climbing structures, gerbil tubes, etc.*
The Resort's Video Arcade
The Westin Family Kid's Club
A well-equipped (and air conditioned) fitness center*
Wireless Internet access in your villa and throughout the Resort property.
Two restaurants located on the beach
Open-air poolside bar
Delicatessen and pizzeria
You may also arrange for:
Tennis lessons from the Resort pro
Rentals of sailboats or powerboats, with crews, for full-day, half-day, or sunset excursions. These can include trips to the neighboring British Virgin Islands. Please contact free concierge service through the main desk.
Use of most of the Resort's "beach toys" including sea kayaks, small sailboats, three-person catamarans, paddle boards, and peddle-boats*
Use of the Resort's jet skis
Half-day or full-day rental of four-person dinghies
Snorkeling equipment rental
Child care at the Westin Kid's Club
Restaurant reservations anywhere on the island*
Sport fishing excursions, SCUBA diving lessons and trips, and snorkeling trips to many locations that most visitors to St. John never get to see.
There is a small grocery store within walking distance of the Westin on the road which separates the upper and lower parts of the complex.
There are a few decent restaurants with the Westin but also many opportunities outside the complex. Here is a just a sampling:
The Tapas bar in downtown Cruz Bay – excellent food.
Caneel Bay Restaurant – within Caneel Bay resort. Very elegant with a price tag to go along with it. Looks out over Caneel Bay onto St. Thomas.
Eating in! There are two Viking grills at the shared semi-private pools between the villas and a grocery store within walking distance of the Westin.
The first part of your trip will be a flight to the neighboring island of St. Thomas. There are several airlines that fly into St. Thomas (STT) including American, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Spirit, and United Airlines. Once you arrive at the St. Thomas airport, there are at least three ways to get to your villa on the neighboring island of St. John:
Option 1 - St. Thomas Red Hook Public Ferry
Take a taxi to the St. Thomas Red Hook ferry dock, typically a 35 minute ride costing about $15 per person plus $2-$3 per piece of luggage.
Then take the public ferry to Cruz Bay, St. John, a 15 - 20 minute ride at $7 per person, with a $2 - 4 charge for each piece of luggage.
Finally, take a short taxi ride to the Westin St. John Resort at $5 per person, with a variable charge for each piece of luggage.
Typical open-air taxi at the Crown Bay ferry dock. The ferry disembarks at the Galge cove Ferry terminal.
Option 2 - Westin Transportion The easiest – but more expensive -- way is to make use of the Westin Resort's transportation package. The Westin maintains an office in the baggage claim area at the airport. There you may sign up for this package while you're waiting for your luggage.
$120 for adults
$90 for children
no charge for children 3 years old and under
The charge includes round trip transfers to the airport, tips and luggage handling and also includes unlimited shopping trips to St. Thomas Crown Bay Marina. Westin staff will take care of everything, including seeing that your luggage gets to your villa. This makes for a very care-free journey.
The Westin staff will arrange for a taxi to take you on the short ride to Crown Bay Marina, St. Thomas, where the Westin ferry will depart. (See the taxi photo above.) You may have a short wait for the ferry, which will give you time to enjoy a beverage or meal at Tickles Restaurant and admire the impressive yachts that often dock at Crown Bay. The private Westin ferry will then take you directly to the Westin dock, where someone then checks you in right there on the beach (and there is often a free rum punch!). A bellman then gives you and your party a ride to your villa, and your luggage is brought along later (usually within 30 minutes).
At Crown Bay, have a drink at Tickles.
Option 3 - Car Ferry
Rent a car at or near the St. Thomas airport and then drive to the Red Hook car barge dock at the East End of St. Thomas. This option can make good sense if you intend to rent a vehicle during your stay on St. John, anyway. The car rental fees tend to be less on St. Thomas than they are on St. John. The car barge fee will be approximately $50 round-trip.
If you rent a car on St. Thomas, you should always check that the rental agency will allow you to take their vehicle off of St. Thomas; not all of them will. Also remember to allow additional time to return your car on your return trip. It is a good idea to check the car ferry departure times and car rental agency operating hours to ensure that they can coordinate with your arrival and departure flight times.
Once the car barge gets you to St. John, it is less than a one mile drive to the Westin St. John lobby, where you can check in at the front desk. Some things to be wary of if you choose to use this method are:
1.) The last car ferry leaving St. Thomas for St. John departs at about 7:00 PM;
2.) The first car ferry to leave St. John for St. Thomas departs at typically 6:20 AM.
So, if your flight into St. Thomas arrives later than about 5:00 PM, you might not make that last car ferry to St. John. For the return trip, if your flight back to the States departs earlier than about 9:30 AM, you might not get to the airport in time to catch your flight.
The Car barge disembarks at the Enighed Car Barge dock.