Coconuts Villa - St John
My husband and I are looking to stay at this particular villa, Coconuts, on St. John in October. I was wondering if anyone has stayed there? Or, does anyone know anything about this villa. Any information you have is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi. I am sorry I do not have firsthand experience to give you, but I have been considering this villa for a trip this May. Here are a couple reviews I found. Unfortunately, they are a couple years old.
We Stayed in May of 2007-Loved it! The view has to be one of the best on the island-over looking the lights of St Thomas. The deck is huge, pool temp great, sits on over an acre(RARE), clothing optional privacy, landscaped gardens on and off the deck, 3 pavillions, all on one level(no stairs-also rare). Would not hesitate in renting again. Kim
Hi, Kim. Glad you chimed in here. I was going to post the review you had pm'd me on the other board, but it's much better to come directly from the source! I still haven't booked yet, but we are leaning toward Coconuts.
One question I never asked: Did you feel safe there? I was reading an older discussion on one of these forums, and one of the former renters of Coconuts was talking about catching an intruder on the property and the fact the MB lock looked as though it had been tampered with.
We stayed at Coconuts the second week of FEB08. As I write that, I realize it was less than a month ago, yet, I feel like it was a long time ago and am definately ready to go back. It was our second trip back to Paradise. Stayed in Perelandra the first, Coconuts the second. We look for villas with a view & amenities. Coconuts had everything we desired. The views are simply wonderful. The layout is unique. Seems very ... islandy, carribeanish. Definately a layout that some people will enjoy, while others dislike. A cluster of individual buildings surrounding the deck pool area. It makes for a very large central room that is all outdoors. It provided plenty of privacy, sun for all around tanning and the corresponding required shade. More chairs, tables and seating places than two people could ever effectively use and thats just the deck area. Didn't really spend time in the "main house - great room". Everything was outside.
I would definately stay there again. There are some items that detracted from the stay. I read the same post as you reference in your question. It does make one apprehensive. At the start of the week, I locked all of the doors (and there are a lot of doors) to all of the buildings each night. (made me feel like a night watchman making rounds). By mid-week, only the main door was locked. This area is primarily residential. I figured the locals would know it was a rental and therefore empty at least some of the time, which means, it presents an easy target. I left the lights on and the jeep clearly visible in the driveway to inform everyone that the place was occupied this week. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred during our week.
Now, lets define "ordinary". You may find references on other posts about Coconuts being "on the street, or next to the street". This is true, but it is primarily a residential street. We are not talking about extensive traffic. The privacy that the villa provides by design means you can hear the traffic, but cannot see it. There is a stone wall along that portion of the property. Traffic would be barely noticeable if it weren't for the dumpster, which is basically your neighbor, just down that street. Everyone stops there about once a day to drop stuff off. In the mornings, in the afternoon, in the evening, and at night. Being an optomist, I will point out that my trash disposal was a very easy task, and one time I actually just walked it to the dumpster. Since I was on vacation, most days it got thrown in the jeep and dumped on the way out for the day. The dumpster area was definately an eyesore. Trashy. It did seem to support the local wildlife, a mother hen and some chicks and a rooster (which was heard often, although never seen) .
Two other points which I perceive as negatives. Mosquitoes and no-see-ems. First mosquitoes. The view from the deck is so captivating that we spent every possible moment outside. We also had rain showers every day of our week, and every night. I beleive this made for near perfect breeding conditions. Even with the breezes, which were wonderful, we had a bit of a battle with the mosquitoes. I ended up buying some mosquitoe coils and they helped, although a spray of bug spray was also needed. There are plenty of candle holders to hold citronella candles if you can find the candles. You need the holders since the breezes will blow out most bare candles. I can't explain how you have breezes and mosquitoes. We did. We also elected to fight rather than run, we won, and it was worth it.
No-see-ums: It probably took us 4 to 5 days to confirm absolutely that something is in the master bathroom. I admit that I am blaming a phenomena on something that I never actually saw ... but each time we spent time in the bathroom, we would exit and be scratching at our ankles and slightly up our calves. It took awhile becuase at first we were chalking it up to the mosquitoes. There is something else, but I really don't know what. No visible bumps like mosquitoe bites, just an itchyness. Ichyness would subside in about an hour. I was really considering washing the floor down with bleach and throwing the little bath mat in the washing machine. But, by the time I developed that plan, it was about time to leave, and after all ... I was on vacation. I also rationalized that this was as close to one of those eco tents that I ever wanted to get and should therefore enjoy the "back to nature" experience.
In my opinion (which is what ya asked for) I would recommend the villa and would stay there again. The positives far outweigh the negatives. The villa has a well stocked kitchen, and all the amenities need for an enjoyable stay. Dishwasher/washer/dryer. Bring some music on CD's. The stereo does not accept an input from an mpe or ipod player. but has a great sound! Bring binoculars to watch the cruise ships sail into/out of STT each night. We traditionally eat out often, yet elected to eat at the villa. Gas grill had plenty of gas. Sunsets always great, breezes always making for a perfect temperature. Bedroom had AC, but never turned it on. Rain showers came, but the pavillion is sufficiently large enough that nothing gets wet near the center. Blender sufficienlty large enough to make large batches of frozen rum punch. Great lighting around the villa makes it a different tropical paradise at night. Enjoy the geko's, theres a ton of them. (wish there were more to eat the mosquitoes). Bananquits (sugar birds) and hummingbirds were plentiful if fed. Also, there are at least two fairly large iguana's or salamanders (about 8inches in length) in the garden to the right of the entrance. They are definately the scariest thing we encountered in or at the villa. They are noisy in the bushes ... move fast ... and disappear!
Thank you for your question. Since I can't be there ... I have enjoyed reviewing my memory of it.
Capt Mike. Thanks for your in depth review. Much apprecaited! You totally freaked me out a little bit about this bug situation though.
Thanks for that great review, Capt. Mike. I'm not the original poster, but we are close to booking this place, and I've been wanting to see a review from this year. The dumpster and bug situations don't sound ideal, but I just love the sound of the outdoor room and fabulous views. That's what really attracts me to this place. Seems no place is ever perfect!
If you don't mind answering a few other questions: Were the bed and linens in the MB comfortable? How did you find the decor and furnishings in the house and master bed and bath? I'd read a review or two that implied the villa wasn't as modern or fancy as some others. That would be ok with us as long as it's clean and comfortable. Did you think the place felt too large for two people? How did you like the pool? Did the kitchen have the basic spices and condiments necessary for cooking meals? Did you find it a pain that the kitchen was in a whole separate area?
How did you find the service from Caribbean Villa?
Thanks again for the info!
We are also heading to Coconuts in May. Thanks for the reviews. The bugs (especially the no-see-ums) is a concern. Did you bring this up to the rental company? I would think they would take care of that since it was inside the master bedroom and bath.
Can anyone give a basic description of the bathrooms? Did either bathroom have a tub or only showers?
Did the greatroom/kitchen building have any A/C or just fans? I know the loft has no A/C but does that building have any? I'm thinking its just fans but wanted to ask.
The furnishings in the villa were average. Not the newest, not the oldest. All perfectly functional. Nothing in a state of dis-repair. We both commented during the stay that the bed was extremely comfortable. Linnens and towels (both bath and beach) provided were just fine. Decent quality. Not thread-bare. Deck Patio furniture was fine and comfortable. The overall decor was what I have come to expect, nautical, beachy, islandy- kinds of things. Pictures of the area, charts etc. Beach chairs were comfy. (only used two of four provided).
Items for "nicer place settings" for use in the dining room are available. We just used the "every-day dishes" from the kitchen. Plenty for 8 people. Nice pots and pans.
Kitchen had dish towels. Bring your own spices. I read prior reports on this BB were people had packed their spices in zip-lock bags. That is was what I did. Little to no spices provided. Sugar is cheap in the store. If you feed the birds, you go thru lots! St. John Spices sells their grill rub in small paks. Great for a week. The refridgerator was set too cold. It froze everything! Signs say "do not adjust" so I didn't. I ended up just moving things to the deli drawer. Perhaps a call to the office would have been in order.
Water temp in pool 78 degrees according to thermometer. Pool seemed colder than the ocean water temp. We used the pool very little. Too cold. It gets plenty of sun, I attributed the cooler temp to all the rain. Pool was pretty good size, slightly larger than some which are just oversized bathtubs. Depth of four feet (estimate). Had to use the little skimmer net every day. Breezes kept blowing leaves in the pool. EZ access via steps.
The villa has plenty of space. Provides plenty of elbow room for two people. The layout is definately planned for at least two couples. Unfortunately, we often have to rent a 4 person villa to get the amenties we desire. We just can't seem to find a 1 bedroom that we would like. You could literally loose your partner and have to go searching for them. I had to make a mental point to "Get Organized" after the first day. Just dropping the keys to the jeep anywhere when you come in .... means you will search for them the next time you want to leave. The grill was located on the farthest point of the deck away from the kitchen. At first, the layout takes some getting used too. IT is not just three steps to everywhere. Setting the table for dinner (always under the patio gazeebo) was a muti-trip process, and the trips are a bit of a walk. BUT, you are walking around the pool, facing the garden, heading toward the kitchen. On the way out, your looking at that beatiful view. Botom line ... its a nice STROLL to the kitchen from the gazeebo. ( I have never considered going into the kitchen in any house I have ever been in as "A stroll") At the end of the week, I really appreciated the design. It beckons you to the outdoors. It takes advantage of its geographical location. What is impractical in a northern climate, makes perfect sense in the islands.
Our greeter was late. We called from the RH ferry dock. Said we were on the 3:30 out of Red-hook. I think -That was the problem. There is no scheduled 3:30 ferry. I think she blew that off as a stupid mistake that tourists make and assumed we were on the 4:00. I never understood why they had a 3:30 ferry. But they did, and we were on it.
The villa is up for sale. We received a call from the rental people who asked if it was OK to show the villa to a potential customer. We asked if we could decline, they said yes, so we said no. (Apologies to the owner, real-estate agent, and potential buyer who were negatively impacted ... I wasn't dressed and did not feel like having company!) We extended our stay by a day about 1 week prior to our arrival (calendar showed it was available ...so what the heck, do another day!) Caribbean villas was glad to accomodate. Of course, the cleaning crew didn't get the word and showed up a day early ... a phone call to the office cleared up the confusion. She left not exactly happy over her wasted trip. For her, just another day. For me, another day in Paradise!
In summary- Caribbean Villas was OK to work with. The villa is properly maintained. The gardner showed up one day while we were out. I know they clean in-between rentals since I met the cleaning lady. Deviations from the routine may cause minor issues, but the issues are dealt with promptly. I would go back tomorrow ... and stay in this villa ... if only I could!
When my husband read the review about the bugs in the MB, he thought it sounded like fleas. Wonder if anyone with pets stayed there?
I agree with Todd that the rental co. should be made aware of this if they haven't already. If I book, I will probably bring it up.
Todd, when are you going? If we end up there in May, I can post a report upon our return.
Thanks, Capt. Mike! I really appreciate the details you've given!
Did you know the place was for sale before you booked there? I wonder if that would affect us in any way, other than the possible intrusion of a showing?
Travelhappy- If you do end up here in May, I would love to hear from you as to what you thought of the place. I am still looking at a few other villas, but my husband and I really love Coconuts. The picutes of the view and deck, just give us that WOW factor, which we havent seen at any other villa.
Todd, would like to hear from you as well, if you end up at Coconuts. I am looking to go in October.
Capt Mike - were there screens on the windows and doors? I am really freaked about bugs, etc. Espcially any that might end up in my bed. Thanks again for all of your helpful information!
Sorry for the delay. I have to work to pay for the trips to paradise.
No, never brought issue/concern about the phenomena of ichyness in bathroom to agency. Like I said, wasn't even sure what to attribute it to for several days. Only mention it to help any others that may experience it to troubleshoot it quicker. If you happen to experience it .. NO, you are NOT imagining it! There are no bathtubs in the villa, only showers. Large ones. They were clean, no soap scum, no mold. Shower curtains were clean.
The main house does not have any A/C. Ceiling fans are the primary cooling. Well, really, I think the breezes are the primary cooling. Although, the ceiling is very high in the room and they should be effective if needed. I did not turn on ANY AC during my stay. Simply didn't need it. There are AC units in each bedroom, but not the loft which is in the main house.
I am pretty sure that all of the windows had screens. Most of the windows I recall were of the slats made of glass. The type where you turn a handle to open them. I thought thier use/design was perfect. You could keep them open even in the rain and not get water in the windows. I am pretty sure we opened them on arrival and never touched or thought about them again. Maybe they were even open when we arrived.... just not sure anymore. (way toooo much rumm) Mosquitoes were mainly outdoors, not indoors.
I did not know it was for sale when I booked. It certantly is no secret once you get inside. The sign from the real-estate agency announcing its for sale is on the kitchen counter, complete with business cards. I also found it when I got home by looking up properties for sale on the internet. Don't quote me, but I think it was a cool 1.4 mil.
So, if any of you guys buy it .... hope you will consider discounts for repeat customers!
Bugs in general. You will see the geko's. You will see lots of them. Even when you are not scared of bugs, their movements are startling. They are totally harmless and eat the bad bugs. Actually, watch them in the morning when they come out for the sun and warm up. They are actually cute when they do the push up thing. IF all else fails... just keep remembering that cute one in the Geico Commercials.
Hope every one enjoys their trip.
Thanks for the info again, Capt. Mike! I am pretty bummed because it now looks like we won't be booking this villa. We are only coming to STJ for 5 nights, and Caribbean Villas gave us a bit of a hard time about that, claiming they usually rent for a 7-night minimum and charge a $100 cleaning fee if only 5 nights are rented. Well, I simply don't want to pay that on top of the 5% service fee this agency already charges, on top of the standard 8% tax. This villa was my top choice, but not for an extra $300. That will just about pay for my rental car.
Hope you all enjoy it!
We are headed down mid-May and we are already booked at Coconuts so we are definitely staying there. Didn't know it was for sale at the time of booking so that is good to know. Thanks capt. mike for the in depth reviews.
I will definitely post our experience when we get back. This is our 5th time to St John and we have always been happy for the most part with our rentals.
We rented Caribe Villa (aka the Peter Max house) through viva vacations our first time. Awesome place on Rendezvous Bay although I haven't seen it listed anymore for rent. Best deck and view I've ever had there.
We stayed every other time with Caribbean Villas. We stayed twice at Cruz Views Unit #7 which is the cheapest way to go and I think if you just want a basic condo with a decent pool. We always stay here is we are going for less than a week. Its not a villa but it works for us and is central to the town and the beaches.
The last time we stayed at Ciellodonna which was on Chocolate Hole. Very very nice place with great views as well. We stayed before they started the big project being built on that bay so we had no construction issues. You would definitely see the construction now from Ciellodonna. Very nice 2 level decks on this house. We had pool problems which was only because the pool man didn't show up to clean and shock the pool. We called but they didn't come out to fix that until the week was almost up. I pointed that out to Caribbean Villas and they gave me a discount off my next rental (which is Coconuts in May!).
I have never been disappointed with our house rentals so I'm hoping Coconuts keeps that streak going. Only thing making trips to St John and renting villa less likely is the cost keeps going up to much each year. Makes it so you better go with 6 or more to share the costs otherwise its expensive.
Even the ferry's prices are getting out hand but I digress.
Basically if anything is a problem with the villas, keep calling Caribbean Villas mgmt because you need to keep on them to get things done. They are on island time after all and I can't wait to be on island time!