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Carib Villa - July 2002 08/14/02
Reviewers Rating: Good
We rented Carib Villa through Caribbean Villas & Resorts Management ($1540 per week + 8% motel tax +5% service fee). We were met at the Cruz Bay car barge lot by the CVRM rep who waved at us from his car and we just followed him to our villa. Carib Villa sits at the top of Gifft Hill and is right on the paved road 104 (Gifft Hill Rd.). It is a 3 bedroom (not really), 3 bath, A/C in 2 bedrooms, pool and jacuzzi. The rear of the house surrounds the pool on three sides and there is a large deck area overlooking St. Thomas back towards Red Hook to the west. A selling point of this villa is the beautiful sunsets and west view from the deck along with privacy for the pool and jacuzzi. More on this villa location later. We were given a short tour of the villa and then the CVRM rep left. We checked out things and unpacked our jeep and headed back to town for drinks at Duffy's and to get some basic grocery supplies for the next day. Other than a liquor cabinet with vodka, tequila, cointreau, and vermouth and some dry goods staples, there was nothing to eat or drink in the frig or cabinets. We slept with the bedroom open, unfortunately no screens on the French doors. A thrushie woke us with an early morning greeting. He had finished the bag of crackers we had left on the counter in the open-air kitchen and wanted a more substantial breakfast. We quickly learned to put everything in the frig or in a cabinet to keep the wildlife from eating better than we! Due to no screens on the doors and poorly fitting screens on the windows, mosquitoes were also having breakfast. Our villa wasn't in the best of locations as it turned out. One reason there were so many mosquitoes might have been that we were next door to public dumpsters. This made things noisy with people coming and going and throwing thrash in the big metal containers. Also the trash pick ups were very regular, almost every day at 8 am they would come to empty the containers. Construction on a house in virgin Grand Estates down the road a ways kept concrete trucks coming for two days all day long. Our house was in a curve just before the "Descent" on 104, so the concrete trucks were shifting hard and loud just twenty feet from the kitchen. If you are not familiar with the "Descent" part of Gifft Hill Road, it is so steep and winding that on the way down if you look quickly in your rearview mirror you will catch a glimpse of you own car behind you! It's a "fun" ride not to be missed at least once.

Carib Villa is built along West Indian lines, meaning separate buildings for bedrooms, kitchen, and living/dining room. The two main bedrooms are air conditioned, but there are such huge gaps around doors and screens on the windows that it is pretty much free access for creatures great and small. I like the little geckos and skinks running around, after all they eat the bugs that bother you, but after awhile you got tired of finding lizard poop on the furniture and bedspreads. The open-air kitchen just invited bugs (although we didn't have a roach problem), cats and birds to come visit. You never left any food out on the cabinets that you wanted to keep. The third bedroom in Carib Villa is a loft above the living/dining room. No air-conditioning and it is above the level of the ceiling fans, so there is nothing to move the air. It became incredibly hot there during the daytime. I wouldn't use it during the summer for anybody. The neighbor to the right of Carib Villa is a nice lady that works in her yard a lot with plants. Unfortunately her yard is next to the railing around the jacuzzi. I'm sure she gets tired of some of the guests that stay up late using the jacuzzi and partying on the deck. We were quiet and went to bed fairly early, but would have felt better with a little more privacy for our pool/jacuzzi/deck c/o use. We kept beach towels on the deck for cover-ups. An annoyance to the wife more than I was the total lack of any water pressure in the showers. We ended up using the shower in the main dining/living area as it had a modicum more pressure than the other two. I realize water is hard to come by and expensive if it has to be bought, but the showers would have shorter if there had been enough pressure to wash the shampoo out of your hair. There were the usual power outages each day; only one lasted for more than a few minutes. CVRM has yard crews that show up unannounced early in the morning. Your first indication they are there is usually a "Good Morning" from the backyard as a member of the crew sprays weed killer or runs a blower or weed eater. The magnificent view from this villa has been intentionally obscured for some reason. Two large bushy trees were planted in the middle of the large back yard that slopes down to a tree line. Most of the yard has low growing plants and century plants growing in it. These two trees have been allowed to grow up into the view. They do not provide privacy and they are not flowering trees. They really need to be replaced with the railing around the back deck, not to be attempted during or after happy hour! After the first week, we had to call the CV rep to get him to come treat the pool. Algae had started growing rather proficiently. It never did get really clean after the first week. The villa company did come when we called and took care of the minor problems we reported. I have no real complaints about Caribbean Villas & Resorts, just very minor issues. We would use CVRM again, but not this particular villa. Checkout could not have been easier, just dropped off the keys at the office. I do wish they took credit cards for rentals instead of just for damage deposits. Can always use a few more frequent flyer miles!

Clarification: There are 2 Villa Caribe's on St. John. The one we stayed at is Carib Villa, a 3 bedroom on Gifft Hill and rents through Caribbean Villas and St. John Properties. The other Villa Caribe is a 5 bedroom that overlooks Ditleff/Rendezvous Bay and is rented through Lime Coconut, St. John Links, and A Charming Hideway.

Rod & Marsha

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