If you’re looking for a Caribbean destination that is quiet and beautiful, Saint John is a place that should certainly be on your list. St. John is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, and it’s a wonderful place to take in the beauty of the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a relaxing, comfortable place to stay while you’re there, allow me to recommend the St. John Inn.
A short walk to home
If you’ve never been to St. John, you’re in for a real treat. The island is very small at just under 20 square miles (50.8 square kilometers), and around 60% of the island is protected as a national park. This means that St. John feels quaint and much less developed than most of the Caribbean locations nearby. The largest city on the island, Cruz Bay, is home to about 2,700 people. St. John Inn is located just a brief walk from the ferry docks where you’ll arrive on the island. The hotel is situated just outside of the strand of restaurants and shops that comprise downtown Cruz Bay. This means it’s an easy walk to dinner or drinks, but the hotel itself feels quiet and secluded.
Color, comfort, and care
The St. John Inn is easy to spot because of its brightly colored exterior. It’s the first sign that this isn’t a normal hotel. We were greeted at check-in with a cold rum punch and a friendly smile. The St. John Inn provides five different types of rooms to accommodate a variety of travelers. The standard room is a basic guest room with a queen bed, but they also provide rooms with kitchenettes, and several suites. All of the rooms have a private bath, and are colorfully and comfortably furnished. One note to those who haven’t traveled to the Caribbean before, the water pressure in the shower leaves a little something to be desired.
Because freshwater is a commodity on such a small island, this can take a bit of adjusting. That said, the showers are clean and warm. The St. John Inn provides many of the conveniences you’d expect from a quality hotel including Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a continental breakfast. They also go above and beyond here by providing everything you’ll need for a relaxing day on the beach. The St. John Inn provides beach towels, coolers, beach chairs, and even snorkel for guests to borrow.
The St. John Inn does have parking if you decide to rent a car, which is almost a necessity if you want to really explore the island. They also host a happy hour every sunset with free rum punch. The hotel has a small pool in the courtyard, though there are so many gorgeous beaches nearby, it almost seems a shame to use it. Rooms at the St. John Inn start from 180 USD a night in the low season (May 1st – November 30th) or 230 USD a night during the high season (Dec 1st – April 30th). This puts them a bit below most local hotels; lodging can be expensive on such a small island. The low season is a bit hotter, but can be a great time to visit and avoid crowds and higher costs.
Come for the view, stay for the people
The St. John Inn provides the amenities you’d expect from a quality hotel at a reasonable price. That said, there’s something else that sets the place apart. St. John Inn is set up with a lovely courtyard and a gated entry. Because of the layout, and the small number of rooms, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation with your fellow travelers. Hotels can often seem isolating and cold, but the Saint John Inn is set up to encourage community. Happy hour is a great place to swap beach recommendations or restaurant reviews. The staff of the St. John Inn are likewise a great resource. They’ll be glad to recommend spots to visit and things to see. We were unlucky enough to have our stay at the St. John Inn interrupted by a tropical storm, but the staff provided food and drinks to try and make sure everyone had a good time even if we weren’t able to lounge on a beach.
So if you’re planning a trip to St. John, and you’d prefer a more unique hotel experience, St. John Inn is definitely worth a look. You’ll find everything you’d expect from a quality hotel, but you’ll also get a more inclusive experience. Not only that, but you’ll probably save some money in the process. The hotel is a short walk from most of the restaurants on the island, as well as a bit of shopping. You’d be hard pressed to find a place to stay on Saint John that rivals the St. John in for quality and value.