Last Updated on September 17, 2023
The three major islands comprising the U.S. Virgin Islands are St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. The smallest of the three, St. John, possesses an unspoiled beauty unsurpassed anywhere in the Caribbean. Only three miles from the busier St. Thomas, this island feels a world apart. The Westin in St. John welcomes guests in easy-going luxury.
Two-thirds of the island was set aside by Laurance Rockefeller as national park land. To protect and preserve the stunning coral gardens, seascapes, and sleepy lagoons, over 5,000 more acres were later designated for conservation.
The Westin in St. John is an incredible place to unplug and relax. This may be a small island, but it’s big on splendor. A day trip alone wasn’t enough for my husband and I on our first visit over from St. Thomas. So, we returned, this time for a weeks’ stay on this island paradise.
Getting to Westin at St. John
There is no airport on the island, which means travelers have to fly into St. Thomas or arrive to St. Thomas by cruise ship.
From the airport, visitors can either rent a car and take the car ferry from Red Hook across to St. John or taxi to the ferry dock from Charlotte Amalie Ferry Terminal to St. John’s Cruz Bay and grab a taxi to their accommodation on St. John.
When staying at the Westin at St. John, you can access the property’s private ferry.
The Westin St. John’s Resort Villas
Stretched out along a private cove of white sand beach at Great Cruz Bay, the Westin Vacation Club St. John Resort & Villas, now part of the Marriott Vacation Clubs family, comprises 47-acres all framed by a picture-perfect backdrop of a lush tropical forest and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
We love this stylish sanctuary resort that includes 225 guest rooms and suites, all spacious and well-appointed with beachy Caribbean touches. Studio and one-and-two-bedroom villas come with either one king or two double beds and some feature a private balcony or terrace with views of the ocean, pool or gardens. A two-bedroom Bi-Level Loft is perfect for a family looking for more room, sporting almost 1340-square feet.
Our 500-square-foot, one-bath studio Westin St. John’s Resort villas could accommodate four adults with one bed and pull-out sofa, though there were just the two of us on this trip. The villa also includes a fully-furnished kitchen, dining area, washer/dryer and a balcony with stunning island views.
Of course, Westin is famous for its Heavenly Bed, a unique design with plush, pillow-top construction for premium comfort and support. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be spoiled forever.
Guests will also enjoy complimentary wireless Internet along with free onsite parking and no resort fees.
Westin St John’s Resort Villas
A wide range of amenities are offered to guests staying at the Westin in St. John ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
The resort is just a short stroll from Great Cruz Bay beach, a perfect stretch of sand for swimming, sunbathing and water activities including snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and more.
Westin St. John has two sparkling outdoor swimming pools, including a large pool with a swim-up bar and a smaller, more secluded pool.
The Westin St. John’s Resort Villas provide access to a fitness center equipped with top-of-the-line exercise equipment and two tennis courts are on site for guest use. There is also an adjacent golf course.
Yes, there is a spa in paradise offering a variety of treatments including facials, massages, and body wraps to further enhance the relaxation and wellness experience of the island.
And not to forget the little ones on your vacation, the resort has a really fun kids’ club that’s a camp-like experience with supervised activities including arts and crafts, indoor/outdoor games, movies, stories and more.
Westin on St. John Dining
Snorkel’s Bar & Grill is the Westin at St. John’s poolside restaurant open every day from 7 am to 10 pm offering salads, sandwiches and tropical drinks in a casual, breezy, beachy setting.
Starbucks lovers will delight that the resort’s Mango Deli serves this beloved signature coffee along with fresh pastries at breakfast.
Lunch options include wraps and sandwiches, a selection of steak, chicken and smoked salmon meals, along with a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits.
What to Do in St. John?
This overview of options will help travelers see that you definitely won’t be bored when visiting this nature lover’s nirvana. Westin in St. John’s concierge team can help with more suggestions.
Virgin Islands National Park
This stunning park covers more than 60% of the island and offers a variety of activities such as hiking, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
St. John is known for its magnificent colorful coral reefs and marine life, making it an ideal place to explore this ecological underwater wonder.
Beaches of St. John
Consistently ranked some of the best in the world, there are a myriad of beaches to swim, sunbathe, relax, or snorkel. Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay are among of the most popular, and Maho and Francis Bay are known for their quiet coves and sea turtles.
Hiking on the Island
The island has several hiking trails, including the Reef Bay Trail, Ram Head Trail, and Cinnamon Bay Nature Trail, which all offer stunning views of the island’s spectacular plant life. Trails range from easy to the more challenging. Pick up a map, information and suggestions from the concierge.
Explore Annaberg Sugar Plantation
This historic site provides a glimpse into the island’s colonial past and the sugar industry that was once the backbone of the local economy. A well-maintained trail at Annaberg leads through factory ruins, slave quarters, a windmill, and other remains.
Placards and signs along the trails describe how sugar was produced while discussing plantation life and the history of sugar making on St. John.
Visit Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay’s quaint streets and walkways guide visitors through a mecca of artisan shops, boutiques, fine art galleries and eateries. Shopping here is a cultural extravaganza even for those like me who don’t visit paradise to shop.
Whether you’re into breezy sunshine or nightlife, you’ll definitely find plenty of places on Cruz Bay offering Caribbean food, drinks, and live music with views to die for.
St. John’s atmosphere is laid-back and we’re reminded of country singer Kenny Chesney’s song “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem.” It fits this island to a tee.
A stay at the Westin in St. John makes the island experience all the more perfect.