Travel in Spring! Save some green!



If you’re staying right in Cruz Bay or just coming over for the day from St. Thomas this is the closest great beach to get the real Caribbean experience of St. John and it’s especially romantic for two of you.

First, stop at the North Shore Deli in Mongoose Junction and get a Pirate Pig or Smoked Turkey and Bacon sammie, they are my personal favorites, grab a bag of chips and a few cans of beer.  The sandwiches are big so it just might feed two of you.  Always remember – anytime on St. John is Heineken time and no one looks twice if your drinking a frosty cold one at 9:00 am.  Which I have often been known to do.

Now directly across the street from Mongoose Junction is the National Park Visitor’s Center.  If you drove there, usually there are a half dozen spots open just for hikers - which today you are one.  Look for the sign that says “Lind Point Trail” take this and follow it to a split and a sign that points to Upper Trail to Honeymoon Beach and Caneel Bay there are great views at the Lind Point Overlook on this trail.

The second sign says Solomon Beach Trail lower.  I prefer to take this one as it’s less hilly, a little shorter and closer to the water.  Follow the trail for about twenty to thirty minutes and you have arrived at Solomon Bay Beach.  The distance from start to arrival is a little less than a mile but an easy walk – take your time.

Chances are there will be no more than three or four other people enjoying the palm trees, soft, white sand, and crystal clean gentle lapping ocean.

If you brought your snorkel gear go to the right and you will see a variety of colored fish and good coral formations.

Back in the old days, Solomon was considered by the locals as the island “nude” beach, but recently the Park Police have frowned on this practice and if caught in the buff you will likely earn a $100.00 ticket.  However, if you’re looking for that “Once In A Lifetime Romantic Experience.”

Here’s a suggestion – just something I heard, not sayin' I condone it butttt!  Go to Solomon around 4:30 pm, by that time of day the sun worshippers have gone and Park Police really aren’t interested in this beach.  Make sure you bring a can of Deet to ward off any no-seeums.

You can now view the fantastic St. John sunset without the disruption of ambient light from Cruz Bay.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a full moon the reflection off the water at Solomon’s is amazing!

Whatever you envisioned with that “special” person is now an opportunity to do it to your heart’s content without interruption from others.


Hey!  Be sure to bring my flashlight back to the villa when you're done - please.  TEE! HEE! HEE!



You may already know these things but if you don’t have a frequent flyer credit card from American, United or Delta, you should get one for a whole lotta reasons:

  • Lots of frequent flyer miles and potentially free trips
  • You get the first bag for free for you and your companion.
  • A lot of time you’ll get TSA PRE stamped on your ticket which allows you through security much faster.
  • Priority boarding with the first or second group on the airplane.

For another point, you absolutely will pack far too much especially if it’s your first time to St. John.  That means, likely you will have to pay a $25.00 baggage fee/bag.  This can really add up considering a two-way trip and that extra money will buy you a whole bunch of pain killers at the Beach Bar.

Better idea, if you know in advance you will have an extra bag.  Pack it like you are going through Security with the bag (which you are).  No liquids, aerosol or sharp things.  Once through Security and to your gate go to the nice gate agent.  My significant other goes if it’s a man, I go if it’s a woman and ask the agent with a smile to “Gate Check” your extra bag.  This has continually worked for me in the past and I’ve never been charged a bag fee.  The luggage will be waiting for you at the ramp upon arrival.

By the way, I’ll be the ole guy in shorts with a free pain killer at the Beach Bar with money in my pocket from the baggage fees just saved!



On VRBO they list more than two hundred 2 bedroom places available to rent on St. John.  Recently, I’ve asked myself a number of questions, as I remain more than 90% occupied and have for the last three years.  It certainly isn’t price as I’m at or near the highest for Sopra Mare and Bordo Mare.  But why is my occupancy so high and a returning guest rate of nearly 40%?  Especially when you consider, I’m competing with large island management companies that spend thousands of dollars a month advertising on the web while, I at the same time, spend basically nothing.

I believe there are four reasons or maybe I’m totally wrong and possibly it’s just luck.  But from my less than analytical brain this is what I reason happening to create these excellent occupancy figures.

  • I form a relationship with each new guest and definitely with all returning guests.  I know a lot about them.  Oh, I don’t know their children’s age, but I bet I know each of their names and about how old they are.
  • My staff has been with me for years and guests know when they see them it will be the same person they interact with, each and every time. Whether it’s the Villa Manager, pool lady, landscaper, or housekeeper.  This gives a sense of trust to the guests.
  • If you’re a repeat guest, I try to do something above and beyond the VIP Returning Guest discount.  Sometimes it’s just a little something like a bottle of Champaign, or wine or maybe a dinner out on me.  It just depends – but I’ll do something and the returning guests know and appreciate it.
  • I try, whether they have never stayed with me before or been coming back five years to treat them like a family member. Hoping they will have a great life experience from St. John.

I could go on and tell you about the villa location, amenities and attention to first class detail but I honestly believe the four statements above override all other considerations when guests choose to stay with me or more importantly return to my villas.

If you have any comments I’d sure like to hear them, as I said at the outset, I could be entirely wrong with my assessment.



Hope you liked the information provided and just maybe it’ll add to your St. John vacation experience.

Have a great remaining Winter and remember Spring 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”


I’m off to St. John very soon for the first time in six months.   Just like you, I always get excited at the prospect and anticipate the adventure!