AirBnB service fees

Airbnb’s “secret” can cost you hundreds … even thousands of dollars!

A new millennium brought us a revolutionary way to find and book vacation rentals. The internet provided the perfect place to search for vacation rentals – in a growing marketplace that what would eventually become Vacation Rental By Owner, otherwise knows as “VRBO”. Founded by a husband and wife, Dave and Lynn Clouse, VRBO would become the largest online source for vacation rental listings by owners. In 2006 they sold the business and web site to the online travel giant, HomeAway. VRBO remains one of the most popular web sites for guests to find and book direct with owners. The term “VRBO” became synonymous with vacation rentals.

The term “AIRBNB” is synonymous with finding and booking a place to stay.

On August 11, 2008 a site was launched by two former schoolmates, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. The site, quickly outgrew their apartment “office”. In March of 2009 the name of the company and web site domain name were shortened to The term AirBnB has largely replaced “VRBO” in American vernacular as a way to choose and book places to stay, directly with owners, around the world! Today, even as the landscape of the online travel industry shifts, we’re firmly in an era where AirBnB is seen as the place to search and book a place to stay directly with owners!

VRBO caps it’s service fee at a maximum of $599.
While rival AirBnB charges guests 0%-20% of the booking.

As the titans of online direct with owner vacation rentals vie for our bookings, AirBnB has established a fee structure that VRBO is keen to match. VRBO has shifted from an annual subscription model to a percentage of each booking paid by owners combined with a guest “service fee” calculated as a percentage of their booking total. But here’s where our two competitors divide. VRBO caps it’s service fee at a maximum of $599. While rival AirBnB charges guests 0%-20% of the booking. Note: Without a cap – service fees can amount to hundreds and hundreds, in some cases thousands of dollars!

SOLUTION: HidE Airbnb Fees

In response to the new fees the Book Direct movement was launched; and in general, consumer awareness of these service fees, aka Booking Fees, has expanded especially in travel forums like TripAdvisor. Facing growing guest backlash, AirBnB announced that it would do away with the guest service fee. As part of a test, they rolled out the Fee-Free model on select listings. The results of the “test” are unclear. But the end result seems to be a move to fold the guest fee into owner rental rates!

Sounds fairly innocuous, right? Well, the reality is a consumer nightmare.

In a message to owners, AirBnB offered a choice on how to include Airbnb’s Guest Service Fee in their pricing. The “RECOMMENDED” option is to “Include all Airbnb service fees in your price.“. Sounds fairly innocuous, right? Well, the reality is a consumer nightmare.

AirBnB hidden fees message to owners

…the consumer is now blind to the percentage and actual cost of completing the booking on Airbnb’s platform.

While Airbnb successfully “hides” the guest service fee in owner rates – the result is that Airbnb robs the consumer of the ability to make an educated choice on where and how to book their vacation rental. By combing the owners nightly rate with their fees … the consumer is now blind to the percentage and actual cost of completing the booking on Airbnb’s platform. Clever, perhaps. Devious, for sure!

Here’s an example of the TRUE cost of booking on AIRBNB

AirbnbSTJ Villa Rentals
Feb 15-22, 2020Feb 15-22, 2020
8 Guests / 7 Nights = $17,0038 Guests / 7 Nights = $15,000
Occupancy Tax/Fees = $2,12512.5% VI Hotel Tax = $1,875
TOTAL = $19,128TOTAL = $16,875
$2,253.00 HIGHERRates/dates/fees compared on a single listing on 5/20/2019


what can you do to avoid paying these hidden fees?

Booking fees aren’t going away any time soon. Most large online travel sites are under pressure from investors to produce robust returns. Airbnb’s move to hide their fees in owner rates is just their most recent strategy to wring more money from each transaction. That goal is NOT going to change. So here’s what you can do to get the best rate:

COMPARE PRICING: Take the extra time to compare pricing for the same rental on one or two other sites. Like getting a second opinion from your doctor. Or getting 3 quotes on a home improvement job.

SEARCH FOR BOOK DIRECT OPTIONS: Owners are increasingly diversifying their marketing. One of the ways they accomplish this is with a stand alone web site dedicated to their property. Booking direct with the owner will get you the best rate and eliminate the middleman fees that these large travel sites charge you and the owners.

SEARCH NO FEES SITES: There are a growing number of alternative “No Fees” vacation rental sites. Some, like the site you are currently on, don’t charge owners a commission and they don’t charge guests a booking fee. They provide a centralized inventory for you to browse, search, and connect directly with  the vacation rental owner to ask questions and make a reservation.


St John Festival 2019 events schedule

St John’s Festival dates back to the early part of the 20th century. Residents, still under Danish rule, held masquerade events. The original celebrations have given way to today’s modern celebration including Emancipation Day, July 3rd, and the US Independence Day, July 4th. The first official St John Festival began in 1945. It was a one day event bringing people together to share and socialize over food and a colorful parade. Today’s Festival is a month long celebrating island culture, food, music, opening of Carnival Village, pageantry,  fireworks, parade and race events. The St John Festival kicks off with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the honoree, US Virgin Islands Governor and Carnival Queen.

The schedule of events for this years 2019 St John Festival! Enjoy pageantry, music, parades, food and more in the month long cultural celebration!

MAY 12 – ROYALTY INTRODUCTION: 5pm, Cruz Bay Parking Lot

JUNE 1 – PAN-O-RAMA: 4pm, Franklin Powell Park

JUNE 15 – FESTIVAL BIKE RACE: 8am, St John National Park Field

JUNE 16 – PRINCESS & JR. MISS PAGEANT 2019: 6pm, St John National Park Field

JUNE 22 – FESTIVAL QUEEEN PAGEANT 2019: 8pm, St John National Park Field

JUNE 23 – FOOD FAIR & CORONATION: 1pm, Franklin Powell

JUNE 23 – BOAT RACE: 3pm, Cruz Bay Harbor

JUNE 28 – JULY 7 –  VILLAGE OPENING “MEMBERSVILLE”: 7pm-10pm, Cruz Bay Parking Lot

JUNE 29 – CHILDREN’S VILLAGE: 6pm, St John National Park Field

JULY 1-7 –VILLAGE OPENING “MEMBERSVILLE”: 7pm-10pm, Cruz Bay Parking Lot

JULY 3 – EMANCIPATION PROGRAM: 1pm, Cruz Bay Parking Lot

JULY 3 – TORCH LIGHT PARADE: 6pm, Cruz Bay Parking Lot

JULY 4 – JOUVERT: 5am, St John National Park Field

JULY 4 – PARADE: 11am, St John National Park Field

JULY 4 – FIREWORKS: 9pm, Cruz Bay Harbor

JULY 6 – MUSICAL MIX 2019: 9pm, St John National Park Field

JULY 9 – POKER RUN: 12pm, Cruz Bay Harbor

Lime Out VI St John floating bar

Lime Out VI

The internet is buzzing about St John’s latest restaurant/bar launch. Every travel news web site from to Caribbean Journal to Coastal Living published articles. Social media pages shared the owner’s images and posts as the “big day” approached. So, what’s all this fuss about?

Lime Out VI is the brainchild of Richard Baranowski. What’s his idea? Build a floating taco bar – wrapped in lime green siding and topped with solar panels. He and co-owners Dane Tarr and Dylan Buchalter, along with wives Chelsea Baranowski and Val Tarr, teamed up with chef Amaro Rivera and social media and design guru Cynthia Swan. What they created is nothing short of awesome!

Lime Inn restaurant - Lime Out VI taco bar

Richard and Chelsea are owners of one of St John’s most popular restaurants, Lime Inn in Cruz Bay [famous for their local grilled Caribbean lobster!]. So, it seemed only fitting to name this new floating food and drink spot, Lime Out! Doesn’t hurt that the Caribbean phrase “Limin” literally means to relax, kick back, hangout!

This eco-friendly ( solar powered, no single-use straws or non-bio degradable packaging or utensils) attraction serves up fresh and funky tacos and island drinks. One side of Lime Out serves boaters. The other side serves paddle-up patrons at their water-level bar and seating! NOTE: Lime Out asks that you DO NOT swim out to the bar!

Check out their taco and drink menu!

Lime Out VI floating bar three tacosCeviche TacoGreen Curry TacoThe Vegan TacoRum Ribs Taco .. even a Surf + Turf Taco w/short rib, blackened shrimp, feta cheese, locally grown Josephine’s micro greens and avocado.

Here’s a sampling from their current craft cocktail menu:
The Danger, Thai chili infused blue agave tequila, fresh watermelon juice, fresh lime juice and pineapple syrup! Mako Jumbie w/Cruzan light rum. Mudda TuckerAksel RoséHarbor Cooler – a refreshing mix of gin, cucumber infused soda and fresh lime juice. Wiley’s Whiskey – Jack Daniels®, soursop pureé and fresh lime juice. Dielan’s LemonadeFlip’s Grapefruit Margarita and Hunter’s Passion w/ Cruzan mango rum!


Interested in visiting Lime Out VI? They’re located just off the beach at Hansen Bay, East End, St John. for hours of operation, menus and to see what they’re up to … please connect via Facebook .

Location: Hansen Bay, East End, St John
Drive Time: 37-45 minutes
Distance: 19.4 Km / 12.0 mi

Directions to Lime Out VI floating Bar:
Take Centerline Road (Highway 10) or North Shore Road heading East. At Columbo Smoothie Shop – Centerline and North Shore merge. Travelers on North Shore Road will bear left when they reach Centerline. Centerline travelers will simply continue on down the hill into Coral Bay. At the bottom of the hill continue on Route 10, heading East, past the Moravian Church on your left, Rhumblines/Indigo Grill on your left and Skinny Legs Bar on your right. Follow this winding road for approximately 3.5 miles. Arrive on your right at Hansen Bay Beach. There is a small fee to park. And you can rent kayaks or bring floats to get to Lime Out VI. Absolutely no swimming out to the bar, please!

Click for a Google Map highlighting the route.


NOTE: Visitors to St John might remember Angel’s Rest. With her bright yellow siding, St John’s floating bar stood out against the aqua blue water and deep blue sky. Sadly, Angel’s Rest was completely destroyed in the pair of CAT5 hurricanes that swept over St John in 2017. Angel’s Rest owner, Peter Hoschl, decided not to rebuild. So ends an era of strong rum drinks, cold beer and lively conversation aboard the iconic Angel’s REst floating bar!

The Longboard bar + restaurant Cruz Bay St John USVI

The Longboard

The Longboard bar & restaurant Cruz Bay St John menu itemsSept 2017, a pair of CAT5 hurricanes, Irma & Marie, passed over St John separated by just 2 weeks! When the winds died down and the rain-soaked Island began to dry out – a handful of local businesses sprung into action feeding those that had lost everything! The Longboard Cantina, Cruz Bay, served up meals for months.

The Island is largely restored, power is back on, internet and cell phone service is up and running. And the Longboard Cantina has completed it’s own hurricane repairs.

Back to Business

The Longboard is located just 1 block up from the Cruz Bay ferry dock. Sitting along a busy narrow street, you’ll find the inviting open seating and aqua washed interior of this fan-favorite hangout. Famous for their frozen Painkillers – topped with fresh ground nutmeg and served in a pint glass. The Longboard is a great place to have a cold drink, enjoy some appetizers and a wonderful fresh ingredient menu.

The Longboard Cantina Cruz Bay St John best happy hour

Longboard Happy Hour

Not that you’ll need an excuse – but Happy Hours seem to inspire people to gather and enjoy an afternoon or early evening cocktail. And the Longboard Happy Hour is one of our TOP PICKS for Best Cruz Bay Happy Hours! Starting at 3pm and running until 6pm, you can soak up $1 OFF all beers, $6 Frozen painkillers, $6 Island Craft Cocktails and $11 Frose!


Connect with them on Instagram to see some of their amazing craft cocktails and mouth-watering appetizers and dinners! The Longborad Instagram

Caribbean Buzz Helicopter Tours US Virgin Islands activities

Caribbean Buzz Helicopter weddingAnybody that’s spent any time on St Thomas or St John has surely looked up to see the iconic yellow helicopters of Caribbean Buzz. Looks like a great way to see the islands, right? So we decided to get some information and share it with you!

Caribbean Buzz Helicopters is more than a helicopter tour operation. So we sat down with Charlotte, of Caribbean Buzz, to hear about their range of services and tours, including charters, day trips, Helicopters-Adventures, weddings, corporate experience, aerial filming and even flight training!

SJVR: Like so many people … I’ve seen your familiar bright yellow helicopters flying over St John, US Virgin Islands and wondered what it must look like from that height. Can you tell us something about your helicopter tours, destinations and pricing?

CB: [Charlotte] We are limited by your imagination and will work with you to make a unique memory. Otherwise, our basic tour is 30 minutes. This takes you across St. Thomas, North show of St. John, West end Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and adjoining islands, back to St. Thomas. We can customize what you see during 30 minutes: you tell us what you want. We can land on most of the the islands in the BVI (still trying to find a decent spot on Cooper Island), and also fly to Vieques, Culebra, Puerto Rico, St Marten, Anguilla, St Barts, and other down island destinations.

Caribbean Buzz Helicopter tourSJVR: How many passengers do your helicopters accommodate?

CB: We have 2 three passenger helicopters, Robinson 44 Clipper II, and an Airbus H145 which can seat 8 passengers.

SJVR: If the weather is bad, what happens to my tour?

CB: We give you a call and based on availability for both parties try to reschedule the flight or push it later in the day. We want everyone to have a great time!

SJVR: Can you share a few memorable guest flights?

CB: [Charlotte] Ha! We maintain the privacy of all of our clients. But,, since you ask; we’ve had some very funny marriage proposal flights. We were once tasked to make a scavenger hunt across a deserted island and the last clue led to the engagement ring that was buried in the sand. We were very worried that the ring would disappear before it was found! Or one time we flew a few pro basketball players and weren’t quite certain they would fit. They showed up and their feet were so big they almost couldn’t get through the door!

SJVR: It sounds like fun! I’m interested in a Day Trip; but I don’t see any pricing on your website. How much do these trips cost … and how do I make a reservation?

CB: The cost of trips range based on what exactly you would like to do, our minimum is a 30 minute tour for 550.00 USD for the 3 passenger helicopter. Day trips start at around 2100.00 USD for the smaller helicopter. Rates are per helicopter not per seat.

SJVR: [Charlotte] thanks for your time and sharing your unique island service with our readers.

Caribbean Buzz Helicopters is the only FAA approved helicopter co. in the USVIs and BVIs. Their team consists of highly experienced pilots. Caribbean Buzz operates Robinson 44 and H145 helicopters. The R44 accommodates 3 passengers plus pilot. The H145 accommodates 8 passengers plus pilot. And you can relax and enjoy your flight – their pilots have over 25,000 flight hours accident, incident and violation free!

Considering a unique perspective on Paradise or a WOW-me proposal/engagement or wedding? Give Caribbean Buzz a call. And set that memory in motion…

Caribbean Buzz Helicopters
8202 Lindbergh Bay
St. Thomas USVI

You can send them an email or call to book.
And they also have a contact form on our website.

T: +1 (340) 775 7335
T: +1 (347) 284 6335
F: +1 (340) 774 7133

[Cover photo: Don Hebert]

Estate Lindholm B&B St John USVI

The popular St John B&B, Stone Post Estate, will be closed for renovations throughout the winter of 2019/2020. For those that loved staying at Stone Post Estate, we share your sadness. But fear not, we’ve compiled some great alternative places to stay. Among the selections you’ll find other St John B&Bs, St John Guest Suites, Grande Bay Resort, Places to stay in Cruz Bay and affordable places to stay on St John.


St John has several beautiful B&Bs at different price points. Garden by the Sea has (3) charming rooms, convenient to Cruz Bay. Estate Lindholm has (16) rooms, overlooks Cruz Bay harbor and is a short hike to (2) National Park beaches, Salomon Beach and Honeymoon Beach. Click the link below to see these options.

St John Inns | B+Bs


St John Guest Suites is a small enclave of (4) individual suites, shared pool and outdoor grilling area. Beautifully furnished with amazing ocean views … click the links below to see these options.

St John Guest Suites – Lilly Guest Room

St John Guest Suites – Sugar Cane Suite

St John Guest Suites – Sea View Guest Room

St John Guest Suites – The Pool House Suite


Located within walking distance of all things Cruz Bay including bars/restaurants, shopping and transportation. These wonderful condos boast Cruz Bay harbor views, shared pool and gym. Our listings are all direct with owners, and rates vary by unit size and location. Click the link below to see our Grande Bay Resort inventory.

Grande Bay Resort St John USVI


Looking for the convenience of walk-to-everything in Cruz Bay? Here’s a quick link to listings in Cruz Bay. You can refine your search by adjusting budget, # bedrooms, amenities, etc. And use the map markers to see where each property is located. Click the link below to view Cruz Bay vacation rentals.

Search Results


We’ve pulled together some budget-friendly vacation rentals form across St John. From cute island cottages to shared pool condos and more! Click the links below to view these options.

Kachi Ra

Conch Villa Vista

Search Results

Calichi Yacht Charter, St John USVI

Vacation plans. Check.
Beautiful island. Check.
Aqua and blue waters. Check.

St John is a perennial favorite on most of the TOP CARIBBEAN ISLANDS and TOP BEACHES LISTS.

What makes St John island so popular?

Just 7 miles long and 3 miles wide …and over 60% of the island is protected by the US Virgin Islands National Park! The Park’s protection means less development and more land and resource preservation and management! This includes the famous North Shore beaches like Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay, Waterlemon Cay …

Enjoy over 3 dozen beautiful beaches!

From world-famous Trunk Bay Beach to lesser know pocket beaches and secret beaches; St John has been blessed with lots of beach options! While many of the beaches enjoy easy access and parking – there are some beaches and top snorkeling spots that you can only get to by water.

St John Day Charters

OK, so you’ve set a side a day to be on the water. It’s one of our favorite ways to spend a vacation day on St John. Most charters offer half day and full day tours. Most captains can plan an itinerary to match your activities wish list. Want to do a full day USVI and BVI snorkeling trip? Snorkel stop at Henley Cay and Watermelon Cay, St John and then on to Sandy Spit and/or The Indians. Looking to hit some of the world-famous beach bars? Head straight to the BVIs … and Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s Taboo, B-Line and Ivans Stress Free Bar on Jost Van Dyke or Pirates Bight on Norman Island. And don’t miss Bikinis on the Beach Bar & Grill, Honeymoon Beach, St John, USVI.

Calichi Day Charter St John snorkeling tours

Looking for a Luxury USVI Charter?

Look no further than Calichi. This 2009 53’ SunSeeker Portofino will make you feel like a multi-millionaire for the day. Powered by twin 800-HP MAN Turbo Diesels … gives Calichi the range to comfortably transport you to a host of island destinations. Choose from stops at St john, Peter Island, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke and The Baths at Virgin Gorda.

Calichi Private Charters
Start at $2,595 for up to 6 Guests w/ $150pp for guests 7-10

All charters include:

  • Continental Breakfast of croissants and fruit.
  • Complimentary Snorkel Gear
  • Towels and Sunscreen
  • Captain and First Mate Fees
  • Fuel
  • Open Bar (after the first snorkel!)
  • Just bring your swim suit, sunglasses and a great attitude!

To inquire or book a day aboard Calichi please contact them at:

Calichi St John Yacht Charters









Call 340-228-3534

or visit: Calichi Charters web site


Rum Shop Ryan at Maho Beach, St John US Virgin Islands

Caribbean Travel Blogger: Rum Shop Ryan

SJVR: Welcome Ryan. For our readers that haven’t heard of you – can you tell us a bit about who you are and how you’ve risen to the top of the Caribbean Travel Blogosphere?

RSR: First of all, let me thank you for the opportunity to talk about a passion I think we all share, the Caribbean, especially after the hurricanes of Sept/2017. A little bit about me, hmmmm – I was born and raised in a small town just south of Kansas City, KS. Go Jayhawks! Ever since I was a small little pirate, I knew I wanted to live by the ocean. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. In 2001, after graduating from Pitt State, I loaded up a Uhaul and drove to to southwest Florida. No job, no friends, just knew I wanted to live on the coast of somewhere beautiful.

Living in Florida and traveling to the Keys was great, but I didn’t shake hands with the Caribbean until 2007. One of my friends decided to get married and St John Island was the destination. We were all big Kenny Chesney fans and his album Be As You Are, was a soundtrack to our lives. When I first stepped off the plane in St. Thomas I was blown away. The smells, the mountains, the water – it was like being smacked in the face with beauty. Then being able to stay on St. John, I was hooked. I told myself before I left, I needed to figure out a way to visit St. John and all the Caribbean islands as much as possible. That is where the idea of was born.

I knew how to build websites a little, and I loved to write. So the natural progression was to build a blog and work really hard to build a community of other salty pirates that had a passion for Caribbean travel and culture like I did. The site grew a following rather quickly and here I am. The site launched in 2009 and It’s been one fantastic ride.

Rum Shop Ryan at Trunk Bay St John US Virgin Islands

SJVR: Obviously it’s not all about the rum. But you definitely love your rum drinks! Would you mind sharing a few favorites …?

RSR: True, it’s definitely not all about the rum, but rum is fun and it’s goes hand in hand with the Caribbean. What are a few of my favorites? That’s a tough one. I tend to connect drinks to special memories, thus making the drinks special. So every time I sip one of those drinks, it’s like taking a trip down memory lane.

Love the Goombay Smash from the Bahamas. Castaway Crystal and I just got back from a trip to the Bahamas and this delicious island drink was being ordered quite a bit.

Always have to say the Painkiller. During that 2007 wedding trip to St. John, we did a catamaran day sail around the North Shore. We snorkeled, we laughed and we we drank Painkillers all day. It was just one of those days you’ll always remember.

The Killerbee is also a favorite. This drink can be found at the famous Sunshine’s Beach Bar on the island of Nevis. I took a sailing trip with Island Windjammers several years ago and we dropped anchor just of of Pinney’s Beach, where Sunshine’s is located. I had only 3, and could tell that I needed to get back to the boat so I didn’t fall asleep on a palm tree and get left behind. Tasted great though!

SJVR: You list over 40 Caribbean island destinations on your web site. That’s a lot of travel. Care to share a few of your favorite islands …?

RSR: I probably get asked this question the most. It’s hard to say. It’s kind of like asking, which child do you love the most. Each island is different and has a unique personality. Some are large, some are small, some have mountains, some are flat, some are great for shopping and parties, some are great for fishing and escaping the world.

I will say that St. John will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where this journey began and there’s just something magnetic about the people, the hills, the beaches…it has a hold on me.

Love the blue waters of the Bahamas too, I’ve never seen water so blue and clear. It’s almost as if the water is plugged into an outlet, it just glows like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Especially in the Exumas.

SJVR: Our readers may not know … you were recently married. Crystal, the newest Castaway, seems like a great addition to the Castaway Family. Traveling with a partner … do you see things in a different light …?

RSR: She is the best! I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life, or better partner with RumShop.

Do I see things differently now that I travel with my wife? It’s a good question and one her and I just talked about in the Bahamas.

Before Castaway Crystal, I would mostly travel alone, going on press trips and experiencing the islands. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but there was no one there to share it with. I’d be sitting on a stunning beach or on the bow of a boat just amazed I was there…true pinch me type moments, but something or I should say, someone was missing. That someone was her.

Castaway Crystal is a great photographer and writer, so it’s a match made in salty heaven. Plus, I think people like to read more about a traveling couple instead of a soggy single guy, little more relatable I think.

SJVR: Nothing reminds us of a destination like food and drink. You publish a Castaway Cocktails Recipe eBook. Where can our readers order it?

Coconut Castaway Rum Punch recipe

RSR: Yes, it’s called Castaway Cocktails. Great name right?! There are 52 island drink recipes in it, one for every week of the year. Each drink has a beautiful photo and a fun little story to go with it. If you like to drink paradise out of a glass, then the Castaway Cocktails recipe ebook is for you!

People can get one here –

SJVR: Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself, the other islands of the Caribbean, and your experiences here on St John island, USVI.


Rum Shop Ryan is a successful Caribbean Travel blogger and rum expert! He brings his island adventures to over 30,000 monthly website visitors, 150,000+ Facebook Fans, 20,000 Twitter Followers and over 18,000 Instagram Followers. You can join him by visiting

Captain Awesome Food Truck Hansen Bay, St John East End

Hansen Bay Food Truck

Capt Awesome just announced he’s got to move!

Stay tuned – we’ll tell you where he and his amazing Texas Tacos land …

The time has come, the wait is over. The official announcement is here, Hansen Bay Beach is proud to announce the Grand opening of Captain Awesome, yummy eats on the beach, Food Truck. Opening day is May 5th, also known as Cinco De Mayo. We are aiming for an 11:00 am opening on Saturday the fifth. Texas-style tacos and more! At the present time it will be cash only, we are working hard to make it Credit Card friendly as soon as possible. As requested by the Health inspector and as required by the V.I. code, our pups must be leashed and maintained away from the Food truck for a distance of 25 feet. We are in the process of roping off the area to avoid any confusion. Also, smoking is only allowed in posted areas, no smoking whatsoever in the area of the Food Truck or on the beach, as per V.I. code. We have worked ever so hard to make this dream come true, we are counting on all of you for your support and compliance.

Captain Awesome Food Truck, Hansen Bay, St John owner

Captain Awesome’s Hansen Bay Food Truck Menu

STARTERSCaptain Awesome Hansen Bay Food Truck tacos

House Salsa
Rick House Guac
Dune’s Shrimp Ceviche
Salsa + Guac Combo


Awesome “T” Steak
24 hr marinated steak, grilled to Texas standards topped w/fine diced onion + cilantro

Sunshine Chicken
Stewed Chicken blended with the Mexican Trinity ( tomatoes, jalapeños, onions). Topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and house-made avocado-lime crema.

Southern Crunch Chicken
Hand-battered Southern chicken tenders fried to golden perfection, topped w/shredded lettuce, pickled red onion and house-made chipotle crema.

Captain’s Catch
Captain’s Signature beer battered Mahi-Mahi, fried until golden, topped w/tangy cole slaw + house-made chipotle crema.

Vacation Veggie
Creative Vegetarian option using Morning Star Farm grillers, topped w/shredded lettuce, black beans, diced tomatoes + avocado crema.

Menu items and specials may change. But here’s a sampling to give you an idea of the tasty foods available from the Hansen Bay Food Truck.


Located past Coral Bay on St John’s East End is a wonderful crescent-shaped white sand beach. Repeat visitors may already know the location as the former Vie’s Campground. Visitors will take Rte 20 ( North Shore Road ) or Centerline Road to Coral Bay. At the bottom of the hill you’ll come to a 3 way intersection. Proceed straight. Follow this road for several miles as it winds, climbs and dives along the rugged East End. At the bottom of a steep hill you’ll enter the VI National Park with Haulover South on your right and Haulover North ( EDITOR’s PICK for best snorkeling on St John ) on your left. Continue another .5 mi and you’ll see the entrance and parking to Hansen Bay Beach on your right.

Concordia Eco Resort post hurricane Irma

Concordia Eco Resort

September 2017 saw two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and hurricane Maria, slam the island of St John. 200+ mph winds and rain left widespread destruction across much of St John. The Westin St John and Caneel Bay Resort, at the time of writing, are both closed through 2018 … with Caneel’s future the subject of much on and off island debate!

Lost among the news headlines is the loss of Concordia Eco Resort. This much loved collection of soft and hard sided tents and hard-walled suites was the vacation home of many of the former Maho Bay Campground visitors. After the lease at Maho ended, owner Stanley Selengut, focused his attention on a major renovation of most of the infrastructure at Concordia.

For those that don’t know about Concordia Eco Resort, it’s a 20 acre resort, bordering the Virgin Islands National Park above Salt Pond Bay and Drunk Bay. With expansive views of both bays and Ram Head, Concordia was the perfect location and destination for eco-minded travelers and clamping fans! More sophisticated than the former Maho Bay Campground and amenities that included the Concordia Cafe with live music!

Where to Stay

With the loss of Maho Bay Campgrounds and Concordia Eco Resort – what alternatives are there for comparable places to stay on St John?

The unique qualities, character and guest experience of Maho Bay Campgrounds and Concordia have no equal on St John. But there are alternatives … and we’ve brought together a great selection of affordable, eco-friendly island cottages and camping options.

What Compares to Concordia Eco Resort?

Looking for a place to stay on St John that’s family-friendly, where you can connect with nature, feel good about your impact on the island and spend between $195 – $285+/nt ( Concordia’s rates for 2017 )? Here are some possibilities …

LILLE PARADIS VILLALille Paradis Villa St John US Virgin Islands
Click to view Lille Paradis Villa

Lille Paradis offers a private pool and spa and private walking path to secluded and gorgeous Kiddel Bay, a rocky beach that is one of St. John’s best-kept secrets.  The house is surrounded by the green of the National Park and its unadulterated beauty. The covered decks at Lille Paradis are the perfect retreat from the sun, a priceless peaceful location.

Rates start at just $310/nt

TROPICAL TREE HOUSETropical Tree House Cottage, St john vacation rental
Click to view Tropical Tree House
1 BEDROOM (LOFT), 1 BATH, SCREENED PORCH, A/C, WASHER/DRYER, MOUNTAIN / WATER VIEW!Tropical Tree House porch view, Coral Bay, St John US Virgin Islands

Rates start at just $135/nt

COCONUT HILL COTTAGECoconut Hill Cottage, St John vacation rental

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Rates start at just $250/nt

REBECCA’S FANCY COTTAGERebeccas Fancy Cottage St John vacation rental
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Located on St John’s East End . Hansen Bay, this spotless air-conditioned, one bedroom, one bath cottage has full kitchen with dishwasher, decks and patio with chaise lounges and gas grill. Rebecca’s Fancy was designed and equipped with full amenities for your comfort and convenience. Nature provides all the sights, sounds and smells. Just steps from Hansen Bay Beach, Hansen Bay Food Truck and some great snorkeling!

Rates start at just $285/nt

WINDWARDSIDE GUEST COTTAGEWindwardside Guest House Coral Bay St John

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Windwardside Guest Cottage, a charming little cottage that enjoys gorgeous views of the east end of St. John, the neighboring British Virgin Islands and Coral Bay. This home can be rented in conjunction with the main house at Windwardside or alone as your own little piece of paradise. The lush tropical plantings, built in privacy screening and the orientation of the buildings seclude them from one another. The guest cottage is very appealingly furnished, has a private hot tub, an airy enclosed shower garden and a comfortable front porch overlooking the sea.

Rates start at just $190/nt

TORTUGA COTTAGE CORAL BAYTortuga Cottage, Coral Bay St John vacation rental

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1 bedroom, 1 bath, Ocean Views, Spa
Tortuga Cottage, the newest edition to Calabash Cottages. Tortuga is a cheerful and welcoming cottage with a gorgeous view of Coral Bay Harbor. This cottage has wonderful breezes, beautiful sunrises and moonrises, covered and uncovered decks plus a “hammock garden”. There is a private hot tub overlooking the Caribbean sea.

Rates start at just $220/nt

SAGO COTTAGE CORAL BAYSago Cottage Coral Bay St John vacation rental

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1 bedroom, 1 bath, spa, outdoor shower, ocean views
Sago Cottage, a charming home nestled into the hillside above Coral Bay on St. John, Virgin Islands. Sago Cottage is a traditional west Indian structure – open and airy with brightly painted shutters and covered decks overlooking a gorgeous view. From its intimate and tasteful furnishings to its private hot tub under the stars, it is the perfect spot for a romantic holiday for two.

Rates start at just $250/nt

CORAL CARIBECora Caribe Cottage St John vacation rental

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1 bedroom, 1.5 bath, ocean views, children welcome, A/C, washer/dryer
Coral Caribe Villa is nestled on a hill overlooking beautiful Fish Bay on the southern shore of St John. This beautiful 1 bedroom upper villa has everything to make your vacation complete in a nice quiet area of St. John.

Bedroom has a king size bed. Queen size sofa bed for additional guests.

Rates start at just $150/nt


STONE POST ESTATE B&B / SMALL INNStone Post Estate B&B St John small inn

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Be a welcome guest at Stone Post Estate. Enjoy lovely views in every direction from sunrise to sunset. Stroll ever-changing, extensive tropical gardens designed to be especially attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Relax midst charming, comfortable furnishings indoors and out. And remember, Cruz Bay shopping and restaurants are only an easy 5 minute drive away. Beyond the tiny town an island of fabulous beaches and hiking trails invites your exploration. Every Stone Post Estate guest finds a unique and happy way to use it all for a delightful experience and memories to cherish.

Rates start at just $200/nt

The Crow’s Nest + Aft Cabin + Forward CabinCrows Nest Coral Bay vacation rental
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1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, A/C, Walk to Coral Bay!

The Crow’s Nest is a fully air-conditioned efficiency studio apartment that can be rented alone, or together with 2 other studio apartments in the same building (Aft Cabin and Forward Cabin).

The Crow’s Nest is a chic, comfortable, tastefully-appointed, affordable studio. Newly remodeled, The Crow’s Nest is air-conditioned and features beautiful teak furniture with tropical ambience. Watch your favorite movies in the evening or read a book under the breeze of the overhead fan.  Or, walk to one of the many local eateries in Coral Bay

Rates start at just $140/nt

WIND RIDGE VILLAWind Ridge Villa vacation rental views over Coral Bay, St John, USVI

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1 Bdrm, 1 Bath, Oceanviews, Spa, outdoor Shower

Welcome to Wind Ridge, a sweet 1-bedroom, 1-bath villa with an outdoor garden shower. Wind Ridge sits majestically on the ridge overlooking Coral Bay harbor, Hurricane Hole, East end of St John and south to the tiny island of Leduc. The water views at Wind Ridge Villa are amazing any time of the DAY OR NIGHT.

Rates start at just $285/nt


Banana Cabana VillaBanana Cabana Villa St John USVI vacation rental
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Banana Cabana is a delightful island home of Caribbean style design, with two separate pods, nestled on a hill overlooking the emerald green and aqua blue waters of Coral Bay and Hurricane Hole. Within easy driving distance to St. John’s most beautiful beaches and hiking trails, Banana Cabana is a private, peaceful vacation hideaway and a perfect love nest.

Rates start at just $210/nt

SAIL VIEW VILLASail View Villa St John USVI vacation rental
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3 Bedroom, 3.5 BATH,  A/C, KIDS, WASHER/DRYER

Formerly a popular bed & breakfast, we now invite you to enjoy the main floor as well. Large outdoor kitchen and dining area so everyone can keep the grill master company. An easy place to relax with friends and family, enjoy the sun, a casual meal or refreshing drink.

A gourmet kitchen with Vulcan stove and breakfast bar.

Rates start at just $225/nt

VILLA CELESTEVilla Celeste, Coral Bay St John villa rental
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Open your gate to breathtaking views of Sir Francis Drake Channel, the Caribbean and the luscious valley of Coral Bay. Perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for an amazing island experience. This NEW cottage is built for your privacy, comfort and will leave you with sweet memories for a lifetime.

Rates start at just $250/nt

Rate information was accurate at the time of publication. Prices subject to change without notice. Prices may reflect promotional pricing or seasonal discounts. Please see listing rates for current pricing and availability.