Best "can't miss" St. John villa for honeymoon privacy and amenities, under $2k/wk
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Ideals for our 1-week stay in June 2012:
- Must have private pool, then outdoor shower and spa/hot tub needed... with completely private grounds - a getaway from civilization
- Need to mitigate/lower risk of bugs/mosquitoes or heat wave that week - doors that close/seal and a/c is ideal, with at least the house being screened in all around (high elevation may reduce bugs too I hear; and obviously a well kept villa is a must)
- Feeling of safety - so locking doors, gated entry, etc
- Below $2k/wk for the two of us
Front runners based on my research so far:
- Cloud Nine
- Papaya Moon
- Notre Ciel
- Honeymoon Hiker's Inn
- It's About Time villa on ajax peak - http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p145688
- Mimosa Villa
- then... Coconut Hill Cottage, Starlit Escape, Waterklip, Beas Maison
Side note: Astral Ridge was a front-runner but has been taken off because it has an adjoining sister villa being rented out - even though the total villa is far away from civilization, we will have strangers for immediate neighbors; even though it seems there is probably visual privacy due to bushes, etc, we don't feel comfortable chancing that setup for a honeymoon
- Figuring out villa privacy seems so tough. Example 1: overhead maps show neighbors MUCH closer to Cloud Nine ( http://g.co/maps/2rxtc ) than Papaya Moon ( http://www.vrbo.com/119689#ownerprofile ) for example, yet posts seem to rave about Cloud Nine for honeymooners. Example 2: Honeymoon Hiker's Inn is touted as private 5 acres up north by Nat'l Park, but I have to think high hillside seems more private.
- Don't know which location preference on the island we should have (Gift Hill by Cruz Bay, Ajax Hill by Coral Bay, etc) - we will mainly just be enjoying amenities/view at home then sprinkle in some secluded beach and quaint restaurant outings (nightlife/parties and crowds completely undesirable)
- New construction before our stay - I'd rather have a villa with stably known neighboring houses than one at risk for near-term construction
With a focus on the most secluded grounds on STJ, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback on my front runners and any better recommendations. I hope to find the villa that "can't miss" for our one-time vacation to VI and your help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Ask for a land survey to be provided for each prospective villa and then review/compare placement of the structure in relation to roads, neighboring properties and direction. This could be an issue as some villas were constructed off center, putting them much closer to neighboring properties. I'd look for somthing that is exactly centered on the lot. Also, make sure you ask for a relief map showing exact elevation of the property and neighboring lots. You don't want another villa above yours, prying eyes would be able to watch you from above. You should also ask for recent pictures showing what kind of plants have been used during landscaping. Some properties have very good privacy foilage, others don't.
Lastly, any rental agent worth their salt should be willing to do an audio survey for you. Taking decible readings at each property during different times of the day.This will allow you to determine which villas suffer from road noise and other audio pollution.
The rental agents should have no issue compiling all of the above information for you. I'd also be pretty insistant about having new pics and surveys done, the island is constantly changing and pictures even a few months old might not be an accurate representation.
You're askin' alot from a group of VI fans who volunteer to share their love of VI and it's amenities with inexperienced travelers. Maybe you should hire a real estate agent on SJ to visit each property and write a comprehensive report for you on each. Anyplace you go on SJ will be a perfect honeymoon spot. The sparkle in each other's eyes will blind you of all other minor flaws or inperfections in your midst. While you are there you can personally drive to each property on your list and plan your next ten visits to the island.
Go with you gut and recommendations from a couple of rental agents and you will be fine. 😎 Have a great wedding and honeymoon.
First, congrats and you have picked a beautiful area to honeymoon in.
Second, I have not stayed on STJ, but I agree with Blaze: do NOT try to pick a perfect place to suit all your wants. Pick one to suit your needs with pool, shower, etc. and book it. If you want perfection, you will probably be disappointed. If you want a really nice place for memories and to start your life, they will all do just FINE.
Throw a dart at your top choices and accept the consequences and you will fulfill all your needs.
on the one hand, it's good to see so many points of information and requests for your vacation, but i will be honest with you - some of the items you are asking for may be a bit unrealistic. for total privacy, a gated property, with a "u" shaped building which embraces the pool is best, but once you go in that direction, your cost may go up for example.
also, i agree that you would literally have to have someone here walk each property on your behalf. i work for a rental company and while we provide current photos (whenever a villa is renovated, furnishings changed, etc., we send the photog, update our descriptions and amenities)... we tour our properties on a regular basis, we request guest feedback in case of anything we miss, and we host travel and wholesale agents who list our properties so that they are familiar with them as well as what's around...
what you see or like, may not be what they see or like in spite of photos.
finally there is no way to guarantee no construction. we have rented to folks who called us to report actual groundbreaking equipment moving in (we had no idea, and by that token, we don't control property owners who decide to re-tile their bathrooms)... so while we do everything we can to assist in such cases, we cannot stop this from happening. we do of course post construction advisories on our site as soon as we know or our villa staff report movements in the neighborhood.
we live here, so it's a bit easier to keep track of construction, but like i said, sometimes even we are surprised!
not saying what you want is impossible, just trying to shed a little light, and maybe help you relax a little if you cannot get everything single thing that you want.
congrats and have fun!!!
I have seen Notre Ciel on one of our visits and from what I remember it was older looking, and I was very glad it had not been our choice for that trip. This was about 6 or 8 years ago so maybe it has been improved? The title Papaya Moon sounds familiar so I will look it up and see if it is another house we have checked out. We are headed to St. John in May this year for I believe our 10th visit, and we often look at different houses while we are there.
Also, you might want to look at vrbo (vacation rental by owner) and look at Beas Maison. We have stayed here 4 times. It has a small pool but no outdoor shower or hottub. The pictures of the house and view are exactly as beautiful as shown. Also, last I checked no air conditioning.
Check out Book-it VI . We have personally looked at St. John Livin, Island Dreams, and Pink Horses. All were beautiful in my opinion and the people running this company are very nice and friendly. We looked at these about 5 years ago and all were very nice then. Can't even imagine why Island Dreams was reworked. I don't think St. John Livin has the privacy you want, but I believe the other two do. This company is very good about discussing the details of the homes and answering all questions. These houses are fairly close together but the two do have privacy from what I remember.
I have not personally seen papaya moon so can't help you there.
Have a wonderful honeymoon.
With all of your demands and your limited budget (for properties on STJ), you might just want to go to Florida. I'm not even sure you could get what you want there.
You might want to come down from the clouds and realize that STJ is one of the most beautiful places on earth and you won't be spending that much time at the house anyway, even if it is your honeymoon. On STJ there are beaches that you can go to and have as much privacy as you need for the day.
Just saying . . .
Congrats!!! We went to St John for our 30th Anniversary last year and stayed in a beautiful place with a hot tub and pool. (more then 2,000 wk) however, we are going in May this year and staying at Calabreeze which for us, has a hot tub and no pool. With all the beautiful beaches, for us the pool is not an issue this year, but the hot tub at night yes. This place i think is 1,300 for the week and they have a sail boat and will take you out (providing on weather and availability and their schedule. I cant say how this is because it will be our 1st time at this place, but, check out the site and see what you think. It is also in Coral Bay, St. John and they have good resturants and small grocery store there also with few shops.