Get closer to your dream vacation with these tips!

Salt Pond Bay (Beach)

Salt Pond Bay (Beach)

SALT POND BEACH

For a long time, I thought this was just a stagnant pond of smelly water. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, due to the salt content at this beach the water is even more clear than at many other St. John beaches and that’s saying something. Salt Pond Beach is really good for small children as the water and waves are minimal and the sandy entry is very gentle with no water drop off.  
 
Snorkeling is superior especially if you go out from the center of the beach to the rock hump in the water. There’s sea grass around it and a great chance to spot turtles and rays with an assortment of other fish life.
 

GETTING HERE

Well, this beach is off the beaten path so I suggest you pack a lunch and start early for a half or full day at this great beach.  Bring plenty of water or as in my case – Heineken.  There are some picnic tables at the beach be sure not to leave food out or the mongoose will surely steal it.  I’ve also seen donkeys wandering the beach on occasion.  Again, don’t feed them as they won’t leave you alone.  Be sure to bring your camera or phone as the beach is beautiful and if you get bored there are some nice hiking trails right at the beach.
 
From the traffic circle in town take the road going past Dolphin Market this is Centerline Road Route 10.  Take it all the way down the steep hill entering Coral Bay.  At the bottom, you will see a “T” and the Monrovia Church will be on your left turn right going along the water.  Go past the old Island Blues Restaurant/Bar on left for about four miles past Concordia.  As the road makes a sharp right, you will see parking on the left.  
 
It’s only about a ten-minute hike down to the beach, don’t pack too much as you have to come back later in the day after an awesome beach day experience!
 

VILLA? AIRPLANE? AIRPLANE? VILLA?

Always a dilemma and I may have addressed this before. If so, bear with me. Get your DAMN villa first!! Oh, you can poke around airline prices and maybe save a few bucks going Tuesday to Tuesday. But try and find a villa during high season that will take your seven-night request from mid-week to mid-week.  
 
See owners/agents know if they take your mid-week holiday it’s basically going to cost them another week of open nights before and after your arrive. These “Orphan” nights are the kiss of death to an owner. He can’t possibly rent three or four nights to the next potential guest that he lost renting to you. Yeah, I know, you may not want a Saturday to Saturday stay for any number of reasons; but as an owner, I’ll kiss your pinky ring when you take a week starting on Saturday.  
 
Furthermore, lot’s of things revolve around guest arrivals on a Saturday. Easier to get to the BVI’s for Jost Van Dyke Foxy Pain Killer. Car rental companies revolve around Saturday to Saturday. Easy to work with the National Park Service people and plan your week. Gives you an opportunity to enjoy Sunday brunch at Ms. Lucy’s. Alright, Alright some of this is crap, but arriving on Saturday will, in fact, give you more villa choices to stay at, including mine.
 

SHAMELESS MARKETING

Well, kids will soon be out of school and summer is around the corner. Gotta be time to commence vacation planning. I have lots of weeks left at Sopra Mare and Bordo Mare starting from mid-July and a few in May also. Remember, you always get a 5% discount as a reader of my newsletter except when “Value Season” commences starting mid-August-early October.  Then you get an amazing 25% discount on those weeks.
 
I’ve mentioned this before when searching for a villa, commence with VRBO.  I recommend using the far left button which says, “Sort by: VRBO Sort” and then changing it to “Review Count” using the drop down arrow.  The reason why I recommend this sort; the most popular villas (like mine) get pushed to the bottom of the listing pages if you just pick sorts like price or bedrooms.  VRBO puts individual villas at the top of their pages when these villas are not rented and there’s a reason why they aren’t rented.  However, VRBO is hoping you chose the vacant places as it adds quickly to their “Service Fee” charged to you, the guest.
 
Once you find a villa or several on VRBO you like then go to Google and do a villa name search followed by “St. John USVI.”  This should give you a list of sites including the owner’s site where you can go directly and book without the VRBO Service Fee, often as much as $399.00!!  Again, don’t book directly through VRBO and you will avoid their Service Fee.
 
A couple of guys have started a site that now has about 100 properties listed and it’s only for St. John villas.  You will be in direct contact with the owner/agent via their phone and email address; best of all, NO SERVICE FEE TO YOU!  Right now the site is a little “clunky” but these guys are improving it constantly and you will be working with just St. John people that truly know the island and the villas.  So give them a try, poke around the site and let me know what you think?  I’ve watched this site over the last six months or so and just listed with them.

https://stjohn-villarentals.com/

I believe in a year or so they will have a good grasp on the St. John rental market and you’ll be happy you found a perfect villa on their site.
 

SUMMARY

IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY!

Doesn’t seem possible, but this is the first anniversary of “Ur St. John FIX!” Newsletter. We’ve come a long way over the past twelve months with my tech guy Ryan dragging me, yelling and screaming into the 21st century. I’ve got some fun innovations planned for this second year and I think you’ll enjoy them.
 
Hope you like the information provided and just maybe it’ll add to your St. John vacation experience.
 
Have a great Spring and Summer is just around the corner. I’ll “Leave The Lite On” for you at your island home – Bordo Mare and Sopra Mare.
 
Mike Mullen – Owner
 
But everyone just calls me “Mulley”
 
PS
 
I didn’t make it to St. John like I said I would in the last newsletter, but will by the end of this month. I’ve promised myself a break and just like you, I’m getting excited at the prospect and anticipate the adventure!
 
Past newsletters and other information can be found on my website: www.mulleysstjohnvillas.com and you can always call me with questions (972) 679-9937