FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & HELPFUL INFORMATION
We want to make sure you have the best vacation possible while staying with us at Island Abodes. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions and also some tips for your upcoming coming trip to St. John:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have parking?
Yes! There’s one parking spot per unit at both the Suites at Sunset Serenade and the Garden Suite at Chocolate Hole. Down Yonder Pool Villa has space for 2 vehicles. Additional parking is available on the street right out front.
Do you provide beach chairs, towels and a cooler?
Yes! We provide beach chairs, beach towels and a beach cooler to all guests.
Do I need to bring my own linens?
No way! Island Abodes provides all guest linens including high quality sheets, pillowcases, bath towels, washcloths, and beach towels.
Do I need to bring my own toiletries?
Of course not! Island Abodes provides all guests with toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent (for Down Yonder Villa, Garden Suite and Penthouse only), dishwasher soap (Down Yonder Villa and Penthouse only). Each unit also comes with shampoo, bath gel and the Chocolate Hole rentals also receive conditioner. We also provide bug repellent and sunscreen.
Can I wash my clothes while staying with island Abodes?
Down Yonder Villa, Garden Suite at Chocolate Hole and Penthouse at Sunset Serenade have there own private washers and dryers. We provide detergent for these units. The Honeymoon Suite, One-Bedroom Suite and Studio Suite at Sunset Serenade do not have washers and dryers, however there is a drop off laundry mat near by.
What about an iron and ironing board?
Yes, each unit comes with an iron and ironing board.
Should I pack my own hair dryer?
No, we provide you with a hair dryer.
Is wifi available?
Yes, wifi is available free of charge for guests at both the Suites at Sunset Serenade, the Garden Suite at Chocolate Hole and Down Yonder Pool Villa.
Will my cell phone work on island?
AT&T and Sprint cell service work best on St. John. Talk, text and data are all free. Verizon is spotty at best. Text and data are free; however you will get little to no service on island. Verizon calls cost $1.99 a minute. Some parts of the island don’t have cell service at all. Other areas connect to British cell towers, which can be quite costly. So you may want to switch on airplane mode while exploring the North Shore and Coral Bay.
What about coffee and a coffee maker?
Each unit comes with a Keurig coffee maker and a regular coffee maker. We provide a regular coffee k-cup per adult for each morning. We also provide a tea and decaf k-cup for each night you have booked the unit. If you will need more coffee or tea, it is sold at the local markets or you can bring your own. As for the regular coffee maker, we provide coffee filters but not coffee grinds.
How do I get to Island Abodes?
St. John does not have an airport; therefore you will need to fly into St. Thomas (airport code: STT). After you land in St. Thomas, you will need to take a taxi to Red Hook, which is where you will get on a ferry to Cruz Bay, St. John. Finding a taxi at the airport is simple; all you have to do is exit the airport and there will be several taxis waiting for you. The cost for the taxi to the ferry in Red Hook is $15 per person for a shared taxi. There is an added charge of $3 per large bag. Purses, backpacks and laptop bags are free of charge. The taxi ride is approximately 30-60 minutes. Times vary based on the number of stops made prior to arriving at Red Hook, as well as traffic. Private taxis are also available at a cost of $90, all inclusive. Ferries depart Red Hook every hour on the hour. The cost of the ferry is $7 one way. There is an added charge of $4 per large bag. Purses, backpacks and laptop bags are free of charge. The ferry ride takes approximately 15 minutes.
How do I get around St. John?
We strongly recommend that you rent a Jeep. Jeeps are the most common rental vehicles here on St. John. While Sunset Serenade is within walking distance to town (for the fit and adventurous), and our Chocolate Hole units are walking distance to the Westin Resort for a taxi, we strongly recommend renting a Jeep as our roads are very narrow and steep, and they do not have sidewalks. Renting a Jeep will also allow you to explore our beautiful island, which is more than two-thirds National Park. Here is a link to all the St John car rentals: http://www.stjohnusvi.com/rentals.html
How many towns are on St. John?
We have two main towns on St. John – Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Cruz Bay is our main town. It is also where you will arrive via ferry. Cruz Bay has an abundance of shops, restaurants and bars. It is also a great place to watch the sunset.
Coral Bay is roughly eight miles from Cruz Bay or a 20-30 minute ride. Coral Bay is a much sleepier place with a handful of shops and restaurants. Coral Bay is a great spot to watch the sunrise.
When I visit Cruz Bay, where do I park?
Parking in Cruz Bay can be a challenge during high season months. We almost always park in the Gravel Lot adjacent to the car ferry and tennis courts. Check out this link for a primer on Cruz Bay parking options: http://newsofstjohn.com/2016/01/03/where-to-park-in-cruz-bay/
I heard that American Airlines wants passengers to check in three hours in advance. Is that true?
From what we’ve heard, yes it is. It is up to you whether you want to risk it or not. Here is a link to AA’s website regarding St. Thomas check in times: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/destinationInformation/stt-airport.jsp
What should I pack?
St. John is a very casual island. When packing, keep comfort in mind. It’s hot here in the tropics, so cotton is your friend. We typically advise women to leave their heels and wedges at home. A few bathing suits and coverups are plenty. For men, a t-shirt and shorts are just fine. You do not need to dress for dinner at most restaurants. Flip flops can be worn pretty much anywhere. Here’s a humorous blog post on what not to pack when planning a trip to the Caribbean:http://womenwholiveonrocks.com/what-not-to-pack-for-your-caribbean-vacation/
What about the bugs?
Yes, we have bugs here in the Caribbean. The two main buggers are mosquitos and no see ums, and both are most active just before sunset. All you need is some bug spray – which we provide to all guests – and you shouldn’t have an issue. Each of our units is also equipped with an electronic mosquito zapper (looks like a tennis racquet) in case one of the wily critters follows you inside.
How far away is the beach?
We have a great blog post to answer this very question. Check it out here: http://www.islandabodes.com/how-far-away-is-the-beach/
What is there to do for fun on St. John?
St. John is great for people who love the outdoors. Being two-thirds National Park, we have a ton of outdoor activities. There are over 10 world class beaches where you can relax, swim or snorkel. Numerous hiking trails criss-cross the island, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging. Boat trips to the neighboring British Virgin Islands is also a popular activity. You will, however, need a passport for those trips. If you have any questions about activities here on St. John, please ask us, we’re happy to help.
St. John Tidbits
• Greetings: It is customary to greet everyone with good morning, good afternoon, good day or good night.
• Driving: We drive on the left, have no stop lights, and maximum speed limit is 20mph.
• Currency: Our currency is the US dollar.
• Language: We’re an English speaking island, but with a Caribbean lilt. You may also hear Patois, a mix of English, French and Spanish.
• Virgin Islands National Park: Two-thirds of St. John is National Park. Much of it was donated by Laurence Rockefeller in the 1950s.
• Beaches: St. John’s North Shore has the best beaches…some of the best in the world! Solomon is the closest National Park beach to Island Abodes…it’s a 10 minute hike from the National Park Visitor’s Center. Or Hawksnest, which has parking, is roughly 10 minutes by car (traveling at the 20mph speed limit). Trunk Bay, which is consistently ranked one of the top beaches in the world, is roughly 15 minutes (20 mph) from all of our properties.
• Hiking Trails: We have more than two dozen hiking trails throughout the island.
• Restaurants: We have numerous restaurants ranging from casual to very upscale.
• Gas Stations: St. John has only two gas stations and both are within a quarter mile of each other in Cruz Bay.
• Grocery Stores: We have three main grocery stores in Cruz Bay. Starfish Market at the Marketplace has the largest selection. Dolphin Market at the roundabout and St. John Market across the street from the Westin are also good choices.
• Water: There is no fresh water source on St. John, so water is very precious here. The majority of the island catches its water from the sky. Here in the land of sun and fun, we never flush for number one. We also don’t let the water run while showering, brushing teeth or washing hands.
• Power: Electric power is generated on St. Thomas and brought to St. John by underwater cables. It’s around 5 times more expensive than power on the mainland! Please help us conserve by turning off lights and never letting the AC run when you’re not home.
• Modesty: It is considered rude to be in public (other than on a beach) in a swimsuit. Men must wears shirts at all times when not on a beach. If women are in swimsuits, they should have a coverup on when in public.
• BVIs: Day trips to the British Virgin Islands are very fun island/bar hopping days. Guests will need a passport for these trips. A passport is not necessary to visit St. John and St. Thomas.
• Animals: It is common to see cats, chickens, iguana, goats, donkeys, cows, deer and the occasional pig roaming our island. The island treats its animals very well. All cats are spayed/neutered, and we have feeding stations for them throughout the island. Stray dogs are not a problem on St. John. If a dog is found roaming, it is immediately brought to our animal shelter, the ACC.
• Pet Adoption: If you’re thinking of getting a new dog or cat, why not adopt one while on vacation? The ACC will help with the travel arrangements, and you’ll have the best souvenir from your St. John vacation!
• No Open Container Law: There’s no open container law on St. John. So, much like in Key West or New Orleans, you can walk around with an adult beverage in hand.