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virgin islands on line : st. john : hotel & villa reviews

Orchid Knoll 01/30/02
Reviewers Rating: Good
Orchid Knoll

Bordeaux Mountain, St. John, USVI

Villa Review Ė January 19 - 27, 2002

Orchid Knoll is a two bedroom, two bath home constructed of native stone high atop Bordeaux Mountainís western ridge. Jeep rental is a must, unless a daily 1.5 mile hike to and from the Chateau Bordeaux overlook, where you might be lucky to find a cab.

Bordeaux Mountain Road (Rte. 108) is mostly unpaved, and worsens in condition the farther up the mountain it goes. Not for the faint of heart or week of bladder.

Orchid Knoll is just one of the very pricey selection of villas offered by Caribbean Villas & Resorts. Our party of four stayed eight nights for $3,400.00. Expensive, yes, but the pictures and description on CVís website seemed to justify the price. I would love to say that Orchid Knoll lived up to its advance billing. However, it was somewhat disappointing with respect to certain areas.

Although there are two bedrooms, the master bedroom is much better than the other. It is larger, has a private deck and has better views. Also, the ventilation is much better than the lower level bedroom, which was quite humid and had little breeze. The lower bedroom has two twins that convert to a king. Two couples considering this villa should be aware of this situation, for the website picture portrays a better, more equal arrangement and the description is somewhat vague.

The bathrooms are nothing fancy, although thr master bath has a nice outdoor shower. Although functional, they were not as deluxe as I was expecting for a high end villa. The kitchen is quite ordinary. The countertop is smallish and the layout is not conducive to socializing while preparing dinner. There is no picture of the kitchen on the website.. Since we cooked most of our dinners, this was a dissapointment. Also, it would be nice if the gas grill was located on the veranda, rather than the pool deck.

The great room is nice, but we spent little time there, preferring the covered verandaís spectacular views. The veranda was our favorite place for the entire trip. Comfortable furniture, roomy, great positioning. The pool deck was OK, but the views were not as nice. Also, the pool itself became dirtier with each passing day from leaves, branches and other debris falling into it. The pool man never came during our stay, although he was supposed to.

There are a couple of other items I should mention about this villa. No firewood (or no one from CV told us where it was), even though the working fireplace was touted on the website. Only 2 beach chairs were provided, which I think is unacceptable for a four person villa charging top shelf rates. The linens and towels are in need of replacement. There was no laundry soap to be found in the laundry room.

Conclusion:

Although it has arguably one of the best views you will find on St. John, it is too pricey for that attribute alone. It could use a facelift in many respects to justify its $425/night cost for 4 in high season. There are many other more reasonably priced villas with nice views and similar amenities. Caribbean Villas & Resorts may be the biggest management company on St. John, but they are far from the best. They definitely are among the most expensive (the only one I know that tacks on a 5% service charge), and not very attentive (no contact during our stay). Iím not going to use this forum to trash them any further, but I wonít use them again. If anyone wants details, feel free to e-mail me.

Andy Tomlin





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