How NOT to look cool in ST John USVI

Don’t vacation in ST John USVI unless you know some important stuff that will keep you looking cool and feeling like a local–and always wear PLENTY of sun screen when at the beach.

Trunk Bay Beach ST John

Enjoying Trunk Bay Beach ST John

So you’re planning your long awaited ST John romantic villas vacation, wedding, or a secret rendezvous here. Fantastic. Because by the way, there’s no place in the world better to vacation than the Virgin Islands and ST John in particular. Why ST John? Well, for those of you have traveled a bit, you know that although the Caribbean Islands are exotic, sexy and wonderfully natural, they can sometimes have a little “edge.” That’s why guests love the Virgin Islands because its so smooth and relaxing by comparison.

For example, I love Jamaica very much–the people the scenery and ambiance. But, after a while I stopped going there because of this “edge.” For those of you who have been you know what I’m talking about. Here on ST John and in the Virgin Islands in general you won’t find that edge. Just a whole lot of beauty and fun.

Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle

ST John is 2/3 National Park which protects it from most nasty expansion and development by law. Even the water is protected! Wonderful little creatures can be found swimming around the reefs for your enjoyment–ask them to pose for you.  Mooncottage, our flagship ST John villa is incidentally is located directly on the National Park border. I mean directly ON the border … when I first saw the Google Earth photo I really couldn’t believe it, but its true. So, you’ll have no finer natural experience at an luxury Caribbean villas vacation, than here nestling right up to the edge of mother nature.

Francis Bay Pelicans: US Virgin Islands

Gray Pelican taking off in Francis Bay, USVI

Now, here’s your opportunity to learn a little more about the Virgin Islands and learn a little local ST John island facts that will make you look and sound like you’ve been here a thousand times. See if you can identify the correct answers:

1. Hawksbill, Leatherback and Green are the names of:

a. Sea turtles

b. Parrots

c. The oldest Law Firm in ST John

2. Fire, Staghorn and Brain are types of:

a. Sea grasses

b. Rock

c. Coral

3. If you go to a bar in Coral Bay ST John, do I dress in:

a. Cowboy boots

b. leather pants

c. Flip Flops and a beer

4. The Virgin Islands’ time zone is Atlantic Standard time, which is________ hours ahead of New York.

5. When visiting Coral Bay ST John on your way to Mooncottages, what is the “Triangle.”

a. The place where all locals congregate and get blasted

b. The turn into Coral Bay right by the Moravian Church

c. A store that sells small bikinis

6. True of False? You must drive on the right in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and on the left in the British Virgin Islands.

7. The best way to experience a fantastic Mooncottages ST John villas vacation would be to:

a. Call Brian our General Moonager at 917-678-5315

b. Call your friends and ask them to be jealous

c. Call your mother and say you won’t be home for 2 weeks

Answers:(1) b (2) c (3) c (4) 1 hour except in summer, when the Virgin Islands and east coast of the U.S. are on the same time. (5) b (6) False; driving on the left is required in both territories (7) ALL

STOP Hiking on ST John ‘Cuz Fun is Addictive

You know, when people come to stay at Mooncottages one of the first thing they always ask is where’s the best hiking on ST John. This NOT easy. Because there are so many best places to hike on St. John—because its so available everywhere. But, here is one of the best and one of my favorites. And, you won’t want to stop here as hiking on ST John is amazing–and addictive. You may find yourself scheduling hikes three times a day.

Ram Head Trail, a 2.5 mile hike (round trip) that features gorgeous, changing landscapes and spectacular views of the island’s eastern and southern coasts.

Take the only road through Coral Bay about 2 miles to Salt Pond Bay Beach. Begin your journey at the south end of Salt Pond Bay Beach. The first 0.3 miles is all downhill to the bay, though soon afterward you’ll be ascending into a lovely forested area. Once “out of the woods” you’ll discover a delightful blue cobblestone beach. Pause awhile. Stretch out your hamstrings. And enjoy the view of Rams Head, looming in the distance.

Continue walking 0.25 miles along the rocky shoreline. Along the way, you may notice bold or whimsical arrangements of stones, the handiwork of hikers who passed this way before you. Feel free, likewise, to express yourself in stone, if you are so moved!

The ravines deepen and the winds increase dramatically as you ascend Ram’s Head Point.  If you venture to the cliff edges please watch your step, because you’ll be looking at a 200-foot drop into the sea. The views at the peak are the reason many people come to St. John, again and again.

If you have the energy on your way back, consider going for a swim or snorkeling at Salt Pond Bay Beach, a worthy destination of its own.

Wear hiking shoes. When hiking on ST John, sandals or flip flops will not properly support your hike through the rocky terrain and occasionally steep inclines, nor protect your feet from the profusion of barrel cactus on the rail.

Drink water and use sunscreen. Both are essential in conditions of intense heat and physical exertion. And wear a hat. Stay hydrated!

Hike Ram Head Trail at sunrise or sunset. The early morning is cooler, there will be fewer people on the trail, and the beauty of the light at that time of day defies description. At dusk, bring a flashlight. Watch the stars from the top. Hiking on ST John is not merely addictive … it’s AWESOME.

See you on the trail!

Romantic Couples Getaways on St. John USVI

When it comes to Romantic Couples Getaways, all of you–young or gently seasoned, married or still considering, happy or little bored, homespun or well traveled have one thing in common. You are a “couple.” That means 1+1 = Life. Somewhere on the surface or maybe just buried a wee bit deeper inside, you know that maintaining a romantic lifestyle is a very important thing–and couples getaways can help. If you live in one of our colder climates, it’s difficult to maintain that romantic flame when you are simply struggling with the elements. This is why warmer climate people are so warm and romantically sexy methinks. Their lovers are spending less time shopping for overcoats and more time thinking of cool romantic things to do to with their other half.

With that being said, when it comes to Romantic Couples Getaways, St. John USVI offers amazing choices. Not only is it a pristine, safe and gorgeous island, but there are lots of fun things to do for those hyperactive city dwellers that can’t slow down that quickly. In St. John, there is hiking, snorkeling, dining, and sailing and the most beautiful freaking beaches on the planet. Bar none.

So, where do I stay? Good question. There are a couple of nice hotels here on the island. The Westin and the venerable Caneel Bay for example. However, they are still rather pricy for what you get. For the same money or less, you can get yourself a villa rental on St. John with your own private pool, amazing view, seclusion, ambiance, a kitchen and much, much more. Mooncottages Romantic Luxury Villas are known as a benchmark for romantic couples getaways. They are designed either to be petite and perfect just for couples. Or in some cases, are larger more extravagant villas that were cleverly designed to be cozy for couples nonetheless.

The benefits of staying at a rental villa on St. John are too many to count. Among them, privacy, views and the freedom to play without seeing or being seen by another soul. Mooncottages St. John villas are especially noted for their privacy and seclusion and the guest reviews over the years from sources like TripAdvisor, HomeAway and from the villa’s guest book tell the story best.

Be yourselves again. Find yourselves again. Remember why you became a couple in the first place. No matter what your taste, St. John and it’s many romantic luxury villas can show you how.

Mooncottage Caribbean Rainbow

Rainbow miracle from Mooncottage

Rum and Coke from Mooncottage : St. John's Most Romantic Villa

Rum and Coke on the Deck of Mooncottage

St. John Romantic Villas

A villa with a view- Villa Solemare

Mooncottage's Teahouse Treehouse

Mooncottage’s Teahouse Treehouse

Can I see Stingrays on St John USVI?

Can I really see stingrays on St. John? Of course you can! Stingrays on St. John can be found in many areas of the island.


Mooncottage Master Woodworker: Stephan

What can we say about Stephan Scholz except that is our favorite St. John master woodworker and friend who is almost singularly responsible t all of the amazing woodwork you will see if you stay at one of our Mooncottages.


Miss Lucy’s: Best Coral Bay Restaurants

What other Coral Bay Restaurants on ST John could you eat such delicious food with such a delicious view. OK. This REALLY is your view. From your table. Right under the centuries old sea grape trees at Ms. Lucy’s on Route 107, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands … about 2 miles from the turnoff into Coral Bay US Virgin Islands.


Calabash Market: Cool Deli in Coral Bay

On your next stay at Mooncottage or anywhere near Coral Bay, try shopping at the new deli in Coral Bay called Calabash Market. The suave and kind Ali runs this very well stocked and clean family business with his wife. Sometimes they have local fish, but always a little of everything is available. Fresh sausage, steaks and chicken for the grill. Did I mention how well this Deli in Coral Bay was maintained and stocked? They are just the nicest people … and SO close to Mooncottages, just right down the hill.  340-775-7172  They have an ATM there too!

Coral Bay Delis

The kind and helpful and suave Ali always there to help.

Coral Bay Markets

Calabash Market produce is always fresh

Shipwreck Landing: Yummy St. John Cuisine
Coral Bay Restaurants

Shipwreck Landing Cool with a View

Right down the hill from Mooncottages is our closest and one of the best restaurants for St. John Cuisine on the island–the unstoppable Shipwreck Landing in Coral Bay. We have been on St. John a long time and have experienced Shipwreck Landing through a number of chefs, storms and economic conditions … and it keeps on going strong!

The crowd is always lively. The staff, local and friendly. And, the food is always Yummy. A lot of homemade dishes are on the menu at all times. The soups are incredible. They usually always have a local fish as well as your standard menu of just about everything. My favorite when I am in the mood, is Fish and Chips. I just love it. Add a little hot sauce into the tartar sauce and enjoy with a cold, icy beer.

They also have music usually on Wednesdays and Sundays … but check with them while you’re here. One of the great things about staying at Mooncottages, is when the wind is right, you can hear the music from down below sweetly serenading you from 550 below. That’s just HOW quiet it is up there. You can listen to it while you make your own St. John cuisine at home.

While at Shipwreck Landing, turn around and enjoy the ocean because it’s right there. Or kill a little time shopping at their funky little shopping area. Its usually quite busy in season, so get there early.  340-693-5640