Joan Weinthal Clayton offered to share her perspective on one of our favorite island spots! We cannot wait to go see J2O!

Some might call me a skeptic but I never thought I believed in love at first sight until I stepped off the St. John ferry in 1984 and arrived on island for the very first time.   Greeted by splashes of bright colors, tranquil turquoise water and friendly St John locals, I was immediately transformed.  As I stepped into the eclectic community of Cruz Bay, I was welcomed by swaying coconut palms, sea grapes and the aromas of fresh island BBQ.  Happily there are still only 4,800 friendly year round residents to greet you, no commercial franchises, no airports and not a single traffic signal.

St. John nicknamed “Love City” by its residents is located about 3 miles east of St. Thomas and 4 miles south of Tortola accessible only by convenient ferry service.  This tiny island is only 19.61 square miles. More than 75% of St John is protected as a National Park.  Snorkeling and hiking trails, native plants and trees, historic ruins and archeological dig areas retain their natural beauty and are protected for the future enjoyment of all.  In fact, St. John is home to more than 140 species of birds, 22 mammals, 740 plants, 50 types of coral and 7 amphibians.

In my view, St. John is the perfect destination to merge adventure and relaxation.  I always enjoy the slow pace, no worry atmosphere that brings me to St. John back year after year.  With little or no advance planning you can paddleboard, snorkel, windsurf, play tennis, hike, kayak, parasail, or plan a sunset horseback ride.  Don’t miss whale watching (Dec-March), a spa day, fishing, champagne sunset sails or a leisurely day of island exploration.  Better still spend a few days or weeks trying to decide your favorite of the more than 50 beaches that have been declared amongst the most beautiful beaches in the world by Conde Nast, National Geographic, Caribbean Travel and Life and Islands Magazine.  This view is shared by beach connoisseurs and travel professionals throughout the world.  I heartily concur!  In fact, I have spent the last 25 years trying to find a more perfect island.  In my world, it simply can’t be done.

In 2008, I made the best decision of my life; I bought a piece of the island.  J2O, The Penthouse at Grande Bay Resort, is a beautiful new resort condominium located directly on Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI.  From J2O I never tire of the sunsets and panoramic views spanning the turquoise waters of Pillsbury Sound, the distant cays of the BVI, the evening lights of St. Thomas and the breathtaking flowers and greenery of the hills above town. Imagine a penthouse hideaway, just a few short steps from the fine dining, shopping, water sports, and beach activities that makes St. John the premier destination in the US Virgin Islands.  Less than a 5 minute walk from the ferry dock, J2O at Grande Bay Resort is the perfect location, combining convenience and privacy.

Just a short walk from J2O at Grande Bay Resort, visitors will find a shopping paradise.  Mongoose Junction showcases the beauty of Caribbean island architecture. You will find fabulous shopping, galleries, and great food.  Shop in shaded comfort for locally made jewelry, gifts and resort wear.  Wharfside Village, just steps from your front door, is a unique shopping, dining and entertainment area.  Brightly colored, Caribbean style buildings nested in the heart of Cruz bay are filled with gifts and local artwork that are sure to remind you of your stay on St. John.

St. John also offers endless possibilities for dining.  From local BBQ to beachfront fine dining, St. John will not disappoint a single member of the family.  Starfish Market, the island’s full service market, is conveniently located for all of your at-home dining and entertainment needs.  At your request and for your convenience, we can make arrangements to provision J2O at Grande Bay Resort for your arrival and stay.
Check out the website for details and contact information.  We are happy to share our special offers, last minute deals, and multi-week discounts throughout the year.

So yes, after 25 years and countless returns to St. John I can say, without a doubt or moment of hesitation, I really do believe in love at first sight!


Have you been to the Virgin Islands yet? What is your favorite island spot? Tell us in the comments below!

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