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When you come to St. John, do you usually stay in a hotel or a villa? Many people new to the island first start off in hotels, then later branch out to renting private villas, enjoying the more personal experience. Staying in a villa allows visitors to enjoy more space, more amenities (hello, kitchen!), and to feel like they’re actually living on the island for a week or so.

Villas on St. John come in a wide range of options, from the ultra luxurious, to the more relaxed, tropical bungalow-feel.

But knowing where to look and how to go about renting a villa on St. John can get confusing, even overwhelming at times.

For many vacation planners, searching AirBnB or VRBO was the best way they could determine to find a St. John vacation rental. Both companies have hundreds and hundreds of listings to browse. And when you find something you’re interested in booking – you simply click, click, click to make an online inquiry/booking. But there’s a dark little secret that neither site wants you to know.

Clicking and booking through one of these mega travel sites costs money. First off, it costs the villa owner commission and transaction fees that they pay to VRBO and AirBnB. But what many people are waking up to is that both sites also charge guests a “service fee” each time they book online.

How much do they charge? Well, that depends on the rental, the number of guests, the time of year, and each site’s fee algorithm. What we can tell you is that VRBO charges, on average, 12% of your booking with a maximum charge of $599 per booking. AirBnB, the industry darling, charges between 12%-20%+ with no cap on the service fee (aka booking fee). We’ve seen AirBnB service fees in the thousands of dollars for luxury St. John rentals!

Thankfully, now, finding the perfect place to stay on St. John has never been easier…

Happily, St. John has a new Book Direct vacation rental site, St. John Villa Rentals. The site doesn’t charge owners a commission, and it doesn’t charge guests a “service fee.” There’s no middleman/woman, so there’s no middleman/woman fees!

Here’s what we love about this Book Direct site:

  • They have a huge inventory to browse – currently over 340 listings!
  • You can book directly regardless of your travel style: condos, cottages, villas, even Westin St John resort rentals!
  • It has an easy to use search function – sort by rate, amenities, location, etc.
  • You have the ability to communicate directly with a rental owner or manager.
  • You save hundreds and hundreds of dollars in fees!
  • They have exclusive discount offers.
  • They have a Villa Directory, so if you know the name of a villa, you can find it quickly.
  • Their Quick Find Pages include: beachfront rentals, resorts, B&Bs, Grande Bay Resort, Lavender Hill, and Gallows Point Resort.

Check out the site and start planning your future trip – we can’t wait to see you on Honeymoon Beach!

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