Maho Bay Camps to close

LogoGreenSay it ain't so, Stanley!

Maho Bay Camps is planning to close June 1st of next year.

On the campground's blog, it's explained that, "Our lease will expire July 31st, 2012 as we have not been granted the extension we were all so anxious for."

There had been negotiations for a sale to the Trust For Public Lands, but those talks are said to have faltered and ended.

If the 14-acre north shore property, with nearly 900 feet of ocean front and beach, is not sold by May 1st, it's possible the Camp's lease could renew automatically.  But management is not banking on it. "We will not know until that date if operations can resume."

"I can no longer take bookings one year in advance," Maho's founder Stanley Selengut said in a letter to the St. John Tradewinds. "Reservations are limited to this coming season only."


The blog added, "Maho Bay Camps has been a special place for so many of us. Many of you used Maho Bay Camps for times of celebrations, whether it be honeymoons, birthdays, reunions, or anniversaries. For others Maho was your retreat and your place of rejuvenation, and for all it was a place to get in shape!"

14 thoughts on “Maho Bay Camps to close”

  1. Good Riddance. This place is falling apart and the staff that runs the place is there for themselves, not the customers. Concordia is MUCH nicer and more customer-service oriented. I have stayed at both places many times.

  2. I agree with St. J Lover. If it is to remain a campground, it needs to be totally rebuilt and the tents need to be upgraded to Concordia style with their own toilets/showers. The place needs to charge more money and stop using unpaid volunteers for labor and hire real employees. They need to do away with the employee housing and add a pool and a tram between all the 300 or so steps. The steps there are a killer. If you’re not in shape, fuhgettaboutit.

  3. I am sad that the extension was not granted. Maho Camps was our first intro to STJ many years ago and I have fond memories of our stays. We embraced the eco camping experience in the cottage tents and thoroughly enjoyed the views from Harmony. The only negative comment I could make is about one of the glass blowers. I have purchased his work for years. Last year I stopped to speak to him at the restaurant and he was very cold and unresponsive. I still love my Maho glass though!

  4. He probably wanted to eat his dinner rather than talk to you about what glass you need. That is what is hard about the camp ground. There is no separation between church and state so to speak. The glass blowers work sometimes 10 hour days and only get their half hour dinner to relax and eat. At dinner they are not clocked in and probably dont want to talk shop. Im sure when you get home and eat dinner the last thing you want is a call from a client or customer telling you what you can do for them. The staff arent always on the clock and as a result of living on property are treated as if they are 24/7 employees please have a little patience with the people that work year long in 200 degree heat to create art for YOU. Maho is a beautiful spot and it would be really sad to see another westin go in its place. As far as a monorail I dont think that is too eco-friendly.

  5. From a personal standpoint, I am very aware of the situation at Maho re: employees and long hours. I know they can’t really separate themselves from the paying guests when they do have free time. Glass blowing is an art that I admire immensely. Maybe I would have gotten a friendly response if I had complimented him in the studio instead of at dinner. Thank you for putting it into perspective!

  6. ONE monorail hillhiker elevator and upgraded tents on the same footprint or total demolition of the hillside for new condos. Your choice!!! I’ll take the one monorail any day. Remember, YOU burnt a motherload of fossil fuel on that plane to get to STJ, and then you pretend to be ‘GREEN’ when you get to Maho Camps. GET REAL, Shorty.

  7. Actually I sailed down. I know that I cant change the world but isnt the effort of conscious living valuable? Every little bit helps. You cant continue to put out toxins under the excuse that cars and planes already exist and people use them. That is how you perpetuate the environmental problems our world is facing.Whether Maho Bay is 100% eco or not should not be the focus, shouldnt we commend that at least they are trying?

  8. I LOVE Maho Bay Camps and have been coming here as my refuge from NYC for the last ten years. I am a psychologist in my day job and I have to agree with the earlier posters. The Camp would be best served by paid employees who go home at night. I am a keen observer of human interaction, and I have to say that the employees at Maho behave as though they are in a cult, and I find little difference between their attitude when they are working to when they are not working. I will miss Maho but hope that this is an opportunity for the camp to clean and clear house, and hopefully re-open with a new look, new attitude, and new employees.

  9. WHY DOESN’T THE FED GOV’T BUY IT AND DECLARE IT IN THE NATION’S BEST INTEREST. THE PARK SERVICE COULD RUN IT LIKE THEY RUN CINNAMON BAY CAMPGROUND. I’LL PAY AN EXTRA DOLLAR IN TAXES TO HELP THE GOV’T BUY IT,

  10. Dear Kenny,
    We need your help on STJ. Maho camp ground to be removed for HUGE HOTEL. SAVE OUR CAMPGROUND. WE LOVE MAHO. CAN YOU DO A CONCERT???? PLZ.
    THERE IS A FB PAGE:
    Let’s Save our beloved Maho Bay Camps

  11. What Maho Bay has a close proximity with nature unlike almost anywhere else in the Carribean. This includes the nature that sometimes inhabits the tents. There is only screening and thin plastic that separates the campers from a wonderful mountainside full of life. No condominium complex would do this. Now at Maho the ecological pressure seems not so great, and that is worth a lot. You either get it or you don’t. Cinnamon Bay is beaten down and overused, and has the social ambience of a federal food service. Maho is quirky and unique. I would not trade it for anything, and will be sad if it is replaced by fat-cat hotels or condos. The people who come now likely understand this and that is why they choose it. They are gentler on the surroundings, including the coral reefs, because of this understanding. I have never had any problem with the staff, and if they are exploited, they have not let me know. They seem kind, business-like and mellow. Once when I actually needed some real help, they were terrific. On other islands, workers are so poor that it really does feel like you are a colonialist getting fawned upon by 40-year-old “boys” with families to feed. There seems to be more dignity for all at Maho.

  12. This news is terrible. We’re coming back in Jan./2013 for a last visit unless fortune steps in. This spot has been one of our most enjoyed vacation spots around the world!
    Sad…

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