My favorite vacation spot- Caneel Bay at St. John

We've done a lot of traveling over the years, but I finally found my favorite spot.  Caneel Bay is a resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.  My husband had come to St. John many years ago as part of a cruise and loved the beach so much that he vowed he would return.  He found a great deal pricewise for this particular resort, and it had exceptional reviews on trip advisor, so he booked nearly a week there for the 3 of us.

It took us all day to get there, although we talked to people living on the east coast who said it's a direct flight to St. Thomas from Newark, which explains why there were so many people from the eastern USA.  You have to fly to St. Thomas airport and are bussed to the ferry terminal where you catch a shuttle to the hotel, which is actually a high speed ferry, directly to the resort.  The check in for the resort is done right at the airport.  When you arrive at the dock on the resort, you're met by a driver and golf cart that whisks you away to your room.  It's a large resort, so these golf carts are a necessity.

What I loved about this island getaway is that it was peaceful when you wanted peace, but you could also enjoy all kinds of activities for no additional charge.  They don't really call it an 'all inclusive' resort, but all your water sports, tennis, kids club, hiking, and snorkeling gear are included.  There are no televisions or phones in the rooms.  It was designed by the Rockefellers as a way to get away from the bustle of the city and everyday life.  Even by the 2nd day, I could feel myself decompress.  And did I mention that there were 7 different beaches on the resort?!!!  You really never had a need to leave, but of course there was an onsite car rental, or you could catch a taxi van to the nearby city for a night out.  What it didn't have was wild discos or opportunities to get drunk and stupid.  This was more of a family or couples resort, so if nightlife is what you're craving, find somewhere else.  Most people we spoke with were exhausted from a full day of sun and beach, and were in bed by 9!  Many families book next year's vacation while they are enjoying this one!  We hate to pay full price for any hotel or resort, so we probably wouldn't become regulars, but if there was a good deal, we'd be back!

We had a great time trying snorkeling.  Even Omar saw fish!  They had these float belts you could use to stay above the reefs, so it was easy to swim over the fish and see the undersea life. There were various stages of wild wave activity at all of the beaches, so if Omar wanted to body surf, we did Turtle Bay.  For watching turtles, we went to Hawksnest.  To build sandcastles, there was the main beach at the restaurant.  Honeymoon beach was a good launching point for snorkeling.  You never got bored with your selection.  We could have tried kiteboarding or kayaking, or even borrowed a sailboat for a few hours.  They even provided the kids with sand pails at check-in.

The place was full of deer and donkeys, which was kind of amusing for the kids.  Omar kept trying to catch the deer.  Most were totally unafraid of people.  He begged to go to the kids' club for at least a few hours every day.  They even took him fishing one day, which he enjoyed.  The food was good and plentiful.  It rained every day but only for an hour or so.  The sun was always just around the corner.  Every afternoon at 4, you could go to the Turtle Bay Estate house and enjoy free tea and cookies or scones with lemon curd and cream!  We rarely missed that!  This was truly paradise.  I hope we get an opportunity to enjoy this place again!
You could find a glorious sunset at the end of a day

Colorful blossoms were everywhere

One of the many turtles we saw snorkeling

Friendly donkeys

Beautiful beaches

An old sugar mill converted to a restaurant


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