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

The Castle 07/26/02
Reviewers Rating: Great
First, a little about the road to the Castle. It is an unpaved, sometimes very rough, kidney bruising 1.5 mile jaunt up the Calabash Boom hillside. There are 4 or 5 switchbacks, and the road is sometimes quite steep. Forget it without a 4WD vehicle.

The Castle is a 2BR 1.5 bath home constructed mainly of hewn stones, built over an 8 year period. Encrusted into the stone walls are all sorts of interesting items: shells, coral, glass, shards of pottery, etc. One can spend hours studying the walls.

I'll divide my review into categories:

Location:

700 feet above Johnson Bay in Calabash Boom. Stunning 180+ degree easterly views of Coral Harbor, Hurricane Hole, STJ East End and BVI's. Amazing sunrises. Very few biting bugs due to constant breezes.

Comfort:

One large master suite in tower with 1/2 bath. Bed is queen width, but on the short side. No shades in windows, so sunrise can wake you early. Second bedroom of great room is small, with full bed, opens to deck and full outdoor bath. NOT a good home for 2 couples. Outdoor shower, sink & toilet. Would be good for small family.

Only the small bedroom has screens of any kind. The kitchen and great room are "open", in that there are at least two permanently open windows or doorways. The MBR has doors, but need to be open for cross breezes. Because of this, you will see all sorts of lizards and other creatures scurrying around. We awoke one morning to find a 4" scorpion trapped in the kitchen sink, and none too happy about it. I coaxed him into a ziploc bag and released him outside. If you are at all bothered by creepy crawlies, this would probably not be a good villa choice.

Kitchen:

Spacious, all appliances except dishwasher. No decent wine glasses, no corkscrew. Laundry facilities, but no laundry soap. Nice dining table in kitchen, cafe table for two in courtyard.

Greatroom:

TV & stereo/vcr/cd. Minimal selection of videos & cds and books, some games. Comfortable furniture. Lighting good for only one reader at night.

Deck:

Spacious, fantastic views, nice hot tub. Minimal deck furniture. The view from the parapet above MBR is dynamite. Very breezy up there.

Overall comments:

Secluded retreat perfect for adventurous honeymooners or other romantics, nature loving small families. Open air not for everyone. Rough access can be tiresome after a while. Great views. We would return again...don't be afraid to take a chance with this one.

GroundFreeman





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